Emporia’s Welsh Heritage focus of documentary movie screening

October 10, 2013

A screening of the documentary film, “A Welsh Farmstead: The Story of the Howe Family from 1858,” will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, at the Granada Theater in downtown Emporia. Following the documentary there will be a panel featuring local historians and community members featured in the film. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a behind-the-scenes making of the documentary slide show and a variety of Welsh treats for sampling. The event is free and funded in part by a Kansas Humanities Council Heritage Grant.

A local group of volunteers made up of members from the Lyon County Historical Society, Flint Hills Technical College, Center for Great Plains Studies and Emporia State University Social Sciences received grants for the Howe project totaling just under $30,000. The collection of oral histories from local residents connected to the Howe family began in 2012. Following the documentary screening, a project exhibit featuring timeline panels will be on display through the end of the year at the Lyon County Historical Society.

The Howe House, constructed just south of Emporia in 1867, was willed to the Lyon County Historical Society by the Howe family in 1996. The project committee collected fifteen interviews totaling over 30 hours of audio and video tape. Project directors Jim Hoy and Steve Hanschu indicated this has been a missing link in the history of Lyon County and Welsh settlement.

“This project seeks to increase public awareness of Welsh settlement in Kansas, specifically in Lyon County, and to illuminate the experiences of the Howe family and its lasting significance in Emporia,” Hoy said.

Individuals who have information about the Howe family or the Welsh settlement in Lyon County are encouraged to contact Steve Hanschu or Jim Hoy at shanschu@emporia.edu or jhoy@emporia.edu or by calling the Center for Great Plains Studies at 620-341-5574.

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