State centennial items on display

CONCORDIA — A collection of memorabilia from 1961, when Kansas was celebrating its 100 years of statehood, is on display in Cloud County in honor of the state's 150th birthday.

Susie Haver's collection includes about 60 pieces of Kansas centennial memorabilia. It's being displayed through February at the Cloud County Museum Annex in honor of Saturday's 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood.

A dress that Haver's mother made for her to wear to a centennial celebration in 1961 and that won her an award in a costume contest is included in the collection.

"I was just a shy little farm girl and not necessarily wanting to get in front of people, but, man, I was proud of that dress," said Haver, co-director of Cloud County Convention and Tourism.

The Salina Journal reported that a similar collection is owned by Sally Hatcher of Leavenworth, whose friendship with Haver has centered somewhat around their penchant for finding Kansas centennial items.

"I think she has won," said Hatcher, 74, a retired school teacher. A native of Michigan, Hatcher has lived in Leavenworth for more than 40 years.

She and Haver met as board members of the Kansas Barn Alliance, at meetings of the Kansas Preservation Alliance and at Kansas Explorers Club gatherings.

"I lusted after a Kansas Centennial tablecloth for years, and couldn't believe my mom didn't have one," Haver said. "Sally Hatcher had one and bought a better one, so she sold me her castoff."

The friends decided to begin a quest in 2005 for state centennial collectibles.

There is not much criteria to their collecting, just that the item denotes the centennial in some way.

Hatcher's favorite in her collection is a set of salt and pepper shakers in the shape of wheat shocks. But Haver prefers Hatcher's model of a prairie schooner.

Haver's collection also includes "one really ugly piece."

It's a "ceramic thing that has the state seal on it. It's like a booze bottle with a stopper, a decanter," Haver said.

"If we had a contest for the ugliest piece of memorabilia, it would win hands down," she said. "It's right on the top of the counter. I'm hoping someone might break it."