Pioneering the Trail

Virtual Kansas




Galva Museum

Agricultural Exhibit

County School

Galva Schools
  Post Office and Cafe

Military Exhibit

Telephone Office & Barber Shop

Empire Exhibit

Galva is located on US Highway 56 just 4 miles east of McPherson.


Galva is the successor of the town of Empire which was located 1 mile east and 2 miles south of the current site of Galva. As early as 1823, the junction of the Santa Fe Trail and Running Turkey Creek served as a regular stop for the wagon trains and travelers heading west. In 1849 the Cherokee Trail joined the Santa Fe Trail at Running Turkey Creek on their way to the gold mine fields in California. In 1855, Charles Fuller built a "ranch" just west of Turkey Creek which was the first white settlement in the county.

In 1871 Joseph J. Colby constructed the first permanent residence, which was the beginning of Empire. Any hope for a prosperous future for Empire was shattered when a branch of the AT&SF railroad was completed September 23, 1879, passing north of Empire through the railroad camp now called Galva. It didn't take long for the residents of Empire to move their buildings north to the tracks. By 1880, even the post office was closed. The beginning of Galva meant the end of Empire, a town that ran its whole course of history in under ten years.

The town of Galva was incorporated in 1887. The building on the corner of 2nd and Main Street is the only original building left. A fire in 1930 destroyed almost the entire west side of the 200 block of Main Street, so the existing buildings were built after that date.

Galva has been described as a “city floating on oil”. Besides the oil, agriculture plays a major role in the lifestyle of the community.

Galva is a small community of approximately 900 people and many residents are employed in manufacturing and industry in McPherson, a town just 4 miles west of Galva.


The Galva Museum, organized in 1992, was originally located in the old stone building on South Main Street. In 2005 the Galva Museum moved to its new location at 202 S Main. The Galva Museum is dedicated to preserving and showing the history of Galva and the surrounding community. This is done through the following displays and booths set up in the museum.

• Books and photos about the Santa Fe Trail, the Cherokee Trail, Fuller’s Ranch and the town of Empire - all centered around Running Turkey Creek

• Old newspapers and records from the late 1800s through 1939

• n extensive collection of school memorabilia from Galva High School and Galva Grade School includes yearbooks, pictures, old trophies, school newspapers, and school records dating from 1889 to 1957.

• Many old school records and pictures from the surrounding country schools

• Ongoing collection of Canton-Galva School District #419 items including special displays honoring the 1983 Boys 2A State Basketball Championship and the 1984,1985 and 1986 Girls 2A State Basketball Championships.

• A special agricultural display shows local farm truck pictures from the 1920s thru present, pictures of all the barns in the area, as well as many pictures from local plowing bees, etc. It also has a mural showing different modes of transportation hauling grain to an elevator from 1800's - 2000

• Pictures and a time line trace the history of Galva's Main Street from its beginnings in 1879 to the present.

• Vern's Barber Shop booth has many items from his shop since Vern was in business 61 years.

• The Home Telephone Company booth features a switchboard and other various old telephones, as well as shows the progress of today’s cell phones

• Galva Café booth has various pictures and items from different cafes

• Post Office booth with various items including the old Winnishiek Post Office from 1870s

• Learn the importance the oil boom played in Galva's history

• “Lest We Forget” display includes uniforms, newspapers and photos from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to remind us of the price paid for our freedom

• "Faith of our Fathers" display shows the history of the local churches

• Old stories of Galva and Empire provide a wealth of information for those doing genealogy research of their ancestors who settled in this area.


1st Sunday, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

2nd Saturday, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

3rd Thursday, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM