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idwestern.” M y l ab

12junking EMBARK good eats REASONS TO GO

on Freedom’s Frontier


SUMMER 2013 VOL 69 | ISSUE 2


at my poetry h t l e e is “I f


artists discover the

contents features

6 Reasons We Love Kansas

Summer welcomes the spirit to get out, explore and try new things; here are just a few reasons to get you going Written by Gloria Gale

17 To the Stars With Inspiration

A handful of artists find Kansas’ plains, prairies and people more than inspiring Written by Julie Tollefson

25 Modern Archeology

Lured by serendipity? Discover one-of-a-kind treasures on a lively junk jaunt through Kansas Written by Gloria Gale

36 Thunder Road

The art of distilling is emerging from the Kansas woods Written by Gloria Gale

52 Building Blocks

Franklin County’s quilt block tour offers artful exploration of rural roots Written by Lisa Waterman Gray

56 Enjoying the Fly Over State


To the Stars with Inspiration from the editor


f you are on a quest for creative inspiration, this is the issue for you. Find out why three artists from beyond our borders made Kansas their home. Formerly from Colorado, Nebraska and Canada, their new views of our beautiful prairies have become muses for their sculpture, poetry and painting. For those looking for treasures, much like television’s American Pickers, the “Modern Archeology” piece will lure you into the great world of up-cycling— making new with old. We’ve covered all corners of the state with this one, so start making your itinerary. History also abounds this season with the “Our Town” piece on Atchison, Amelia Earhart’s hometown. Enjoy the area’s historic neighborhoods, quaint downtown, museums and pie! From there consider a tour of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. This federally funded landscape highlights sites and points of interest from the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War era. Our Field Guide will help you scratch the surface of this lengthy history lesson. Be sure to mark your calendar for the Flush Picnic. This legendary local event provides a heaping serving of home cooking and pie! You find this and much more to enjoy this season!

Two aerial photographers share the joy of capturing Kansas from a bird’s-eye view Written by Richard Shank

lenexa thunder road atchison our town cedar bluff state park reasons we love kansas

on the cover

Poet Justin Runge

Photograph by Jason Dailey


Send your story ideas to or to KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612.

flush taste of kansas: flush picnic

70 high plains aquifer reasons we love kansas

135 hutchinson milestone

dodge city modern archeology


wichita enjoying the fly over state

franklin county building blocks

pittsburg to the stars with inspiration

find us on facebook: follow us on twitter: @kansasMag

kansasmag .com • kansas!



3 The Making of KANSAS! 4 Letters 14 Summer 2013 Kansas Events 32 Our Town: Atchison

A modern pioneer spirit soars in this quaint burg situated along the Missouri River Written by Kimberly Winter Stern

40 Tour Kansas: Bridging the Border with History

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area illustrates sites, resources and stories leading up to the Civil War Written by Liz Weslander

44 Gallery 60 Taste of Kansas: Flush Picnic Where tradition, fellowship and flavors are alive and well Written by Lou Ann Thomas

64 Milestone of Kansas: The Kansas State Fair

40 60

Taste of Kansas: Flush Picnic

Tour Kansas: Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area

GO MOBILE! Scan our QR code with your smartphone for the latest from KANSAS! magazine.

the making of

a rt e d i ts io n

reasons s

ot st ir r h a k e n, n


In our “Thunder Road” story we welcomed back our “Food & Drink” expert Katy Wade for another foray in classic cocktails with Kansas spirits.

500 photo submissions

More pie, please! In this issue, you’ll find pie in more than one place.

7 Freelance writers 6 Contributing photographers 10 Gallery photographers

The Editor’s Artistic Lunch The day we decided to shoot the cover, we welcomed our three Kansas Transplant artists to Lawrence for a studio session. Before beginning we sat down for lunch. As I looked around, a poet, a painter, a sculptor, a photographer and a graphic designer chatted away about their work, Kansas, and the blessing of having a world filled with art—among other things. As far as my artistic lunches go, this may have been the best. -Katy Ibsen

Sunflower Publishing has assisted in producing KANSAS! magazine since August 2009, and since then we have received more than 500 gallery and calendar submissions. Keep ‘em coming; we love to see how you see Kansas.

“Our Town: Atchison” Strawberry and coconut crème pie from Jerry’s Again Restaurant


our town ATCHISON

“20 Reasons We Love Kansas” is a fun look at many attractions, events and locales in Kansas. But many wonder how we come up with such a variety. Each season we collect ideas, gossip and tidbits from around the state to compile the list. The editors refine the list, and Gloria Gale puts her editorial touch on the final product. If you have a fun, interesting fact about Kansas or its attractions, send to:


page 32

o fully appreciate how small-butmighty 21st-century Atchison defies its diminutive size, an abbreviated history lesson is in order. Atchison hovers just around 12,000 residents, according to the 2012 Census. But the picturesque town that nestles up against the Missouri River in northeast Kansas boasts colorful chapters of super-sized people, places and industry that marked a burgeoning landscape of prosperity with indelible thumbprints. Boom Town Historical figures Lewis and Clark, with a brave U.S. Army expedition in tow, camped in the vicinity on July 4, 1804. To celebrate Independence Day the group of explorers set off fireworks from their keelboat and enjoyed a ration of whiskey. Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln’s much-ballyhooed eight-day visit to Kansas in 1859 included 48 hours in Atchison. Lincoln rode in a parade in his honor, spoke at the Methodist Church and visited with townsfolk.

ouR ToWn

ATChiSon ★

A modern pioneer spirit soars in this quaint burg situated along the Missouri river PHOTOGRAPHy By KEvIN ANdERSON


kansas! •

Three months later livered the famous 7 Union Speech in New tion refined during t one often credited wi the election. Pennsylvania B quietly settled in Atc years after the town w year later opened St. In November 1863 sev ters from Germany ar dirt streets with the lishing a school for g Mount St. Scholastica opened its doors. Th merged in 1971 to b College—an integral rary Atchison. The Atchison, T Fe Railroad, an innov freight service, incorp ber 1860 in Atchison, as a major Kansas and supplier to the W Atchison’s swee with pristine Victoria

sum m Er 2 0 1 3

“To the stars with inspiration” – Harry’s Café in Pittsburg

to the stars with

Three artists—transplants from Nebraska, Colorado and Canada—find beauty and inspiration in Kansas’ vast skies and expansive prairies, its history and people, its hidden treasures, and its stories. They’ve felt the tug of the state’s influence reflected in their art and poetry, from subtle explorations of the meaning of “home” to a detailed celebration of the people and places that make Kansas unique.

page 17

PhotograPhy by Jason Dailey


“Taste of Kansas: Flush Picnic” – all of them!

Flush Picnic

recipes Jerry ebert’s raisin Pie Jerry is an 86-year-old parishioner of St. Joseph’s, and her pie has graced many a pie table at the picnic.

• 1 cup raisins • 1 cup water • 1 teaspoon vinegar • ¾ cup sugar • 1 cup sweet cream • Cornstarch for thickening agent Cook raisins in water. Add sugar and vinegar. Thicken with cornstarch. Pour in unbaked pie shell, put top crust on and seal well. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees until done.

Flush Picnic c o l e s l aw Serves 1,100 (modestly) Adjust for your crowd!

taste of kAnsAs

20 making the reasons

page 60

Flush Picnic

• ¾ gallon Miracle Whip salad dressing • 6 cups sugar • 2 cups vinegar • 2 tablespoon salts • 2 teaspoons pepper • 1 cup onion flakes (reconstituted) • 1 cup green pepper flakes (reconstituted) • 2 pounds carrots • 25 pounds shredded cabbage Mix together first seven ingredients in a large (5-gallon) bucket. Let stand until sugar is dissolved. Put cabbage and carrots into the bucket. Add dressing proportionately.

Where tradition, fellowship and flavors are alive and well find More reCiPes onLine AT kAnsAsMAg.CoM

kansas! •

s uMMer 2 0 1 3

Writer Lou Ann Thomas says, “It’s comforting to know some things don’t change. Having attended the Flush Picnic years ago, it was fun to return to find the same delicious fried chicken, slaw and the rest of the meal as good as I remembered it. And the pie … who doesn’t love pie?”

kansasmag .com • kansas!



July 31, 2013

5 p.m. until f or last person

PhoTogrAPhy By CAThy Mores



ot much is The stately Church, a turned-community But once a y is inundated with those who’ve heard picnic. The Flush P last Wednesday in fundraiser for the population of this munity often swell people, and they al The Flush Pic delicious, home-co cludes one to three en, mashed potato beans (the kind wi fresh rolls and pie— In fact, there 20 different kinds stretch nearly the building. Voluntee tables adding pie disappears. The lin blueberry, peach, r creamy custard p nana cream, lemon


letters Endless Trails

Hometown Champ


tailgate fare


homerun story

TRAiL BoSSeS Kansas has a calendar brimming with year-round bicycling events for everyone’s taste and skill, including daunting gravel road challenges, mountain bike races, road rides and even bicycle rodeos. for more information, visit


ansas farmer-rancher Jay ringler recalls the pitchdark Kansas midnight several years ago when he first encountered the flickering lights. He was rumbling down a gravel road near the lyon-chase county line on a tractor, returning home following a long day of baling alfalfa. As ringler describes it, the gently bouncing lights approaching him on the deserted stretch of road looked like twinkling stars that had tumbled from the huge expanse of inky sky. “you don’t farm by the clock,” says ringler, who farms 1,200 acres in Kansas’ iconic Flint Hills. “you get the job done when it needs to be done. It was early in the morning, maybe around 1 a.m., and I saw these tiny pinpoints of light coming toward me.”

The lights swooshing by ringler that June night carried determined bicyclists, laboring toward the finish line in one of the world’s most acclaimed gravel road endurance cycling challenges—the dirty Kanza 200. If ringler had been able to see the athletes, he would have witnessed dirt-caked bikes and grit-covered riders exhausted from maneuvering a 200-mile course that tests the mettle of even the sturdiest cyclists. Welcome to cycling—Kansas style—where the rubber meets dirt roads, scenic trails, off-road courses, river levees, meandering country paths and suburban streets. Bike any way you want in a state that doesn’t have dramatic altitude changes or teeth-clenching hills but boasts a cyclist’s priceless asset: enchanting, intoxicating, inspiring beauty, and miles and miles of it. The perfect road, path or trail waits for you in Kansas … find yours and ride it.

LET iT RiDE Biking in Kansas celebrates the state’s wide-open beauty on scenic trails, gravel roads, technical courses and canopied suburban paths photography by jason dailey



celebrating its eighth year this summer, the Dk begins and ends in front of the historic emporia granada Theatre. as the riders are battling the rugged course in the flint Hills, a full-tilt block party-festival atmosphere breaks out in emporia. The inaugural Dk had 15 riders and started from a parking lot; when the race reaches its 10th anniversary in 2015, the mohns fully intend to have 2,000-plus bicyclists. “it’s like a high school reunion for cyclists,” says kristi, a self-professed bike widow who cheers on Tim as he trains for the Dk. “except this reunion is set in one of the most glorious places on earth, the flint Hills.” kansas - This annual early-June, 475-mile ride begins at the colorado border and takes riders deep through the heart of kansas, finishing eight days later at the missouri river. launched nearly 40 years ago by larry and norma christie of wichita during the bike “boom” awakening in the 1970s, this ride attracts nearly 800 riders and support personnel from across the nation, with international riders joining in, too. The crossstate odyssey proves once again that kansas isn’t flat as a pancake—there are hills and valleys and prairies and woods. hell creek state park/lake Wilson This two-day event, which proves you don’t need a mountain for world-class mountain biking, takes place on some of kansas’ most scenic trails and includes a guided tour, a three-hour marathon race and races ranging from 10 to 35 miles. part of the united federation of Dirt series, the annual may festival showcases kansas mountain bike riding.


Thank you for the article about bicycling in the Spring 2013 issue. Articles of this nature are important to make people aware of the benefits and availability of bicycle rides. However I was disappointed to see that the story failed to mention three of the most popular rides in the state. … I refer to the Cottonwood 200, which will be celebrating its 37th year this summer, that attracts close to 300 riders from across the country and tours the scenic Flint Hills. Also, the Capitol Classic, which starts and ends in Topeka (as does the Cottonwood), and the Octoginta, a large ride that originates in Lawrence. Perhaps they can be featured in a future issue. Thank you for your consideration!

My favorite magazine and I look forward to the next issue … Margaret McPeek


Sam Brownback governor

Robin Jennison KDWPT Secretary

Becky Blake lawrence, kansas

design & production

Katy Ibsen

managing editor

Latest @KANSASMag today! Lovely taste of home, beautiful photography as always & reminds me I need to polish off my calendar contributions.

Shelly Bryant

Designer/art director

Jason Dailey photographer

Bert Hull

general manager

Robert James MacRae Nice to see Topeka’s @PorterfieldsKS mentioned in soon-to-be released spring edition of @KANSASMag. Topeka Magazine I wish you had more articles on gardening in Kansas. As an avid gardener I would love it! Debbie Perry McMurry

KANSAS! (ISSN 0022-8435) is published quarterly by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200 Topeka, KS 66612; (785) 296-3479; TTY Hearing Impaired: (785) 296-3487. Periodical postage paid at Topeka, KS, and at additional mailing offices. Newsstand price $4.99 per issue; subscription price $18 per year; international subscription price $22 per year. All prices include all applicable sales tax. Please address subscription inquiries to: Toll-free: (800) 678-6424 KANSAS!, P.O. Box 146, Topeka, KS 66601-0146 e-mail: Website: POSTMASTER: Send address change to: KANSAS! P.O. Box 146, Topeka, KS 66601-0146. Please mail all editorial inquiries to: KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612 e-mail: The articles and photographs that appear in KANSAS! magazine may not be broadcast, published or otherwise reproduced without the express written consent of Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism or the appropriate copyright owner. Unauthorized use is prohibited. Additional restrictions may apply.

send your letters to: Editor, KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612 or e-mail

kansas! •

Jennifer T. Haugh

Facebook & twitter

Bert Kossler Topeka


Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Director, tourism division

To map out your Kansas bike adventure, visit,

ka nsa s m ag .co m • KAnSAS!

s p r i ng 2 0 1 3

Gale Wilson Sweet Home, Oregon

FlinT hills - emporia residents and lifelong cycling advocates kristi and Tim mohn, two of the organizers of the Dirty kanza (Dk), along with founders Joel Dyke and Jim cummins, have one of the hottestselling tickets in the state. a chance to ride in the grueling, 200-mile, self-supported endurance ride crowned as a must-do ride by Bicycling magazine and as one of the top races in the world by velo Magazine sells out in two-and-a-half hours each January with thousands jockeying for the 800 coveted spots in the elite race.

tour kansas

tour kansas


Dirty Kanza 200


casinos delicious

Ge am dit i o ne

Biking Across Kansas


Kansas Fat Tire Festival

vol 69 | issue 1

I just finished reading our KANSAS! magazine. What a great issue. Adolph Rupp was mentioned in one article— I’m not sure everyone knows that his first basketball coaching job was at Burr Oak, Kansas, my hometown.

summer issue 2013

s u m m e r 2013



perfect weekend Getaways!

bed & breakfasT inn

visit with other guests or your friends in one of our three living rooms or over a great evening meal.

Great for family reunion, quiltinG retreats and scrap bookinG. A 21 room Bed & Breakfast Inn situated in the gentle rolling hills of NE Kansas.

We specialize in retreats and helping you break up your daily routine so you can get that

much NEEdEd R&R. For reservations call

(785) 945-3225 • 1-800-869-7717 14910 Blue Mound Rd. Valley Falls, Ks 66088 •

20 Reasons we


Written by Gloria Gale

Reasons we KANSAS


Country enclaves

Gracious hospitality is a predominate feature when guests visit one of the restful sanctuaries that Grove Occasions in Council Grove offers. The Cosgrove family offers two unique lodging facilities in the Flint Hills area—The Young Guest House and the Riely Cottage. Lull Meadows, a former one-room schoolhouse located on the family’s 150-year-old ranch, is a perfect venue for weddings, conferences, retreats and reunions.  John Cosgrove and Dave Cosgrove are fifth-generation farmers and ranchers in the area. John’s wife, Linda, says, “Managing the properties has been a fun and exciting adventure.” facebook:

Summer welcomes the spirit to get out, explore and try new things; here are just a few reasons to get you going. Share your Reasons we Love Kansas (see page 13).


kansas! •

s u m m e r 2013



Gateway to the natural world

Pomp and circumstance

Begun in 1914 as a way to honor eighth-grade graduates who attended country schools, the McPherson County All Schools Day has become a celebration of students of all ages. With traditional May Day activities like a May pole winding and May Fete in the park, All Schools Day is a slice of Americana. This year’s 100th anniversary celebration will include a special concert by country band Gloriana and a 40-ton sand sculpture by Sandsational, an award-winning group of sand artists. The carnival runs May 5-11.


Photographs: (Clockwise from left) Courtesy of Lucas Cosgrove, Lisa Scheller/KU Endowment, Courtesy of the Kansas Biological Survey, Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble, Courtesy of the McPherson Convention and Visitors Bureau



The Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble bills itself as yet another star in the galaxy of Topeka’s homegrown theater. Artistic Director Craig Fisher enthusiastically embraces the community group that’s been performing around Topeka since 2010. “We’re delighted at the response from people throughout the area who come to watch newer, edgier and original productions,” he says. “This season we’ll be doing musicals, original plays and a range of creative, thought-provoking and entertaining productions.”

Reasons we

Janet Roth still gets teary-eyed when she talks about the beautiful roth trailhead structure she and her husband, Stan, are privileged to have named in their honor. “We’re thrilled, not just for Stan and myself, but in recognition of the Kansas landscape,” says Janet. The Roths, both former Lawrence biology teachers, have left an imprint on numerous students over their 40-year teaching career. Scott Campbell is one of them. He helped spearhead the development of a 120-foot-long rammed-earthen wall, a shade canopy and benches located at the gateway to the University of Kansas Field Station. Campbell, now outreach and public service director of the Kansas Biological Survey, says, “The Roth trailhead structure, named for retired Lawrence educators Stan and Janet Roth, was designed and built by KU architecture students in Dirt Works Studio. The field station provides nearly 1,800 acres of land for many forms of field-based research, teaching and natural areas preservation along with five miles of walking trails open to the public.”

Curtain call


Reasons we



two-wheel adventure

See history from your bike saddle as part of the 1,100-mile Santa Fe Trail Bicycle Trek. Organizer Willard Chilcott says, “Nineteen years ago I got bored and decided to organize a bike trip.” He chose the historic Santa Fe Trail. Limited to 50 riders, the group rolls along the paved trail route from New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and into Missouri. The 20-day trip is $45 a day that includes breakfast, dinner, campsites with showers, daily ride sheets and maps. All gear is carried by truck. “The trip is an enjoyable way to meet people, learn about the historic significance of the Santa Fe Trail and get a healthy dose of activity,” Chilcott says. The 2013 Santa Fe Trail Bicycle Trek is scheduled to depart September 8.


Gangsta rap

Mark and Josie Roehrman had an idea to open a restaurant in Ellsworth, naming it after the famous gangster Pretty Boy Floyd. “Ellsworth is so historic. After researching the tunnels that once ran underground throughout Ellsworth’s downtown, the Prohibition Era just spoke to me,” says Mark. Housed in the basement of the Wellington Building, the gangster-themed restaurant has been well-received by patrons. The Roehrmans are doing the cooking in the fine-dining establishment showcasing memorabilia from this colorful era. facebook: Pretty-Boy-Floyds



Rumors of new breweries popping up give us plenty of reasons to love Kansas! Keep an eye out for Radius Brewing Co. in Emporia and Wakarusa Brewery in Eudora.


facebook: Wakarusa-Brewing-Company

Sugar rush

Ask Lawrence residents where they get their favorite candy, and there’s not much hesitation. The Mass Street Sweet Shoppe is one place to indulge and savor the experience. Owner Michelle Miller and her family are longtime Lawrence residents seeking to revive a downtown candy shop. The candy craving can be supplemented with popcorn, 16 flavors of ice cream and glazed nuts. (785) 856-6300 Facebook: Mass-Street-Sweet-Shoppe

Photographs: (Clockwise from top left) Courtesy of Willard Chilcott (2), Pretty Boy Floyds, Shutterstock (3)

Dave Kendall

Angler angles


Going with the grain

Kansas State University, in partnership with the Kansas Wheat Foundation, is furthering the science of wheat research in the new Kansas Wheat Innovation Center (KwiC). This 35,000-square-foot structure housing wheat-breeding laboratories, a greenhouse complex and office space is a source of pride for all involved in advanced genetics and wheat trait discovery. “This collaboration boosts the science of wheat-processing technologies within a stateof-the-art, 3-acre campus adjacent to the Grain Science and Industry complex in Manhattan,” says Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat Commission. “The KWIC places K-State and the Kansas Wheat Commission at the forefront of innovative wheat research.” Kansas wheat farmers helped fund the $10.3 million Innovation Center mostly through wheat check-off funds collected from Kansas wheat farmers. facebook: twitter:

The Sunflower State is filled with tales and tails. Capturing the essence of nature, the Outdoor Writers of Kansas is a small cadre of accomplished newspaper and freelance writers, editors, broadcasters, artists and photographers. This group has been scooping stories on the one that got away among other adventures for the past 50 years. Informed, inquisitive and able to document stories with pen, brush and lens—this is one talented group with a lot to say about Kansas’ outdoors.



Having a blast

Lucas Miller is excited about science. As director of Haskell High Power Rocketry Laboratory on the Haskell Indian Nations University campus, Miller wants to transmit that same enthusiasm to his students. “The whole idea is to apply what they learn in math classes, then use that knowledge to build highpowered rockets in the Rocketry Club and the rocketry classes,” says Miller. Currently, Miller and his students are hosting the Haskell Blast Off Rocket Simulation Contest for middle school students, who are challenged to build a 7-foot-tall rocket with built-in altimeters.


Play ball facebook:

Baseball fans can once again look forward to rooting for the home team with Junction City’s new semi-pro collegiate baseball team, the Brigade. June 1 marks the start of its first season. The team, composed of players from colleges and universities across the state, will call Rathert Stadium home, hosting a 30-game schedule. “We’re totally communitybased, coming together to provide affordable family entertainment, enhance local youth baseball programs and provide a destination where people can come to see a quality baseball team,” says Mike Heldstab, general manager.


checking in

Reasons we


Bed-and-breakfast establishments frequently occupy a home, but Topeka’s Brickyard Barn Inn is sheltered a bit differently. Designed and built in 1927 by Kansas State architectural students, the Inn was conceived as a dairy barn complete with hayloft, cow stalls and silo. Through the decades the barn has been updated by various owners including the current innkeepers, Scott and Truanna Nickel. The Nickels, always the consummate hosts, want to pamper guests and do so with a hearty breakfast, good conversation and a delightful place to relax. Photographs: (Clockwise from top left) Jason Dailey (2), J.C. Brigade, TravelKS, Shutterstock (2), Courtesy of Brickyard Barn



head west

Cedar Bluff State Park is an ideal escape for a long weekend of camping and boating. Two camping areas, the Bluffton Area and Page Creek Area, provide a combined 950 acres of camping with 136 utility campsites. facebook: twitter:

flicker facebook: Prairie-Museum-of-Art-and-History

Fresh air and camaraderie of the open road make running a favored sport in Kansas. Running clubs in Topeka, Manhattan and Hutchinson host a variety of events for every level of runner. Join the Topeka Sunflower Striders; Manhattan Running Company; or Hutchinson Salt City Striders Topeka: June 15: Tinman Triathlon, Lake Shawnee Manhattan September 29: 2013 Inaugural Konquer the Konza 25k, Konza Prairie Trail


Colby claims the well-stocked Prairie Museum of Art and History. In fact, the Thomas County Historical Society is also the repository for “a conservative estimate of over 60,000 images and documents pertaining to local history.” Many displays celebrate life on the plains and Kansas’ western history. Exhibits include toys from the past, Kansas artists, glass and ceramic art.

Pounding the pavement

Reasons we

60,000 15


Hutchinson: August 10: Salty Dog and Salty Pup Triathlon, Carey Park September 22: Salt City Run the Rocks Half Marathon, Carey Park kansasmag .com • kansas!


No ranger danger


The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism wants to give visitors a free, interactive phone app known as the Pocket Ranger. This mobile guide to Kansas’ state parks will help visitors choose a state park, find activities, view regulations and events, and reserve a campsite or cabin. The app is designed to enhance the park experience through GPS information and technology, trail tracking, locating landmarks and locating friends. It also has a GeoChallenge feature for novice and advanced geocachers. The free Kansas State Parks Pocket Ranger app is available on the KDWPT homepage.  facebook: twitter:

Reasons we


water works


Pin It!

Did you know TravelKS is on Pinterest? Find Kansas recipes, attractions, photos, events, contests and travel ideas. Psst! Kansas! magazine and Kansas Byways have them, too.


Are you familiar with the High Plains Aquifer? It is the most important water resource in western and south-central Kansas. According to the Atlas of the High Plains Aquifer, this geologic body underlies approximately 33,500 square miles of 46 counties in western and south-central Kansas and is present in seven other states in the Great Plains region of the United States. Extensive research addressing the impact of pumping, irrigation, water rights, usage and future implications of management is detailed in the Atlas of the High Plains Aquifer prepared by the Kansas Geological Survey and Kansas Water Office.



Photographs: (Clockwise from top left) Courtesy of the KDWPT (3), screenshot, Kansas Geological Survey, Shutterstock

15 20

go hornets

Emporia State University celebrates 150 years as an academic institution in 2013. The 218-acre campus is located in the heart of the Flint Hills and proud to claim more than 59,000 alumni.


The wichita state shockers


Send your “Reasons We Love Kansas” to

or to Reasons, KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612.


Congrats to our amazing fleet of NCAA Men’s Basketball teams who made quite the showing in the 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament. A tip of the hat though to the WSU Shockers who made it all the way to the Final Four. Go team!

Reasons we

n bo us

find more events at

Museum of Wonder

Armed Forces Day

Shrine Rodeo

MANHATTAN February 12-October 13



Explore an eclectic mix of objects representing Kansas State’s past, present and future at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum.

Help pay tribute to military heroes with fun activities for the whole family. Tickets required, half-price admission to all active or retired military and immediate family. Begins at 9 a.m.

Enjoy the Shrine Rodeo as cowboys duke it out with bucking broncs and bulls! Meet the rodeo queens and see America’s fastest horse. Events begin 7:30 p.m. General admission $12 with discounts for youths and family packages.

Lake Adventures 50-50 trail of Choices MILFORD May 12

Thunder on the Smoky MARQUETTE May 18

Hit the trails with your bike and/or running shoes. The course is 10.5-mile loops of trail at Milford State Park and Acorns Resort. Begins at 7 a.m.

Annual motorcycle rally. The event is complete with a variety of vendors, food and activities.

Belleville farmers’ Market BELLeVILLE May 25-September 28 Local Farmers’ Market located on the Historic Courthouse Square features produce, baked goods and more. Begins at 8 a.m. Saturdays.

summer 2013 KANSAS EVENTS

Steam Engine Running


ABILENE May 25-27 Enjoy an old-fashioned ride in a real steam locomotive. Operating schedules vary. Tickets required. Dinner trains scheduled for June 8 and 22.

Symphony at Sunset

ABILENE June 1 Annual D-Day Commemorative Concert with the Salina Symphony at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, 8:30 p.m.

kansas! •

s u m m e r 2013

Grassland Heritage Festival

Midsummer’s Festival

ELKHART June 1-8 Weeklong festival with a fishing derby, cowboy dinner, entertainment, children’s day and much more. Buttons are $10 and good for most events.

Ragtime LAWRENCE June-July dates TBA This award-winning musical is a powerful portrait of life in turn-ofthe-century America with relevance for today. Performed in the new Theatre Lawrence venue.

LINDSBORG June 15 The celebration of Midsummer begins downtown with children’s games, live music, cultural dancing, food and fun! Admission is free, begins at 9 a.m.

Washunga Days COUNCIL GROVE June 20-22 Celebrating Kaw heritage, the festival includes a parade, pow wow, car show, entertainment and more.

Dinosaur Petting Zoo

The 2013 PDGA Amateur World Disc Golf Championships heads to the Flint Hills. Various events are planned around the tournament.

Americans By Choice: The Story of Immigration & Citizenship in Kansas MONTEZUMA July 14-September 1

Spirit of Kansas blues Festival

This exhibit illustrates the paths to citizenship taken by Kansas settlers from around the world by helping visitors connect this story with their personal experience. Features photographs, documents, quotes, interactive elements and a documentary video of citizens describing what it means to be an American.

TOPEKA July 4 Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival July 4th at Lake Shawnee Reynolds Lodge. Local vendors, arts and crafts, car show and water skiing show. Begins at noon.

Sidewalk Sale LAWRENCE July 18

Glorious Fourth

Dawn to dusk, stores along Massachusetts Street clear their racks at this jam-packed annual event.


National Day of the Cowboy

Dinner and concert on the historic Cottonwood River Bridge overlooking the falls on the Cottonwood River returns for a sixth year. Reservations/tickets required. Begins at 6:30 p.m.

The program, closely based on historical records of Territorial Kansas 4th of July events, will begin with a blast of cannon fire and “period” events including the historic Dietrich Cabin’s 150th birthday. Begins at 8 a.m.


River Suite COTTONWOOD FALLS June 14

Illustrations: Shutterstock

summer 2013 KANSAS EVENTS

Get up close and personal with the creatures that roamed the world millions of years ago with the Dinosaur Petting Zoo by Erth. Begins at 7 p.m.

EMPORIA July 7-13


Pro Disc Golf Association Amateur World Tournament

Celebrate the ninth annual National Day of the American Cowboy in Old Abilene Town with activities for the whole family. Begins at 10 a.m.

kansasmag .com • kansas!


to the stars with

Three artists—transplants from Nebraska, Colorado and Canada—find beauty and inspiration in Kansas’ vast skies and expansive prairies, its history and people, its hidden treasures, and its stories. They’ve felt the tug of the state’s influence reflected in their art and poetry, from subtle explorations of the meaning of “home” to a detailed celebration of the people and places that make Kansas unique.

Photography by Jason Dailey


Attracting Artists

Justin Runge has no problem identifying “hidden gems” in Kansas. The problem is limiting his must-visit discoveries to just a few. “Kansas is deceptively massive, and it’d be quite a task to see it all,” he says. In Lawrence, he recommends the Bourgeois Pig for coffee and cocktails, 715 restaurant for “a beautiful dining experience” and Rudy’s for pizza. Down the road in Topeka, he enjoys Tup Tim Thai. Beyond food, the Raven Bookstore and 8th Street Taproom in Lawrence both host readings and literary events. Wonder Fair, Invisible Hand Gallery and Liberty Hall, all in Lawrence, also make his list. “All of these places and more enhance Kansas arts and culture in amazing ways,” he says.

lawrence Bourgeois Pig 6 E. Ninth St. 715 715 Massachusetts St. Rudy’s 704 Massachusetts St. Raven Bookstore 8 E. Seventh St. 8th Street Taproom 801 New Hampshire St. Wonder Fair 803 1/2 Massachusetts St. Invisible Hand Gallery 846 Pennsylvania St. Liberty Hall 644 Massachusetts St.


Justin Runge uses words like “expansive” and “sparse” to describe his poetry, but he could just as easily be speaking about his native Nebraska or Kansas, the state he now calls home. “I feel that my poetry is palpably Midwestern,” he says. “There’s a fixation on land, a plain-spokenness. My work isn’t too talkative or quippy, but there is an openness and a sense of humor there.” Much of Runge’s work focuses on home and conceptions of home—what “home” means, how people create it or re-create it through memory. “It’s sort of impossible to write without thinking about place,” he says. Runge says Kansas, his home of three years, hasn’t fully made its presence known in his poetry yet, but he’s sure it’s just a matter of time. His past work drew heavily from his surroundings, first in Nebraska and then in Alabama, where he attended graduate school and met a Kansas woman, Kate Lorenz, who is now his wife. “I’ve written about both Nebraska and Alabama a great deal, as almost a way of coping with both and gaining a closer sense of them,” he says. When it came time to choose a new home together after college, the Midwest called. Runge and Lorenz chose Lawrence—her hometown—for its mix of comfort and culture. Here, his poetry has evolved and matured with his experiences. “As I grew older, I was willing to let place and memory of place slow me, to allow my roots to show,” he says. Runge’s work has been published in print and online journals. New Michigan Press just published his first collection, Plainsight, a chapbook about a stretch of Interstate 80 in Nebraska. He also is the poetry editor of Parcel, a twice-a-year literary journal featuring fiction and art in addition to poetry. His recent work, a collection of poems responding to Andrew Wyeth’s Helga drawings and paintings, takes the concept of “place” in a different direction and thrusts him into an artistic love triangle of sorts. His poems examine the relationship between the artist and his model as it develops through a series of more than 200 portraits Wyeth created over a decade and a half. Runge says he gravitated to writing about those pieces of art because of their temporal nature capturing such specific moments in the artist-model relationship. Though his current poetry focus falls outside the region he calls home, the lure of the Midwest is never far for Runge. “I’d love to spend more time in the Flint Hills, see Neosho Falls, visit the Garden of Eden,” he says. “It shouldn’t be too long before I have a full cycle of Kansas poetry.”

justin runge

Justin Runge holds a copy of his first collection of poems, Plainsight.




S. Portico Bowman

mixed media artist

S. Portico Bowman raises a cloud with an emerging rabbit. The piece is from her recent installment.

As a child, S. Portico Bowman watched the clouds sailing over her home in Saskatchewan, Canada, finding stories hidden among the billowing swirls of white and gray. She’s all grown up now, and she’s swapped her native Canadian skies for Kansas, but she’s still finding stories in the clouds. Bowman, a ceramic sculpture-mixed media installation artist, is the director of the University Art Gallery and Harry Krug Art Gallery at Pittsburg State University. She also writes essays for art publications and recently completed her first novel. Her work—like her art background in printmaking, drawing, sculpture and ceramics—moves back and forth “between flat things and round things,” she says. Her most recent artwork, for a gallery in Arkansas, draws on her storytelling skills as both a visual artist and a writer. The installation mixes ceramic forms, video projections and passages from her novel in an exploration of stories found in clouds. Four creatures emerging from the cloud formations—a rat, rabbit, dragon and koi—figure prominently in the piece. Growing up in Canada provided a tremendous space for her to explore her artistic leanings, likewise in Kansas. “There’s a sense of freedom here that I find very valuable to my creative process,” she says. Though she’s lived in Pittsburg for 11 years, her family is in Canada, her partner lives in San Diego, and she’s taught a summer institute for middle school and high school students in Hawaii for the last three summers. “Each of those places really informs me and shapes me,” she says. Because she grew up on the Canadian prairie—where the land is flatter and sky bigger even than in Kansas, she says—when the offer came to take the position as gallery director at Pittsburg State, the fit felt comfortable. She didn’t hesitate to accept the opportunity to live in the center of country, connected to the earth. Being part of the close-knit southeastern Kansas community— where many students choose Pittsburg State to be close to their families and their homes—has inspired her to think more deeply about such connections. “They taught me a lot about becoming completely committed to a place where you’ve grown up,” she says. “Pittsburg’s been amazing. I say we’re in the center of everything. It’s not the middle of nowhere.”

Attracting Artists

S. Portico Bowman recommends visitors make time for a meal at Harry’s Cafe in Pittsburg, which she describes as “one of those very roast beef and mashed potatoes and pancakes and pie” classic diners where waitresses still put pencils behind their ears. Another must-see Pittsburg attraction is the Sperry Home, once the home of Ted Sperry and his wife, Gladys C. Galligar. Sperry was professor of botany and ecology at Pittsburg State University. Sperry Home now serves as temporary housing for faculty and VIPs.

pittsburg Harry’s Cafe 412 N. Broadway St., Sperry Home Pittsburg State University Biology Department (620) 235-4731


Attracting Artists

For all his travels across the state, Dennis Schiel is reluctant to single out individual Kansas attractions for special attention, but he’s quick to urge Kansans to explore the unexpected wonders of the state for themselves. The twice-life-sized Buffalo Bill statue in Oakley, for example. “You would think you’d find that in downtown Denver or Taos,” he says. He also mentions Cozy Inn Hamburgers in Salina, the David Rice Atchison Presidential Library (billed as the World’s Smallest “unofficial” Presidential Library) in Atchison and St. Fidelis Church (the “Cathedral of the Plains”) in Victoria. “We have our Eisenhower Museum and our Cosmosphere,” he says. “But there’s a lot of minor things that people just don’t realize are out there.”

oakley Buffalo Bill Cultural Center 124 U.S. Highway 83

victoria St. Fidelis Church “The Cathedral of the Plains” 601 10th St.


Cozy Inn Hamburgers 208 N. Seventh St.


Atchison County Historical Society 200 S. 10th St., Santa Fe Depot


Hays artist Dennis Schiel’s vision of Kansas is big. Really big. Schiel’s state mural combines the history, people and places of Kansas into one 120-square-foot painting, divided across 10 3-foot by 4-foot panels and held together visually by a map of the state in the background. The mural depicts almost every town in the state, the Old West trails that traversed Kansas, museums, artists, historical figures, state animals and flowers, landmarks and much more. “People just don’t realize the number of unique things or unique historical items that are in the state,” Schiel says. Schiel and his wife moved to Hays about six years ago, drawn in part by the city’s thriving arts scene. He used to think Kansas must be similar to the desert-like eastern section of Colorado, where he lived most of his life, but in 600 hours of research—traveling 73,000 miles by car—he found unexpected and striking details in every part of the state to incorporate into his mural. “I just never realized that Kansas had that much history and really beautiful things to see,” he says. The idea for the state mural grew from his earlier interest in painting family portraits with a twist. Rather than traditional portraits, he put his subjects inside a story, often incorporating a family’s passions (motorcycles, mountains) and events that held a special place in family lore. The portraits became pictorial histories designed to be passed down through generations. “Once those older people die, the stories go with them,” Schiel says. His portraits ensure that some of the stories live on. The state mural, commissioned by the Hays Arts Council, required more than 2,500 hours to paint. Schiel completed one panel at a time, making discoveries and friends in every part of the state as he completed his research. Beyond showcasing the treasures of Kansas, Schiel’s work of art has a practical side, too. Once, a group of college students spent a couple of hours in his Hays studio taking notes about what they saw in the mural. “They were planning trips,” he says. “That’s what I really wanted to create with the state mural—one of the most detailed maps of any state that’s ever been created. Not only that, I think Kansas has a lot to offer.” Ultimately, Schiel hopes the piece will be placed on display in the state Capitol. In the meantime, for his next big project, he’ll turn his storytelling talent to painting a piece commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Department of Animal Science at Kansas State University. Tonganoxie writer Julie Tollefson finds beauty and inspiration in her home state every day.


Dennis Schiel

Dennis Schiel holds one of the 10 panels from his Kansas mural.

Photography by Deborah Walker When you shake off the chill of an early spring, a buzz is already in the air. The slow burn to summer is heating up coupled with an itch to hit the road. The frugal, the well-heeled and those just plain curious embark on an adventure to scavenge for bargains buried in heaps of antiques, vintage jewelry, clothing and collectibles. Buyers flock to tag flea markets, auctions and estate sales across the state where haggling is as welcome as the low prices. Delve in. Junking season has arrived.


North West


Southcentral Southwest




Wes Neal is the owner and operator of Kansas City, Kansas’ Boulevard Drive-In Theatre and Swap ‘n Shop. “I’ve been here for 60 years—not much has changed except technology. But the old-fashioned art of rummaging is still popular. People love to come to an outdoor movie, and they love to shop.”

Boulevard Drive-in 1051 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, Kansas (913) 262-2414

White Cloud

The tiny hamlet of White Cloud with its 200 residents grows substantially twice a year playing host to one of the largest flea markets in the state. Dick Tracy and his wife, Jan, didn’t start White Cloud Flea Market. “That was the American Legion’s job back in


1963. But I’m from White Cloud and decided to get involved,” says Tracy, principal organizer. Like Sparks, White Cloud attracts shoppers and sellers from just about everywhere, according to Tracy. “The only time attendance was low was when gas was high,” he says. Now that gas is more affordable vendors and sellers, many who have been in attendance 25-30 years, are back. “When I started there were six vendors, now we have around 500, strewn on both sides of Main Street, the ballpark and anywhere they can find a spot,” says Tracy. Indoor/outdoor market open May 3- 5 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

White Cloud Flea Market 103 Main St., White Cloud (785) 595-3381


It’s the lure of the rusty, a gem amidst the trash that draws so many to the sport. “Yep, they come rain or shine,” says Ray Tackett, main organizer of the Sparks Antique Flea Market and Collectibles. “I’ve seen folks come in droves over the years—slogging through the mud barefoot with kids and dogs in tow. It’s a circus of sorts,” he says, marveling at the thousands who troll for treasure on his Doniphan County property. Tackett promotes this revered flea market twice a year in May and August. “When I started in 1988 I found 30 dealers.” Today, Sparks attracts more than 400 dealers and thousands of people from across the country. “I wouldn’t miss it,” says Fancy Smith, owner of antique and home decor shop Cactus Creek in Weston, Missouri. Smith finds it amusing that her former hobby is now a career. “Ev-

erything has a story. I was at an auction once and found a trove of old purses. They weren’t much to look at, but I opened one up and there was a gold coin in the bottom. I’m willing to dig, and that patience pays off,” she says. Spring dates: May 2-5 Fall dates: August 29-September 1 Booths open between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sparks Antique Flea Market and Collectibles The market is located at North K-7 Highway and 240th Road, Troy (785) 985-2411


Studio 11 and Flint Hills Mall join forces to present the first annual Vintage Treasure Market. Booths of antique sellers will pepper the Flint Hills Mall with unique vintage items. This juried show sets out to celebrate the spirit of refurbishing favorite antiques July 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Vintage Treasure Market Flint Hills Mall 1632 Industrial Road, Emporia (620) 342-4631

“I’ve seen folks come in droves over the years— slogging through the mud barefoot with kids and dogs in tow. It’s a circus of sorts.”

Eliminate the bumps

with these tips for the jaunt 1 The earlybird catches more than just worms: If you want the best pickings, go early. 2 Plan your route in advance—it will save backtracking and headaches. 3 Cash, particularly small bills, talks the talk. Take more than you need. 4 It’s better to take a big car, trailer or truck—you always need more room. 5 Haggling is good. Try it. You have nothing to lose. Sellers are more apt to bargain at the close of the day. 6 Investigate with a keen eye. If you can fix it, buy it. If you can’t or won’t, don’t buy it. 7 Re-imagine your item as something else. Architectural salvage makes great wall art; bottles make great terrariums. 8 Buy something fragile and you’ll want to pack it securely—a tool kit and gloves will come in handy. 9 Don’t overpay for something that’s too expensive—that is unless you love it to death. 10 Always look around the corner for unadvertised sales. The gem you’ve been waiting for may just be hidden in the mix.

-Ray Tackett

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Erin Cureton, Stacy Clark and Pat Schiessler succeed at finding treasures for repurposing during the Kansas Barn Sale. Old-timey signs and trinkets can be found on a jaunt. A peek inside Shabby Shed in Osborne. (Photo courtesy Shabby Shed) Jean McMillen browses items at the Happy Beader.


Southcentral Feeling pretty? That’s the sentiment owner Rebecca Simpson wants you to have at Rebecca’s, a boutique of unique clothing and jewelry. According to rave reviews, her way with a needle and thread is nothing short of astonishing. “I have 10-15 artists in the shop that contribute to my apparel and home furnishings merchandise. Our consignors are a creative bunch, massaging castoffs into wearables and collectibles.” Simpson also hand-dyes her own fabric for clothing and a line of bedding. Rebecca’s is open on Final Friday of every month from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Rebecca’s 300 N. Mead Suite 106A, Wichita (316) 866-2622


Word of mouth and social media were just the spark for one industrious Hesston entrepreneur.

Jewelry artist Beki Hastings decided to add to her already successful online business, The Rusted Chain, with an old-fashioned barn sale. “My husband, Josh, and I already owned a 6-acre former hog farm complete with a big, beautiful red barn. We decided to see what would happen if we reached out and asked local artists to join us on the first Saturday in October.” They must be doing something right. In 2012, attendance topped 2,000. The Hastings’ “Kansas Barn Sale” is a flag-waving success. “It’s a pleasure to see folks strolling about the grounds. Our goods are handmade; the look and feel is fresh and vintage. There’s live music and plenty of food. Even my three children get involved and sell hand-dipped chocolate marshmallows to the crowd,” says Hastings. The Kansas Barn Sale takes place the first Saturday of October every year.

Kansas Barn Sale 2959 Arapaho Road, Hesston

Last one in is a rotten egg.

Nothing feels quite like a trip to Lawrence. A free Visitors Guide and truly unforgettable getaway are just a click away.


Three ambitious women from Madison, Megan Broyles, Danielle Albert and Amy McClelland, can relate to the whim of good fortune and a lot of ingenuity. Their business, Rhinestones and Rust, is in true American picker form. Their mantra: To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. “We’ve been in business just shy of two years, and now that we own our own building we’ve filled it with just about everything from old furniture to loads of junk just waiting to be transformed,” says McClelland.

Rhinestones and Rust 217 W. Main St., Madison (620) 437-2885

Honorable Mentions


Aunt Peg’s Antiques Paramount Antique Mall Leavenworth Antique Mall Stevie’s Antiques

Highway 36

Treasure Hunt It’s a fact: U.S. 36 Highway is the shortest east-west route across Kansas. It can also be the slowest due to the annual 400-mile Treasure Hunt. Stretching through 13 counties bordering Nebraska, the U.S. 36 Highway Association Treasure Hunt is a three-day border-to-border junker’s delight.

Beki Hastings, co-creator of the Kansas Barn Sale, celebrates another successful event last fall.

Paul Kallman, along with Jim Erickson and Jane Ann Calgren, founded the event in 2005 with the intent to increase tourism and give people a chance to see a diverse part of the state. In contrast to the already overcrowded freeway system in other parts of the state, the U.S. 36 Highway Association Board of Directors determined that economic progress of communities along this route would be linked to this highway. “And we were right,” says Kallman. “Thousands of participants flock to this free event to buy, sell and discover our area. Treasure Hunt profits residents, visitors and entire communities.” Mark the calendar for 2013 Treasure Hunt, which will be September 20-22. Banners and signs are posted along U.S. 36.




Gretchin Staples, owner of Shabby Shed in Osborne, always has her creative mojo in motion. With her radar up, she’ll find worn furniture or farm classics and turn them into something wonderful. They are also celebrating their five-year anniversary and moving into a new, larger space across the street. “After eight years of furniture rescuing … I still get excited about the possibilities that each piece of furniture holds and the history it could tell,” she says.

Larry Havel knows a great find when he sees one. “Two years ago I decided to buy a convenience store in Colby and turn it into an antique shop,” he says, downsizing all the merchandise he had kept at home. Gizmo’s sells everything from furniture to old-fashioned stoves. “People walk inside and comment on what a nice museum I have,” says Havel. “If you want something, I’ll go out and find it—I’m a true picker at heart!”

Shabby Shed


126 W. Main, Osborne (785) 345-4240

820 S. Franklin, Colby (785) 443-0900

Dodge City

Pat Anders is crazy about owning the Dodge City Antique Mall. “I’m the absolute junker,” she says proudly. “It’s where I’m meant to be.”

The mall has seen its ups and downs, but right now, “Antiques aren’t doing as well as just plain old junk—the more rusted, the better,” says Anders.

Dodge City Antique Mall 1701 N. 14th Ave, Dodge City (620) 225-5656 The Dodge City Garage Sale and Craft Show takes place in United Wireless Arena. Their first event last year drew 1,700 people. “They poured over 57 booths filled with you name it,” says Ila Siders, marketing director. You’ll only need $2 to get in the door. This one-day show in August features food, junk and even Blue Light Specials.

Dodge City Garage Sale and Craft Show August 25, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., at the United Wireless Arena 4100 Comanche, Dodge City (620) 371-7807 Overland Park writer Gloria Gale can spot a bargain a mile away. Junking is in her blood!

KANSAS museums There is plenty to see and do in Kansas. Be sure to call ahead for complete directions.



Abilene El Dorado Wichita

Topeka Lecompton

Historical Lecompton Civil War Birthplace Where slavery began to die

Visit Constitution Hall & Territorial Capital Museum 10-5 pm Wed-Sat • 1-5 pm Sun Tours (785) 887-6148 •


in KANSAS! Magazine For details contact Bert Hull (888) 497-8668

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our town ATCHISON

our town

atchison ★

A modern pioneer spirit soars in this quaint burg situated along the Missouri River Photography by Kevin Anderson


kansas! •

s u m m e r 2013

Festive Atchison

For a relatively small community, Atchison has its share of festivals, including the Amelia Earhart Festival, which will mark its 17th year (July 19-20) and is attended by thousands from across the globe. The weekend, which began as a way to commemorate the legendary aviator’s 100th birthday, kicks off with a country music concert at scenic Warnock Lake and continues with downtown activities and a carnival. The festival’s grand finale is a spectacular “Concert in the Sky” fireworks display and presentation of the $10,000 Pioneering Achievement Award to an individual emulating Earhart’s inimitable pioneering spirit.


Boom Town Historical figures Lewis and Clark, with a brave U.S. Army expedition in tow, camped in the vicinity on July 4, 1804. To celebrate Independence Day the group of explorers set off fireworks from their keelboat and enjoyed a ration of whiskey. Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln’s much-ballyhooed eight-day visit to Kansas in 1859 included 48 hours in Atchison. Lincoln rode in a parade in his honor, spoke at the Methodist Church and visited with townsfolk.

Three months later the politician delivered the famous 7,000-word Cooper Union Speech in New York City—an oration refined during the Kansas trip and one often credited with helping him win the election. Pennsylvania Benedictine monks quietly settled in Atchison in 1858, four years after the town was founded, and a year later opened St. Benedict’s College. In November 1863 seven Benedictine Sisters from Germany arrived to Atchison’s dirt streets with the mission of establishing a school for girls. A month later Mount St. Scholastica College for women opened its doors. The two institutions merged in 1971 to become Benedictine College—an integral part of contemporary Atchison. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, an innovator in intermodal freight service, incorporated in September 1860 in Atchison, heralding the town as a major Kansas commercial center and supplier to the West. Atchison’s sweeping hills dotted with pristine Victorian-era homes built

OPPOSITE A view of Atchison’s historic homes along tree-lined streets. TOP Activities abound in this historic northeast Kansas community. ABOVE The campus of Benedictine College.

june 8-9 Juneteenth Celebration 15 Atchison Garden Tour 21-22 International Forest of Friendship Celebration 30 Amelia Earhart Century Bike Ride

july 19-20 Amelia Earhart Festival


20 Taste of Atchison 22 Kansas City Catfish Midwest Open Championship

october Haunted Atchison Tours 5 Oktoberfest

our town ATCHISON

o fully appreciate how small-butmighty 21st-century Atchison defines its diminutive size, an abbreviated history lesson is in order. Atchison hovers just around 12,000 residents, according to the 2012 Census. But the picturesque town that nestles up against the Missouri River in northeast Kansas boasts colorful chapters of super-sized people, places and industry that marked a burgeoning landscape of prosperity with indelible thumbprints.

Atchison’s festival calendar captures the essence of this vibrant town on the banks of the Missouri River.


7 Sights and Sounds of Christmas 12 Ladies Night Out

kansasmag .com • kansas!


piece of the pie

Virginia and Jerry Kuckelman raised six children in Atchison and owned the town’s best-known family eatery, Jerry’s Restaurant, from 1964 until 1995. Famous for fried chicken, catfish, barbecue ribs and a complete dinner, Jerry’s was a popular gathering place for Atchison Monday through Saturday but never on Sunday. Family was paramount to the Kuckelmans, and the couple ensured the frenzy of the restaurant business didn’t impinge on leisure time.

our town atchison

“It was a matter of principle for us to be closed on Sundays,” says Jerry, who is retired but can be spotted helping daughter Liz and her husband, Terry Wagner, at Jerry’s Again on North 5th Street in the historic Masonic building. “Virginia and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

“Atchison is a terrific place to raise a family and own a business. We were lucky to have our own piece of that pie.” – Jerry Kuckelman

A trademark menu item at Jerry’s Restaurant was Virginia’s pie—a delicious confection that earned her the unofficial moniker “Pie Lady of Atchison.” Liz makes the in-demand pies at Jerry’s Again, sometimes with Virginia’s assistance. Strawberry and coconut crème are the most-requested flavors, and regulars know it’s wise to order a piece of pie before the entrée—otherwise it may be sold out. Liz not only carries on the tradition of her mother’s homemade pie, she is also a visionary like her parents. She and her husband, along with her brother Mike Kuckelman, designed an elegant event and meeting space above the restaurant for weddings, parties and other celebrations.


kansas! •

s u m m e r 2013

by lumber and real estate barons in treelined majestic neighborhoods captivate visitors from near and far. Ghostly happenings and recorded paranormal occurrences have earned Atchison the Sunflower State’s most-haunted town title. If all that history isn’t enough to fill the bottomless well Atchison draws from today to propel and inspire progress, the town also claims Amelia Earhart as its favorite daughter. The spunky and legendary aviatrix was born at her grandparent’s Atchison Gothic Revival home atop a Missouri River bluff in 1897. How serendipitous that Earhart began life perched above her surroundings and went on to stun the world with daring determination and feats high in the clouds.

Reavis grew up in Leavenworth and describes Atchison as “the little town that won’t give up.” Despite setbacks like two devastating flash floods in 1958 that forever altered the face of Atchison and the ebb and flow typical of life in any community, Reavis says the fabric of support and a let’s-do-it commitment continue to fuel its success. “Methodically, year after year, people help improve the city,” says Reavis, whose wife, Sara, is an Atchison native. “The YMCA’s renovation, the restored Santa Fe depot that serves as a Visitor Information Center and Chamber of Commerce and the new state-of-the-art hospital are testaments to dedication in making this a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Homecoming “Everyone always wants to go somewhere else when they grow up in a small community,” says Allen Reavis, former mayor, current city commissioner and a well-respected dentist who opened his practice in 1984. “That’s the way life is. But lots of people stay in Atchison or return because of deep affection for the area.”

Exploration Explore the city on the Atchison Trolley or the RiverCity Coach for an upclose historic tour April through October. Navigate the storied brick sidewalks on foot to view the city’s fabled and opulent Victorian homes and signature architecture. Marvel at beautiful churches, including the state’s oldest, St. Patrick’s,

“Visitors appreciate how we have maintained our history and translated it into modern – Jacque Pregont, language.”

Atchison Chamber of Commerce president


Midland Railway Historical Association

and St. Benedict’s Abbey Church designed in 1957 by architect Barry Byrne, a Frank Lloyd Wright student. Don’t-miss Atchison museums include Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, Atchison County Historical Society Museum, Atchison Rail Museum, Evah C. Cray Historical Home Museum and Muchnic Art Gallery. Stroll the downtown pedestrian mall, part of an ambitious urban renewal project following the 1958 Twin Flash Floods, for an eclectic outdoor shopping adventure. Nell Hill’s is a must-stop that draws shoppers on pilgrimage from across the regionoperates and country to comb well-stocked rooms of a former nd Railway excursion bank building turned retail emporium extraordinaire. Atchia line originally constructed in son native and Nell Hill’s gregarious founder/owner Mary Carol Garrity is a celebrated business owner, nationally recognized in rides feature an over 20lifestyle author, tastemaker and doyenne of interior design and trip from Baldwin City via home accessories. , Kansas” toSavor Ottawa Junction, from-scratch cinnamon rolls and slices of coffee cake or linger over a leisurely aveling through scenic Eastern artisan lunch at quaint Marigold Bakery and Café in the charming historic downtown. Snow Ball rmland and woods via vintage 8th Street Bistro serves sandwiches, salads and espresso drinks, quipment. Midland Railway andThe the Pepper Mill & Co. offers delicious American fare. Barbecue seekers find hearty sustenance at Iron Horse BBQ where etely volunteer-staffed, non-profi t 501c3, common carrier sauces, sides and the ‘cue are classic. perated to preserve and display transportation history as an Warm hospitality is a plentiful commodity in Atchison, al demonstration railroad. us forprolific a train – bring the and people eagerly shareJoin the area’s past,ride beauty and ecotourism found at places like Little Bean Marsh and Benedicily! We are in easy reach of Kansas City, Overland Park, tine Bottoms Wildlife Area. Atchison is a stately town steeped ttawa and Lawrence, Topeka, and nearby communities. in history but rooted in the creative labors of present-day pioNormalneers—and excurions trains June-October every year. a delightful treasure to experience. And following in the footsteps of Atchison’s timeless heroine Amelia Earhart, the city dreams big and often.

1515 W. High Street Baldwin City, KS 66006-0005 Phone (913) 721-1211 Depot (785) 594-6982

Operations Beginning Late 2012!

Overland Park writer Kimberly Winter Stern finds something new to love about Atchison each time she returns to shop and dine, explore the town’s historic sites and magnificent neighborhoods.

For more information on planning a trip to Atchison, visit

Bonner Springs

destinations & attractions

Baldwin City

There is plenty to see and do in Kansas. Be sure to call ahead for complete directions.

Special Events Include; Easter Bunny Train Thomas the Tank Engine Haunted Halloween Train Santa Express

Midland Railway Historical Association Join us for a train ride -bring the whole family! Normal excursions trains June - October every year. Midland 1515 High Railway Street Historical Association 1515 W. High Street BaldwinCity, City,KSKS66006-0005 66006-0005 Baldwin Phone(913) (913)721-1211 721-1211 Phone Depot Depot(785) (785)594-6982 594-6982

The Midland Railway operates excursion trains on a line originally constructed in 1867. Train rides feature an over 20mile round trip from Baldwin City via “Norwood, Kansas” to Ottawa Junction, Kansas, traveling through scenic Eastern Kansas farmland and woods via vintage railway equipment. The Midland Railway is a completely volunteer-staffed, non-profit 501c3, common carrier railroad operated to preserve and display transportation history as an educational demonstration railroad. Join us for a train ride – bring the whole family! We are in easy reach of Kansas City, Overland Park, Olathe, Ottawa and Lawrence, Topeka, and nearby communities. Normal excurions trains June-October every year.

Special Events Include: • Thomas the Tank Engine • Haunted Halloween Train • Santa Express • Easter Bunny Train

Special Events Include; Easter Bunny Train Thomas the Tank Engine Haunted Halloween Train Santa Express

A long running tradition of 24 yeras is coming to Baldwin City, KSOperations

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Virginia Kuckelman, who began Jerry’s Restaurant with her husband, enjoys a piece of homemade pie from Jerry’s Again. Jacque Pregont welcomes visitors to the Atchison Santa Fe Depot Visitors Center & Museum. A plane soars at the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.

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Our Food & Drink expert, Katy Wade, whips up a couple recipes using local ingredients.


here’s an effervescent current running through Kansas these days. After 131 years of temperance-era laws, the 34th state is finally enjoying some homemade hooch with two microdistilleries in the works.

The boom for booze is a rising trend as consumers become increasingly interested in tasting an artisan-crafted, locally grown product.

Speak easy Just because Seth Fox came from a long line of illegal bootleggers doesn’t mean he is one. “Nope, I’m totally legal,” he says matterof-factly. Fox, a longtime Atchison resident, admits he learned everything he wanted to know from his North Carolina mountain kin when he first tasted a relative’s moonshine. “This isn’t bad,” the self-proclaimed tinkerer decided. Since Fox already had a knack, as he says, for “building a better mousetrap,” crafting a still was right up his alley. After researching the mechanics, Fox jumped in and built a 5-gallon still just as the state of Kansas was opening the doors to microdistilling ventures. The product he mashed was a smooth, old-fashioned corn liquor. “It was good,” says Fox, acknowledging, “I better build a bigger still.” In 2004 Fox fashioned a 350-gallon stainless-steel beauty from scrap metal he found at junkyards, positioning it in a Quonset hut on his 102-acre farm. An industrial vacuum cleaner morphed into the flake stand tank while milking equipment was repurposed for bottling machines. He wired and welded everything, then programmed all of the electronic equipment. With permits in place the startup took about $50,000. “We were dead broke, but not for long. Our first batches of Most Wanted Vodka sold fast,” he says. Right: Seth Fox of High Plains Distillery doesn’t mind the name bootlegger, but he’ll be the first to reassure you that his operation is totally legal.

“People love High Plains’ Most Wanted Vodka,” says Marshall Rimann of Rimann Liquor in Lenexa. “It’s high-quality, locally produced and has managed to attract a nice following. The Foxes seem to be doing everything right.” Meanwhile, microdistilling throughout the country was on the uptick, and Fox knew all about it. This wasn’t just a hair-brained idea. “I’m glad I jumped in at just at the right time since the business of hand-crafting alcohol from local product was hitting a stride,” he says. According to Pennfield Jensen, American Distilling Institute’s vice president of operations, “In 2003 there were 69 craft or microdistilleries. That number will top 400 by 2015.” As it turned out, Fox and his High Plains Distillery was the first Kansas artisan crafter to legally bottle spirits since 1881, a fact that would make grandpappy and the rest of the Fox clan mighty proud. Assisting Fox in the legacy business is his wife, Dorcie, facility manager; daughter Sierra, accounting/advertising; son Hunter, responsible for marketing, production and compliance, and Hunter’s wife, Amber, is in charge of inventory, process and handling report documentation production. High Plains is now distributed to more than 720 stores throughout Kansas, Illinois, Texas, Montana and South Dakota. Initially Fox didn’t think he’d make more than 10,000 cases a year—a far cry from the 3,000 cases produced at start up in 2005. “We’re selling around 30,000 cases a year of our products that include vodka, gin and whiskey,” he says.

Reunion Tour 2 oz Dark Horse Distillery Rye Whiskey 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur 1/2 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) shaken and strained over the rocks.

The Screen Door 1 oz Most Wanted Gin 1 oz Pimm’s 1/2 oz simple syrup muddle syrup with 3 peach slices, a few mint sprigs, gin, Pimm’s and shake. Serve over ice with a mint garnish.

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Still for hire High Plains also bottles for private labels, something Kathy Kruger and Bill Foster, owners of a microdistillery in St. Louis, appreciate. “We’re grateful that Seth can help us make our ginger spirit, The Big O. It saves us from re-inventing the wheel,” says Kruger. It takes Fox six hours to make one barrel of 120-proof whiskey, but it takes almost as long to explain to someone what’s involved in starting up a small distillery. “There’s lots of homework in this business. You have to look behind the green curtain—I’m not the Wizard of Oz, but I can say we’ve done it right,” says Fox.

Horse race Like High Plains, Lenexa-based Dark Horse Distillery is also a family affair. Less than 2 years old, Dark Horse is housed in a 26,500-square-foot space that looks like half-highfalutin chemistry lab, half elegantly appointed event space. “That’s the whole idea,” says general manager Eric Garcia. Eric runs the business with the rest of his siblings, Patrick, master distiller; Damien, director of sales and marketing; and youngest, Mary, public relations and special events manager. “We want to make this a high-quality business that’s not only a legacy for us but for the community,” says Eric. Family friend, scientist and veterinarian Kris Hennessy, already a successful businesswoman, wanted to diversify and decided to invest time, energy and money in the Garcias. “I love starting new businesses and really wanted to start a family business with the Garcias,” she says. Though each of the siblings would bring a broad skill set into the fledgling startup, Hennessy was the real impetus. “She’s really been our mentor teaching us how to run a business. We adopted her,” says Mary. Many late-night conversations led to the decision to distill small batches of hand-crafted spirits, starting with Long Shot White Whiskey and Rider Vodka.


“We ordered our 500 gallon Vendome copper still, installed 10 fermentation tanks, purchased oak barrels from Lebanon, Missouri, and Minnesota, then hired our crew,” says Patrick. And there was another angel along the way. A distilling consultant was enlisted to guide the family. “We enlisted a veteran master distiller to help us with equipment, layout, recipes and training,” says Patrick. Because the Garcias are using smaller barrels to age their spirits, the aging process has been accelerated without hampering the quality. Rider Vodka and Long Shot White Whiskey are on the shelves and already earning kudos. Currently, Dark Horse is distributed through bars, grocery and liquor stores selling at $16-$20 a bottle. Ryan Maybee, co-owner of Manifesto and the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange in Kansas City, Missouri, is a fan. “The Garcias have taken great care with no shortcuts. That’s why we’re using both their whiskey and vodka,” he says. The distillery space, part handsomely designed for special events, is also a key to marketing. “Our distillery was built with the intention for people to enjoy the space, which allows for weddings, corporate retreats and special events to be held here,” says Hennessy. Eric adds that every part of the business is hands-on. “We’re learning along the way, and I would say it’s a labor of love. We want to introduce everyone to our small-batch, hand-crafted product. Someday we may broaden our reach to distribute farther, but right now we’re staying local,” he says. “We’re combining practicality, a smart, good-looking operation with a quality product,” says Hennessy. “Distilling is a craft, and I’m learning right along with them.” Generally speaking, Overland Park writer, Gloria Gale’s demeanor is neither shaken nor stirred.

The Garcias began from the ground up, renovating the building that Hennessy owned into a distillery in September 2010.


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The team behind Dark Horse Distillery spans the generations and the fortes for a favorable lineup of whiskeys.

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Bridging the Border with History Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area illustrates sites, resources and stories leading up to the Civil War


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Re-enactors set the scene for visitors who have traveled to see the Battle of Black Jack.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, spanning Kansas and Missouri, has become a popular destination for historians of the Civil War. Various events and attractions share stories from the era and educate visitors of actual events and occurrences in the Bleeding Kansas era.

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PHOTOGRAPHS Clockwise from left: Jason Dailey, courtesy of the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau.


McPike says there were many clashing viewpoints over he Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, a slavery and African-Americans that ranged from abolition collection of hundreds of museums and historical and acceptance of enslaved people as full American citizens sites in 29 eastern Kansas and 12 western Missouri to the preservation of an economic system that held slaves counties, sheds light on the original border war between as property. In between were a myriad of beliefs and ideas, Kansas and Missouri—a series of bloody battles fought including proposals to compensate slaveowners for the loss over the issue of slavery and freedom in the 1850s. This of their slaves and plans to exclude free African-Americans violent period in Kansas’ history—which is often referred from Kansas. to as the Bleeding Kansas conflict—is significant not only Kansans who take pride in their state’s anti-slavery because it was a precursor to the nation’s Civil War but history may have trouble swallowing Missouri’s definition because the nature of the conflict resonates with current of freedom, but McPike says that global struggles for freedom, delving into the stories of Bleeding says Program Coordinator Julie Kansas reveals victims and injustice McPike.  on both sides of the border.  “Things that happened The Heritage Area is For instance, when in 1863 the here are happening all designed as a “connected Union Army issued General Order throughout the world now. story ecosystem.” Number 11, a directive to evacuate Those sort of wars are still four Missouri counties on the going on,” says McPike. “We Kansas Border during the Civil War, are still dealing with what everyone in those Missouri counties, freedom means to us.”  with few exceptions, had to leave their homes. Many of their McPike says that the Heritage Area is designed as a farms were ransacked and burned to the ground.   “connected story ecosystem.” When visitors travel to one of “Many people in Missouri did not own slaves,” says its points of interest, they not only experience the stories of McPike. “But what happened to them in terms of how they that specific site but also discover the interconnectedness got caught in the middle calls into question how we have a of that site with others throughout the region. These civil debate on issues we disagree about without devolving connections ideally spark visitors’ interest in continuing into this sort of violence.”  their exploration of the area.  According to its vision statement, the purpose of Liz Weslander lives in Lawrence where she occasionally likes the Heritage Area is to share authentic and honestly to toast Kansas history with a John Brown Ale from the Free interpreted stories, with the ultimate goal of cultivating a State Brewing Company. mutual respect for multiple views of freedom.   


Freedom’s Frontier

Field Guide

contents Welcome....................................1 Historic Locations..................2 Interview...................................3 Map..............................................4 Current Connections............5 The Making of a National Heritage Area...........................6 cheers.........................................7 Events.........................................8


The Freedom’s Frontier Field Guide Welcome to the KANSAS! magazine’s Freedom’s Frontier Field Guide. Learn about highlighted historic locations, meet John Brown (the re-enactor) and mark your calendar for upcoming events.


Border War Historic Locations in kansas

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Territorial Capital Museum | Lecompton

Linn County Historical Museum | Pleasanton Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site | Fairway Explore the relationship among Native Americans, whites and slaves at this 1839 mission and school.

Eudora Community Museum | Eudora Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park | Wellsville Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm | Olathe Ride into the past at the only open stagecoach stop left on the Santa Fe Trail. Come visit us this summer for some hands-on living history! Dietrich Cabin | Ottawa

Riley County Historical Museum and the Hartford House | Manhattan

The John Brown Museum State Historic Site | Osawatomie

Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie | Wamego

Miami County Historical Museum | Paola Encounter the Border and Civil War exhibit, Native American exhibit and the local history of Miami County. Featured August 28, 2011, in The Kansas

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Trading Post Museum | Pleasanton

Carnegie Building | Lawrence

Franklin County Visitors Center | Ottawa

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Marais des Cygnes Massacre State Historic Site | Pleasanton

Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum | Clinton Explore the abolitionist, Underground Railroad and community history of the Clinton Lake region.

First Territorial Capitol of Kansas State Historic Site | Fort Riley Contemplate the territorial and national conflict over slavery at the first meeting place of the “bogus” legislature.

Wabaunsee County Museum | Wamego

City Star newspaper as one of the top-10 “Treasures of the Civil War” exhibits in the Kansas and Missouri areas.

John and Mary Ritchie House | Topeka

Old Depot Museum | Ottawa

Quindaro Overlook | Kansas City


interview: john brown Kerry Altenbernd did not go looking for the role of John Brown, but now that it’s his, Altenbernd aims to clear up some misconceptions about the fiery abolitionist known nationally for his raid on Harpers Ferry and regionally for the Battle of Black Jack. “A lot of people get into reenacting because they are actors,” says Altenbernd. “But I came at it the other way. John Brown’s story needed to be told—because he is not the person we have been led to believe he is.”  Altenbernd, who works as the librarian at the Douglas County

To learn more about John Brown in Kansas visit John Brown Museum State Historic Site, Osawatomie



Scan this QR code for an interactive map of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

The program has two paid staffers and relies heavily on volunteers who believe in the importance of sharing and understanding the stories of this region. For more information about getting involved with Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, go to


The Civil Wars’ Current Connections Learn how the Civil War was connected to civil rights with an audio tour. “From Brown to Brown: Topeka’s Civil Rights Story” allows visitors to use their own cell phones and smartphones to access audio tour content while browsing the site at their own pace. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site  1515 SE Monroe St., Topeka 


The Making of a National Heritage Area The Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area was granted federal funding after a grass-roots effort worked diligently to obtain the recognition. Efforts started in 2002 when a group of volunteer history buffs banded together with their congressional representatives to find a way to increase awareness of historically significant sites.   In 2006, President George W. Bush signed legislation that designated 29 eastern Kansas and 12 western Missouri counties as a National Heritage Area.  The National Heritage Area designation means that the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area receives federal funding and technical assistance from the National Park Service. The funds must be matched with local and private funding.  



Like our writer, mosey into Bleeding Kansas territory and enjoy a John Brown Ale from Free State Brewing Co. in Lawrence. 8


Kansas Territorial Characters See a re-enactment of an 1850s Territorial Kansas town hall political meeting. Members of the Lecompton Reenactors acting troupe will portray some of the famous and not-so-famous Kansans from the turbulent time period known as Bleeding Kansas. Admission is $3. 2-3:30 p.m., Sunday, May 5 Constitution Hall 319 Elmore St., Lecompton 1863 City Commemoration Join the city of Lawrence at South Park for the sesquicentennial commemoration of Quantrill’s Raid and the events surrounding August 21, 1863. Enjoy a mayoral address and the City Band.  6:30 p.m. Sunday, August 18. Lawrence Commemoration: 150th Anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid Plan to attend this historic reenactment in Lawrence. Wednesday, August 21

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Law Library, says the only image that many people have seen of John Brown is the two-dimensional figure in the John Steuart Curry mural on the wall of the state Capitol. The mural depicts a wild-eyed John Brown holding a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other.    “He was not a lunatic,” says Altenbernd. “He didn’t go around shooting the carpet [baggers].”  Altenbernd volunteers as the on-site tour coordinator for the Black Jack Battlefield National Historical Landmark in Wellsville and regularly plays the part of John Brown at this Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area site, or performances for schools and historical groups.   “Learning history this way brings it to life and makes it interesting,” he says of re-enactors. “I have had a lot of people tell me that they didn’t think they liked history, but they like it this way.”  By performing in a local production and visiting his daughter’s AP American history class. Altenbernd was captured. “It really felt right. So I thought, ‘Why don’t I just go ahead and go whole hog on this?’” he says.   Part of his research was reading Fire from the Midst of You: A Religious Life of John Brown by Louis A. Decaro Jr., which describes events of Brown’s life that demonstrate his actions were based on noble principles.  “When I read it, I felt like I started to get John Brown,” says Altenbernd. “It made me feel a lot better about this person.  He was not out for glory and revenge like he is made out to be.”   The rest, they say, is history. 


Gallery summer’s mystique

Bright sites and cool dark evenings welcome summer


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LET MY SPIRIT CARRY ME Leilani Tuttle, Douglas County (From top)

FRONT ROW SEAT Bill Fales, Sedgwick County I RULE THE HEN HOUSE Jana Carlson, Cloud County

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Did you Know?


GOLDEN BALES Brad Neff, Jackson County (Opposite)

CUTTING WHEAT BY MOONLIGHT Marciana Vequist, Harvey County


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All gallery images are submitted from readers and photographers like you. Whether you have years of experience in landscape photography, or have just taken your first photography class, we want to see your work. Learn more about submissions at

(From top)

TOPEKA HOUSE CHAMBERS Mark Greenburg, Shawnee County COMING OUT Betty Morgan, Sedgwick County (Opposite) SUMMER UNDER THE STARS Scott Bean, Marshall County


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(From top)

FOUR STATE LOOKOUT Harland Schuster, Doniphan County DAM BEAVER Jason Soden, Jefferson County


Send your scenic photos to Gallery, KANSAS!, 1020 S. Kansas Ave., Suite 200, Topeka, KS 66612. Visit for submission guidelines and deadlines.

Cross Crazz

Custom crosses by Diane Created from old rustic barbed wire, baling wire and handpicked stones

Makes Great Gifts!

Call for custom orders or order on line


building blocks Franklin County’s quilt block tour offers artful exploration of rural roots

Photography by Doug Stremel


ust off of Interstate 35 in Wellsville, a large quilt block painting of red apples and citrus-colored borders appears along Tennessee Road. Displayed on a corrugated metal building, the massive wooden block marks the Jarrell property, known for crops of apples, peaches, pears, cherries and apricots. Along gravel-covered Reno Road in nearby Ottawa, additional quilt blocks perch high above on barns and various buildings. A pastel and bright-hued Gloshen quilt block, titled Nosegay, honors the current co-owner’s mother. At the O’Dea property, a star-spangled quilt block decorates a metal shed beside a fenced enclosure where two horses graze. Red, white and blue commemorate four generations that have served in the military, and a brilliant shamrock recalls their Irish heritage. This is the Franklin County Quilt Block Tour, which features 28 quilt blocks painted on large wood squares, with designs chosen and paid for by area landowners. Chris Campbell, who owns Chris’ Corner Quilt Shop, Ottawa, brought the idea home after visiting a quilt block trail in Oregon. Folks in Franklin County hope their quilt block tour will start a trend throughout Kansas. ABOVE LEFT Mary-Jo Arnold helps paint large-scale quilts for the Franklin County Quilt Block Tour. ABOVE RIGHT Chris Campbell is a founder of the Quilt Block Tour after being inspired by a similar tour in Oregon.

Before joining the ranks of the quilt block trail, Mary-Jo Arnold, Ottawa resident, was a graphic artist for more than 30 years. She worked with Russell Stover Candies and spent 25 years creating circular layouts for the ALCO department store chain.

The nation’s quilt trail movement began in 2001 in Adams County, Ohio. Loosely based on an older trend of painting mail pouch tobacco signs on buildings, the American Quilt Trail Movement has since been christened the nation’s largest grass-roots rural art project. Today, more than 30 states host organized quilt block projects that feature paintings on barns. Franklin County’s quilt block tour began in 2010, under the auspices of the Franklin County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It invites visitors to explore and appreciate the farming tradition and topography of this rural area while viewing one-of-a-kind art. Hundreds of people have already visited the trail, some from as far away as Wichita. Local graphic designer and artist Mary-Jo Arnold, along with project founder Chris Campbell, paint the larger-than-life quilt blocks. Each block half measures 4-feet-by-8-feet, creating 8-foot squares when installed. Campbell typically paints large graphics on the quilt blocks, and Arnold completes more detailed design work. Reita and Jack Olberding’s quilt block was installed at their home in Princeton after she chose a star quilt block pattern because she has always loved them in quilts. “I’ve been a quilter for so many years, and I thought this would be a nice thing to do,” says Reita, whose husband’s family has owned their property since 1893. “We’re four miles from Highway 59, and we’ve had busloads go by here.” From one woman’s inspiration has emerged a beautiful and unusual way to appreciate Franklin County’s rich rural heritage.

In her spare time, she belonged to the quilt club with Chris Campbell.

Kansas City writer Lisa Waterman Gray has been inspired to possibly sew her own quilt after writing this story.

Local Artist Lends a Hand

Arnold made her first quilt in the 1970s but has been particularly active in quilt making and restoring quilts from her grandmother during the last four years. Campbell and Arnold create quilt block patterns for Franklin County landowners participating in the Quilt Block Tour. “I get to use my creativity in quilting, but in a different way—and the quilt blocks are really fun to look at when you go down the road,” says Arnold. Straight edges and rulers help create perfectly straight lines, then Arnold draws intricate design components with a small artist’s brush. Each block takes “between four and 24 hours of my time, because Chris spends time priming them and draws out the geometric parts and paints what she can,” she says. “Sometimes I have free-handed, especially if the designs are really simple. “I think the tour is something different to do and a nice leisurely drive through the country, too. [The quilt blocks] really decorate the scenery.”


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About the Franklin County Kansas Quilt Block Self-Guided Tour Quilt blocks are found in contiguous towns of Ottawa, Wellsville, Princeton, Williamsburg, Pomona, Lane, Richmond and surrounding rural areas; several that are clearly visible from Interstate 35 have become landmarks for Kansas Citybound travelers. A GPS may not be reliable when following the Quilt Block Tour; maps are available from the Franklin County Convention and Visitors Bureau in Ottawa. The visitor center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

The map also offers fascinating descriptions about how/why property owners chose specific designs for their quilt blocks. Because the quilt blocks are installed on private property, they should only be viewed from the road unless otherwise indicated; use binoculars for better views. Choose a vehicle with good ground clearance. The map indicates whether the road is gravel. Allow five hours and 20 minutes for the entire tour, which encompasses 120 miles.

find out more

Convention & Visitors Bureau There is plenty to see and do in Lindsborg. Be sure to call ahead for complete directions.


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fly over


Two aerial photographers share the joy of capturing Kansas from a bird’s-eye view

When a Dodge City family called Mike Westemeir about the possibility of having him distribute their parents’ ashes over the family farm, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. “It was a touching and moving experience as I met the family at the Dodge City Airport,” says the pilot and photographer. One hour later Westemeir, while flying 1,000 feet above the family farm, released the couple’s ashes while a half-dozen family members observed from the ground. “It was a neat experience I shall never forget,” he says. Westemeir is among a small crowd of professionals who maintain an office in the sky—aerial photographers. As the fascination


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Aviator Charles Lindbergh, who flew across Kansas on numerous occasions, spoke of the tranquility and peace of what he saw below. Perhaps his words were an inspiration to today’s aerial photographers who, daily, fly the friendly skies of the Sunflower State.

and means of taking aerial photography have evolved in Kansas, more entrepreneurs choose to establish businesses and provide such services to others. Commissions might include a big football game, gigantic herds of buffalo feasting on the Kansas prairie, the state’s abundant waterways or an aerial view of cities large and small. For those who grew up on a farm or, perhaps, visited their grandparents’ home in rural America, there is no better way to preserve the memory of that site than an aerial picture showing all the features of the old home place. And for Westemeir—a family’s touching memorial.

P-Tn photography

photograph by jason dailey

Big Sky Country where I maintain a second home to photograph the sheer beauty of Montana’s mountains.

I have special memories of a flight near Lawrence where we photographed combines harvesting and unloading wheat alongside farmers working on tractors and cattle grazing the Kansas prairies. (It was, in its own way, a breathtaking scene to an aerial photographer with 40 years’ experience who has seen it all.)

Forty years ago, Eric Berndt founded P-Tn Photography in Overland Park and has spent the four decades photographing sites both at ground level and in the air. As he suggests, Kansas may not have pretty mountains, but much remains to be seen. “Flat has its own beauty, and in Kansas, there seems to be so much empty space. In flying over these vast areas, one can’t help but appreciate what all is down there,” Berndt says. “On the other hand, the Flint Hills, Kansas’ version of mountains, are smoothrolling, beautiful and seem to go on forever.” Berndt jokingly says that he entered the business as a means of feeding six kids, and he seems proudest of the fact that two of his sons, Travis and Timothy, have joined and run the business. Preferring a helicopter to a single-engine airplane, Berndt is fascinated with zeroing in on a subject barely 200 feet above the ground. “A helicopter allows slower flight movement with less vibration, and it’s easy to snap pictures close to the ground,” he says. While fun, a helicopter comes with some pressure to perform as a photographer. “Helicopters lease for between $350 and $600 per hour as compared to the going rate for a small aircraft, which is $135 to $175 per hour. So, when considering the price of the helicopter, one doesn’t want to do a re-shoot,” he says. With a helicopter, the photographer sits to the left side of the pilot and, by using a seat belt and shoulder harness, can lean out the door. Berndt says he can “breathe lots of fresh air and enjoy the sunshine while surveying and photographing one’s subject below.” His customers reside in a 200-mile radius of metropolitan Kansas City. While in the air, he will take several hundred photos. “An aerial photograph is the only way to obtain a reasonable perception of a campus-sized project,” Berndt says. “One can stand on the ground at any point within the site and have no clue as to what the project looks like as compared to what an aerial photo will produce.” About 75 percent of his company’s orders are for aerial photographs of construction sites, with the remaining fourth comprising a wide range of subjects, including marketing photos and new bridges. Considering the expertise of his trade, Berndt is content to remain here. “We stay in Kansas because our family is here and we love this state and its Midwest values,” he says. “When we are traveling, we are always anxious to return home.”

Kaibren Aero

are to avoid cloudy weather as if it were a curse, given that the best photos are produced on days with abundant Kansas sunshine. As Westemeir zeroes in on his assignment, he finds himself hovering 1,000 to 2,000 feet in the air gazing down on his subject while juggling the dual responsibility of flying an airplane and taking 20-30 photos from all angles. “The trick to good aerial photography is successfully adjusting to the movements and vibrations of a small airplane while shooting a photo,” Westemeir says. His first 10 years in the profession have yielded aerial photographs of everything from water treatment plants to a wide-angled view of the city of Wichita. “There is so much beauty in Kansas, and when flying across the state, one gets a special feeling of solitude knowing that not everyone gets this opportunity,” Westemeir says.

Writer Richard Shank has a lifelong interest in aerial photography. Visitors to his homes in Hutchinson and Saline County will notice aerial photographs of the property prominently displayed.

I would like to photograph ruins of the ancient cities in Bolivia and Peru. I think that the only way to get a good perspective of what exists of those ancient cities would be from the air.

There is a lot of beauty in Kansas, and the most fascinating scene I photographed was the annual burning of the Flint Hills as it is the only place you can fly over and see thousands of acres of grass on fire with clouds of smoke rising into the atmosphere.

photograph by aaron east

At the strike of dawn on most Saturdays, Mike Westemeir packs his Nikon digital camera, then prepares to board a Cessna 150 single-engine airplane for a flight across south central Kansas. Westemeir, who grew up with a fascination of flying and photography, is doing both in an avocation-turned-business venture. Twelve years ago he took his first aerial pictures at the request of friends and two years later established a part-time business, Kaibren Aero. He soon found there was a demand for his services. “Businesses contacted me for progress photos of construction sites and then, as new football fields were constructed, local schools ordered aerial shots of the stadiums,” Westemeir says. “For certain, there is no better way to see a 50-yard line logo in a football field than from the air.” Standard operating procedures for all aerial photographers

Taste of Kansas

Flush Picnic Where tradition, fellowship and flavors are alive and well Photography by Cathy Mores


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A line forms for the popular Flush Picnic in Flush, Kansas. Musicians will entertain the crowd as they wait to enter Parish Hall where the meal is served.

flush picnic

recipes J e r r y Eb e r t ’ s Raisin Pie Jerry is an 86-year-old parishioner of St. Joseph, and her pie has graced many a pie table at the picnic.


imaginable kind, all homemade. Many will even appreciate the traditional flavors such as raisin, apricot-peach and pineapple pies. More than 300 pies will be consumed during the event. If that’s not enough to send you home full, fresh tomato slices, pickles, pickled beets, cottage cheese and the Flush Picnic’s famous coleslaw are all served family-style at the tables filling St. Joseph Hall. “Our coleslaw is known as the best around. It’s made from scratch and has been a tradition at the picnic for years. The pies are popular, too. It’s the pie line that always causes congestion because there are so many choices and they all look so good,” says Mary Siderewicz, co-chair of the picnic committee. Food and fellowship The picnic has been feeding hungry attendees since 1934. That’s when the Rev. J.B. Karnowski, St. Joseph’s pastor, decided that with many area farmers and cattlemen experiencing financial troubles, and the church also


Flush Picnic July 31

St. Joseph Catholic Church 8965 Flush Road, St. George (785) 494-8234

Begins at 5 p.m., ends when food is gone or last person is served

Cost for the meal is $8 for adults, $4 for children under 12, and children under 3 eat free. Add livers or gizzards to your meal for $1 for four of either.

• 1 pie shell with top crust • 1 cup raisins • 1 cup water • 1 teaspoon vinegar • ¾ cup sugar • 1 cup sweet cream • Cornstarch for thickening agent Cook raisins in water. Add sugar, cream and vinegar. Thicken with cornstarch. Pour in unbaked pie shell, put top crust on and seal well. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees until done.

Flush Picnic C o l es l aw Serves 1,100 (modestly) Adjust for your crowd!

• ¾ gallon Miracle Whip salad dressing • 6 cups sugar • 2 cups vinegar • 2 tablespoons salt • 2 teaspoons pepper • 1 cup onion flakes (reconstituted) • 1 cup green pepper flakes (reconstituted) • 2 pounds carrots • 25 pounds shredded cabbage Mix together first seven ingredients in a large (5-gallon) bucket. Let stand until sugar is dissolved. Put cabbage and carrots into the bucket. Add dressing proportionately.

Taste of Kansas

ot much is left in Flush, Kansas: The stately St. Joseph Catholic Church, a former school gymturned-community building and a house. But once a year the community is inundated with hungry patrons and those who’ve heard of the town’s famed picnic. The Flush Picnic takes place the last Wednesday in July as an annual fundraiser for the local church. The population of this tiny Kansas community often swells to over a thousand people, and they all arrive hungry. The Flush Picnic is known for its delicious, home-cooked food, which includes one to three pieces of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans (the kind with bits of real ham), fresh rolls and pie—lots and lots of pie. In fact, there are often more than 20 different kinds of pie on tables that stretch nearly the entire length of the building. Volunteers buzz around the tables adding pie as soon as a slice disappears. The lineup includes apple, blueberry, peach, rhubarb, strawberry; creamy custard pies—chocolate, banana cream, lemon— and pies of every

find More recipes online at

kansasmag .com • kansas!


Taste of Kansas

facing dire straits, a picnic might help supplement the parish income and lift spirits at the same time. The annual Flush Picnic was born and originally took place on Labor Day. Father Joseph E. Biehler took over as pastor of the church in 1935 and moved the picnic to the last Wednesday in July. Kathy Plummber, Flush, grew up attending the event, and last year was her 55th picnic. “I’ve come every year. As a kid my favorite things were the games. Now my favorite thing is the food and seeing all the people. It’s just a great time of fun and fellowship,” she says. The games spread out on the lawn between the church and St. Joseph Hall. Kids can enjoy a dunking booth, barrel rides, carnival games, bingo and a basketball-shooting contest, among others. A large tent protects tables filled with homegrown vegetables and homemade baked goods. A country crafts store also offers handmade crafts, and a quilt, made by women of the parish, is raffled the night of the picnic. Helping Hands Everything at the picnic is donated by parishioners. Each family is asked to contribute three pies, 2 pounds of shredded cabbage, a quart each of cottage cheese, pickled beets or sweet pickles, two


kansas! •

s u m m e r 2013

items for the produce and baked goods stand, one or more items for the country crafts sale and $35 toward the purchase of chickens. Planning for the picnic begins in January or February, and with only around 125 families in the parish it takes everyone helping and contributing to make the event a success.

“Our coleslaw is known as the best around. It’s made from scratch and has been a tradition at the picnic for years. The pies are popular, too.” – Mary Siderewicz

The day before the picnic 10 of the parish women clean the chickens. On the day of the picnic, seven frying stations, each with a full-time fryer, are set up in the Family and Consumer Science classroom at Rock Creek High School, about a mile north of the church, where the chickens are prepared. “Last year we also had one man supplying the chicken to the women for breading, two people breading the chicken, two full-time packers once the chicken was fried, numerous other help-

ers and one man transporting the fried chicken to the hall,” Siderewicz says. The picnic is slated to begin at 5 p.m. but by 4:30 a line has usually already formed out the door of the hall. As the evening unfolds that line can grow past the church and the rectory, but that’s no problem for those waiting to get to the food line. This, after all, is also a social event, so many use the time to greet old friends or make some new ones. That is certainly true for Glenna Machin of Wamego. “The picnic always draws a lot of people, some from a long way away, and you get to catch up with many you may not see other than at the picnic,” she says. The meal is served nonstop until they run out of food or the last person has eaten. Although last year was the first time Tom Brown, Manhattan, attended the Flush Picnic, he says he’s looking forward to coming back. “The food is so good. And the pie table calls my name,” he says. Lou Ann Thomas, Belvue freelance writer, would like to apologize for taking so long to choose a slice of blueberry from the pie table. In her defense, they all looked good enough to eat.

Milestone of Kansas the kansas state fair

Buckle up and keep hands, arms and legs inside the ride at all times, because the Kansas State Fair is officially rockin’ at 100 years old! 2013 marks the 100th state fair, featuring the midway, live concerts, competitions and much more. Don’t forget the funnel cakes! As the tagline suggests, it never gets old!

KANSAS galleries There is plenty to see and do in Kansas. Be sure to call ahead for complete directions.

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Summer 2013  

Summer 2013 edition

Summer 2013  

Summer 2013 edition