Situated at the entrance to the equally enjoyable Lee Richardson Zoo, the Finney County Historical Museum is a quaint exhibition that tells the history of Southwestern Kansas. It also tastefully displays the World’s Largest Hairball atop a brass spittoon.
Removed from the stomach of a cow that was processed in a nearby packing house, this mammoth trichobezoar was nearly 40 inches in circumference and was said to have weighed 55 pounds wet when first removed. Though smaller and drier now, it’s still a very impressive sight. Visitors are free to lightly touch the ball (it feels like a velvet basketball) but signage politely reminds them not to pick it up.
Hairball aside, the museum has several walk-through areas and numerous exhibits where visitors can trace the roots and historical events of the area, from the lives of the first native peoples, to the cowboy era, all the way up to present day.
Volunteer docents are friendly and will happily answer any questions you might have as you explore the facility. The grounds also include a research library, an original one-room school house, and a museum store with enough kitschy items to satisfy any traveller’s needs, including t-shirts featuring the giant hairball.
Know Before You Go
Admission is free, but a suggested donation of $2 for adults and $1 for children is encouraged. Free parking is available across from the entrance. Hours can vary by season, so call ahead or check their website.