The Museum has been dubbed “one of the finest museums in the Midwest” by KANSAS! magazine. Enjoy an international collection of rare dolls, procelain, glass, antiques and artifacts in the main museum building. There is also an overview of Thomas County History. The complex includes a furnished sod house, 1930’s farm stead, one-room school, and country church. The centerpiece of the complex is the Cooper Barn, the biggest barn in Kansas. It was moved 16 miles in one piece and measures 114′ x 66′ x 48′. It houses photographs, antique implements and vehicles. The cavernous upper level is used for dances and activities and is open to visitors so they may experience the immensity of this historic barn.
In 1975, the Society was given the Kuska Collection. The unique collection of over 28,000 artifacts from Europe, Asia and North America was collected by Joe and Nellie Kuska. It consists of dolls, ceramics, glass, furniture, silver, toys, textiles and clothing. The couple lived in Colby for over 50 years and spent their entire lives collecting and sharing their knowledge of the collection.
The unique Kuska Collection distinguishes the museum as one of the finest museums in the Midwest. On exhibit are dolls by famous makers such as Jumeau, Ravca, Marseille, Clears and Schoenhut. There are china, bisque, composition, parian and wooden dolls.
One of the prized dolls in the collection of 2,000 is a rare French fashion doll signed “Rocharde”. This doll wears an elegant gown, a genuine ermine cape and jewelry. Her necklace, viewed closely, shows magnified pictures of famous paintings.
Among the many china and porcelain pieces is a gallery of 16th century Meissen, Europeís first and most important hard paste porcelain factory. One of the outstanding Meissen pieces is “The Good Life”. It represents the court of Louis XV.
For information of sight-seeing features throughout Thomas County, contact the Prairie Museum for information.