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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Museum director retires

  • Ken Fullbright retires as executive director of Santa Fe Depot Museum.
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  • Kenneth Fullbright, long time executive director of the Santa Fe Depot Museum, has announced his retirement. It was effective Aug. 31.
     
    Fullbright has served the museum, which is operated by the Pottawatomie County Historical Society, for over 10 years. This is substantially longer than any previous director has served. The board of directors has named him executive director emeritus.
     
    Fullbright began his tenure at the museum in 2004 immediately prior to the Centennial celebration of the Santa Fe Depot opening in May 1904. The Shawnee Council of Garden Clubs led a program of extensive new landscaping of the museum and Beard Cabin as a part of the celebration.
     
    In 2007, the Historical Society worked with the city to update Centennial Park located on Main Street. A time capsule had been placed there previously when the land run centennial was observed. The park now has brick columns with plaques noting the dates of businesses and organization that had been in operation for 100 or more years by 2007.
     
    Students from Gordon Cooper Technology Center built the brick columns and welded the wrought iron fence that surrounds two sides of the park. They also designed a decorative archway that depicts elements of the Oklahoma Flag. The archway leads to a large monument to Louise Funk Fluke, Shawnee native who was the designer of the Oklahoma State Flag. This monument was made possible by the Oklahoma History Center and the Wunigisa chapter of DAR.
     
    In 2009 plans to build an additional museum on land north of the Beard cabin were developed. A campaign to raise funds for the 15,000 square feet building was begun and has resulted in pledges of nearly $600,000. Additional funds in the amount of $1,000,000 are being sought to make the building a reality.
     
    Other events occurring during Fullbright’s time of service include the annual Santa Fe Depot homecoming celebrations in the fall, the winter quilt show, and special programs for the public.
     
    For the present, the operation of the museum will be under the direction of volunteers from the Pottawatomie County Historical Society board of directors. Museum employees, Charlene Hammock and Sonya Sun Eagle, will continue their work at the museum.
     
     

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