Historical & Cultural Assets
Museums, Galleries & Entertainment
The following historical and cultural assets enrich community life in Ellis County:
- Ellis County Historical Museum recounts the community’s rich heritage from its Wild West days, to the settlement of Volga Germans, to World War II when B-29 pilots from a nearby airbase and German prisoners of war made Ellis County their home.
- Felten-Start Theatre is a performing arts facility where university students, faculty, and community members participate in theatre productions.
- Historic Fort Hays retains structures from the original 1860s military fort.
- Numerous art galleries and studios spotlight local artists, including Pete Felten, a world-famous sculptor.
- Sternberg Museum of Natural History showcases one of the most impressive Cretaceous Period fossil collections in North America and includes a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.
- The Bacilica of St. Fidelis Church, or "The Cathedral of the Plains", is a native limestone Romanesque structure built in Victoria in 1911 that features twin towers rising 140 feet above the prairie.
- The Fort Hays State University Encore Series has eight annual programs that showcase national and international professional touring artists.
- The Hays Arts Council organizes gallery walks each year that feature local artists.
- The Hays Symphony Orchestra is is the longest continuously running orchestra in the state of Kansas.
- The Hays Community Theatre is a troupe of volunteer performers who offer their talents through music, acting, and staging to produce family-oriented shows.
- Walter P. Chrysler Museum features the boyhood home of Chrysler, who grew up in the City of Ellis in the 1880s and was the founder of the Chrysler Corporation.