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Winter 2008

Riley County

Memoirs of John W Bartleson

Chapter Three, Part Two: Kansas!

My wife took with her Brother Gus’s note for $600 and Brother Robert’s note for $300, and about $400 in other notes. I had $350 in money. Robert had a fine span of four-year old mules and a new wagon. We went by St Louis and St Charles, Missouri, crossing on a ferry boat. I did the cooking: the mules were good walkers, covered about 35 or 40 miles a day. We would camped [sic] early and had a pleasant trip. At Abilene we ran into a hard rain and thunder storm and snow next forenoon, the 29th of October. We traveled in snow the 29th and 30th, and arrived at Levi Mangold’s, October 31, 1872.

Marshall County

Oregon Trail Recreator

Waterville woman recreates the lure of the Oregon Trail

For as long as Yvonne Larson can remember, the past was never really past but remained as fresh as today’s headlines and yet somehow more real, more substantive, more historic, if such a thing could be, history being the now and not the then, not something relegated to the dustbins of once-upon-a-time or cloaked in old boring textbooks crammed down the throats of children yearning to be outdoors making some history of their own. No, the past was right there, almost within arms’ reach, and given a little imagination and a longer arm, could be snatched and tenaciously held.

Riley County

Fall Colors at Tuttle Lake

It is perhaps what is most striking about the Great Plains: the changes in color. The the prairie slips into shades that seem almost impossible: deep reds, yellow, oranges, greens.

Tuttle Lake

Clay County

Krazy Kar Returns After 35 Year Disappearance

Krazy Kar in paradeMany older Kansas residents may remember the Krazy Kar from Clay Center. It was built using the front halves of two 1939 Chevrolet cars. Both ends had working steering and the car could be driven from either direction.

It was a Christmas dinner in 1959 that led to the birth of the Krazy Kar. Instead of the usual dinner conversation you might find around a Christmas dinner table, local Clay County residents Henry Ables and his brother Wilfred were discussing what they could do for the upcoming 1961 Kansas Centennial.

Geary County

Milking the Market: Glass Bottles, Fresh Milk

As the dairy industry is changing across the nation, some producers are finding market opportunity by taking production back in time. With consumers demanding locally grown food, producers such as the Hildebrand’s of Junction City are finding a a potential market in bringing back glass-bottled milk not seen for decades. Alan and Dave Hildebrand, brother and owners of their fourth generation dairy farm, are expanding to meet this growing demand for farm-fresh dairy products.

Montgomery County

Brown Mansion

The Brown Mansion Lives On in Coffeyville

One of Southeast Kansas’s greatest treasures of the past still lies in Coffeyville Kansas. The Brown Mansion was home to William P. Brown and his family from 1906-1970. The Mansion cost $125,000 to build, in part because of its lavish furnishings and intricate designs. In 1970, Violet Brown sold the mansion to the Coffeyville Historical Society, and it is now a tourist attraction where visitors can catch a glimpse of upper class life in the early 1900’s.

Leavenworth County

Annie's

Big Country Sounds from a Small Kansas Town

Nestled in "beautiful, tropical, downtown, Tonganoxie, Kansas," as the locals like to say, visitors will find the sounds of the Grand Ole Opry and the stage lights and excitement of a little "Branson" Missouri at Annie's Country Jubilee. This little, musical powerhouse provides visitors from all over Kansas and outside the state with a taste of country that you might otherwise have to travel quite a distance to enjoy.

Cloud County

A Spot of Tea and Huckleberry Bread

Huckleberry TeaA friend and I traveled to Concordia to attend the Taste of Home Cooking School at Cloud Community College in October. It was an evening event so we went early to tour the National Orphan Train Complex and to check out the shops. After a morning of learning about Ann Harrison, Edith Peterson, and other children who traveled the “orphan trains” to Concordia, we were starting to get hungry, but put it off to visit some of the shops. Not able to put up with hunger pains any longer, I asked an owner of an antique store, “Where do the locals go to eat?”

“There is The Huckleberry Tea House, turn right at the stoplight. The Zistro is a few doors that way,” pointing west, she says.

Stafford County

Family Carries On Christmas Tradition

Christmas pageant players
Children dressed as a shepherd and a donkey prepare for the nativity pageant portion of the service.

For many Kansans the holiday season is a special time to celebrate and spend time with family. In the small farming community of Stafford, Christmas is not only about the family, it is also all IN the family.

Every year Calvary Baptist Church in Stafford holds a Christmas Eve service, which includes special music and a nativity pageant. The church was founded in 1909 by German immigrants and parishioners continued to speak German until the late 40s.

August Hildebrand, 95, a grandson of church founder Franz Hildebrand, says the church has held a Christmas Eve service for as long as he could remember. Treat bags were given to the children after the service, a tradition which continues to this day.

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Last Updated January 12, 2009
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