Mahaffie is a Partner Site for Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit

Mahaffie is a Partner Site for Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit

Humanities Kansas recently selected Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm in Olathe as a Partner Site in the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” statewide initiative. Along with nine museums, historical societies, and libraries across the state, Mahaffie received a $1,500 grant to tell the story of their rural community.

Mahaffie’s specific project, “From Rodeos to Roundabouts: Exploring Olathe’s Roots”, will open on Saturday, August 29 and remain on display until January 30, 2021. This exhibit addresses the question, how do you connect a cowboy boot, a dairy, a hatchery, a rodeo, and a roundabout?

Humanities Kansas’s “Crossroads” initiative explores the history and culture of local rural life in Kansas and sparks conversations about our state’s future. Exhibitions will consider what it means to live rural in the 21st century, the relationship between rural, suburban, and urban, and the progress and persistence needed by communities of all sizes to thrive. “Crossroads” is anchored by a Smithsonian traveling exhibition of the same name touring six communities, ten “Crossroads” Partner Sites featuring local exhibitions, and statewide public programming opportunities.

Additional community activities to coincide with the Crossroads project include Mahaffie’s Fall Cemetery Tours from Sept. 24 to 26 at the Olathe Memorial Cemetery. The theme is Agriculture. Visitors will meet reenactors and hear the stories of local influencers in this industry. The Olathe Historical Society will offer a guided discussion for the public at their September meeting entitled “Discovering Agriculture in Johnson County, Then and Now.” This discussion takes places at the Heritage Center at Mahaffie and begins at 7 p.m. on September 17.

In addition to Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, Partner Site projects will take place in Dodge City, Onaga, Ellinwood, El Dorado, Satanta, Council Grove, Colby, Hays, and Lebanon.

The “Crossroads” Smithsonian exhibition will tour six Kansas communities in 2020-2021: Bowlus Fine Arts Center/Allen County Historical Society, Iola; 5.4.7 Arts Center, Greensburg; Kauffman Museum, North Newton; Independence Public Library/Independence Historical Museum and Art Center; The Volland Store, Alma; and Norton County Arts Council, Norton.

Humanities Kansas sponsors the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” initiative in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, a one-of-a-kind cultural project that serves small towns and residents of rural communities. To learn more about the “Crossroads” statewide tour visit

For more information about “Crossroads” in Olathe contact Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm at 913-971-5111 or visit