Longtime Old Cowtown Museum supporter and one-time board president Bill Ard has made a donation that’s transformed the view there. So says current president Bill Ramsey.
“We have lengthened the main road that went through Cowtown,” Ramsey says. “It’s literally transformed the Cowtown landscape.”
He says that’s because the new road connects a farmhouse and barn area on the property with the main town area.
Previously, Ard says, “You went down the middle of Cowtown, you couldn’t see it.”
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He says the road makes Cowtown look more like old cow towns with farms on their peripheries.
“It really brings the farm into Cowtown,” Ramsey says.
The main drag of Cowtown “used to look just right into the parking lot.”
Ramsey says the previous road to the farmhouse cut through a baseball field where vintage-appropriate baseball games are held.
“They would have to stop anytime anybody wanted to do anything down that road.”
Ard gave $25,000 for the $ 56,000 project – the rest came from money the board raised – and Dondlinger Construction did the work for a significantly reduced rate.
“They’ve been very generous to Cowtown,” Ramsey says of all of the company’s projects there.
This project involved moving a fence and what Ramsey calls “a good chunk of the parking lot” to accommodate the dirt road, which also needed a lot of prep work.
Ard says it’s important to him to protect and save Wichita’s heritage, in part through Cowtown.
“I remember when it was put in here.”
He says he’s especially pleased to have the road now and its new view.
“It’s a marvelous vista. It’s a vista we’ve never had before.”