News

Artifact of the Week - Sammy Scarecrow

Some of you who grew up in Hutchinson in the 50s will surely recognize these items. They are images, costumes, set pieces, and even a page of program notes from the after school children’s show on KTVH hosted by Ernie Dade, Sammy Scarecrow!

KTVH started in Hutchinson in 1954 and not long after that the station’s program director Ray Huffer asked Ernie to develop an after-school children’s program. Before this Ernie had studied acting at KU, hosted “Hutch ‘N’ Stuff”, reported the local news, hosted evening moves, preformed on-air ads, and designed sets.

Ernie had always loved the Wizard of Oz because “It related to the state of Kansas, and it was magical for children.” He felt the scarecrow character would work best for a children’s show so he ran with that and created a supporting cast of puppet characters, including Professor Steineisen, Ritchie Rat, Boo the green moon man, and others.

 A Scarecrow Shelf from the Sammy Scarecrow Show

Early days at the station meant everybody pitched in with everything they could, Ernie helped to build the set and his wife Grace fashioned many of the puppets herself.

The show came on the air at 5 p.m. each weekday with a live audience of elementary school kids from all over central Kansas. The show was unscripted, only following from a single sheet of notes; it showcased birthday announcements, stories, songs, puppets, reading fan mail, and had many guest appearances.

Sadly the show ended in 1957 when Ernie resigned to take a job selling ads for an Omaha television station. However 6 months later Ernie returned to KTVH with a new children’s show, “Uncle Willibee’s Secret Place.” But that’s a story for another time. We hope you enjoyed these pieces and the wonderful story that goes with them, we know we do here!

 Sammy Scarecrow’s Overalls

HOURS

  • Tues. - Fri. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Closed Sun. & Mon.
  • Phone: 620-662-1184

ADMISSION

  • FREE ADMISSION
    (Oodleplex $1 per child)
  • Donations Welcome

LOCATION

  • 100 S. Walnut Street
  • Avenue A & Walnut
  • Hutchinson, Kansas