St John’s Military School Historical Museum



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Feb 14, 2021
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Once a Muleskinner, always a Muleskinner.

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That’s the message that the former St John’s Military School Historical Museum wants to convey through their new museum, honoring more than 131 years of history.

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St John’s Military School opened in 1887. For 131 years, thousands of cadets marched on the campus at 110 W Otis. Teachers and faculty poured their lives into not only making the lives of each student better, but also enriching the community of Salina.

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However, the school closed in 2019. It was a difficult ending for all who devoted themselves to a wonderful school. The last graduating walked in 2019.

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After the last dorm was cleaned, the last administrative desk cleared, and the last chalkboard erased, the question soon became what to do with 131 years of school history.

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The Old Boys – a group of school alumni, faculty, administrators, and board members – quickly decided that these priceless artifacts should be displayed.

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Linger Hall was chosen as the Museum location, which sits on the West side of the campus.

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After 2 years of documenting each item, restoring Linger Hall (installing museum lighting, etc…), and construction through a pandemic, the Museum was finally open to members of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce last week.

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Museum visitors were greeted with emotional smiles by curators.

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Class photographs line the walls. Furniture used by administrators sits in the middle of each room.

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Cadet uniforms with patches sewn on. Some name badges are still present.

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Trophies from the school’s numerous sporting victories.

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School flags. Pictures of the original building that burnt to the ground.

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If you remember the Quartermaster helping you with school supplies until a care package from home could be sent, you might be a Muleskinner.

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The door handle each cadet grasped upon high school graduation sits proudly within the Museum foyer.

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Perhaps the most memorable museum items, are those of the time capsule. Evidence that cadets from decades ago wanted people to remember.

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Indeed, that’s just what St John’s Military School Historical Museum is. A testimony to the positive impact this school and its members had on our community, our country, and in some cases, the world.

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This museum is a time capsule. Items that need not be seen to be remembered, each having their own unique story. A 6 year journey in the life of a single Muleskinner, spread over 131 years of school history.

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While a time capsule is usually reserved access for those of whom are connected to the holder, we the public have a fantastic opportunity to view what made this school great.

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More information on St John’s Military School Historical Museum can be found on their Facebook Page.

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The grand opening of the museum is in 2 weeks, to coincide with what would have been the school’s 2020-2021 graduation ceremony.


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