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150th Anniversary Blog

150th Anniversary Blog

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Oct 04

Celebrate Landmarks

Posted on October 4, 2019 at 4:31 PM by Kristy Bansemer

Since most structures still standing in Derby date back only a few decades, planning Derby’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2019 prompted discussions about how best to tell Derby’s story. A committee of dedicated volunteers and city staff determined landmark signs would be the best way to commemorate Derby’s origin as a farming community of people who value family and faith (1869-1949) to its boomtown period (1950-1979) of building homes and schools, its suburban growth (1980-1999) with parks and a cutting-edge recreation commission, and finally to its coming of age as a regional center (2000-2019) with shopping and services to meet most community needs.

Seven locations were chosen as a result of this work, and all landmarks are now in place and ready for viewing by residents and visitors. Download a map at to conduct your own private tour or take your scout troop, 4-H club or your family. Each sign is wheelchair accessible, and at this website, you can get a glimpse of each sign and read the story told by each sign.

Landmarks include (1) Arkansas River Crossing, located at Warren Riverview Park, 321 W. Market; (2) El Paso Business District, located at the Derby Police Department, 229 N. Baltimore; (3) Smith Farm & St. Mary School, located at Madison Avenue Central Park, 512 E. Madison Ave.; (4) Derby Public School & Museum, located at the Derby Historical Museum, 710 E. Market; (5) Lauber Farm & Silo, located just north of Riley Park (east side of Brookwood St. near Redwood St.); (6) El Paso Cemetery, 700 E. Kay St. (southeast corner near Woodlawn & Kay); and (7) Garrett Homestead, located at Garrett Park, 1100 E. Chet Smith.

Will you join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, October 9 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Derby Historical Museum, 710 E. Market? A time capsule will be on display at the Derby Historical Museum beginning October 9. This time capsule contains a variety of items from our 150th celebration as well as modern-day items that will be historical in 50 years when the time capsule is opened. A narrated bus tour of the landmarks will be available, or you can drive yourself around to get a thorough education about Derby’s first 150 years.

The 150th celebration has been an exciting time to embrace Derby’s history. I have learned many new things about Derby throughout the process and can’t wait to see what Derby’s future holds.

Kathy Sexton
City Manager

Published in the Derby Informer on Oct. 2, 2019.