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Phillips County

Weaving Her Way Through

Sally Brandon, Great Plains Artisans and The Shepherd’s Mill, Phillipsburg Kansas.
Sally Brandon, Great Plains Artisans and The Shepherd’s Mill, Phillipsburg Kansas.

Sally Brandon enjoys fiber. Not the dietary kind but the fiber art that produces items such as scarves, hats and sweaters. This love for fiber started back in 1988 when Brandon made a trip to Finland as a 4-H exchange student.

“I learned to weave in the weaving cottages, where each little town had their cottage with weaving equipment set-up so everyone could weave whatever they wanted,” Brandon says.

Brandon dreamed of opening that kind of business in Kansas. But her dream had to wait, for a while anyway. She worked at Heartland Marketing & Associates, Inc. in Phillipsburg for a number of years, when she decided to tell her husband, Jay, she wanted to do her own thing. Her “own thing” was to help her mother, Virginia Hopson and her sister, Kay McCoy grow Great Plains Artisans while creating her own line of custom handwoven clothing.

Kansas' Heritage Homes

Have you ever noticed those “sad appearing” abandoned farm  houses along country lanes?  In many cases, these houses, once cherished homes, are victims of progress. Today’s farmers are farming more acres, so some lesser desirable age-old living quarters are no longer inhabited.

One abandoned home that has peaked my curiosity is located between Norton and Phillipsburg, Kansas. That house, built of native rock years ago, undoubtedly was someone’s dream house with its high ceilings, steep roof, and tall, narrow windows reflecting scenic views of a fertile valley. Now, all but a shell, it remains to remind us  of those glorious days of settlement in Kansas when men labored in wheat fields, and women prepared food using iron cookstoves.   

Fort Bissell's Mission Impossible

My husband and I often travel Highway 36 to Norton, Kansas. On these trips, we are always anxious to learn more about Kansas history.

Recently, we discovered Fort Bissell at Phillipsburg, Kansas. There is a small segment of Kansas history at this location with the story of how and why this fort was established.

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Last Updated August 28, 2015
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