Although we were not wearing Ruby Slippers when we found a yellow brick road across from the City Park in Wamego, Kansas, we headed off to see the Wizard at the Oz Museum, the Emerald Green building on Lincoln Avenue. Lighthearted and historical all at once, this museum takes a look at the effect this first American fairytale has had on our country’s history as well as the life of the Royal Historian of Oz, L. Frank Baum, the creator of Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, his first book, published in 1900 had been well loved for decades when MGM Studios created the movie version in 1939. Interestingly the song “Over the Rainbow” was added to the movie to bring color to the Kansas landscape and to one of the earliest Technicolor films. The song was a favorite of American GIs in World War II and soldiers often sang “We’re Off to See the Wizard” as they marched. It was fun seeing some original Munchkin costuming and a replica pair of Ruby Slippers remembering how wowed we were to see an original pair at the Smithsonian! We’re always on the lookout for Oz history. Upon leaving the Emerald City we lunched at The Friendship House then explored a bit of the City Park, found a geocache, saw the UPRR Children’s Train in the Train Shed, saw statues from the 1896 World’s Fair, and a Dutch Windmill built in 1879  before heading west on US-24.

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