The ENSOR PARK and MUSEUM
You have to see it to believe it!
Announcement (September, 2021): The museum opened for the autumn tour season on September 4, 2021. We look forward to seeing you!
The Ensor Park and Museum is a museum located in Olathe, Kansas, near the southern edge of the Kansas City metro area. This National Historic Site was the home of Jacob and Ida Ensor (pronounced En-zer) and their two children, Marshall and Loretta. Visitors can enjoy an hour-long tour of the vintage 1890, memory-packed two-story farmhouse and an even older peg barn that showcase tools, farm equipment, radio transmitters and receivers, teaching materials, and beautiful hand-crafted objects that include rockers, tables, wine coolers, utensil racks, spinning wheels, an electric scoreboard (for a basketball court), needlework, bowls, coat trees, gavels, and much, much more.
An iconic 90-foot-high radio tower next to the farmhouse relates to special historic amateur radio work done over a span of 50 years during the lives of Marshall H. Ensor and his sister Loretta Ensor. Among the fascinating achievements of Mr. Ensor [1899-1970], to whom this site is dedicated, was his lifelong interest in teaching others.
His father introduced young Marshall to construction tools and methods while adding to and improving the family farmhouse and building and modifying the outbuildings. In high school Marshall excelled beyond others in the Industrial Arts courses.
Marshall become an instructor of Industrial Arts at the Olathe, Kansas, high School at age 18 upon his graduation. That job lasted 46 years until his retirement in 1965. His thousands of students benefited from the many courses that prepared them for the working world.
The American Radio Relay League nominated Marshall for the 1940 ‘Wm. S. Paley Award‘ for his extraordinary volunteer service to “Teaching Radio by Radio”– also the title of his master’s thesis that same year. The award was given to radio amateurs who performed a particular service of their own desire and for the welfare of our country. Mr. Ensor received the 1940 Paley Award at a huge ceremony in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel Ballroom with many dignitaries attending. His sister, Loretta, was flown there since she, also a licensed radio operator, helped on occasion to fill in for Marshall so that no evening was omitted during the 1929 to 1940 series of lessons given annually from the radio room each evening during two winter months.
Marshall Ensor retired from teaching in 1965 and set out to arrange tools, radio gear, and handcrafted furnishings in attractive displays so that interested visitors might “take a trip to yesteryear” and see what farm life, a teaching career, and early amateur radio was like. Today the ENSOR PARK & MUSEUM continues to display that vision.
A short video biography of Marshall and Loretta Ensor:
Something to Read:
“Bit by the Bug at 10 Years Old“, by Jim Andera, K0NK. A member of the Sante Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club had the pleasure of helping a 10 yr old boy develop an interest in amature radio during the club’s annual ARRL Field Day event at Ensor. Jim welcomed the youngster (whose name is also Jim), at the special operating position called ” GOTA” which is used to introduce newcomers to amateur radio.
Read Museum Manager Larry Woodworth’s short story “The Big Kilowatt Beast” about the revival of W9BSP.
This scene shows a radio-oriented auction that rewarded nearly 100 Amateur Radio people on the south lawn of the Ensor Museum. It offered a wide range of electronic gear at great low prices. This year was the 12th annual event. The Johnson County Radio Amateurs Club promoted Ensor Museum with this event on the last weekend in October of 2016. Proceeds were shared between the Club and Ensor Museum.
MEMO Amateur Radio Club
Support the Ensor Park & Museum by joining the Marshall Ensor Memorial Organization (MEMO) club. More information here…