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Author Topic: Opening of Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in April in Atchinson!!!  (Read 3332 times)

Randy Conrad

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Greetings! Happy St. Patricks Day! About two years ago this month I caught wind about them having a new museum in Atchinson containing one of the last Lockheed Electra 10-E. At that time the museum was supposed to be really neat and full of historical information. Little did I know on a rainy Friday morning and during corn harvesting that my venture would soon lead to like Amelia's. Oh if I was to have a sextant and star maps I would have still gotten lost. To think I was only 1000 yards from this would be museum. But directions in and around Atchinson are almost like flying with Amelia and Fred using directional finding equipment. Don't always go by what you see is indeed what I had done. By the time I was through searching for this building I do believe I used two tanks of gas and traveled over 30 miles where if I watched for the little bitty sign in the corner of the road I would have been there in 5 minutes. Anyway, at the time I managed to find the building but was ratherly let down to find out that this new building was not completed and wouldn't open for another two years later because of the Covid Epidemic. I did however get a chance to sneak a peek at the plane. Just like the one in the Aviation Museum in Seattle, Washington. I don't know what captivates us all when you look at this it the shininess of the metal or the contents found in the plane from past, present, future. For me...its like Bettys Notebook opening up late at night to listen to a story that only our imaginations can take us. For some of you like myself...I find myself returning to Niku time and time again. She has to be there...but where is the rest of the plane...But until then...we have our Tighar Family...we keep doing late night searches on online libraries, traveling to small towns in search of freckle ointment jars, finding old photographs of something we may have missed. And yes...some of you like myself have taken the road down a beaten path to find out indeed like Amelia you too are lost. But, overall its the venture that makes it worth while and special with this organization. Anyway, with the newspaper article mentioned...the hangar museum looks to be something special and why wouldnt it be. Anyway, keep searching and hopin to see you all in Atchinson in about a month!!!
FEB 26, 2023

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Now That’s Rural: Amelia Earhart Hanger Museum
Posted Feb 26, 2023 4:55 AM
Courtesy K-State Research & Extension
Courtesy K-State Research & Extension
Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development

Amelia Earhart speaks. She smiles, looks up, and begins to talk about her life experiences. 

Wait – didn’t Amelia Earhart disappear in the South Pacific 80 years ago?

Yes, but she is alive again – at least virtually – in an incredible museum that will open in her hometown of Atchison in spring, 2023.   

Joe Brentano is director of the new Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum. Makinzie Burghart is director of development. Burghart grew up in Atchison as did Amelia Earhart 120 years earlier. 

Earhart and her younger sister, Muriel, spent many of their early years at their grandparent’s home in Atchison. In 1908, she saw her first airplane at the Iowa State Fair, but it didn’t excite her at the time.

Years later, she and a friend were at a flying exposition when a stunt pilot dived at them.  “I believe that little red airplane spoke to me as it swished by,” Earhart later wrote.

After attending another air show, she was hooked on flying. She would go on to become the first president of the Ninety-Nines, a women's aviation organization; the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic; first woman to fly solo coast-to-coast; and the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to the mainland.

She received many honors, including the Distinguished Flying Cross from Congress, before disappearing on an ill-fated attempt to fly around the globe. 

Atchison celebrates the Amelia Earhart history through tours of her childhood home and an annual Amelia Earhart festival. But in 2016, a unique opportunity arose. There was an opportunity to purchase a Lockheed Electra 10-E – the same model as Amelia Earhart flew on her last flight, and the only one left in the world. 

Citizens of Atchison, led by Karen and the late Ladd Seaberg, formed the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation and raised the funds to purchase the plane. It was affectionately named Muriel in honor of Amelia’s younger sister. The plane was carefully transported by trailer, 1,206 miles from California to Atchison. 

The next step was to create a museum to display the plane. That led to the design and construction of the new Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum – in an actual hangar and terminal in a 1930s-style art deco building at the local airport. “This was a $17 million project,” Burghart said. 

Outside the museum stands a statue of Earhart, identical to the one that Kansas placed in statuary hall in the nation’s capitol. Inside the entrance, one is greeted by a hologram of Earhart. This electronic CGI image speaks her inspiring words from a century-plus ago, expressing the importance of transcending boundaries. 

The centerpiece of the museum is Muriel, the Lockheed Electra 10-E. Muriel is surrounded by 14 incredible, high-tech, state-of-the-art interactive displays. Not only are these educational, they correlate with national and Kansas STEM curriculum content standards. 

Exhibits include a digitized version of Earhart’s flight logbook, 3D holograms of aviation advancements through the years, and a display of other key female accomplishments.  Guests can climb inside a full-sized replica of Muriel’s cockpit. At another station, guests can experience a virtual reality re-creation of Earhart’s 1932 transatlantic flight.   

Another exhibit not only describes Earhart’s other pursuits as a nurse, mechanic, and fashion designer, it allows visitors to select one of these for which the computer will create a personalized on-screen avatar of the visitor in related clothing. Amazing! 

What actually happened to Amelia Earhart? Step upstairs and the museum shows a map of where she disappeared, with an exhibit of seven alternative scenarios. Guests can study the arguments for and against each scenario and then vote. (I still suspect she’s living in an apartment with Elvis…) 

This remarkable museum will open in mid-April 2023 in the rural community of Atchison, population 10,885 people. Now, that’s rural. 

For more information, see

Amelia Earhart speaks – at least in virtual form at this museum. We commend Karen and Ladd Seaberg, Joe Brentano, Makinzie Burghart, and all those making a difference with this remarkable technology in a museum you won’t want to miss.

When Amelia Earhart speaks, I listen.

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Opening of Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in April in Atchinson!!!
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2023, 11:44:45 AM »

Randy, postings like this do not belong in General Discussion. It should be in News, Views, Books, etc.

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Opening of Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in April in Atchinson!!!
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2023, 01:16:06 PM »

Moved to News, Views, Books, ... per Ric's suggestion.

If I am ever in Kansas, I will try to visit the museum. 


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Don White

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Re: Opening of Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum in April in Atchinson!!!
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2023, 08:31:18 PM »

If you're ever in Kansas, remember: Oz is only a tornado away.
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