Dalton Defender Days, Coffeyville, Kansas

I am officially on the road with Footprints  in the Dew and will be in Coffeyville next Saturday- I will post schedule updates here and on FaceBook.

Welcome back. I have been lucky enough to visit many museums around the country in my travels. The Metropolitan Museum in New York has a grand entrance of broad stairs leading to a gigantic doorway that opens into a rotunda filled with enormous flower arrangements. Beyond the rotunda you will discover a vast collection of artworks that encompasses masterpieces from every country and every era. It is truly a magnificent place to visit and you could spend months exploring the exhibits there. I’ve also been to sports museums, museums of western art and memorabilia, toy museums and several war related museums. On the animal side, I’ve been to a number of natural history museums including one dedicated just to butterflies.

Here in the northeast corner of Oklahoma, there are literally dozens of museums from art museums like Philbrook, Gilgrease and Woolaroc to a handful of favorite historical spots in Dewey. The Tom Mix Museum, the Dewey Hotel which is just across the street and Prairie Song Village on the outskirts of town are all well worth a visit or two.

Southeastern Kansas has its own share of interesting museums and one in particular caught my attention a few years ago. Walking through the Dalton Defenders Museum in Coffeyville you immediately get a sense of what life was like in the early days of the town through the many historical mementos in their exhibits. Artifacts of the time fill the rooms along with plenty of old photos. Of course there is a lot of information about the infamous Dalton gang and their raid on the town. The Daltons were both bank robbers and train robbers, threatening the safety of everyday citizens throughout the region. The Defenders Museum also tells the story of the defenders who were brave townspeople who gave their lives protecting the banks from the Dalton Gang.

From October 1-4 Coffeyville will hold its annual Dalton Defenders Days festival, turning the downtown into a party zone. I’ve been told there is truly something for everyone at this event including a re-enactment of the raid, rodeo events, kid’s games, food and craft vendors. As if that weren’t enough there will also be live music, a big car show and much more. Things kick off around 4PM on the 1st and a full schedule of events is available on the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce website. I will be there on Saturday October 3rd  from 10:30-12:30 signing books.

Till then I’ll see ya down the road…..