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2017 Fall/ Winter


Friends SCHOOL

THE BATTLE FOR ELECTRICITY How one Baker University professor brought electricity to town.



Laid by the world’s fastest bricklayer in 1925, Baldwin’s streets are a testament to history.


Find ways to make movement part of your regular routine. Count steps, take an exercise class, be an active gardener, try yoga or participate in community events such as the Breast Cancer 5K. The Recreation Commission offers a variety of activities for all ages, both physical and social. We are all responsible for our own health. Take advantage of what this community has to offer! We want new people to start joining in on the fun, so we are offering a one time “FREE PASS” (max $20) to any community member who has not yet tried on of the Rec 55+ offerings. Contact Debbie to get on the mailing list of all activities available to those 55 and older and to get signed up for your free activity.





- Dinner Theatres - Winery Tours - Casino - Bingo - Lunch Bunch Trips

- Breast Cancer Walk - Maple Leaf Festival - Maple Leaf Run - Breakfast with Santa - Festival of Lights Parade - LMH Spray Run - Triple Tri Triathlon

- Pinochle - Hand & Foot - Dominoes - Pitch - Luncheons /Special Events - Yoga & Chair Yoga - Martial Arts - Self Defense Class - Pickleball - Racquetball - Slow-pitch Softball - Fitness & Conditioning

YOUTH EXPERIENCES - Soccer - Volleyball - Baseball - Softball - Flag Football - Basketball - Halloween - Martial Arts - Tumbling - Cheerleading - Before and After School Program - Kids Day Out

Follow us on Facebook and sign up for TextCaster on our website to stay informed of Rec activities and notices | 785-594-3670 | 705 High Street Baldwin City, KS


2017 Fall/Winter


Features 20

MORE THAN ART Baldwin’s first community mural paints the story of a town proud of its history and its future.


In Every Issue



How Mark Whaley’s interest in bikes grew from a part-time hobby to “an addiction”

Dear Readers, The manifestation of collective memory lies in the new mural on High Street. You’ve probably driven by it. Maybe you’ve already taken your picture in front of the maple seed wings. Volunteer created, the mural includes symbolism from local folklore and history as well as the stories of the individuals who dedicated their time to paint the mural. I suppose this issue is a reflection on how the past informs the future. How history’s bones can lift us up, make us proud of who we are, prepare us for innovation and help us grow into the future. Baldwin’s history is deep and interesting; it provides strong bones for a strong community. In this issue, new contributor Sarah Baker tells the story of Dr. William Bauer, who wired the city for electricity (thanks to the voting power of the women of Baldwin City) and inspired neighboring communities to do the same. Leigh Anne Bathke shares how Baldwin maintains the legacy of one of the fastest bricklayers in the world by caring for those Baldwin City famous brick roads. And Meagan Young shares her experience working on the new mural and how her perceptions changed through the process of creating public art. Happy reading! K E L LY, E D ITOR


2017 Fall/ Winter


Friends SCHOOL

THE BATTLE FOR ELECTRICITY How one Baker University professor brought electricity to town.



Laid by the world’s fastest bricklayer in 1925, Baldwin’s streets are a testament to history.

Ruth Pohl Hawkins cradles one of her French Angora rabbits. The Little Hawk Farm is just one of the farms near Baldwin that harvests luxury fibers. Photo by Meagan Young.

Baldwin City Living is produced by Sunflower Publishing in cooperation with the City of Baldwin City, Baldwin City USD 348, and the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce.



2017 Fall/Winter





Ad Astra Farm and Little Hawk Farm are two of several luxury fiber farms in the Baldwin area.

How Baker University and Baldwin City went electric

It’s a great place to call


16 10

THE FASTEST BRICKLAYER IN THE WORLD In the early 1900s, James Garfield Brown, known as “Indian Jim,” paved a number of roads in Kansas with bricks. Some of those roads are in Baldwin, and the city continues to maintain them today. The city continues to maintain the roads today.


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Residents remember a special visit from Michael Landon during the filming of Where Pigeons Go to Die.

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Editor: Kelly Gibson Art Director: Jenni Leiste Copy Editor: Leslie Andres Contributing Photographers: Brian Pitts, Susan Pitts, Meagan Young Contributing Writers: Sarah J. Baker, Leigh Anne Bathke, Meagan Young Ad Designers: Jenni Leiste, Amanda Nagengast

“Your home town, home grown agent”

Production Manager: Shelly Bryant All material and photographs copyright Sunflower Publishing, 2017. Baldwin City Living releases twice a year. For editorial queries: Kelly Gibson (785) 832-6342 | For advertising queries: Joanne Morgan (785) 832-7264 |

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2017 Fall/Winter

FROM ALPACAS TO ANGORAS Ad Astra Farm and Little Hawk Farm are two of several luxury fiber farms in the Baldwin area. Story and Photos by Meagan Young


Bob and Claudia Hey, owners of the Ad Astra Farm, name each of the alpacas born on their farm after something from the sky—a constellation, a star, a planet. Their celestial theme is inspired by the farm’s name, which is taken from the state motto, “Ad Astra per Aspera,” meaning “To the Stars through Difficulties.” “We chose to lop off that last part,” Claudia says, “because we didn’t want any of those difficulties.” And difficulties melt away when you meet their friendly, inquisitive alpacas Cassiopeia and Venus. They may even greet you by touching noses. The use of luxury fibers—such as alpaca wool harvested by the Heys or angora raised by Justin and Ruth Pohl Hawkins of Little Hawk Farms—has gained popularity in the fashion industry. Alpaca wool has become a high-end stand-in for cashmere, and is considered more sustainable. Luxury fiber farms can be found across the state, and local providers make it a point to support each other, as well as fiber cooperatives worldwide. In addition to the



2017 Fall/Winter

Fun Fur Facts from Little Hawk Farm • Pygora goats love to eat circus peanuts for their treats—shell and all. • Pygora goats’ fleece doesn’t coarsen with age; it always stays soft. • When Pygora goats give birth to their first kid, it’s known as their “first freshening.” • There are three different classifications of Pygora fleece: Cashmere-like (C), mohair-like (A) and a combination of the two (B). • French Angora rabbits have a 30-day gestation period.

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2017 Fall/Winter


Interesting Facts About Alpacas from the Ad Astra Farm


Alpacas are part of the camel family. (And llamas are, too!)


Lanolin, found in sheep’s wool, is not present in alpaca fleece, which makes it lightweight and luxurious without the itch.


Alpacas are native to South America.


Of all the fleece- or fur-bearing animals, the widest range of natural colors is found in the alpacas.

farm, the Heys run a shop where they sell fair-trade products. This way, visitors can purchase goods created with luxury fibers made locally. And unlike some other livestock farms, at the end of every shearing season, farmers get to keep their herds. Little Hawk Farm, owned by Justin and Ruth Pohl Hawkins, is home to Pygora goats and French Angora rabbits. “It was my desire to have a small farm,” Ruth says, “to raise my own fiber and to teach animal husbandry to my children.” While raising livestock has its

challenges, the goats are easy to handle and full of personality. Unlike alpacas, goats can be used for more than their ultra-fine fleece. They provide milk, which can be used alone or to make soap and cheese. The Ad Astra farm store is open seasonally from October until March every year. Appointments can be made to visit and interact with the alpacas any time by calling (785) 594-6767. If you are interested in meeting the goats and rabbits at Little Hawk Farm, visit to set up an appointment.


The gestation period is around 11.5 months for one “cria”—the term for a baby alpaca.


Alpacas can live anywhere from 18–25 years and tend to have their offspring between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., unlike a vast majority of animals.


The fleece or fiber that alpacas produce each year is very valuable, selling for $2–$5 per ounce.


About 1 in every 25,000 alpaca births is a pair of twins.


Camels are a cousin to the alpaca and are used for a variety of tasks while alpacas are solely raised for their fleece.

10. National Geographic found

a tomb in South America with the decayed remains of Incan royalty, and the alpaca robes were still intact.

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2017 Fall/Winter



In the early 1900s, James Garfield Brown, known as “Indian Jim,” paved a number of roads in Kansas with bricks. Some of those roads are in Baldwin, and the city continues to maintain them today. Story by Leigh Anne Bathke Photos by Pitts Photography

At nearly 100 years old, Baldwin City’s brick streets are still maintained by the city. The streets were laid by James Garfield Brown, who was then the fastest bricklayer in the world.

Quick, name three things Baldwin City is famous for: Baker University? Check. Maple Leaf Festival? Check. Brick streets? Bingo. For almost 100 years, High Street and the streets around Baker University have been paved with red bricks, creating a cobblestone of history throughout downtown. “They’re very distinctive,” says Kathy Gerstner, member of the Baldwin City Council. “You certainly know when you’ve driven from the asphalt to the bricks, especially at night. It’s hard to imagine Baldwin City without the crisscross of red bricks at its heart.” But it wasn’t always that way. Baldwin City’s original streets were dirt—and often mud. Oiled roads came along as traffic moved from horses to horseless carriages. The muddy streets were nearly impassible for early cars and the heavily laden trucks trying to make deliveries downtown. Oiled roads became difficult to maintain as the treated soil hardened and deteriorated under automobile and truck tires. Holes in the road’s surface, called chuck holes, would fill with water after rainstorms, and the streets couldn’t dry out quickly or properly. This made them a significant—and costly— problem.

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2017 Fall/Winter


BRICK STREETS: A Historic Investment in the Town’s Future When the Baldwin City council voted to go with brick streets in 1925, they created a durable link to the future. Brick has proven to be one of the most cost-effective and durable road materials, outlasting streets put in and repaired much more recently. “Sure there are uneven spots on some of the brick streets,” says Glenn Rodden, Baldwin City administrator. “That’s usually where the concrete base is dissolving. But the bricks themselves have a lot of life left in them. And brick streets really are a special part of Baldwin City.” The problem comes when the concrete base is so deteriorated that the streets become hazardous. Then a difficult decision must be made: Cover it or repair it? Blacktop or brick? Baldwin culture or Baldwin budget? “Removing brick, repairing the concrete and laying the brick back is not only time consuming, it’s also very expensive,” Rodden says. “Several of Baldwin’s brick streets now lie under a layer of blacktop because it was just too expensive to fix them. The city has to make responsible financial decisions, but that process becomes difficult when it’s something so much a part of our history.”

bringing Brown bricks as he worked, his fingers Baldwin City Council started to look for and thumbs covered with leather pads. Each solutions in 1925. Mayor Sam Deel and the brick carrier wore leather gloves, which had to council contracted with Cook and Stucker be replaced every two hours as they wore out. Brick Company of Ottawa to pave three and Red row by red row, the brick streets took a half blocks of High Street and five blocks shape, starting at the east end of High Street of Eighth Street. Total cost: $59,537.88. The and moving west. money would cover Bricks were piled grading, gutters, curbing, evenly along the a concrete underlayment street’s shoulders, and a human bricklaying waiting for Brown and machine named Jim his helpers to work Garfield Brown. their way toward the Brown had been stacks. awarded the title “Middle –Glenn Rodden, Baldwin city administrator By the end of 1926, Western Champ” of the red brick streets bricklaying after paving a had flowed around road linking Olathe with the Baker University campus as well as down the highway in 1925. Brown paved more than Ninth Street. Even today, 91 years later, those 416 feet of the 833 foot road with 46,664, or same bricks can still be seen. Although some 218 tons, of bricks. He beat Frank Hoffman, formerly brick streets have been covered with who laid more than 397 feet with 44,889 bricks. asphalt, it is believed that few of the bricks have Nicknamed “Indian Jim” Brown, the member been removed. of the Oneida nation had paved roads across As for Brown, history leaves his story openKansas, often challenging other bricklayers to ended. He worked on brick streets in Pampa, compete against him. Except for Hoffman, his Texas. He was sighted in Oklahoma after a challenges often went unanswered. Kansas City contractor tried to contact him In Baldwin City, Brown averaged four rows for brick work. But after that, nothing. Except across High Street in two minutes and 10 for the brick streets of Baldwin City, where Jim seconds—about two bricks a second. Four men Garfield Brown left a permanent legacy. and six to eight assistants were tasked with

“And brick streets really are a special part of Baldwin City.”

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How Baker University and Baldwin City went electric Story by Sarah J. Baker



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2017 Fall/Winter


Ever since Baldwin City and Baker University were established in 1858, their threads have been intertwined. In the early years, as one grew, so did the other—each benefiting from the other’s presence, pushing each other further into the future. Flash forward nearly half a century, to the dawn of the 20th century. Waves of the Progressive Era were crashing into small Midwestern communities like Baldwin City. Innovation was on the horizon, and Baker University was about to set it in motion.

The Catalyst

A newly hired, smart young Baker University professor arrived in Baldwin City in 1897. He traveled from Cincinnati at the behest of President Lemuel Herbert Murlin (1894–1911) to improve Baker University’s science department. The young professor, Dr. William C. Bauer, was intelligent, charismatic, and up for the challenge. In a letter, he wrote, “When I arrived, the physics department was a dingy room in the basement and the equipment was very poor. To say my heart sank was putting it very mildly.” Despite the conditions of his new department, Bauer did not back down. Instead, he saw an opportunity for innovation. “During the first year, I got tired of smelling the smoky oil lamplights which lighted the hall, so I decided to design a small university light plan,” Bauer wrote. “I told the President it would cost the university only $450 to build it. So, with the aid of a student, I built the plant and had it ready for when the school opened in the fall.” Bauer’s driving reason at that moment was just to remove the foul smell from his work area, but he started something bigger. With Baker University successfully wired for electricity, the surrounding townspeople began to see the benefits of electricity. If Baker could get electricity, why not the whole town? By 1904, the possibility of electricity for the whole town was looking very likely. That year, Bauer helped a


fellow Baker University professor, Dr. Garrett, with the pre-wiring of his new home. Garrett, a new Baker professor, was starting to construct his home in Baldwin City and wanted his house to be ready to accommodate electricity when the time came. Since the building tools at the time called for plaster and lath walls, it would be very difficult to add electrical wiring later. So, with the supervision of Bauer, Garrett pre-wired his home and eagerly awaited the day his home would be powered by electricity.

The Power of the Vote


2017 Fall/Winter

As with any new technology, some people were very enthusiastic to innovate and others were less so. The idea of creating a city-wide electric utility was a polarizing and hot-button topic in 1905 Baldwin City. Those Baldwin City residents in opposition claimed that it would only benefit the wealthy and it would encourage kids to stay out late. Some even went as far as to claim it could lead to people forgetting about God. In a Baldwin Ledger newspaper article in 1905, Bauer was quoted as saying, “It is hardly necessary to argue that we need street lights or not. We need them and we will have them, that is all there is to it! If the city took electricity into their own hands, they will not fall under the big corporations, which are only trying to gain profit. I believe Baldwin City could support an electrical plant and be selfsufficient.” Thinking electricity was just a fad, the declined Bauer’s proposal, so he had to

get creative. He chose to wire the Baker University president’s wife’s sewing machine with electricity. The women of the town flocked to Mrs. Murlin to see just how much electricity simplified the task of sewing. The women bombarded Bauer about the possibility of his making their sewing machines electric as well. With his plan starting to unfurl, he told them their requests would be useless if the city did not have electricity for him to do so. Women in Baldwin City could vote in town elections in 1905, and most voted in favor of electrifying the town. Bauer’s gamble paid off. The city-wide election resulted in the creation of an electric utility. A 1917 dissertation by Frank Howard Allis, from the University of Kansas, reflects on Allis’ pro-electricity stance and community temperament during the election. Allis wrote, “The fight on the electric light bonds was an especially hard one.” He recounted that on the night of the election, some heated words were spoken between those who supported and those who opposed electricity. “It was dark, and some of [the opposition] were carrying lanterns. Just think of it! Lanterns for light on the streets in 1906! ‘Boys,’ spoke up one of our bunch, ‘Are your lanterns for sale?’ They only muttered in reply, and started on inside. ‘Boys, you might as well hunt up an auctioneer now, for your lanterns won’t do you any more good. We’ve beat you—two to one. We’re going to light this town with real light.’”

Allis said his group was starting to fear that things could escalate quickly, so they backed down. Despite the tumultuous emotions of the election, Baldwin City had electricity. Construction of the first power plant began in 1906 at 605 High Street. Plant No. 1, which was designed by Bauer, started producing electricity by February 1907 although the plant did not produce electricity 24 hours a day until 1908. In the meantime, use of electricity was limited to certain –Frank Howard Allis hours. The power plant would have cost approximately $1,200 to build at the time. A second power plant would not be commissioned until 2003. In July 1907, some representatives from Ottawa traveled to Baldwin City to witness the new electric streetlights for themselves. The innovation fever that had infected the Baldwin City and Baker University communities was spreading, and Ottawa made plans to build a power plant of its own. Current Baldwin City residents still feel the effects of William C. Bauer’s lasting contributions to the town. He brought innovation and inspiration to people in the Baldwin City area, the likes of which are still felt today.

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2017 Fall/Winter

WHEN HOLLYWOOD CAME TO BALDWIN CITY It’s not every day a celebrity hits Baldwin City. But what if he not only hits it, he stays for a few weeks and makes a movie that can still be watched almost 30 years later? In October 1989, Michael Landon, of Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza fame, brought Hollywood’s bright lights to Baldwin City when he filmed his television movie Where Pigeons Go to Die. Landon adapted, produced, directed and starred in the movie about a boy, his grandfather and homing pigeons. The


Residents remember a special visit from Michael Landon during the filming of Where Pigeons Go to Die. Story by Leigh Anne Bathke Photo courtesy Leigh Anne Bathke

grandfather was played by Art Carney from The Honeymooners. But he’s not the one teenaged girls were looking for. “I remember driving down to the grain elevator to watch them film. Kids from all over town were riding their bikes there,” says Heather (McCune) Wallsmith, who was 18 at the time. “I had such a huge crush on him. He was Pa from Little House on the Prairie. There wasn’t a girl raised on 1970s television who didn’t fall in love with Charles Ingalls.” Wallsmith says she remembers Landon

handing out money for the soda machine and signing autographs. She still has the dollar bill he signed for her. “I just remember him being so kind,” she says. “He was super nice, everything I wanted Pa to be.” In a press conference before filming began, Landon says he chose Kansas not only for the fall foliage but also because he received prompt and polite answers and assistance from state and city officials. “I’m not sure people realize how important that is,” he told the Lawrence


2017 Fall/Winter


Journal-World. “This is like going to somebody else’s home and being treated graciously.” In the movie, careful viewers can see Baldwin’s grain elevator, the Kissing Bridge, the original junior high school and downtown streets that had been wet down so they would show up better on film. The owner of a local antique store was asked to find appropriate props for filming, including pigeon racing equipment. And the house where the boy’s character lived still stands at the south end of Eighth Street. Before filming began, it was transformed by Hollywood magic inside and out to look like a home from 1948. Libby Walter, then 26, was living across the street from the house. She says she watched them set up the catering tables in the then-empty field next door. “I would go over to watch them film and hang out with the crew,” Walter says. “It was all quiet and low-key. I don’t remember there being a huge hubbub about it, especially because it was on the south end of town. I did take a lot of photos though.” Walter says she remembers Carney’s bus, which he also used as his dressing room. “I was told that Art Carney didn’t do planes, so he would drive to his location shoots,” she says. “I have some great memories in my photos. But mostly I stood around and watched.” One day, while watching the filming, she met Dee Gorman, the mother of Robert Hy Gorman, who played the boy, Hugh, in the movie. “We struck up a conversation and then a friendship,” Walter says. “We kept in touch and I would go visit them when they were filming here in the Midwest. Now we keep in touch on Facebook.” In one special scene toward the middle of the movie, a group of schoolchildren is seen running from doors of the old junior high school on Chapel Street. Two characters split off from the group and head toward the Kissing Bridge, which Hugh later runs across. The children in the background were all local fifth graders, costumed in period wear—from paperboy hats on the boys to dresses below the knee on the girls. Kathy Bourgeois, an elementary school teacher, remembers how excited her daughter, Lauren, was to be in the scene. “It wasn’t a long scene in the movie,” Bourgeois says. “But for Lauren, it was a big adventure. She wore a dress I made her that was black and grey, like Samantha in the American Girl books.” Landon, who directed the scene, was incredibly patient, especially working with non-professional children bursting with excitement about being in a movie. “He was a very kind man to all of us at the school,” says Bourgeois. “He was always gracious, and he loved the kids. He never said a cross word. He really made a lot of special memories for Baldwin City.”

Opposite page: A signed photo of Michael Landon posing for a fan in Baldwin City during his stay while filming Where Pigeons Go to Die, a 1989 TV movie.


2017 Fall/Winter



EVENTS September

[9/28–10/3] BAKER DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC AND THEATER PRESENTS: “THE LOST STORIES OF DR. SEUSS.” Check the Baker University website for show times and ticket prices. music/#events


In support of the Lumberyard Arts Center, Blues & BBQ provides guests with a full barbecue dinner, in addition to a full lineup of bands in the Lotatorium. Donations accepted. Lumberyard Arts Center, 4:30 p.m.–10 p.m.



In honor of breast cancer awareness month, Baldwin City Recreation Commission holds a 3-mile walk/run in which all donations go to the Lawrence Memorial Breast Center and a local person fighting breast cancer. Individual registration is $15 and a family of 4 is $50. For more information, contact Debra McCullough at debra@ Baker Methodist Church, 2 p.m.


Since 1958, the Maple Leaf Festival has been a celebration of fall attended by visitors from near and far. Crafts, train rides, art, music and food provide something for everyone at this two-day event.


Held at Baldwin City Golf Course, this annual event includes a 5k run, 1-mile walk, and 1-mile kids run. For more information, check out Maple Leaf Run on Facebook or email for an event flyer.


Take an 18- or 35-mile ride along gravel roads with some local biking enthusiasts. The ride starts at Antiques on the Prairie (600 High St.) at 10 a.m. After a long day of peddling, cyclists will meet at El Patron (711 High St.) for a margarita. For more information contact Gerard at (785) 691-7099.


[Nov.–Dec.] SANTA CLAUS EXPRESS Take a train ride with Santa this holiday season! The ride features a 22-mile round trip from Baldwin City via Norwood to Ottawa Junction. See website for dates and ride times,


Try your hand at bunko while supporting innovative classroom projects in Baldwin City’s four public schools, helping students from pre-K through 12th grade. For more information, contact Kathy at 785-594-2448. Golf Course Building, 7 p.m.

[9–12] BAKER DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC AND THEATER PRESENTS: RUMORS BY NEIL SIMON A little chaos results in a lot of hilarity in Simon’s first farce, which first appeared on Broadway in 1988. Check the Baker University website for show times and ticket prices. music/#events

[11/25–12/3] HOLIDAY ART-A-FAIR

Need a gift for someone this winter? Check out artists and crafters as they sell unique holiday gifts. Lumberyard Arts Center.



Embrace the holiday spirit with Baldwin City’s annual parade welcoming Santa Claus to town. After the parade, be sure to stop by the Lumberyard Arts Center and take part in the Gingerbread House Party, then enjoy the lighting ceremony that evening. Eighth and High streets. 6 p.m.





Annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers, in its 87th year, is a collaborative effort from the university choirs, bands and orchestras. It is a celebration of the season, replete with traditional carols. There will be two performances, one at 2 p.m. and another at 5 p.m. at Rice Auditorium. Free admission. music/#events


Hosted by the Friends of Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice Club at the USD 348 Performing Arts Center and begins at 1:00 pm. Includes complimentary sweets and beverages, craft making and face painting for children, a holiday selfie station, and a silent auction. A performance of A Maple Leaf Nutcracker will begin at 2 p.m. Free admission, donations welcome. All proceeds benefit the Friends of Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice Club programming and support of academy students.

[20] This free community bicycle ride focuses on area history. Starting at Antiques on the Prairie (600 High St.) at 10 a.m., riders will follow Quantrill’s Trail and the Santa Fe Trail, connecting famous landmarks such as Hickory Point, Dow Cemetery, Signal Oak Lookout, the Battle of Black Jack site and the Brooklyn landmark.



All are welcome! Come take part in the second annual Rainbow Preschool bowling tournament at Royal Crest Lanes in Lawrence. It’s a $10 donation per bowler to register. That includes two games and shoe rental, and you’ll have the opportunity to win prizes. Contact Rainbow Preschool or a Rainbow family to register.

[11] 30th Annual Chocolate Auction

Satisfy your sweet tooth and support the arts! Lumberyard Arts Center’s annual chocolate auction features a live and silent auction full of art and chocolate—perfect for snagging some sugar right before Valentine’s Day! Lumberyard Arts Center.



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more than art Baldwin’s first community mural paints the story of a town proud of its history and its future. Story by Meagan Young | Photos by Pitts Photography

A hundred different stories of the past— from folklore, tall tales and history—informed the process behind the new outdoor mural in Baldwin City. Located next to the fire station just off High Street, the mural is the first of what will be several community mural projects around the city to take place over the next several years. Artist Dave Loewenstein and artist assistant Nicholas Ward taught three mural apprentices, Ella Conover, Alaina Schiffelbein and Meagan Young, all that is required to produce a mural. Jeannette Blackmar, executive director of the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce, headed the coordination and collaboration of this community mural project, which officially began with a community meeting on April 5 at the Lumberyard Arts Center and was completed and presented to the city on June 20. But all told, advanced planning for this project took 18 months—from putting together a comprehensive proposal to hiring an artist and developing a meaningful representation of the Baldwin community.

Designing Baldwin’s Past, Present and Future Located at 608 High Street, the vibrant mural stands out against the neutral tones of the city and embodies the spirit of a community working together and celebrating its history through art. Maple seeds, fountains and dozens of intricate details were made possible by a community grant from the Douglas County Community Foundation, Baldwin City Tourism donations, a façade and mural grant from the City of Baldwin City, and numerous private donations from community members. Additional resources came from USD 348, Baker University and the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce. A group of some 30 volunteers came together as strangers in April and left as good friends by the completion of the mural in June. The community mural project was a chance to come together and create a piece of Baldwin’s history while creating lasting relationships. “Our design team for the mural was made up of people of all ages, and each of those individuals, as one might expect, is experiencing, seeing or remembering the community in equally valid but very different ways,” Ward says.

During the beginning stages of the mural envisioning and design, Loewenstein and Ward shared their own experiences with other communities for which they had created murals. They used video of past mural projects, stories of their own artist experiences and group discussion to kick off the design meetings. Behind every vibrant color and every decision was a team of people from all walks of life—teachers, watercolor painters, therapists, grade-school students and retirees. Design team members contributed in their own ways, whether by drawing, writing, sharing stories, taking photos or setting up scaffolding to paint the wall. The community was invited to participate in both the design and painting process. Design team volunteer Ben Gerrard has been a resident of Baldwin city for two years and leapt at the chance to join the mural initiative. “I still felt pretty removed from the Baldwin community when the opportunity to get involved in the mural design team came up,” Gerrard says. But the opportunity to get involved with his kids in an artistic way was a great chance to create something important for the city and to connect with others. “I not only feel like I have contributed to something that is a part of the downtown Baldwin landscape, [but] I feel an increased sense of community from the team building that took place … [and] from learning more about Baldwin’s identity and history,” Gerrard says.

Giving Baldwin Wings The mural project is a push to increase tourism to Baldwin City and to encourage cultural awareness among city residents as well. “For those who were party to the process, the imagery will carry a different meaning than a passerby or a visitor to the community,” Ward says. While nodding to the past, the team that helped create the mural is shining a light to the future through public art. Beyond providing a static art display, Ward and Loewenstein included an interactive element to the mural. Visitors will find, just under the fountain, a large maple leaf seed that acts as a pair of wings. Positioned just so, passersby can stand in front of the seeds, stretch out their arms, and will appear to have wings.

A Muralist’s Perspective Story by Meagan Young

The process of creating a large piece of art is more than I bargained for. I never thought I’d paint the walls of the very city I’d lived in since the first grade. But it was never about painting walls. It was about people. That’s why I signed up. Building a community is more than choosing colors, deciding layout, coming up with designs. It’s all in the stories. Our stories. History. The community becoming what it is today and will be tomorrow. What you see when you drive by the fire station is a vibrantly painted wall. But what I see is a bunch of different people tearing down their own personal walls, willing to be vulnerable, to disagree, to humble themselves and to move forward. People with a willingness to share their pasts to build their futures. There’s power in a person’s story. It is delicate, but incredible. It can be torn down or built up, heard or hushed by others. A story has the power to change the world. Stories have changed Baldwin City. So look at this mural as a collection of stories, of history paving the way for the future. We can all come together—that is the point—to build a city that welcomes the new without forgetting the old. This is what I signed up for: to be a forwardstepping community member with a paintbrush in one hand and a pencil in the other, to communicate the stories, to paint them and to write them, to bring people together.

Glowing fountain and maple leaf seeds flying. Each maple seed in this area is a pair—one side can’t balance without the other. This is symbolic of how we move together, helping each other.

A slingshot propelling maple seeds into the future. Symbolic of moving forward.

The feather-like structures on either side of the fountain are maple leaf seeds. These seeds frame for the fountain, and each one includes a different piece of our city.

The Santa Fe Railroad. This is a part of our rich history as well as a large part of our economy. The tall tale is that the maple trees came on the train, and that’s how we became famous for them.



The design process. Community members met to share their ideas for the mural.

The base of the fountain and a larger than life version of a pair of maple seeds. Visitors can interact with the mural and open their arms like the maple seeds are a pair of wings. Be sure to have someone take your picture.



Projecting the final design. Loewenstein and volunteers drew, stenciled and outlined the mural onto the wall.



Making a map. Community members created a color plan to ensure the right colors were painted in the right spots.



Painting the mural. Volunteers came to painting sessions to help finish the mural.


“Indian Jim” Brown, the bricklayer, who could lay brick faster than anyone. This story shows the strength of one man behind the streets of our city.

Signal Oak and the lantern. The lantern on top of Signal Oak was a warning signal, but today, it’s a light into the future. The fountain in the middle is a nod to the story of the well that used to be in the middle of the street in downtown Baldwin. It was a place of meeting and of replenishment to press on toward the future, which is why it is incorporated in the center of the mural.

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The finished product. After Loewenstein and Ward completed all of the small details, the mural was presented to the community on Tuesday, June 20.

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Bicycle How Mark Whaley’s interest in bikes grew from a part-time hobby to “an addiction” Story by Sarah J. Baker Photos by Pitts Photography



If you ask any Baldwin City resident about the local bicycle guy, they will point you to Mark Whaley. And if you drive by his home on 11th Street, you likely will see him in his garage working on bicycles. So it’s no surprise that by 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday, Whaley had already fixed three flat tires for people who simply walked up to his garage with a bike. Bicycles from every era are scattered around Whaley’s property; in the front yard propped up by trees, lying in piles, and clustered around crowded bicycles racks in his backyard. Whether shiny, bright and new or wheel-less, bent, and rusty, your ideal bike is bound to be among the collection. Some are fit enough to fully repair, while others are just to be salvaged for spare chains, reflectors, seats and pedals. “They’re everywhere. There’s a barn full, a basement full … it’s kind of overwhelming,” Whaley says, laughing at how out-of-hand his hobby has become. “There are probably easily 150 bikes floating around here.”

The Beginning of a Passion

Whaley remembers his Schwinn Stingray bicycle with fondness, from the blue handlebars to the long banana seat. It was his first and only bike growing up, and he biked miles around Baldwin City. But as with many teenage boys, when he got his hands on a steering wheel and had four wheels beneath him, his bicycle was forgotten. “I have always enjoyed bicycles, but as I got older I just got out of it,” he says. That is, until eight years ago when a friend went to a garage sale and brought him half a dozen old bicycles. He started tinkering with the old bikes in his spare time. “One thing lead to another—word got out that I was into bicycles, and then people just started to drop off bicycles,” Whaley says. “When people heard that I was interested in old bikes, they wanted them out of their garage or barn, and, of course, I wouldn’t turn anything down, so I’ll come home and there will be bikes in the driveway, just dropped off.” He was used to working on older bikes with simpler mechanics, so he had to teach himself how to repair newer bicycles by watching YouTube videos

and occasionally contacting a friend who owns a bike shop in Lawrence. Now, Whaley gets a half a dozen repair requests a week and sells a few bikes a month.

“Some of these old bikes could tell a story, I’m sure.” –Mark Whaley

‘Bringing Them Back to Life’

Although he makes money working on relatively newer bicycles, Whaley’s real passion is for older bikes. “I enjoy cleaning them up and bringing them back to life,” he says. “Some of these old bikes could tell a story, I’m sure. Like, where they’ve been, who’s been on them, what’s happened … If they could only talk, I think there’d be some good stories. What kind of adventures those things have had.” He said that he probably has 50-75 bicycles from the 1960s and older. He likes how simplistic they are mechanically compared to newer models. “I really like the old coaster brake, vintage, one-speed. They’re easy,” he says. “You don’t have to deal with the cables, the derailleurs, such as that.” Whaley has always had an interest in mechanics (the bike passion, of course) and even more artsy endeavors. Sometimes when it is too cold to be in his garage with the bikes, he goes inside and dabbles in silversmithing, making earrings and rings. He has had his artwork featured in various coffee shops over the years. Whaley says that the art of fixing and tinkering with things is where he finds the most fulfillment. “Staying busy with this kind of stuff, it’s just a passion,” he says. “It really is a passion I just can’t shake now. It’s kind of an addiction. It’s just enough to keep me going, you know.”

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A/C Heating and Cooling

A&H Air Conditioning and Heating 1717 College Street 785-594-3357

Accounting and Tax Services Douglas County Treasurer 1100 Massachusetts Street Lawrence, KS 66044 785-832-5275

New Frontier Tax & Business Services Robb and Pam Ferguson 608 High Street, Ste. C 785-594-1204


Ad Astra Alpacas 168 E 1700 Road 785-594-6767 Baldwin Feed Co., Inc. 1600 High Street 785-594-3351 Heritage Tractor, Inc. 915 Industrial Park Road 785-594-6486

Animal Shelter

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, Inc. 3173 Hwy K68 Ottawa, KS 66067 785-242-2967


Zimmerschied Architecture Jay Zimmerschied 901 Branchwood Drive Lawrence, KS 66049 785-550-5743

Arts and Culture

Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice 711 High Street 785-594-3949 Douglas County Historical Society 1047 Massachusetts Street Lawrence, KS 66044 785-841-4109 Friends of Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice Club 711 High Street Baldwin City, KS 66006

2017 Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce Membership

Lumberyard Arts Center 718 High Street 785-594-3186

Assisted Living

Vintage Park at Baldwin City 321 Crimson Avenue 785-594-4255


The Law Office of Blake Glover 608 High Street 785-594-1099


Baldwin Automotive Service Center, Inc. 131 Baker Street 785-594-9944 Gregg Bruce Auto and Performance 601 High Street 785-594-4088


Baldwin State Bank 721 High Street 785-594-6421 Kansas State Bank 602 Ames Street 785-594-7500 Mid America Bank 802 Ames Street 785-594-2100 Peoples Bank - Tim Franklin, Mortgage Banker 13180 Metcalf Avenue Overland Park, KS 66213 913-239-2985


Seventh Street Hair 809 7th Street 785-594-7144 Whitney’s Hair Salon 701 High Street 785-594-6626


Dance Café - Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice 711 High Street 785-594-3949 Homestead Kitchen & Bakery 719 8th Street 785-7663442

Maceli’s Inc. 1031 New Hampshire Street Lawrence, KS 66044 785-331-2096

Clubs and Nonprofit Organizations American Legion, Lloyd Beaton Post #228 803 High Street 785-594-2530

Moose’s Backwoods BBQ and Catering 522 Ames Street 785-594-7427

Baldwin City Business & Professional Women PO Box 503 785-594-3832

Mr. Goodcents Subs & Pasta 912 Ames Street 785-594-2399

Baldwin City Public Library 800 7th Street 785-594-3411

Optimal Living 1410 Kasold ste a17 Lawrence, KS 66049 785-3315290

Chambers of Commerce

Eudora Chamber of Commerce 1402 Church Street Eudora, KS 66025 785-542-1212 Gardner Chamber of Commerce 109 E Main Gardner, KS 66030 913-856-6464 Lawrence Chamber of Commerce 646 Vermont, #200 Lawrence, KS 66044 785-865-4411 Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 109 E 2nd Street Ottawa, KS 66067 785-242-1000 Wellsville Chamber of Commerce PO Box 472 Wellsville, KS 66092 785-883-2234


Baldwin First United Methodist Church 704 8th Street 785-594-6612 Ives Chapel United Methodist Church 1018 Miami Street 785-594-6555 Worden United Methodist Church 294 E 900th Road 785-594-7598

Baldwin City Lion’s Club PO Box 543 Baldwin City Rotary 785-594-3169 Douglas County Community Foundation 900 Massachusetts Street, Suite 406 Lawrence, KS 66044 785-843-8727 Friends of the Baldwin Library PO Box 565 785-594-3411 Keepers of the Legends Foundation PO Box 866 785-979-2451 Maple Leaf Festival Committee PO Box 564 785-594-7564 United Way of Douglas County 2518 Ridge Ct., Ste. 200 Lawrence, KS 66046 785-843-6626 Vinland Fair Association 1690 N 790 Road 785-594-2525


Maley & Sons Construction, LLC Chris Maley 454 East 2100 Road 785-331-6883

Economic Development Baldwin City EDC 814 Ames Street 785-766-9505


Visit for Baldwin City Business Directory


Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center 500 Lawrence Street 785-594-2444 Baldwin Junior High School 400 Eisenhower Street 785-594-2448 Baldwin High School 415 Eisenhower Street 785-594-2725 Baldwin Intermediate Center 100 Bullpup Lane 785-594-2446 Baker University 618 8th Street 785-594-8308 Baldwin City USD 348 708 Chapel Street 785-594-2721 Baldwin Education Foundation P.O. Box 67 785-594-0404

The Rainbow Experience, Inc. 115 6th Street 785-594-2223


Baldwin City Blues 19706 W 63rd Terrace Shawnee, KS 66218 913-268-1142 Kansas Belle Dinner Train Inc. 215 Ames Street 785-594-8505

Floral & Gifts

In Full Bloom at The Cranberry Market 519 Ames Street

Funeral Services

Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home 712 9th Street 785-594-3644


Baldwin City Dental Chris Leiszler, DDS 414 Ames Street 785-594-9834 Baldwin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center 1223 Orchard Lane 785 594-6492

Baldwin Medical Clinic Dr. Cristina Goodwin 810 High Street 785-594-6412 Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center 200 Maine Street, Ste. A Lawrence, KS 66044 785-843-9192 Elite Chiropractic Ethan James, D.C. 920 Ames Street Family Medicine of Baldwin City Lawrence Memorial Hospital 406 Ames 785-594-2912 Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department 200 Maine, Ste. B Lawrence, KS 66044 785-843-3060 Lawrence Memorial Hospital Baldwin City Therapy 814 High 785-594-3162 Lawrence Memorial Hospital 325 Maine Lawrence, KS 66044 785-505-3132 Melaleuca Lynne Hobson 518 Signal Ridge Drive 501-766-2452 PK Therapy LLC Peggy Keller 811 Grove Street 785-594-2909 Rodrock Chiropractic Dr. Jeremy Rodrock 412 Ames Street

Historical Societies

Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park 163 E 200 Road Wellsville, KS 66092 Midland Railway Historical Society 1515 West High Street 913-721-1211 Santa Fe Historical Society 203 Silver Leaf Lane 785-594-3169

Home Health Care

Angels Care Home Health Chris Lorman 318 Main Street Ottawa, KS 66067 785-242-3100 Caregivers Home Health Ed Schulte 618 E 1714 Road 785-749-0300 Douglas County Visiting Nurses Assocation 200 Main Street, Ste. C Lawrence, KS 66044 785-843-3738

Home Improvement

Arrowhead Hardware 318 Crimson Avenue 785-594-3000 D & S Door Company 115 Signal Oak Court 785-242-4814 House Guys USA 2601 S. Iowa Street, Ste. 785-551-7490 Lyon Construction Company, LLC 1772 North 200 Road 785-594-3138 Rooftop Construction, LLC 3986 Thomas Road, Wellsville, KS 66092 913-238-9112 Scott’s Repair, LLC 181 E 1575 Rd 785-979-6450


Baldwin Insurance Services 604 High Street 785-594-6822 Edie Insurance Group, Inc. Brad Scraper 814 Baker Street 785-856-3343 Farm Bureau Financial Services 721 8th Street 785-594-1055 Integrity Midwest Insurance, LLC 1540 Wakarusa Drive, Ste. D Lawrence, KS 66047 785-856-5100 Jardon Insurance 705 8th Street 913-486-0061 Mary Wiscombe American Family Insurance 707 8th Street 785-331-4353

Internet Service Providers

Mediacom Communications Corp. 717 High Street 785-594-7570 RG Fiber 713 High Street 785-594-5414



Edward Jones Pete Carr 452 E 1100 Road 913-856-8846

Independent Living

JC Grayson Chris Graham 721 8th Street 785-594-1054

Bauer Inspection and Consulting Services 1315 Maple Leaf Court 785-594-7420 Baldwin Retirement Apartment Complex, Inc. DBA Orchard Lane & Jersey Street Apartment Suites 1016 Orchard Lane 785-594-6996

Individuals Linda Ballinger James Catron Craig Davis Teri Ediger Robin Elder John Fowler Greg Kruger Donald Nutt Gerald Sanden Peter Sexton

IT Services

MyITG Services, LLC PO Box 836 913-526-0111

Janitorial Service

Tesco Janitorial Company 804 N. Meadowbook Olathe, KS 66062 816-830-8232

Liquor Stores

Callahan’s Retail Liquor 310 Ames Street 785-594-3555 JBC Liquors, Inc. 916 Ames Street 785-594-0514

30 Lodging

Three Sisters Inn 1035 Ames Street 785-594-3244


Custom Mobile Equipment, Inc. 439 E High Street 785-594-7474

McFarlane Aviation 696 E 1700 Road 785-594-2741 Rice Precision Manufacturing 401 E. High Street 785-594-2670


2017 Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce Membership

Pitts Photography 207 Elm Street 785-766-0665


Bisel, Inc. dba Minuteman Press 1404 E. 24th Street, Ste. B Lawrence, KS 66046 785-842-2656 FASTSIGNS, Lawrence, KS 2540 Iowa St., Ste. P Lawrence, KS 66046 785-727-4848

Property Management Hayes Properties LLC P.O. Box 455 785-248-3883

Baldwin City Gazette PO Box 838 785-304-4041

Living Space, LLC 715 High Street 785-594-2659

Baldwin City Living Magazine 645 New Hampshire Lawrence, KS 66044 785-832-7264

Skyview Apartments PO Box 203 785-766-0218

Baldwin City Radio 713 High Street 785-764-8380 Kansas Public Radio 1120 W. 11th Street Lawrence, KS 66044 785-864-4530

Memory Care

Comfort Care Homes of Baldwin City, LLC 813 8th Street 785-594-2603

Natural Wellness

Cynthia Perez / doTERRA Wellness Advocate 233 Elm Street 641-442-6365

Online Retail

Sassy N Silver


Auburn Pharmacy 400 Ames Street 785-594-0340


KSK Photography 315 Blaze Boulevard 913-226-0074

Schoolhouse Lofts - Property Management Jacqueline Rathbun 704 Chapel Street 785-764-7489

Real Estate - Commercial

Kirsten Flory-Colliers International 805 New Hampshire Street, Ste. C Lawrence, KS 66044 785-865-5100

Real Estate - Land

Heck Land Company 805 New Hampshire, Ste. C Lawrence, KS 66044 785-865-6266

Real Estate - Residential Layton Real Estate 517 Main Street 785-883-2379

ReeceNichols Preferred Realty 3801 West 6th Street Lawrence, KS 66044 785-856-6200 Stephens Real Estate 703 High Street 785-594-2320


Baldwin City Fitness 814 High Street 785-594-1245

Baldwin City Recreation Commission 785-594-3670 Baldwin Golf Association 1102 N. Main Street 785-594-3351 Baldwin Martial Arts 177 E 1575 Road 785-393-2921


Dance Café - Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice 711 High Street 785-594-3949 Homestead Kitchen & Bakery 719 8th Street 785-766-3442 Jitters 822 Ames 620-437-6967 Jo’s Diner 516 Ames Street 785-594-3123 Kona Ice of Douglas & Leavenworth Co. 22621 W 49th Sreet Shawnee, KS 66226 913-231-7647 Moose’s Backwoods BBQ and Catering 522 Ames Street 785-594-7427 Mr. Goodcents Subs & Pasta 912 Ames Street 785-594-2399 Perks Coffee House & Party Shop & Chester’s Chicken 914 Ames Street 785-594-0514

Retreat Center

The Light Center 1542 Woodson Road

Senior Citizen Services Senior Resource Center for Douglas County 2920 Haskell Avenue Lawrence, KS 66046 785-842-0543


Antiques on the Prairie 520 High Street 785-594-7555 Mike Langrehr, DBA Design Specialties in the Town Galleria 715 8th Street 785-594-0335

Papa’s Nest {egg} - A Vintage Marketplace 606 High Street Quilters’ Paradise 713 8th Street 785-594-3477

Special Events Facility Stony Point Hall 1514 North 600 Road 785-594-2225

Title Company

Executive Title 608 High Street 785-594-9090


City of Baldwin City 803 8th Street 785-594-6427 Kansas Gas Service 2720 2nd Avenue Leavenworth, KS 66048 913-758-2737

Veterinary Services

Companion Animal Hospital 504 Ames Street 785-594-2413

Website Services ReTek, LLC 785-409-7400


Haven Pointe Winery, LLC 961 E. 1600 Road 785-865-0660 The Vines 874 N 1 Road 888-390-5082

Profile for Sunflower Publishing

Baldwin City Living • Fall/Winter 2017  

Alpacas and Angoras | Baldwin City's Mural | Meet the Bicycle King of Baldwin

Baldwin City Living • Fall/Winter 2017  

Alpacas and Angoras | Baldwin City's Mural | Meet the Bicycle King of Baldwin