Page 1












selling salt required dynamic materials. see more on page 22

I 13 miners’ trash revealing in kusm’s new exhibit





E 20 students create qr codes for both museums

Home Loans

Stay At Home.

Personal attention is the key to a successful home purchase. Our experienced, knowledgeable team at The First will help you make wise decisions on how much to borrow, how to structure your loan and how to use existing equity to your advantage. And your home loan will stay at home, serviced right here at The First. When you’re in the market for a move, trust the area’s leading community bank for trusted personal attention throughout the process — and beyond. We’re First for You.

First for You. Our Real Estate team of Cindy Sherraden, Michael Holland and Diane Farney are here to serve your every need. Contact us at 620-694-2239 to learn more today.

Member FDIC




Linda Schmitt, executive director, rchs

Jamin Landavazo, chief curator, rchs

Gayle Ferrell, director of operations, kusm

Tonya Gehring, docent supervisor, kusm

Mike Allen, finance manager, rchs

Dave Unruh, maintenance supervisor, kusm

Lynn Ledeboer, curatorial assistant, rcm

Tina Moore, administrative assistant, rcm

Kourtney Krehbiel, visitor services, kusm

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Michael Armour, president • Charles Studt, treasurer Shannon Holmberg, secretary • Richard Shank, presidentelect • Nan Hawver • Barbara Withrow • John Doswell Tim Davies • Sherry Mundhenke • Patty Foss • Elaine Fallon Billy Klug • Mary Wilson • Conrad Koehler • Myron Marcotte, ex-officio • Lee Spence, ex-officio • Mike Carey, ex-officio

4 the many mines of carey reached into two states

13 miners’ trash is revealing ...see old-time packaging and magazines

14 kusm is five years old! ...thanks to a dedicated staff

17 kusm joins blue star museums admission for military families

18 meet the rchs all-stars ...board and volunteers make it happen

20 quick codes created for museums tech-savvy graber students

22 the marketing of carey salt ...materials become “groovier” & neon

24 save the date for “murder” and more ...don’t miss museums’ special events

26 thanks to new members & donors’re making a difference at rchs

27 fiesta bling & scouts go underground ...there’s something for everyone! on the cover this cover from a promotional brochure selling the virtues of salt from the cote blanche mine in louisiana. “sweet” salt referred to a high degree of purity (sodium chloride) in the salt.

Volume 24, No. 3 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. © 2012 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.


MANY MINES OF CAREY By Myron Marcotte, Mining Supervisor


am sure that if you are a regular reader of Legacy you realize that the Carey Salt Company is the originator of the Kansas Underground Salt Museum’s salt mine in Hutchinson, Kansas. But I bet you didn’t realize that the Hutchinson mine was just the first in the Carey Salt empire. Indeed, there were more mines, four to be exact.


The Hutchinson mine was established in the already well known salt beds in central Kansas. The second mine, also a Carey creation, was located near Winnfield, Louisiana, in a salt dome that had only been firmly established in 1922. The third purchase was an established mine in Lyons, Kansas, located in the same salt bed as the Hutchinson mine. And the fourth mine was the Cote Blanche, Louisiana, mine in the last of the known salt domes along the Gulf Coast. All these mines produced rock salt by the conventional

means of utilizing room and pillar mining in a cut, drill, blast and muck configuration, all of which are fully explained in the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.


But there are significant differences in the beds of salt. The Hutchinson and Lyons beds are exactly the same: a layer of salt laid out in a vast horizontal plane stretching for miles in central Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. This bed of salt was laid down during the Perm-

ian period of the earth as a shallow sea dried and rehydrated over and over again over thousands, if not millions, of years. This layered salt typically runs 95 percent pure sodium chloride with the other five percent being a mixture of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride and potassium chloride with a trace of other evaporates and mud. The salt in the Louisiana mines is of a different nature. Yes, it is still rock salt but it is in the formation of a dome.


A salt dome is different from a salt bed. Domes will form when salt is placed under extreme pressure. This is because salt is plastic – and therefore elastic – and will squeeze under pressure. The dome resembles an inverted droplet of water. It moves up many thousands of feet from deep in the earth. As it moves up, it pushes up oil and natural gas. It is common to find oil operations adjacent to salt domes. Salt domes are found mostly along the Gulf Coast.

(See CAREYS, page 6)

the higher roofs of the cote blanche salt dome in louisiana, page 4, produce a dramatic display of the unique folding patterns of the salt strata. it’s a tall reach, left, for even large equipment when preparing an area for blasting in the cote blanche dome.


employees of the winnfield, La., mine gather for this photo in 1951.

Careys seek additional mine sites (Continued from page 5)

Dome salt is generally purer than bedded salt and can average 97 to 99 percent pure sodium chloride.


As mentioned above, the first of these salt mines was located in Reno County, Kansas, near Hutchinson. This mine was first thought of as early as 1912. In documents still housed in the mine’s “record room,” it was discovered that Emerson Carey had bestowed on his son, Howard J. (not to be confused with his son, “Jake” Carey), the task of creating a mine. But as written in Barbara Ulrich’s book, “The Carey Salt Mine,” times were tough and the risk was too high for Emerson or Howard to start a mine at this early date. But by the “Roaring Twenties,” things were

much better and the Careys chose the Foundation Company of New York to dig the shaft. The Foundation Company was expert at building in watery soil, such as that found in central Kansas aquifers.

governor attends opening of hutch mine

They also chose the Chicago engineering firm, Allen and Garcia Company, to design all aspects of this first mine – from the shaft and mine plan to the bagging line. Even future expansion was included in the plan. Work on the shaft began sometime in mid-1922, and the shaft was sunk


to a depth of 650 feet. Work also began on the mill building and ancillary buildings. The entire mine was completed in July, 1923, and opened with a dedication ceremony whose guests included the governor of Kansas. The Hutchinson mine is still in operation today under the name, Hutchinson Salt Company. It houses not only an active mine but also an underground storage facility, Underground Vaults & Storage, and, of course, the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.


Whether emboldened by the success of the Hutchinson salt mine or the desire to expand their salt empire, the Careys began looking for an additional mine site. In 1929 they formed the Louisiana Development Company that was

jake cameron was serving as superintendent at the winnfield mine when this photo was taken in 1957.

chartered in Winn Parish, Louisiana. The purpose of the company was to develop and construct a working salt mine that the Carey Salt Company would later operate. The Winnfield salt dome was first established as minable in 1922 when oil exploration determined the width and depth of the dome. Again Howard Carey chose the Allen and Garcia Company to engineer the mine. A certified public accountant report, dated December 31, 1931, lists the total development cost for the Winnfield mine as $562,465.06. The shaft was sunk to 838 feet with the mining level at 811 feet.


According to a 1949 thesis by Harriet Cameron on the Winnfield mine’s geology, mine operations started in 1933. She goes on to describe the uses of the salt as being primarily chemical salt, feed stock, meat curing and table salt. The mine ran continuously, earning various awards for safety and efficiency. Then in 1965 a horrendous event suddenly ended the life of the mine. It flooded. A November, 1965 report, “The Winnfield Mine Failure” by S. B. Horrell, vice-president of production for the Carey Salt


For years the mine had experienced brine and carbon dioxide gas issuing from the salt strata. Apparently it was customary for employees to pump water into the hoist bucket about every month or two to dispose of it.


Company, chronicles the events that lead to the failure. On November 5, 1965, men reported seepage in the sump (a water collection area) near the shaft.

It was reported that in the entire month of June, 1965, three skips of water were hoisted to the surface. (A skip is the container used to bring salt to the surface.) That grew to five in July, seven in August, 12 in September, 15 in October, and 44 on November 17. At midnight on November 17, a strange noise was heard by the men handling the water. It was discovered that a large flow of water, estimated at 500 gallons per minute,

(See THE EMPIRE, page 8)

this view of the winnfield exterior was taken in 1959.

A powderman, left, works on top of a wagnermobile as he begins to powder a wall in preparation for blasting at the winnfield mine. (1951 01.69)

this hoist house was still standing in 1966 even after the other topside buildings of the lyons mine had been demolished.

in a bucket when a large timber broke loose. It slid In 1939 the Carey Salt down the rope, struck Company bought the the bucket and dislodged mine located at Lyons, it from its bindings. The Kansas (Rice County) men fell some 400 feet to from the Diamond Crystal their death. On March 12, Company. 1891, the first load of salt The existing mine had was sold to the Morton been in production Salt Company. almost 50 years. The Lyons The shaft for this Salt Mine was mine was sunk tragedy sold to Bevis in 1890 by strikes when Rock Salt of St. the Lyons Salt sinking the lyons Louis in 1894. Company. mine shaft. Under the BeThis is not vis management the same mine the mine was owned by the allowed to sink into current Lyons Salt disrepair. Many accidents Company nor the same were noted and a few men company. lost their lives. In 1918 a The shaft sinking began fire broke out and smoke on May 12, 1890, and was from the fire was drawn sunk to a depth of 1,065 down the shaft. feet. It was an all-timber The live working mules shaft, even through the in the mine suffocated, aquifer. and were later replaced A lodgment station was with a battery locomotive. set at 298 feet down the The Bevis Company was shaft to collect all water reorganized and renamed that ran down the timbers. the Western Salt CompaFour men lost their ny in 1924. Then in 1930 lives in sinking this shaft. the mine was again sold They were riding down


The empire continues to grow (Continued from page 7)

raising poultry, right, was only one venture tried in the lyons mine after it ceased operations in 1948. (15-209159)


was coming from a hole three feet above the floor out of a large pillar only 150 feet from the shaft. Up to this point the source of the water was unknown. It was believed to be from bore holes sunk early in the mine’s history to determine the salt’s purity below the current mining level. By 2 a.m. the water flow was so great it was decided to evacuate all personnel from the mine. By 3 p.m. on November 18, water had risen to 62 feet above the roof of the mine in the shaft. And by 7:30 p.m. November 19, the water had risen to 400 feet above the roof of the mine. That was the end of the Winnfield mine. It never recovered.

in its heyday the diamond crystal mine buildings at lyons, top, were an impressive sight – until they were demolished in 1955. below, an employee stands next to a “gob” wall, created to help with air flow in the lyons mine. (1953 15-66053)

to the Diamond Crystal Company. Diamond Crystal was a large company, and repairs to the mine were readily made and new equipment installed. In 1939 the mine was sold to the Carey Salt Company. With the acquisition of this mine, Carey Salt now had three mines in operation at the same time – Hutchinson, Winnfield and Lyons. Carey operated the mine until October 1, 1948, when operations were shut down. The mine was put on a “stand-by” status with three employees checking the condition of the mine and machinery.


According to an October, 1951, issue of Carey’s Salt & Pep publication, the demand for salt had declined to the point where it was felt that the Hutchinson mine was able to adequately supply all the salt for this area. Carey Salt dismantled the buildings in 1955 but made repairs to the shaft so that the mine itself could be maintained and accessible. In the 1960s many things were tried in the mine to utilize the dark space. A mushroom farm and a chicken ranch were just two of the ventures tried underground. The Atomic Energy Commission ran radioactive waste experiments in the mine in 1964 and 1965.

(See COTE, page 10)


this 1966 aerial view shows the waterways and island on which the cote blanche dome is located. (2001.69_BOX 10)


Cote Blanche added (Continued from page 9)

at right, lyons mine superintendent, roy miller, shows off a car that was driven underground in the mine. the lyons mine experienced large roof sags and floor heaves, bottom right. (15-66053)


In the late 1970s I made many trips to the Lyons mine. I was usually assigned to repair the lodgment pump when it quit discharging water. An old fella named Clarence Bradford (Carey Salt custodian) would monitor the discharge and call us when water quit coming forth. Jesse King and I would go underground and repair the pump which usually was clogged with debris. On occasion we were asked to go down to the mine and check things out. The irregular shape of the pillars and the way that passages seemed to go off without any sense of pattern always amazed me. Carey Salt sold the mine and shaft in the

early 1980s to a company that planned to store low-level radioactive waste there. That never happened, and the shaft was sealed off in the late 1980s.

Acquisition of the Cote Blanche mine, located in Saint Mary’s Parish along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, was the result of a nearly 15-year search by Carey Salt for a new mine location after the Lyons mine closed. During this time, Carey Salt checked out potential mine sites in Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi, West Virginia, North Dakota and Texas before locating the salt dome on Cote Blanche Island, the last salt dome in Louisiana. But it would not be easy pickings. While working underground at the Hutchinson mine, I had

a powderman feeds powder into a cote blanche salt wall in preparation for blasting.

the opportunity to work with Earl Bush. Jake Carey had hand-picked him to be the mine foreman at Cote Blanche. He worked at Cote Blanche from its opening but returned to Hutchinson to be the foreman in the early ‘70s to replace the retiring foreman, Everett Roberts. Earl told me stories of hardship in developing the Cote Blanche Mine. He said they had a lot of engineering problems while sinking the shaft due to water they encountered. The expenses grew and the company was so taxed that it finally had to find a partner to make Cote Blanche work.

Winnfield mine. Land had already been purchased through considerable investment. Then when Winnfield failed the company lost a considerable income. They pressed on with Cote Blanche and brought on a partner, the Monsanto Corporation. Monsanto was a co-owner in the

Cote Blanche mine when the Carey family sold off Carey Salt to the Interpace Corporation in 1969. Carey Salt, at this point a subsidiary of Interpace, completed the entire Cote Blanche project in late 1970 at which time the processing facility opened. Carey did not remain involved for very long as

(See NO GUARANTEES, page 12)

miners load and dump salt in the cote blanche mine, below.


The mine itself began operation around 1965. The processing plant, however, was near New Orleans, about 130 miles from Cote Blanche Island. Salt was typically taken by barge from the mine to the plant. They could do this because the mined salt was extremely pure at 99 percent sodium chloride. Such purity is uncommon in mined salt, and the term “sweet” was used in describing this purity. This term lead the company to incorporate it into its marketing campaign with the catch phrase, “Sweet Salt and Service.” My conclusion is that Cote Blanche was started before the failure of the




earl bush, shown on the cover of the carey salt publication, worked in maintenance at the hutchinson mine until he was hand-picked by jake carey to serve as foreman at cote blanche. he later returned to hutchinson where he remained as mine foreman.

No guarantees SALT & PEP

…was a publication for all the carey mines. it ran continuously from about 1917 to 1961, then for a short time again in 1979. it provides a fascinating look into the carey culture and empire.

(Continued from page 11) they sold their interests in Cote Blanche in 1973. The Louisiana mine and processing plant were not part of the company by the time I started in 1975. As you can see, salt mining is neither a guaranteed enterprise nor an easy one. What if Winnfield had remained open? What if Cote Blanche was easily constructed? Would Carey Salt have continued to grow? Heavy things to ponder, much like salt.

insight, innovation, integrity. . .every day

Harry Dunn

Richard Hunter

History repeats itself



At Martindell Swearer Shaffer Ridenour LLP some things never change…such as our founders’ commitment in 1886 to superb client service, integrity and the highest ethical standards. That legacy has made us who we are today – trusted legal advisors to local, national and international businesses, governmental entities and people in our own community.














service & expertise

service & expertise

service & expertise

service & expertise

service & expertise

service & expertise

service & expertise

service & expertise Hutchinson 20 Compound Drive | 620-662-3331 Kingman 120 East A Avenue | 620-532-5158 Greensburg 15477 US 54 Hwy | 620-723-3478 Cimarron 107 South Main | 620-855-7051

service & expertise

service & expertise 12

Miners’ trash …a glimpse into their lives

By Jamin Landavazo, Chief Curator


ove Nest candy bars, Producers Dairy milk, and Bartlett’s New Method potato chips. You may not find any of these items on today’s grocery shelves, but you can see them in a new blast-from-the-past exhibit at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum! The motto, “What goes in the mine stays in the mine,” is true for more than just mining machinery. The trash that individual miners brought with them – such as lunches, snacks, break-time reading material and more – has collected in the abandoned break rooms of the past. With the opening of this newest display, visitors can catch a small glimpse of what miners’ lives were like decades ago. The trash in this display case was recovered from an area mined in the 1950s. It reflects the time period when candy bars cost a nickel, soda pop came in glass bottles, and potato chips were sealed in wax paper bags. Many of the items and brands featured in the exhibit have long since come and gone. Others, such as Fritos, Coca-Cola and Twinkies, are still com-


mon although packaging may look significantly different. With the preservative properties of salt plus temperature and humidity conditions in the mine, sometimes more than just wrappers were preserved.


Visitors looking hard may be able to find peanut shells, an orange peel or even a chicken bone! Magazines, calendars and mining equipment manuals found among the trash pile shed light on how miners passed the time. Collier’s, the American Legion magazine, the

Mining Congress journal, even Cosmopolitan, make appearances as does a cover from the men’s magazine, Argosy. Tobacco chew tins and cigarette packages feature various brands, but it is easy to see that Lucky Strike was the most popular. A handful of crumpled cone-shaped water cups represent the thousands that litter the mine in many areas. Boxes for light bulbs and various machine parts indicate that break rooms also served as central depots for supplies.

a love nest candy bar wrapper takes center stage in this display that is just a sneak peak at a larger exhibit, “a miner’s life,” soon to be added to the current kusm exhibit gallery. it will highlight the miners’ personal stories, their motivations and experiences, and provide a glimpse into their hobbies and relationships. the exhibit will be developed in stages, so be sure to check back for new additions along the way!


…thanks to a great staff

By Gayle Ferrell, KUSM Director of Operations

kusm management staff are, from left, back row: gaylon green, jay brown, mike allen, jamin landavazo, chrisi fuhrman; front: dave unruh, linda schmitt, gayle ferrell, tonya gehring.


KUSM IS FIVE YEARS OLD!!!! Working on this timeline for the Birthday Bash was a reaffirmation that we have come a looooooooong way! Of course not all the highlights in our history could be included. That timeline would wrap around an entire room! Two separate blocks of time that are equally

fascinating and inspiring seemed to emerge: the seven years preparing to open, and the five years to keep us open. Different challenges and different work, but both equally worthy of respect and admiration for those who made it possible. A Legacy article published a year ago highlighted major accomplishments in our first four

years of business. The excitement I felt over each milestone (or baby step) washed over me again as I glanced down the page. Three words summed it all up – passion, staff and pride. I clearly remember the moment I fell in love with the mine. I had never been underground here, and endured 40 hours of

(See OUR PASSION, page 16)


Our passion...our work (Continued from page 14)

this eye-catching design, below, served as the cover for the timeline brochure created for kusm’s fifth birthday celebration. see the timeline on page 17.

mine safety training in a hot and humid conference room before donning my new blue volunteer hard hat and stepping onto the hoist for the descent. Let’s just say that when I stepped off underground, I felt clear to my toes that this is where I should be. It’s been five years and 10 months since that day, and I still feel that same thrill to go underground. I still feel that there is nowhere else I would rather be. And I believe that this is where I was meant to be.

There are several other staff members who have been here for the entire wild ride – Tonya Gehring, Dave Unruh, Jay Brown, Gaylon Green and Linda Schmitt.


They also became managers and were joined by others who have that same passion for this place. THAT is what enabled KUSM to survive. THAT is what made us successful. And THEY are why I look forward to every day.

We are a family. Adversity makes us stronger and good times make it worthwhile.


So much sweat, so many tears, and, yes, even a fair amount of blood has been shed to achieve the milestones we proclaim. Not nearly enough recognition is given to those who do the work. Although I attempt to pat others on the back as often as possible, there are no words to express how proud I am of the team, the museum ambiance that has changed from industrial to soothing, and the addition of the train ride and underground restroom complex.


The hours are long and numerous and often exhausting, and yet it is our passion, our “work family,” and our pride in succeeding, in spite of the challenges, that bring us here day after day and year after year. I still can’t say it any better than I did more than two-and-a-half years ago: “I still consider it a privilege to be able to descend 650 feet underground every day and stand among salt walls and pillars that refresh my soul and refill my tank. No matter what challenges I face, that underground world remains my inspiration, my refuge and my passion.”


This timeline was created to celebrate ďŹ ve years of KUSM achievements and milestones. It was distributed at the birthday party April 30 at the museum.

The Kansas Underground Salt Museum has joined with 1,500 other museums across the country to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. KUSM is now part of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and the museums. Leadership support has been provided by the MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. See all participating museums at Contact 620-662-1425 or 866-755-3450 for details.









Board, supporters have been


have been at RCHS for more than five years, and what a crazy, yet gratifying ride it’s been. There have been challenges galore but it’s all been worth it. There are those of us Linda Schmitt who provide the public Executive Director, face of the museums and Reno County we often get the credit and Historical recognition. The truth is Society that growing and ing the museums would be impossible without volunteer board members working tirelessly behind the scenes: making tough decisions, raising money, providing support, spending hours of volunteer time and, yes, donating blood, sweat and tears. Here are some of my top picks for Super Board! The Management Committee was formed in 2006 to pull KUSM back from the brink. Bruce Buchanan, Cynda Wright and Kim Moore met for hours each week for months to figure out how to overcome budget and design challenges. With the help of Frank Alexander, Project Manager, solutions were hashed

out and KUSM rose from the ashes. Jerry Wray is the best friend and honorary staff member of both KUSM and RCM. He is not only our best advisor when it comes to construction and repair, but he also regularly rolls up his sleeves and digs in. Jerry was instrumental in both the

raisers extraordinaire. They have spent hours planning and staffing events, hand-addressing envelopes, working on databases, and contributing their own resources to both museums. I have been so fortunate to have had all three of them serve as fundraising chair while at RCHS.

long-time rchs friends jerry wray, left, and jim gruver man the grill during rcm’s 2009 auction.

Salt Mine Express and underground bathroom projects. He is also always the first one on the scene when there is a water leak or if a creative idea is needed at either museum. Patty Foss, Sherry Mundhenke and Shannon Holmberg are fund-


Board Treasurer Charles Studt has had a big job and has performed it tirelessly over the last five years. With his help and wisdom, the museum’s finances are not only on solid ground but are transparent and understandable.








invaluable to RCHS success Lois Schlickau hasn’t been an actual board member for at least six years, but she is always willing to give her time and talent to the museums. She not only serves on the collections and fundraising committees but also generously contributes the best-baked goods in the world to our events. Barbara Withrow first came on the board to finish out the term of a resigning member. She then came back to serve two terms of her own. She has been a valuable member of the fundraising and collections committees and always brings a great “joie de vivre” to meetings and events. Lee Spence and Myron Marcotte, ex-officio members of the board, provide support and services to the museums way beyond their roles as Hutchinson Salt and Underground Vaults & Storage representatives. They are always there to volunteer their time, and actively look for ways to enhance the salt museum. We are

so fortunate to have them not only as landlords but also as collaborators and friends. I have been privileged to work with outstanding board presidents who have generously donated their leadership skills to the organization and their wisdom to me. • Cynda Wright: 2006 • Kim Moore: 2007 & 2008 • Patty Foss: 2009 & 2010 • John Doswell: 2011 • Michael Armour: 2012

I have tried to single out board members who have given extraordinary service to RCHS in the past five years.

outstanding board presidents who have

There are many others who have given much more than what has been required. I have had the honor of working alongside them and thank them all for the valuable service that they provide to both museums.

their leadership

generously donated

Linda honored


leged to work with


The Greater Hutchinson Convention/Visitors Bureau recently recognized Reno County Historical Society Executive Director Linda Schmitt during the National Tourism Week Awards Luncheon May 11 underground in the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. Schmitt received the Hospitality Award, presented by CVB Director LeAnn Cox and last year’s recipient, Jill Leslie.

“i have been privi-

The award is given to “a person who contributes to the positive impact of tourism in the Hutchinson/Reno County area.” The framed certificate, which now hangs proudly behind Linda’s desk at KUSM, is a reminder of the payoff for hard work and a welcoming attitude. The RCHS staff and board would like to congratulate Linda and commend her on a job well done!

skills to the organization and their wisdom to me.”

a variety of handheld devices, such as this cell phone, are able to read the qr codes on the bookmarks created by graber elementary school fifth graders.

QUICK! By Jamin Landavazo, Chief Curator

A TRY IT OUT! scan the qr code at right and retrieve information on the reno county museum’s exhibit, “bisonte hotel: the best in the west.” this is one of many qr codes created for both museums by the graber students.


project that blends technology, learning and community involvement while providing benefits to a school and its students may sound too good to be true. But it is! Great things happened when the Reno County Historical Society’s two museums teamed up with students from Graber Elementary School to create Quick Response (QR) codes for museum visitors. (What is a QR code? See page 21.) Graber contacted the Reno County Museum and the Kansas Underground Salt Museum at the end of 2011 to let us know that they had been awarded a technology

grant through the state’s Technology Rich Classroom Program. Through the program,

Graber teachers and students in grades 4, 5 and 6 received technology equipment for use in their classrooms. To fulfill one aspect of the grant, they were asked to provide a community service using the skills they had acquired with their new equipment. They decided that our museums would be a great fit. They proposed using their new equipment to create QR codes for exhibits at each museum as well as other museums and attractions in the area. A fourth grade class was assigned to RCM, and a fifth grade class worked with KUSM. Each class

technology grant facilitator jean rowland speaks to graber fourth graders who participated in the qr code project at the reno county museum.

sent representatives to their respective museum along with Jean Rowland, Technology Grant Facilitator for USD 308. They took pictures and notes about the exhibits, and then wrote informational paragraphs showcasing their knowledge. They wrote about everything from pickle placement and Harvey Girls to the mine hoist and joy loader at KUSM. Each write-up was combined with a photo and code, then printed in bookmark form so that visitors to the museums could take them home as souvenirs. We believe that allowing our visitors at both museums to use technology to interact with our exhibits in this way is an exciting step forward.


It seems our visitors agreed! The first two batches at KUSM flew off the information table, and the RCM bookmarks have also been disappearing quickly. As the busy summer season progresses, they will likely get even more popular! We are already thinking about other ways to integrate QR codes into our exhibits and information at both museums. And, we’re happy that Graber Elementary students chose to share their knowledge with RCHS, our visitors and the community.


What are QR codes? QR codes, which have risen in popularity in the past two years, allow businesses, organizations and individuals to provide a variety of information to others in a small space. The process is fairly simple: an organization comes up with a block of text, contact information, or a website that it would like to share. A software program is used to convert the information to a small square full of black and white spaces. The square resembles a barcode in size and shape, using pixilated dots instead of lines. It works much the same way as a barcode.

After the square is created, it is printed on packaging, signage or anywhere else the target audience might see it. To use the code, a person with a smartphone downloads an application (“app”) that uses the camera in the phone to scan the barcode. The user opens the app, and places the phone’s camera lens over the code. The program automatically scans the code and displays the information embedded in the code. The process also works on the iPod Touch and tablet computers.

students from sharon ensz’s fifth grade class at graber deliver the qr code bookmarks to the kansas underground salt museum.

barges, above, unload salt from carey’s cote blanche mine. (all photos on pages 22 and 23: 1987.61.38, unless otherwise noted.)

(photos on this page are from a cote blanche promotional brochure.)


Selling Carey’s salt


he Carey Salt Company’s expansion into other mine locales precipitated a major change in marketing materials for the company. Images from Carey’s early red-andwhite-themed sales brochure from the

a conveyor belt, right, takes salt from the mine to barges waiting along the mississippigulf and intercoastal waterways. the hoist tower, below, brings salt to the surface.

late 1940s or early 1950s (see next page) highlight Carey’s “...three big plants...” in Hutchinson and Lyons, Kansas, and Winnfield, Louisiana. After Carey’s acquisition of the Cote Blanche Island mine, also in Louisiana, and subsequent purchase of the company by Interpace in 1969, the fonts became “groovier,” the colors more neon, and a more global approach was adopted in marketing materials. Either way, red-and-white or neon, Carey Salt always provided “sweet salt & service.”

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


these photos and illustrations from cote blanche marketing brochures include the map showing locations of the mine and processing plant on the island; a brochure page (1987.61.39), a processing plant diagram, and the mine’s primary crusher.

the centerfold of this “nothing but the truth” promotional brochure points out carey’s three plants in hutchinson, lyons and winnfield.this earlier brochure predates acquisition of the cote blanche mine. (2001.66.01)


check out details below on the two interactive mystery dinner theatre productions coming up – underground, of course. you don’t want to miss a murder – or the end of the world!


 KANSAS UNDERGROUND SALT MUSEUM 9 am–6 pm Tues–Sat 1–6 pm Sunday closed Mondays last tour departs at 4 pm each day. reservations strongly recommended call us or check our website for holiday hours. NEW SALT BLAST PASS our best deal includes gallery tour, dark ride (both handicapped-accessible) and new train ride. adults: $19 seniors (60+) and aaa: $17 children (4-12) & members: $12.50 reno county residents: $14 military: free through labor day 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. 3504 e. avenue g (at airport road) hutchinson, ks 67501

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


“Mayan Madness in the Mine” Friday, December 21 $60 per person / Table of eight: $440 Doors open at 5 p.m. Last trip underground: 6:15 p.m. For details and reservations: 620-662-1425 • 866-755-3450

“Once Upon a Murder” Saturday, August 25 $50 per person / Table of eight: $360 Doors open at 5 p.m. Last trip underground: 6:15 p.m. For details and reservations: 620-662-1425 • 866-755-3450 Find out who will live happily ever after – and who won’t – in this adults-only mystery spoof.



Dates have been set for underground overnights in the salt mine, including those for the new Geology Merit Badge. Details on page 27.

On December 21, the Mayan calendar comes to an end, marking the end of the world. What better place to be than 650 feet underground! Only 200 will survive! (This adults-only event strictly limited to the first 200 paid reservations. Tables must be purchased by one person. Full price charged if one or more cancels. Price includes meal, theater production, access to Gallery and Gift Shop, plus the chance to win survival prizes!)


See this fascinating new display case of items left behind by miners. It’s a preview of the larger Miners’ Break Room exhibit coming later.


Hurry aboard to ride the thrilling new underground train on the original rails and ties used underground.


Salt secrets exposed!


Go interactive and explore the incredible varieties of salt. First hand!


Explore the general history of salt mining in Hutchinson.

THE IODINE DEFICIENCY DISORDER STORY Explore the efforts of Kiwanis International and UNICEF in using salt to combat IDD.



Discover how live bacteria were extracted from ancient Permian salt.


Come see the “Myronmobile,” from TV’s “Dirty Jobs,” filmed in the Hutchinson Salt mine.

THE STORY OF UNDERGROUND VAULTS & STORAGE View costumes and props from your favorite movies.

in the photo below, an excited crowd of more than 40,000 awaited president taft’s appearance at the convention hall cornerstone ceremony in 1911. (0368) at right, see this dynamic oversized billboard advertising lt. charles benter’s visit to convention hall. see these items and more in rcm’s “hail to the hall” exhibit.

RENO COUNTY MUSEUM EXHIBITS HAIL TO THE HALL: 100 YEARS OF CONVENTION HALL This exhibit traces the history of Convention Hall and officially displays the items from the Convention/Memorial Hall 1911 time capsule box.


Visitors have the opportunity to take a long-awaited look at one of Hutchinson’s most beloved memories – the Bisonte Hotel. Experience the elegance and sparkle of the Bisonte in the early 1900s and its change to more modern times.


Don’t miss these temporary exhibits highlighting items unique to small communities in Reno County. Schedule below.

“86.121” Meet past Reno County resident Mildred Hobbs (donor #86.121) through the vast collection of artifacts she and her family generously donated to RCM. Follow the process of donating artifacts.

RENO COUNTY MUSEUM HOURS 9 am–5 pm tues-Fri 11-5 saturday closed sunday and monday free admission unless otherwise noted 100 S. Walnut 620-662-1184


The Reno County Historical Society staff chose their favorite artifacts, most never before on exhibit.


“On the Road” Partridge Library: 23 S. Main St. Mon, Tues, Thurs: 1-6 pm; Friday: 9 am-2 pm 620-567-2467

Nickerson Library: 23 N. Nickerson Tuesday-Thursday: 12-6 pm Friday-Saturday: 9 am-3 pm 620-422-3361


Come enjoy the Schuttler wagon, an Amish buggy, the Indian motorcycle, sidecar and much more in this fascinating look at the past.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL Thursday, July 19 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (...or until the ice cream runs out!) What is summer without ice cream? Come and cool off at the Reno County Museum while you are downtown on July’s Third Thursday.

thanks to harley’s bicycles for its generous donation of the lovely “blue betty” bicycle to the kansas underground salt museum! underground managers will certainly appreciate the added speed and versatility that the bike will provide in the future (not to mention saving wear and tear on sore calf muscles!) shown here with “betty” are, from left, bob updegraff of harley’s; gayle ferrell, kusm director of operations; kourtney krehbiel, visitor services; dave unruh, kusm maintenance. supervisor.

THANKS! our supporters

A big thank you to new and renewing members, March 9 through May.


Darrell & Lori Bryan Heart of Kansas Quilt Guild Wayne & Polly Lowe Karen Orr *Laura Snyder


Norman & Gladys Bos Elwin & Margaret Cabbage Dr. William & Kris Davis John & Jane Eriksen D.R. & Virginia Fesler Ken & Jo Hedrick Kenneth & Barbara Keefer Dallas & Shirley Macklin Dan & Georgia Maxwell Stephen Mills & Denny Vick

William Rexroad Warren Schmitt Barry & Gale Wall Mary Anne Wright *Brenda & Joseph Weber


Martha Fee Tom & Kyle Philbeck Jerry & Joan Wray


Roger & Shirley Fick

Corporate/ Donors’ Circle Downtown Hutchinson Simpson Capital, LLC *New Members ___________ Thank you to everyone who generously donated to the Reno County Historical Society from March through June, 2012. We couldn’t do it without supporters such as you!


• Jane Rogers –lava rock RCM • Norma Cape and Wendy’s – Frosty coupons, RCM • Tyson – hot dogs, RCM • Central States Hydroseal – basement waterproofing, RCM • Chris McCarthy, Sherwin-Williams – paint, RCM • Harley’s Bicycles – bicycle, KUSM

Cinco de Mayo


the history and tradition of local Mexican-American residents. Creative crafters were able to make a variety of bracelets, like the one above, using cut cardboard rolls, aluminum foil and blue paint. The event was “mucho divertido” – very fun!

Participants of the nearby Cinco de Mayo activities in Pyle Park and on Main Street had the opportunity to make their own “turquoise” bracelets at the Reno County Museum. In honor of the May 5 celebration, the bracelet craft reflects

OVERNIGHT & UNDERGROUND Gather the troops and spend the night 650 feet underground. Boy Scouts must be 10-18 years of age. Minimum one adult chaperone for each five scouts, and no more than one adult per four scouts.


The Geology Merit Badge Overnight event for boys is $75 per scout and $60 per chaperone. Fifty to 100 participants required. Troops may combine to reach minimum. Dates: • October 20 • November 3 • January 25 • February 2 Special tours will be conducted for chaperones while scouts are working on their badges.

OVERNIGHT SCOUTING ADVENTURE: • October 13 • November 10 • January 12 • February 16 Cost is $30/person.

Call Tonya Gehring or Kourtney Krehbiel 620-662-1425 • 866-755-3450



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 Summer 2012  

The Journal of the Reno County Historical Society

Legacy Summer 2012  

The Journal of the Reno County Historical Society