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The Shawnee Indian Mission was established in 1839 in Johnson County and operated as a school until 1854. It then passed into private ownership and served different functions until it was acquired by the state of Kansas in 1927. In 1983, rehabilitation of the two-story East Building was begun. During the removal of a ceiling, a nest of an eastern woodrat or pack rat was discovered. A total of 80 items had been packed into the nest, including the three pictured here: a possible sunbonnet, a dress sleeve, and a man's bowler hat. The lined bonnet was trimmed with white buttons and edged by hand. The sleeve was made of cotton materials with woven silk decoration and cotton lace at the cuff. It dates to after the development of the sewing machine (post 1860). The man's 7 1/8 size bowler was made of hard felt by John C. Wilson and Co of New York. It bears the name of the United Hatter's of North America, a labor union that operated from 1896 to 1934.

Date: 1896-1934

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Shawnee Indian Mission Pack Rat Nest - 1

Item Number: 313502
Call Number: 14JO362-3-1, -2, -3
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 313502

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