Friendship rocks, hidden amidst artifacts and collections of yore, make a museum something of a treasure hunt for all ages in Pratt.
A couple of years ago, friendship rocks came to the Pratt County Historical Museum by way of a young visitor from Washington. Though the fad may have waned somewhat across the country since then, visitors to the Pratt museum are still having fun finding hidden treasure in and amongst articles of the area’s history.
“Our first friendship rock was a gift two years ago from an eight-year-old boy named Skylar who was in a group from Washington State that toured the Museum in July 2017,” said Museum Curator Charmaine Swanepoel. “He had brought a tiger friendship rock with him and asked if he could hide it for someone to find. We have since added to that first rock and now also have the God bless America, spot rock, and two blues one,” Swanepoel said.
On Thursday, five-year-old Canon Roberts and his nine-year-old sister Brystal were successful searchers at the museum, accompanied by their mother Misty.
“My kids love to come here. It’s fun and educational,” Misty Roberts said. “We’ve been here twice this summer.”
Canon found the tiger rock hidden in a recess of one of the tractors on display on the Museum’s North Gallery and Brystal found the God bless America rock in Grandma’s Garden on the museum second floor.
“We’ve noticed that the kids look more closely at the exhibits and see new stuff that they haven’t paid attention to before, so that’s a win for the museum and inspires them to come back again,” Swanepoel said.
Once, one of the rocks was hidden so well that it wasn’t found for more than three months, the curator said.
So, when Canon and Brystal hid their rocks Thursday, museum volunteer Nancy Neelly trailed them discretely as they hid their rocks, so museum staff would know the locations.
Summer hours for the Pratt County Historical Museum at 208 South Ninnescah are 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays and 1 to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults and $12 for ages 12 to 18 with free admission to youth age 11 and under. Annual memberships are also available at $25 individual and $40 for families.
Pratt County Historical Museum also a lifetime membership, Swanepoel said, at $150 for individual and $250 for families.
As for the friendship rocks, there are other places around Pratt where they have been cropping up again. Just this week, an unnamed individual found of the specially painted friendship rocks at Lemon Park. It brought a smile to the individual’s face, who said he wanted to remain anonymous, but rehid it in hopes it would be bring another smile to whomever might find it next.
One never knows where such treasure might pop up around town yet this summer.