Kansas museum focuses on Orthodox Christian immigrants

Posted: Friday, September 07, 2001

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Heartland Orthodox Christian Museum opened this month, giving visitors a look at the culture, traditions and daily lives of Orthodox immigrants to the Midwest.

An exhibit on Russian icons, religious artwork that adorned homes and churches, was the first show. About $150,000 in state grants and private donations were used to open the museum in an 1882 row house.

Hundreds of Orthodox, from Russia, Serbia, Greece and the Middle East, emigrated to Kansas during the first three decades of the 20th Century.

Lebanese residents settled in the Wichita area and parts of southwest Kansas. Serbians emigrated to Kansas City, drawn like others to meatpacking and railroad jobs.

Eventually, one gallery in the back of the museum's second floor will be remodeled so that it resembles an Orthodox chapel.




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