The Kansas River flows close to the southern edge of the city of Wamego, Kansas. While the primary industry is agriculture they also have a Caterpillar, Inc. factory that produces heavy construction equipment. Wamego is seventeen miles east of Manhattan, Kansas and thirty five miles west of the capitol city, Topeka. The US DEA discovered an LSD lab inside an old missile silo in 2000.
There are several things to do in Wamego such as The Columbian Theater, the Oz Winery, Wamego City Park and Windmill, Poppyfield Gallery, the Vin Vivante and Little Apple Winery. The most well known attraction though, is the Oz Museum. Wamego is known for the memorabilia that is housed within its walls.
The Oz Museum is located at 511 Lincoln in Wamego. The museum is operated by the Columbian Theater Foundation. They host a celebration every October called the Oztoberfest. The book by L. Frank Baum was written in 1900 and the museum houses more than two thousand artifacts within it. Some of the collection goes back as far as the year 1900.
A grant from the State of Kansas built a large part of the museum. There is memorabilia from the 1939 MGM musical with Judy Garland, silent films, and the remake of the Wizard of Oz called The Wiz. This film starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
The museum has early Baum books, Oz board games from Parker Brothers and other collectibles that are available for purchase at the Gift Shop. The museum has devoted itself to All things Oz.
Rates for entrance to the museum are seven dollars for adults ages thirteen and up. Children from ages four to twelve are four dollars and children under three are free. Special rates for groups and military are available. The Oz Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The museum is closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the Monday after Oztoberfest festival.
Oz fans can take home some wonderful Oz items. They include apparel, banks, beverage ware, books, bookmarks, boxes, cars, calendars, Christmas items, clocks, dolls, figurines, door stops, hangers, fixtures, film cells, jewelry, games, puzzles, playing cards, magnets, lamps, lights, nut crackers, music boxes, picture frames, stationery, photo clips, tin signs, sun catchers, and water globes. Special items that are all about Oz are Casa D'Orso Charms and San Francisco Music Boxes. The Gift Shop has special offers online if people can't get to the museum.
True fans of Oz can even get their own Oz credit card. The credit card is issued by the First National Bank of Wamego. Some of the proceeds from the use of the card go to support the operation and any expansion of the Oz Museum. The Limited Edition Oz credit card is a Visa card. There is no annual fee to have this credit card. Once the application is approved it will take about six weeks to receive the credit card.