Custer's nephew's scalp, held by Lon Smith.

Museum of World Treasures

Field review by the editors.

Wichita, Kansas

The Museum of World Treasures is called "the Smithsonian of the Midwest" according to museum employee Lon Smith, who was our guide. We don't know if we'd go that far, but the museum does have a lot crammed into what was an old warehouse, including a couple of Egyptian mummies, a shrunken head, some big dinosaur skeletons, a please-touch-me slab of the Berlin Wall, and lots of things signed by famous people. We were especially mesmerized by a human scalp, taken (some claim) from Harry Armstrong Reed, Custer's 18-year-old nephew, who was killed along with his uncle at the battle of Little Big Horn. Harry's job was to hold the 7th Calvary flagpole, which he reportedly did until the end.

The Museum states honestly in its display that the scalp's history is in dispute; it may not have belonged to Custer's nephew at all, or to anyone even remotely famous. Still, it's not something you see every day, and indicative of the wow-factor artifacts that this museum offers. The place radiates a certain cheeriness, making its selective survey of Civilization seem just about right.

Slab of the Berlin Wall.

Museum of World Treasures

Address:
835 E. First St., Wichita, KS
Directions:
Downtown. I-135 exit 6C. Drive west on 2nd St. for a half-mile, go through the traffic light at Washington St., then make the next left onto Mosley St. The Museum is one block south, on the right, at the corner of Mosley and First.
Hours:
M-Sa 10 am - 5 pm, Su noon-5 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
316-263-1311
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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October 20, 2014

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