Letter to current members of the Lansing Historical Society

April 19, 2022

Members of the Lansing Historical Society:

It has come to our attention that $143,188.00 raised during a ten-year period by the Lansing Historical Society was turned over to the City of Lansing. The funds were raised for the Lansing Historical Museum and the Kansas Regional Prison Museum. At the time, the Lansing Historical Museum was owned and managed by the city. The Kansas Regional Prison Museum was formally dissolved two years ago.

This portable display (circa 2006) depicts the existing Lansing Historical Society and Museum (front left) and the proposed Kansas Regional Prison Museum (now defunct). The display was specifically built to be taken to events for public viewing, where it was promoted as the next step in the evolution of the
Lansing Historical Society Museum complex.

Lansing City Administrator Tim Vandall has rejected our request to return the museum funds to the Lansing Historical Society. Without an influx of funds we believe the museum won’t last two more years. With that in mind, we are reluctant to solicit donations while the City of Lansing holds those funds.

Leonard Lockwood was treasurer for both non-profit museum entities. When the Kansas Regional Prison Museum dissolved in 2020, Lockwood relinquished all funds raised by the Lansing Historical Society to the City of Lansing. We believe the money should have been returned to the Lansing Historical Society.

Between 2006 and 2016, Lansing Historical Museum was owned and staffed by the City of Lansing. The Lansing Historical Society’s original agreement with the City of Lansing specifically stated that the city would operate and staff the museum. By 2017 the city was no longer fulfilling that obligation. The
Historical Society Board was forced to retake control in order to have the museum open to the public.

We believe the money the City of Lansing holds for the defunct Kansas Regional Prison Museum rightfully belongs to the Lansing Historical Society and Museum.

Please share your thoughts and support by sending an email to: info@Lansingkansashistory.com. Alternatively, visit us in person at the museum between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. To see the architectural rendering of the proposed Kansas Regional Prison Museum, visit our website at Lansingkansashistory.com.
Thank you,

Debra Bates-Lamborn
President of the Lansing Historical Society and Museum

Jeff Conklin, Vice President
Lisa Perry Snodgrass, Treasurer
Catherine Sherley Trowbridge, Secretary
John Craig, Board Member
Paul Lamborn, Board Member

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