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Legacy h

FALL 2013

  T H E   J O U R N A L   O F   T H E   R E N O   C O U N T Y   H I S T O R I C A L   S O C I E T Y

hutchinson’s albright airfield played a major role in early aviation…page 4

I 16 museum’s overflow finds new home





E 19 gear worn by miners on display at strataca


Legacy h


Linda Schmitt, executive director, rchs

Jamin Landavazo, chief curator, rchs

Gayle Ferrell, director of operations, strataca

Tonya Gehring, docent supervisor, strataca

Dave Unruh, maintenance supervisor, strataca

4 albright airport

16 we found space for our overflow

Tina Moore, administrative assistant, rcm

Kourtney Krehbiel, visitor services, strataca

Myron Marcotte, mine specialist, strataca

ON THE COVER an unknown pilot appears ready for take-off in this hutchinson airways corp. plane at albright airfield. (187.164.25)

...thanks to tourism in hutchinson

19 a miner’s gear is showcased

...all part of a miner’s daily life

20 jamin says goodbye

...after nearly five years as chief curator

22 spooks, shopping and “murder”

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Shannon Holmberg, president • Richard Shank, president-elect • Billy Klug, treasurer • Laura Snyder, secretary • Nan Hawver • John Doswell • Tim Davies • Sherry Mundhenke • Michael Armour • Elaine Fallon • Mary Wilson Conrad Koehler • Bill Pfenninger • Lee Spence, ex-officio Mike Carey, ex-officio

...and just in the nick of time

18 star bonds paid off early

Lynn Ledeboer, curatorial assistant, rcm

...playing major role in early aviation

...choose your fun from our packed calendar

24 a million thanks to our supporters collection care fund benefits

Volume 25, No. 4 Legacy is published quarterly by The Reno County Historical Society, Inc. 100 S. Walnut St., P.O. Box 664, Hutchinson, Kansas 67504-0664 For advertising or membership information, call 620-662-1184. © 2013 The Reno County Historical Society, Inc. ISSN 1045-3423 All rights reserved. The RCHS disclaims responsibility for statements of fact or opinion made by contributors.

one aviation mechanic works on the “stanolind” aircraft, and another appears to be talking with an interested observer at the albright airfield. (1987.164.30)

Read more about our author, Phillip Schulz of Stafford, on page 15.

Albright Airfield …serving the flying pioneers By Phillip T. Schulz, Flight Instructor and Airplane Mechanic


couple of years ago I decided to find the exact location of Hutchinson's first airfield. The Albright Airfield and the Albrights served the flying public as well as the citizens of Hutchinson some 15 years from about 1915 through 1930. No problem, I thought, as only 70 years have passed since the closing of the airfield. After visiting several history sources

and asking around about the first airport, much to my surprise, I could find no local information about Hutchinson’s first airfield. Aviators of that period used automobile road maps for navigation as the current system of aeronautical charts didn't come into use until WWII. McNally road maps of the 1920s show a red arrow pointing to the center of Hutchinson as the loca-


tion of an airfield. The lack of much historic data about the airport from the 1920-1935 era is missing or very rare. Most area residents and aviators of that time are gone. Over the years I made many trips to Fairlawn Cemetery, southeast of Hutchinson. When going through the Careyville area, my dad, Ben Schulz, always mentioned, “That farm field over there is

f where I learned to fly in the late 1920s.” Of course, I never asked Dad for the exact location. He was an aviation mechanic and flying student who had attended the Mid-American Air College located on Avenue A in Hutchinson from 1929 to 1931. His flight instructor was Ralph Heimer, an air transport pilot flying for the Air College and Hutchinson Airways Corporation. Dad always talked of the “Albright Airfield” and his lessons in the Spartan C3-120 with the Czech engine and “Frenchie,” the airplane mechanic who worked on the plane. And so my search for the Albright Airfield began. After viewing many rolls of microfilm and numer-

dad always talked of the albright airfield and his lessons in the spartan C3-120 with the czech engine and “frenchie,” the airplane mechanic who worked on the plane. and so my search for the albright airfield began…

ous old maps and aviation collections across the United States, this is what was uncovered about the Albright Airfield.

airfield sported grass runways

The years 1915-16 surface as the most likely time the airfield was opened to the flying public. During that time many towns painted their name on the roof of a large building to inform pilots of their location when flying overhead. Also, all airports


had only grass runways. (The Ford Airport in Dearborn, Mich., had the first paved commercial airfield runway in 1927.) The Department of Commerce “Airway Bulletin,” dated October 9, 1929, lists the Albright Airfield and provides data about the airfield: • Class: Commercial Rating • Owner: Carey Real Estate & Investment Co. • Operator: W. E. Albright • Position: Lat. 38 degrees 04 minutes, Longitude 98 degrees, 00 seconds; Elevation 1,517 feet above sea level • Location: 2.5 miles southeast of the city; east of the Arkansas River • Size: 2,100’ x 1,800’ • Markings: Hangar with HUTCHINSON painted on the roof

(See 100 ACRES, page 6)

excitement is evident as a large crowd gathers around the planes that have landed at the albright airfield during the all-kansas air tour on april 2, 1928. the center plane, which has a white rectangular sign on it, is the “stanolind,” the standard oil tri-motor ford aircraft. upon closer inspection, the sign apparently identified the aircraft and gave the crowd information about the plane. (1987.164.34)


100 acres of runways (Continued from page 5) • Accommodations: service personnel available, no landing fee, overnight storage fee in hangar for $1.00; guard provided • Communications: Telephone and telegraph available; no radio • A 100-foot-diameter circle painted white in the center of the airfield designated the area as a commercial airfield.

unidentified young men stand in front of a plane at albright airfield, circa 1928. (photo courtesy of phillip schulz. 630086)

The landing and takeoff area of the airfield consisted of some 100 acres. Pilots could take off in any direction on the square airfield as formal designated runways were not marked or lighted by runway lights during the airfield’s years of operation. Two runways consisting

of alfalfa and buffalo grass were the most used areas. The north-south runway was 2,100 in length and the east-west was 1,800 feet long. There may have been a house just to the west of the Albright home

mrs. albright key figure in airfield’s development

that limited the use of some 400 feet at the north end. The search for the airfield history turned up many interesting activities and anecdotes that took place on and around the

airfield. One very significant individual in the development of the Albright Airfield was Mrs. W.E. Albright, Emerson Carey’s sister (of the Carey Salt Company). She and her husband farmed Carey land southeast of Hutchinson. A pilot named Mickey Morean came to town with a couple of airplanes belonging to Clarence Barnes of the Barnes Auto Company. The sight of the airman and his big flying machines impressed Mrs. W.E. Albright so much that she wanted Hutchinson to become one of the major air-minded towns in the country. Mrs. Albright suggested to Emerson that part of


the pasture land on his farm be set aside for an airplane landing field. And so a couple of hangars were erected and a gas pump installed with Mrs. Albright in charge of the airport.

THE GREATEST THRILLS “I guess I am the only woman in charge of an airport in the country,” Mrs. Albright once said in speaking of her [aviation] hobby. “Bridge appeals to some but to me the fascination of meeting pilots flying here from coast to coast and from border to border has the greatest thrills.” Many well-known pilots of the 1920s enjoyed stopping at Albright Airfield as they knew there would be a cheerful greeting from Mrs. Albright who was

always on the airfield. The Albright home served as the airfield office. “The telephone at the Albright Field is always available. The big roomy chairs at the Albright home make a mighty easy resting place while waiting for a taxi and there is always a good cold drink to be had,” according to an article in The Hutchinson News. Mrs. Albright knew many notable airmen of the time – probably more than any other person in Hutchinson – such as Art Goebel and Martin Jensen, two of the flyers who made the Dole Race to Hawaii in 1927. “I have always been strong for Hutchinson having an airport and have done my best to develop this side of trans-


portation for the city,” said Mrs. Albright. “I have lived most of my life in this way,” as reported in The Hutchinson News. Mrs. Albright was not the only female enamored with the aviation industry.

ROMANCE BLOSSOMS An air romance started at the Albright Airfield when Willis Kysor landed in an Eaglerock Airplane at the field. Willis was the distributor for Alexander Eaglerock airplanes in the state of Michigan. In 1926 he was on a cross-country flight from the Eaglerock Aircraft factory in Colorado Springs. While in Hutchinson he met Miss Ruth Carey Albright (Mrs. Albright’s daughter) and they later married on September

(See FLYING, page 8)

this unknown pilot stands by a hutchinson airways corp. plane at the albright airfield. (1987.164.24)

Flying honeymoon (Continued from page 7)

above, uniformed men and others mill around the “stanolind” airplane, owned by standard oil co. the very “unmanicured” nature of the grass field is apparent in this photo. (1987.164.26)

27, 1927. The couple left an Eaglerock "Rocket" the Albright Airfield that airplane on the way to afternoon in an Eaglerock Michigan for a short visit Airplane for Niles, Mich. in 1930. Mrs. Kysor became the The Albrights and first bride in Hutchinson Kysors weren’t the only to take an airplane honeyReno Countians whose moon trip. imaginations had been Mr. Kysor taught captured by aviation Ruth to fly. She fever. The arrival soloed an of the All-Kanall-kansas OX-5 Powered sas Air Tour air tour comes Eaglerock at the Albright to airfield after nine Airfield on April in 1928. hours of dual 2, 1928, was a instruction, very big event for a feat witnessed Hutchinson. by her father. Mr. and Eighteen aircraft flying Mrs. Kysor flew into the with the All-Kansas Air Albright Airfield many Tour landed in Hutchintimes after their marson at 11 a.m., flying in riage. Willis went on to from Newton. Hutchinson establish Niles Airways in was the third stop on a Michigan, and later flew tour of 24 Kansas citfor an aerial photography ies. The tour was initicompany. It was reported ated by Kansas Governor that the Kysors landed at Ben Paulen who in 1928 the Albright Airfield flying led other aviators on a


state-wide tour intended to establish and promote aviation in Kansas. The Air Tour members were treated to a luncheon in the large hangar on the Albright Airfield. This flying group consisted of many of the “who’s who” in aviation at that time. Aircraft included the “Stanolind,” a Tri-Motor “Stout-Ford airplane owned by Standard Oil of Indiana, carrying eight passengers and flown by Standard Oil Company’s chief pilot, Perry Hutton.

ILLUSTRIOUS LIST The eight passengers on “Stanolind” were: Gov. Paulen; Alan Jackson, Vice President of Standard Oil of Indiana; C.F. Hatmaker, Assistant Manager of the western division of

dated oct. 9, 1928, this “airway bulletin,” issued by the aeronautics branch of the u.s. dept. of commerce, contains a map and specifications of albright airfield.

Standard Oil; R.S. Ord, Manager of Wichita Standard Division; W.F. Gates, President of Prairie Pipeline Company; Marcellus Murdock, Publisher of Wichita Eagle newspaper; Wilbur Neeley, Vice President of National Aeronautical Society; and tour organizer, Mr. Larabee, Kansas Fish and Game Commissioner. On the Travelair 5000, the sister ship of the Woolaroc, were Walter Beech, President of Travel Air Company; Jack Turner, President of Wichita Flying Club; Mrs. Wilbur Neeley and six-year-old daughter; and the pilot, H.G. Hartnett.

Red Pryor, member of the Wichita Eagle club, flew a Swallow biplane; and S.C. Clinesmith, President of the Larned Chamber of Commerce, flew an American Eagle plane. Other well-known aviators flying the tour were Clyde Cessna, Lloyd Stearman and Charles


Laird of Laird Aircraft of Wichita. The planes flew in groups of three in a “V” formation. The Ryan airplane, a sister of the Spirit of St. Louis, flew with the Air Tour group and landed at the airfield also. The local Hutchinson aircraft flown by George Harte with Hutchinson News reporter Larry Freeman had two forced landings on the flight from Newton to Hutchinson. The group of 18 airplanes then flew on to McPherson and then Salina, where they spent the night. The group arrived at Wichita, their final

(See PLANES, page 10)

eight planes and a truck spread across albright airfield, probably in 1928 when the all-kansas air tour came to town. (1987.164.31)


Planes save the day (Continued from page 9)

a group of men, including kansas governor ben s. paulen (3rd from right), stand in front of the “stanolind” airplane. the man with the cap standing left of paulen may be emerson carey. (photo courtesy of phillip schulz. 630082)

destination, on Saturday afternoon. On a more practical level the Albright Airport provided an invaluable service to the city of Hutchinson and Reno County in the wake of the 1929 flood. The Hutchinson News reported on July 15, 1929: “That very night Cow Creek showed what it could do in the way of staging a real flood. Water covered the county north, south, east and west.

Albright Airfield was high and dry. Airplanes came with newspapers from out of town when the

airplanes came with newspapers when trains were stalled

trains could not get here. Airplanes rose from the Albright Airfield and circled the flood devastated district and brought back

reports of conditions. “Tonight Hutchinson is reading THE NEWS because an airplane could alight on Albright Airfield, pick up the material for pages of The News and fly them to Wichita to be run off the presses of the Wichita Eagle and fly the newspapers back to Hutchinson in time for you to read this story tonight. So the desire of a woman, a Hutchinson resident most of her life, to help to do something for her town, in putting it on the map in aviation circles, benefitted

this 1902 plat map shows the acreage that eventually became albright airfield. the land was purchased by emerson carey from fred walker.

the whole population. The hats of everyone in town should be off to Mrs. W.E. Albright tonight.” In the race to put Hutchinson “…on the map in aviation circles…,” the Cessna brothers were at the forefront, according to a quote from "Cessna, A Master's Expression" by Edward H. Phillips: "…on September 1, 1916 Roy and Clyde Cessna were in Hutchinson preparing Cessna's AnzaniPowered aircraft for a race with the Jones Automobile to the Jones Auto Manufacturing Factory in Wichita from Hutchinson. Clyde Cessna departed exactly at 11:00 A.M. and arrived at the Wichita Jones Auto Factory 35 minutes later. The Jones automobile arrived at the factory 30 minutes later. Clyde Cessna was manufacturing airplanes in one of the Jones Auto Factory Buildings at that time.” No more details of this airplane-versus-automobile race have been found. Clyde and his airplane would have taken off from Albright Airfield during this time. The Albright Airfield

saw the landing wheels of several other aviation stars as well. The famous Woolaroc was a Travel Air 5000 built in Wichita in 1927 to compete in the Dole Race from California to Hawaii (2,437 miles) on August 16-17, 1927.

FAREWELL TO THE WOOLAROC On its farewell tour in 1929, the Woolaroc, flown by Colonel Art Goebel, the pilot on the 1927 Hawaii flight, visited Albright Airfield at 11:05 a.m. on August 5. A large Hutchinson crowd greeted


the Woolaroc and other flyers. Colonel Goebel gave a short address promoting general aviation during their 30 minutes on the airfield. The plane was then flown on to the Woolaroc Ranch Museum near Bartlesville, Okla. Accompanying the Woolaroc on its final tour was a Travel Air 4000 chase plane, flown by H.W. Parker, Chief Pilot for Phillips Petroleum Company. These two Phillips Oil Company aircraft covered some 5,000 miles on this final air tour of the illustrious Woolaroc.

a large hutchinson crowd greeted the renowned “woolaroc” when it stopped at the albright airfield on its final flight in 1929.

(See STUNTS, page 12)

Stunts, ‘chutes & rides (Continued from page 11) AIRFIELD HIGHLIGHTS

a group of men and boys, above, seek shade under the wings of a stinson mid-american college plane, while two men sit on the wings of an adjacent plane on albright field. (photo courtesy of phillip schulz. 630081)

Following is a short timeline of just a few of the highlights of the Albright Airfield’s exciting, swashbuckling, and sometimes dangerous, history: 1926: Air stunts, performed by Jack Harwood, were presented for Hutchinson and Reno County teachers. Warren Anderson of the Interstate Airway Company of Sioux City, Iowa, had two large airplanes available for parachute drops for anyone wanting to jump from a plane. November 1, 1926: A jumper's parachute failed to open, resulting in the loss of his life October 3, 1927: Mr. Wolff dropped six Koyni

typewriters by parachute and used them after they landed. October 27, 1927: Airplane rides were given using three large five-passenger airplanes.

one brave aviator lands in the dark without lights

April 2, 1928: The first All-Kansas Air Tour lands and luncheon is served to Air Tour members. May 1, 1928: Mr. Pieie soloed an airplane at the airfield. June 4, 1928: Mr. Carey extended the airport boundary to the east


property line. August 28, 1928: Glenn Brown, a local jeweler who was a student at the Hutchinson Aviation School, soloed. His instructor was George Harte. June 1929: The second All-Kansas Air Tour visited the airfield. August 6, 1929: Clove Christopher, an aviator from Dodge City, landed at the airfield in the dark the night before without a single light to designate the landing area. He barely missed the hangar. August 1929: The Mid-American Air College, located on Avenue A, advertised that they had based four aircraft, including Spartan Biplane flight training aircraft and a large seven-seat Cabin

this headline in the august 31, 1929 article in the hutchinson news boasted of an expansion of the air college for “fledgling fliers.�

u Class Stinson Detroiter passenger aircraft, at the airfield. Flight instruction was given by the MidAmerican Air College to many student pilots at the airfield.

Maps dated 1918 show the northeast quarter of Section 23-5 (20) as being owned by Emerson Carey (later Carey Real Estate & Investment Co.), home of the Albright Airfield.

In lay terms, the airfield was located on the south side of "G" street and east of William Street. Fairlawn Cemetery is to the northeast of the former airfield

(See ALBRIGHT, page 14)

January 12, 1929: A sister airplane of the Spirit of St. Louis (Ryan Brougham type), piloted by S.L. Willard of the Garland Aircraft Corporation, landed. March 23, 1929: The city of Hutchinson was given the use of the Albright Airfield for one year while the new city airport was being constructed. April 20, 1929: An 18-passenger airplane landed at the airfield. June 1, 1929: Air race airplanes landed. March 30, 1930: Charles Moore flew a Baby Avo Aircaft into Albright Airfield. May 15, 1930: The Hutchinson Glider Club utilized the airfield, and Ralph Miller gave glider demonstrations. August 3, 1930: Pilots from the Mid-American Air College performed aerial stunts and gave rides.

although this is not albright airfield, a white signal like this crushed rock circle would have designated the center of the field.


Albright bows to progress (Continued from page 13)

five unidentified men stand on albright airfield, circa 1928. the man in the center could possibly be emerson carey. (1987.164.32)

with Careyville to the northwest. Mr. Carey had a golf course and nearby Carey Lake, all located on the north side of “G� street between William Street on the east edge of Careyville and Fairlawn Cemetery. Emerson Carey also owned the land on which the current Hutchinson Municipal Airport is located. Opened in the fall

of 1930, the new airport the first crash at the new consisted of a square airport. grass landing area. Aircraft from the MidHard-surface runAmerican Air Colways were added lege were moved airplanes many years from the Alshuffle back later. bright Airfield and forth My dad surto the municibetween vived an airpal airport in airports plane crash at 1930, then back the new Hutchinto the Albright Airson Municipal Airfield when conflicts port in January 1931 in a with the city arose. Spartan C3-120, perhaps

although the albright airfield was destined to be plowed up only one year later, aviation activity was still on the rise as evidenced by this ad for the mid-american air college in the hutchinson news on august 31, 1929.

research department for their help with this project. Karen and the other researchers really got into aviation history and helped me a lot. Also, Mr. Brannan at the Reno County Maps Department provided much help. Thank you to the Reno County Museum for its help and the opportunity to share this research. With the completion of the Hutchinson Municipal Airport, the Albright Airfield was plowed up for crops on Thursday, November 13, 1930.

LAST TAKE-OFF ON PLOWED FIELDS Dad mentioned that after the alfalfa runways had been plowed up at the Albright field, Ralph Heimer flew the Stinson Detroiter out of the Albright Airfield over to the city airport. Thus ended the Albright Airfield’s nearly 15 years of faithful service to the aviation industry and Reno County.

SPECIAL THANKS A special thanks goes out to the ladies of the Hutchinson Public Library

IF YOU HAVE ALBRIGHT STORIES, LET US KNOW! My hope is that folks reading this story will recall stories they have heard about the Albright Airfield over the years. I hope this will add material and possible photos of activity at the airfield to the research library or collections at the Reno County Museum. If you have information, call 620-662-1184.


About the author Phillip Schulz grew up on a farm north of St. John, Kan. As his father, Ben Schulz, was a flyer, Phillip was always interested in aviation. The Schulzes had an airstrip on the farm that served the St. John area for some 20 years. The Santa Fe Depot from Isabel was eventually moved to the farm to be used as an airport office. Phillip’s uncle was a pilot for Krause Plow in the late 1940s and flew the company’s Cessna 195 airplane. The family always had “Flying” magazine around the house so


aviation became Phillip’s game. Phillip soloed in a Cessna 120 from the Stafford airport in November, 1964, and operated an aviation business at the Russell, Kan., airport through 2006. He currently is a flight instructor and airplane mechanic. Phillip has researched and collected material related to the Kansas B-29 airfields (Walker, Great Bend, Pratt and Smoky Hill), and is always glad to visit with anyone about the WWII Army Air Force and Kansas aviation history.


a heavy baptismal font, left. was tricky to move as the top is not permanently secured to the base. fortunately, our movers were up to the task.

New home for overflow A By Jamin Landavazo, RCHS Chief Curator little more than four years ago on a hot day in late July, the staff of the Reno County Museum watched as many of the biggest, heaviest items in our artifact collection were carefully and painstakingly loaded into moving trucks.


a wide variety of items, everything from intricately carved dressers to broom-making equipment, safely made the move to the annex.

Only weeks before, we had recognized the need to remove weight from our second floor storage area sooner rather than later. We had begun the process of identifying those items that should be moved and finding a new home for them. The first part was relatively easy – 1950s-era refrigerators and stoves pack a lot of pounds as do some furniture items and pieces of farm equipment.

The second part – identifying an off-site storage space – was much more difficult. We knew the collection needed to be in a secure area with environmental controls that allowed us to regulate the temperature and humidity. A small space wasn’t going to cut it. We needed about 1,200 square feet, which was a tall order.


Luckily, after weeks of looking, a generous donation of space by Hutchinson Regional Medical Center ensured that these artifacts would have a place to call home – temporarily. What began as a temporary solution to an immediate problem became a four-year quest to find a permanent home for these items, and we are thrilled to announce that quest has now been fulfilled!


The museum board and staff wanted to make sure that we did our due diligence and came up with the best possible solution – both for the off-site items and any we might add to the collection in the future. The truth was that the museum’s storage was very nearly full, and, if we wanted to continue to collect items to represent the history and culture of

u Reno County, we would pleased to find that it met need space with the ponearly all of our needs tential for expansion. without much retrofitting! We looked at a number The wheels were set in of options: established motion, and on August buildings for sale and 21, just 10 days short rent, building of our deadline, we something new watched again new home on the museas the careful um grounds, movers gently found just or elsewhere. transferred the ahead of Yes, we even items that tell deadline looked into the stories of storing the items Reno County and underground at our its people into our sister museum, Strataca, new space. which was not right for a The day was just as hot variety of reasons. as the one in July of 2009, Board members and but our elated smiles at members of the commuthe prospect of having a nity all offered ideas, and we dutifully followed up, made phone calls, toured options, and weighed pros and cons. In the meantime, our original one-year lease was extended by the hospital – not once, not twice, but three times. Finally, they let us know that the space that we were occupying was slated for renovation, and they gave us until the beginning of September to find a new home for the artifacts. At this news, our search kicked into high gear. Numbers were crunched, and no stone was left unturned. We needed a space that we could sustain, and we needed it now! Luckily, at just about that time we were notified of a space that sounded promising. When we checked it out, we were


new permanent place of residence for these items – and those in the future – made this day a victory celebration at the end of a four-year journey. We cannot thank enough our staff, board members and everyone who worked to make this day possible. We look forward to this new chapter for the Reno County Museum!


bulky, heavy farm equipment seems right at home in its new undisclosed storage space. before the move, the floor was covered in neutral plastic to protect the artifacts during storage.


Y Linda Schmitt Executive Director, Reno County Historical Society


...paid off early

es, it’s true! than expected when the The $4.8 million providbonds were assigned. We ed by STAR bonds have believe that this is due to paid off a year early and the more than 350,000 Strataca-Kansas Undervisitors from all over the ground Salt Museum now world who have visited officially belongs to the the salt museum since it Reno County Historical opened May 1, 2007. Society rather than the City of Hutchinson. NEW FACILITIES BUILT Due to sunset in 2014, The $4.8 million rethe bonds were retired ceived through STAR early on September 1. bonds was used to provide Without the granting of infrastructure topside the bonds in the summer and underground, and of 2006, Strataca might equaled about 46 pernot exist today. cent of the $10.5 million What are STAR bonds total cost. The last of the anyway? Well, here goes: bond funds was actually First, Sales Tax spent in 2008 on the Revenue (STAR) topside Visitors’ bonds originated Center. star bonds in Kansas in the help pay for The bonds were tourism-related 1990s as a way received at a time projects to pay for tourin 2006 when the ism-related develproject was flounopments by bonding dering. Due to the against projected sales efforts of Dave Kerr, John tax revenue. Since then, Deardoff, RCHS board the concept has spread to president Cynda Wright Idaho, Illinois and Nevada. and others, the effort was successful. Frank AlexanTOURISTS HELPED der oversaw the actual inThe bonds are considfrastructure construction ered valuable because of the project and worked they’re paid off with sales with many state and local tax revenues generated officials to make sure that within a district surroundeverything regarding the ing each project. In the management of the bonds case of the Underground was carried out properly Salt Museum, the redeveland efficiently. opment district has been “Today about $520 milin the area of 17th Avenue lion in STAR bonds have and Lorraine and includes been issued in Kansas,” many restaurants and said Bob North, the generhotels. al counsel for the Kansas To pay off early, the Department of Commerce, redevelopment district which approves the had to attract more revbonds. enue and more quickly The bottom line is this


– STAR bond initiatives have played a huge role in helping the state of Kansas become a national tourism contender. We are thrilled that seven years ago the state realized that the Kansas Underground Salt Museum would become a major tourist attraction, and that today it can be known as a successful STAR bond project.


(For more information about STAR bonds, go to:

Miners’ gear Be sure to see this newest installment, above, in the Strataca exhibit, “A Miner’s Life!” (See pg 22.) This new addition, “Miners’ Gear: Top Equipment for Underground Work,” is a case displaying clothing and gear worn by Myron Marcotte while working for the Hutchinson Salt Company. It is typical of that worn by a salt miner. The new case features Myron’s Hutchinson Salt Rescue Team jacket, prescription safety glasses, steel-toed tennis shoes, hard hat, and personalized utility belt complete with name plate and the number ‘22’ round brass safety chip that could identify Myron in case of disaster.



Thanks for the memories

… Jamin bids adieu

By Jamin Landavazo, RCHS Chief Curator

T jamin, above, helps direct the extraction of the 1911 time capsule from the cornerstone of convention/memorial hall in 2011. … and, lower right, being chief curator sometimes requires a little elbow grease.

here’s no doubt that I am a good, sound sleeper – always have been. Perhaps too sound! And yet, a few nights in the past four-and-a-half years have found me wide awake as the wind howls and the rain pours down. I’ve worried: Is there water in the basement at the county museum … a leak in the roof over collections storage … did a tree crash into the building leaving untold damage? Most of the time, I would eventually fall asleep, and the next morning all would be right with the world (well, perhaps barring a little water in the basement). But these sleepless nights taught


me a valuable lesson: When you are invested in a place, when you love it – you worry about it.


Now the time has come for me to trade one type of sleepless night for another. I will be leaving my job as Chief Curator for the Reno County Historical Society to embark on the adventure of raising my

first child. It was not a decision my husband Matt and I entered into lightly, and there will be many things I will miss: At the Reno County Museum, it will be watching the seasons change outside my office window in our courtyard and Pyle Park … the satisfaction of a research request answered and a collections mystery cleared up …

the huge chandelier from the old historic bisonte hotel requires hands-on attention from jamin in preparation for an exhibit.

the thrill of speaking with donors about a fabulous artifact with great provenance they want to donate … and the look in the eyes of the kids as they bound up the stairs toward the Oodleplex or play with the whirlygigs and gee-haw whimmydiddles in our toys and games program.


At Strataca, I will miss the thrill of the hunt … climbing aboard a tram or a gator … heading to an unexplored part of the mine and bringing back treasures that miners left behind … listening to visitors reminisce about their trips underground as schoolchildren in the 1950s … and talk of plans for future projects. Mostly, however, I will miss the people: the staff, board and volunteers who put so much of themselves into these museums every day.


I will miss the members who support us with their time and donations, and all the people in the community – and beyond – who make our museums a part of their lives. I will treasure the connections we’ve made and the stories and laughs we’ve shared, and how each of you has contributed to the rich, full history of Reno County, which will continue to be shared for generations.

As I’ve told the staff, these things make it both easier and harder to leave – easier because I know I won’t have to lie awake at night and worry about the museums that are in good, very capable hands, but harder because of the bonds we have forged, and the way that all of you have welcomed me into the community from the very beginning. Thank you for the memories, and for continuing to support our great museums!

jamin packs up boxes of memories from her years at the historical society.





Spooktacular! STRATACA HOURS 9 am–5 pm Tues–Sat 1–5 pm Sunday closed Mondays last tour departs at 3 pm advance reservations strongly recommended allow about two hours for your adventure. HOLIDAY HOURS nov. 28: closed nov. 29: 9 am– 6 pm dec. 23: 9 am– 6 pm dec. 24-25: closed dec. 26-28: 9 am– 6 pm dec. 29: 1–6 pm dec. 31-Jan. 1: closed SALT BLAST PASS our best deal includes gallery tour, dark ride (both handicapped-accessible) and train ride. adults: $19 seniors (60+) and aaa: $17 children (4-12) & members: $12.50 reno county residents: $14 children under 4 not admitted due to mine safety regulations. pricing available to add only dark ride or train ride to gallery admission. all prices include sales tax. special pricing for groups over 28 and school groups with arrangements made one week in advance. 3650 e. avenue g (at airport road) hutchinson, ks 67501

620-662-1425 toll-free 866-755-3450

Join George, Mary and Clarence in this wonderful Christmas classic with a murderous twist!

Doors open at 1 p.m. Sunday, October 27 Must be 18 years of age or older Wear a costume to Strataca and get free admission (rides not included). Hard hat required and provided, so plan masks and wigs accordingly.

Coming “Murder” event: Feb. 22, 2014

Scout Overnights

Shopping in the Mine! 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, December 5 Christmas shoppers can go underground and purchase gifts in our store without paying an admission fee. The galleries and rides will not be open but shoppers will be able to see movie costumes and memorabilia on display.

Murder in the Mine

Interactive Mystery Dinner Theatre “It’s a Wonderful Knife” 6:30 p.m. Friday, December 13 $55 per person / $400 for table of 8 Doors open at 5 p.m. Last trip underground: 6:15 p.m. Must be 18 years old due to adult humor

• November 2: Boy Scout Merit 22 spaces available • November 9: Boy Scout Merit 40 spaces available • November 16: Girl Scouts 100 spaces available • December 7: Boy Scouts 10 spaces available 2014 • January 11: Boy Scout Merit 78 spaces available • January 18: Boy Scouts 82 spaces available • January 25: Boy Scouts 100 spaces available • February 1: Boy Scout Merit 80 spaces available • February 8: Boy Scouts 9 spaces available • February 15: Boy Scouts SOLD OUT • March 1: Girl Scouts 100 spaces available

For details and reservations for all events listed above, call: 620-662-1425 • 866-755-3450

STRATACA ATTRACTIONS The Shaft See this engineering marvel that houses the sixton double-decker hoist that transports visitors 650’ below ground. Stratadome Intriguing and palatial, experience the grandeur of this vaulted salt room. Play in the Permian Playground filled with a variety of hands-on salt. Salt secrets exposed!

Mining Gallery See the Myron-mobile, a post-apocalyptic looking car driven by Mike Rowe, the host of the TV show “Dirty Jobs.” Discover modern day mining practices versus mining in the past. Find out what a day in the life of a miner is really like. Harry’s Habitat (Dr. Vreeland’s Fluid Inclusion Exhibit)


The world’s oldest living organism, nearly 250 million years old and once encapsulated inside a salt crystal, is a resident of Strataca. Learn about its discoverers, Dr. Russell Vreeland and his team. Salt Mine Express This 15-minute train ride is a narrated, guided tour through a part of the mine that was active in the 1940s and ‘50s.


EXHIBITS & EVENTS Reno Countians have been wearing from the mid-1880s through the 1960s.

NOW OPEN RCM on the Road… Comes Home From 2011 to 2012, RCM travelled to 14 Reno County communities to display artifacts from those towns. The exhibits stayed up for six months. Now we are bringing this exhibit back to Hutchinson for all to see. Also we are accepting photographs of current and historical items relating to any of the Reno County cities. We’ll display them along with this exhibit.

Hail to the Hall: 100 Years of Convention Hall This exhibit traces the history of Hutchinson’s historic Convention Hall and officially displays the items from the Convention/Memorial Hall 1911 time capsule box.

Transportation Gallery See the Schuttler wagon, an Amish buggy, the Indian motorcycle, sidecar and much more.

Tough, Rough & Ready: Reno County Tools A-Z This tool-tally awesome exhibit displays an amazing variety of tools that built Reno County from the ground up.


Don’t miss holiday events

Old Fashioned Christmas Cookie Decorating Saturday, December 14 Thursday, December 19 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Our traditional winter … or until the cookies run From rhinestones to fine see these stickpins in reno county’s “jewelry box.” crafts program for ages out! Make ‘em & eat ‘em! gold, see what adornment 4-12. ($1.50 for supplies) A sugary fun holiday time!

A Peek Inside Reno County’s Jewelry Box

see this cool langdon 1920 baseball uniform, left, in the “rcm on the road” exhibit.

RENO COUNTY MUSEUM HOURS 9 am–5 pm tues-Fri 11-5 saturday closed sunday and monday HOLIDAY HOURS nov. 28: closed dec. 24-25: closed dec. 31: close at 3 jan. 1: closed free admission unless otherwise noted 100 S. Walnut 620-662-1184


GE Engine No. 2 One of only three such engines ever built, it is now on display outside of Strataca. Built in 1919,

the train ran along a short railway line from 1928 to 1963 that provided switching services for the Carey plant and mine. The Iodine Deficiency and Disorder Story

Explore the efforts of Kiwanis International and UNICEF in using salt to combat the devastating effects of iodine deficiency.


The Story of Underground Vaults & Storage This exhibit focuses on the one-of-a-kind storage business found 650 feet below ground where you can view costumes and props from your favorite movies. Watch for details on our upcoming Salt Safari Mine Adventure on


The Dark Ride Your personal guide delivers fascinating information on a 30-minute tram ride where you experience true “mining dark” and collect your souvenir piece of salt.

email us snapshots of your community and we will post them along with the “on the road” exhibit. send to:

We’re lucky The Reno County Museum is lucky to have such wonderful members who provide their continuing support for all our endeavors. Our whole-hearted thanks goes out to you! The following joined or renewed between June 26 and September 20:

a variety of archival materials and tools are needed for the collections care fund to preserve and prolong the life of all artifacts.

We couldn’t do it without you


hearty thanks to all these generous supporters of the Reno County Historical Society. We couldn’t do it without you! Ice Cream Social Donations: Dillons: $25 gift card Walmart: $25 gift card Bogey's: Toppings Linda Schmitt

Please contact the museum if you would like to contribute to the Collections Care Fund.


In-kind Donations: Karen Fager: Magnifying light Nancy Webster: Toys for Oodleplex Mae Boggs: Sewing

Collections Care Fund

Caring for collections in the proper manner requires specialized housing materials, inks, gels and “white-glove” care! All that means it costs quite a bit

more than your average photo album or file folder. Our new Collections Care Fund has really taken off thanks to the following donors: John W. and Edith Crutcher Bill & Linda Pfenninger June & Kurt Siegrist Members of the Siegrist family Jim Fouts


Friends Mary Alice Ditgen Lloyd & Ticky McAdams Judith Mielke Mr. & Mrs. J.B. Stuckey Supporters Bob & Sharon DeVault Greg Hoefer Dan & Georgia Maxwell Jack & Jeanette Mull David & Nancy Richman Backers Bill & Kris Davis Jack & Ginger Koelling Virginia Rayl Preservers Merl Sellers Donors’ Circle Bridgman Oil *JNB Trucking, LLC * New member


We’re proud to share our hometown with you. How fortunate we are to live in a community with such diverse and high quality amenities -- including the Reno County Museum and Kansas Underground Salt Museum!

4 Hutchinson locations to serve you



reno county historical society p.o. box 664 hutchinson, kansas 67504-0664

return service requested

If your address changes, please call us at 620-662-1184.

Legacy Fall 2013  

The journal of the Reno County Historical Society. This issue focuses on aviation and Hutchinson's first airport. Chief Curator Jamin Landav...

Legacy Fall 2013  

The journal of the Reno County Historical Society. This issue focuses on aviation and Hutchinson's first airport. Chief Curator Jamin Landav...