A Lumberyard’s Legacy in Baldwin City

When Baldwin City’s downtown lumberyard closed in 2002, community members rallied to save the historic building from demolition. After seven years and a half-million dollar renovation, the Lumberyard Arts Center was born. Now, the building that served generations of Baldwin City’s workers will host an exhibition about work from the Smithsonian Institution.

The story of the lumberyard and Baldwin City’s workers is featured in the Lumberyard Arts Center’s companion exhibition to The Way We Worked Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. The exhibitions are on display March 23-May 5, 2013.

Parade in Baldwin City

The Ives-Hartley lumber building serves as a backdrop to a parade in downtown Baldwin City. Photo via Lumberyard Arts Center.

“Work history in this area is really the history of the Lumberyard Arts Center. The two are linked together,” said Tony Brown, board member of the Lumberyard Arts Center and KHC board member. “When the lumberyard closed, it looked like the workers there just laid down their tools and walked away. And so they left all their ledgers, all their receipts, and all their equipment. Those are the documents that tell the story of what was happening here and how it was that the lumberyard was an integral part of the Baldwin City community.”

Click here for more information about The Way We Worked hours and events in Baldwin City. For a special treat, read about the history of Baldwin City, as told from the lumberyard’s perspective.