The Saturday after Thanksgiving isn't too early to start observing Christmas holiday traditions, as this year it will be the first of 11 presentations of the Lanesfield School Country Christmas special event.
Experience a traditional 1904 old-fashioned Christmas during this free event. Participants can write a letter to Santa with pen and ink, and find old-fashioned stocking stuffers in the gift shop. The holiday program began in 1991 and is Lanesfield’s most-attended event for the general public each year.
"Lanesfield is a local historic site that not only shares the community’s story, but upholds traditions started long ago. These traditions contribute to a sense of place and belonging with the excitement of the holidays,” said Johnson County Museum Curator of Education Michele Brewer. "Participants enjoy the beauty of the site and seeing the schoolhouse decorated for a country Christmas as it would have been over a century ago."
Lanesfield School Country Christmas is offered as a free drop-in program from 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays on the following dates: Nov. 24 and 30, and Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29. All ages are welcome. No reservations for this free program are required for individuals and family groups, but for groups larger than ten, please call the museum’s reservation line at (913) 715-2570.
The session on Saturday, Dec. 8, will include a special Christmas concert in the schoolhouse, featuring the Edgerton Rainbow Connection Children’s Choir. The performance will begin at 1:30 pm, followed by a visit from Santa, crafts, and free refreshments. Be sure to bring your camera! Santa and the choir will only be present for the Dec. 8 program.
Also at this year's event, there will be information about a new escape room being offered at Lanesfield on Saturdays between Jan. 5 and March 30. Called Scandal in the Schoolhouse, this program is for ages 10 and older, and available for groups by appointment. For this one-hour program, the cost is $50 for two people, or $20 per person for three to eight people.
Owned and operated by the Johnson County Museum, the Lanesfield Historic Site
is located at 18745 S. Dillie Road, Edgerton. The Lanesfield site is a one-room limestone schoolhouse, the last remaining structure in the former town of Lanesfield. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988.
"The town of Lanesfield was a free-state town built in 1858 and named after Free State leader James Henry Lane," Brewer said. "It boasted a two-story hotel, a blacksmith shop, three stores, three churches, and 17 homes. The stone school was built in 1869 for $1,000."
For more information about the Lanesfield School Country Christmas or Scandal in the Schoolhouse, contact the museum at (913) 715-2570.