The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 21, 2013

Smithsonian exhibit to close in Franklin after this weekend

From staff reports

FRANKLIN, Kan. — The Smithsonian exhibit will leave Franklin, Kan., Sunday at 4 p.m., but not before a big send-off.

Phyllis Bitner, a trustee with the Miners Hall Museum Foundation, says a free concert at 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday will be a celebration of America’s music.

Admission is free, but she recommends reservations be phoned in for seating. Those attending also are asked to bring lawn chairs for the concert, which will be held under a tent on the grounds of the Miners Hall Museum, 701 S. Broadway in Franklin, where the Smithsonian has been on display since May.

Nationally known singer-songwriter Steve Mramor will perform his original song, “Uncle Johnny,” chronicling the 1936 death of his great-uncle, Johnnie Femec, in Franklin’s Mine 24, along with other original and traditional folk music.

In addition to a repeat performance Saturday, the Miners Hall Museum will hold "Volunteer Appreciation Night.”

“What a tremendous response we had from southeast Kansas residents to help with the Smithsonian,” Bitner said. “We’ve had 5,000 visitors so far.”

Sunday, the final day of the exhibit, the museum will be open from noon to 4 p.m.