Our museum is located at:
502 N Washington, Wellington, KS  67152
Directly across from the Sumner County Courthouse
Give us a call at 620.326.3820
Admission:  Free - Donations are appreciated!
Hours of Operation:  1-5 PM
Open Weekends in May and November
Open Daily June thru October
Closed for the season December thru April
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A Visitor with Historic Connections

Cari Cook

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I must admit it’s been a slow season here at the museum.  Whether it’s the economy or other factors, we haven’t seen the typical amount of travelers stopping in to look around.  However, we’ve still had our share of interesting and fun visitors.  Among those this week were Connie Cook and her friends Dynna and Karen Lawrence from Hutchinson.  Connie is the daughter of Clyde Cook Jr., proprietor of what was the Lawrence Drugstore in Wellington.


Connie was not able to attend the grand opening of our “Old Time Soda Shop” exhibit last year.  Her sister and family attended and told Connie she needed to come down to Wellington and check it out.  She was finally able to do just that this week. 


This exhibit contains the Liquid Carbonic soda fountain from the Lawrence Drugstore that Connie’s family owned and operated, as well as a booth, counter top and stools from the same store.  George Lawrence opened the Lawrence Drugstore in downtown Wellington in 1929.  Connie’s grandfather, Clyde F. Cook, Sr., purchased the store from George.  When Clyde Sr. retired, Connie’s father, Clyde Cook Jr., purchased and took over operation of the store. 


Connie has many, many great memories of the drugstore.  She actually started working behind the counter when she was just 8 or 9 years old.  “I made all the sodas and ice cream dishes, including banana splits” Connie said.  “The only thing I couldn’t serve was the coffee because I was too little and couldn’t reach it.” 


Connie was very happy with the exhibit and happy to see the soda fountain she remembers so well preserved in our museum.  She suggested I get a photo of her “taking orders” from her friends while they sat at the booth. 


Connie pointed out a very early photo on the wall of the Lawrence Drugstore.  She described the ornate dark wood and marble top imported from Italy. She remembers during the 1960’s when everyone was updating their décor with more modern light wood tones and Formica counters.  She wishes the original wood and marble would have been kept but admits that no one realized how important that was at the time.


Connie also has a connection to our museum through her grandmother, Pauline (Bassette) Cook.  Pauline was a nurse at the Hatcher Hospital and worked with Dr. A. R. Hatcher.  Connie said her grandmother loved the nursery and always talked about the newborn babies.


After reminiscing in the Old Time Soda Shop, Connie and her friends toured the rest of the museum and said they thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m a history nerd and it’s common knowledge to those close to me that I’m a big geek when it comes to the Chisholm Trail Museum, but its days like this that reaffirm what a treasure this museum is to our area and how it brings joy to so many people…not just geeks like me.