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Barton County:

Visitors Flock to Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area

If you are looking for a water slide or a wave pool at two of the biggest water attractions in the state, you’re out of luck. Yet millions of visitors flock to Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge near Great Bend every year. And every year these visitors — various species of migrating birds — attract a steady stream of tourists traveling the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway.

The 77-mile Byway connects these two diverse wetlands where water fowl feed and rest while journeying along a major migration route called the Central Flyway. Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is considered the largest inland freshwater marsh in the country, while Quivira Wildlife Refuge contains salt water marshes, a rare habitat in the Midwest. Both are essential resting points providing food and cover for migratory birds during flight between breeding and wintering areas in Canada and South America.

Grant County:

Grant County Library is more than books

Where can a family of all ages go to read, have coffee, research the world wide web, do crafts, sit by the fireplace, and more? Grant County Library.  This multi-level, handicap accessible, community focused library is located on 215 E. Grant Avenue in Ulysses. 

Serving a population of fewer than 8,000, this small southwestern town library offers more than a collection of books.  And if you look back in history, Grant County has always had a big heart for its books.  Thanks to a donation, in 1914, when the population was just 1,087, Grant County established its first library in the County Superintendent’s office.  In 1930, the library was moved to the basement of the courthouse.  Then, in 1956, a 7,000-square-foot structure was built next to the courthouse to house the library and museum. 

Hamilton County:

Hamilton County Library started as a book club

It started as a book club.  In 1931, several ladies in the rural southwestern town of Syracuse formed the Junior Book Club.  The daughters of the Women’s Literacy Club became the charter officers, created by-laws, recruited members, and began raising funds.  In February of 1932, a George Washington tea was held, with books for admission.  175 books were donated.  In March, each member gave a benefit luncheon and raised $64.00.

Nick and Sra in Maine
The Long Way Home
Sometimes the longest trail always leads back home.

A lifelong Kendall resident, Sara Grusing Kviatkofsky returned home plus one—her husband—Nick Kviatkofsky.  Sara was born in the tiny town of Kendall, on the line between Hamilton and Kearny counties in Southwest Kansas.  She graduated from Lakin High School, and then pursued her degree in Social Work at Texas State University.   While there, Sara met her husband at a boxing class in Austin.  Shortly after their graduation in 2007, they married. 

High Plains Banker Finally Returns Home

International banking took him around the world. But, eventually, after so many years working for Citibank, it was the High Plains, his hometown, and his childhood home that drew him back to Syracuse.

Bill Royer, now retired, returned in 2007 to the house of his youth—but only to fix it up for sale, not to live in. Seated in a warmly decorated living room surrounded by his loving wife, Martha, three dogs, and one cat, he shared why he went away and why he came home, and why he's going to stay in this small town of 1,600 in Hamilton County.

No Rain, No Till: Hamilton County Couple's Farm Growing

Jess and Laryce Schwieterman, two fourth generation (at least) farmers, wed in 1997 and began their life together farming in Southwest Kansas.  “I grew up where my mother worked right alongside my father,” says Laryce.  “That is what I wanted to do.  We put a lot of hard hours in but we are not a slave to the clock; day in, day out 7am to 5pm.”

Sod House in Hamilton County

Sod House in Syracuse Now Part of History

Last May, as the City of Syracuse tore down an old RV Park on Highway 50, a small storage shed was found behind the office. It had been covered with stucco, and, over time, some of the outside wall covering had fallen off revealing the sod construction.

Going From Non-Stop to One Stoplight

In my early twenties, life in the Big Apple was fast, fun and exciting. I saw great bands play until early in the morning and hung out at the coolest bars. I had a union job with amazing benefits. I had a studio apartment for $1,300.00 a month. Something happening twenty-four hours a day. My life was fantastic.

Inside Northrup Theater

Rediscovering a Treasure and a Time of Movies and Stars

Walk inside the Northrup Theatre in Syracuse and you step back in time. Inside the wooden framed glass doors is a world of dreams and fantasies. A small red and blue neon light hangs from the center of the lobby. Concessions are located along the south wall.

Kearney County:

Lovin' It in Rural Kansas

Sheree BraddockTen miles southwest of the rural community of Kendall sits Sheree Braddock's childhood home. Her grandparents moved to the area in the 1930s. For a dwelling, her dad dug a basement and moved two old school houses together. As the family grew, her father continued to add on rooms.

Kiowa County:

Buried Treasure in the Heartland

MeteoriteBuried treasure in the Heartland - something you don't hear everyday, especially in the agricultural center of America.  However, the truth of the statement is beginning to sink in with Kiowa County, especially now that the world is taking notice.  This buried treasure is not gold or jewels, a sunken ship or buried city.  It is even more exceptional, for this treasure is otherworldly.  Beneath acres of prairie grass where Indians and buffalo once dwelled, lays a treasure worth waiting for and seeking, year after year, because it fell from the sky.

Scott County:

Scott County Library main reading room with fireplace

Scott County Library was the state's first county public library

Scott City, a small rural southwestern Kansas town, holds a very distinctive place in history – the first county in Kansas to open a free library.  In 1921, the Scott County Civic club was organized with the sole purpose of starting a public library for the 3,000 or so residents.  The library’s first home was two rooms above a lumberyard.   In 1924, the library moved into a room in the Scott County Courthouse.  And in August that same year, the county voted to fund the library, making Scott County the first county in Kansas to open a free library.  In July of 1925, 861 books were made available to the public. 

 

Seward County:

From Da Vinci to Quilts, Largest Air Museum in Kansas Keeps Growing

air museumFollow US 54 a short distance northwest of Liberal, and you come upon a large warehouse building with white columns. Colorful flowers bloom warmly invite you inside. Located in a former Beechcraft plant, the Mid-America Air Museum is more than just displays of aircraft. It is an aviation experience that is dedicated to appealing to a broad population.

 

 

 

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Last Updated September 9, 2014
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