"You go all over the world, and the one place everybody knows is Kansas because of the movie," Zimmerman said. "The secret of the film's appeal is also a plug for the state", he said, "The most important image of the whole film is this wholesome little girl who wants to get back to Kansas."
"In spite of all the beauty, magic, and everything around her, she wanted to get back home - and that's what we're celebrating."
Oliver Brown, a Liberal resident, knew of a house that resembled Dorothy's. Volunteers moved the house to the Coronado Museum grounds where it was transformed into a replica of the house shown in the movie and recognized by then-governor John Carlin as the official home of Dorothy Gale. An annual celebration sprang up around the exhibit, which continues to expand and draw tourists to the community. In addition to the life-sized house, visitors can take a tour of the Land of Oz, a 5,000 square foot exhibit and animated journey through the movie. Originally created and displayed in Topeka, the attraction was moved to Liberal by its creator, Linda Windler. Guides dressed in Dorothy Galestyle gingham dresses and, naturally, ruby slippers, offer personal tours through the exhibits, explaining historical detail as well as a brief outline of the movie plot itself. In the remaining space within the structure that houses the Land of Oz, the Historical Society has built onto its collection of Wizard of Oz artifacts. Although they already had some Oz memorabilia, including personal effects from the Munchkins, the house will give the society the influence it needs to acquire more. Diehard movie fans can catch one of the continuous showings of the movie in the gift shop area, housed in the same building as the Coronado Museum. Various Oz gift items are for sale, including T-shirts and children's toys and books.
Join Dorothy on a magical journey to discover...
There's No Place Like Home!
The amazing story of a Kansas farm girl comes to life, and you are invited to join her in a unique interactive experience! Join Dorothy in a guided tour through her home (Dorothy's House), that L. Frank Baum wrote about in the classic, "The Wonderrful Wizard of Oz." A home built in 1907 has been preserved and restored to reflect the Gale farmhouse from the famous movie. Dorothy will walk you through before taking you somewhere over the rainbow where she starts her journey down the Yellow Brick Road. Enter into the 5,000 square foot animated "Land of Oz" as Dorothy and Toto continue their adventure to see the Wizard in the Emerald City. Along the way you will meet Munchkins, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, all while trying to avoid the Wicked Witch. She will guide you through apple trees, flying monkeys, and even show you a horse of a different color. After a face-to-face visit with the Wizard, you return right back where you started, on Dorothy's farm in Kansas! You will see unique memorabilia, including the actual model of the house that was used in the tornado scene in the 1939 movie. Admission is required for this unique experience that can only be found at the official Gateway to the Land of Oz, Dorothy's House in Liberal, Kansas!
Dorothy's House and the Land of Oz attractions began as the result of that typical Kansas friendliness that extends to points afar - much like Dorothy's trip to a magical land.
The late Max and Katie Zimmerman of Liberal attended an insurance convention in San Francisco in 1978. He sheepishly admits he entered a restaurant with his name tag on - a sure sign of a conventioneer. Noting Max's state of origin, the waiter stated the obvious, "Oh, you're from Kansas. That's where Dorothy is from." Max asked the waiter, "What would you expect to see in Kansas?" The waiter replied he would expect to see Dorothy's house, like the one in The Wizard of Oz. After returning from the West coast, Max shared the waiter's observation with the community and received some interest in Liberal becoming Dorothy's official home. It wasn't until 1981 that the idea took a step closer to becoming reality.
Come take a tour!
Seward County Historical Museum
|Adults (18 and older)||$7|
|Children (6 to 18)||$4.50|
|Children (Under 6)||Free|
|Senior Citizens (65 and older)||$5.50|
$1 Off With Military ID