What is the Harvey County Historical Museum & Archives?
The Harvey County Historical Museum & Archives celebrates a common history and culturally diverse community by sharing stories from the past, experiences of the present, and possibilities for the future through creative and dynamic exploration of objects, documents, and photos.
The Museum is housed in the 1904 Carnegie Library in Newton and is a repository for records and objects that tell the story of our people. The Harvey County Historical Museum & Archives is owned and operated by the Harvey County Historical Society, Inc., as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Our Services Include
- Exhibits, both permanent and rotating, that include hands-on explorations to engage visitors of all ages.
- Archival research library free to the public; and archival research as requested.
- Speaker’s Bureau programs for presentation at civic, social, reunion or other meetings.
- Reproductions of historic photos.
- Public programs and special events for all ages.
- Guided tours.
- 1873 Kellas School available for use free to public and private school groups.
- Volunteer and service opportunities.
HCHS began in September of 1907. Although the Society did not remain active as an organization, documents, photographs, and artifacts were collected beginning at that date. Meetings were held sporadically until 1964 when the Society actively again held regular meetings.
In 1973, preparations began for the transfer from its location in the downtown “History Room” to the Carnegie Library at 203 North Main Street. The Newton Public Library had been constructed in 1903, a two-story brick and limestone building featuring ionic pillars, soaring ceilings, ornate woodwork and plaster walls, with a one-story addition constructed in 1923.
When the public library moved into new accommodations in 1973, the City of Newton sold the building to HCHS for $1.00. At that time some necessary improvements were undertaken, including installing fencing, renovating walls and roof, installing new flooring in the basement, adding heating equipment, painting, and laying carpet on the main level. On April 16, 1974, the Harvey County Historical Museum & Archives was dedicated, and has been actively operating since then.
The building was entered on the National Register of Historic Places on May 31, 1974. Building preservation and restoration is a continual priority.