Tag Archives: small towns

Bazaar and Matfield Green, Chase County, KS

A post office was established April 1860 at Bazaar, Kansas,  in July of 1876 the post office was renamed Mary (in honor of the postmaster’s wife) then changed back to Bazaar 2 years later.    On March 31, 1931 TWA Flight 599 crashed southwest of town, killing all 8 on board, including Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne.  There is a memorial along the Kansas Turnpike and also at the crash site, which is on private land.  With the arrival of the railroad, Bazaar became a major shipping point for cattle.  The school that as built along what is now Highway 177 closed when it consolidated with Cottonwood Falls, and it now serves as a community center.

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Matfield Green, KS is named after Matfield, England.  A post office was established here in 1867 it closed in 1995.  Around the turn of the 19th century this was a town of 350 residents.  There was a bank, grocery store, livery and blacksmith, hardware store, flour mill, lumber yard, hotel and schools.  2010 census is 47. Matfield Green is located in the beautiful Flints Hills and there are 2 ranches nearby on the Nation Register of Historical Places, the Crocker Ranch and Pioneer Bluffs Ranch.

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Lark Inn at Cottonwood Falls, KS

Donna (my sister-in-law) and I had a project to do and we decided to meet in Cottonwood Falls, KS.  We were able to complete our task in this wonderful home that was located 2 houses away from the historic courthouse.  Kris and Pat Larkin who operate the Lark Inn have numerous homes around Cottonwood Falls and Strong City.  Wylie and my two nights stay at the Lark Inn on Elm was so enjoyable and we loved having Donna with us for the day.

Be sure to visit the Lark Inn website and pick your favorite home and book it.  You will enjoy the time spent in the beautiful Flint Hills, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, shopping and dining in Cottonwood Falls and of course your stay at the Lark Inn, where they make you feel so welcome.  I plan on going again!!

http://www.thelarkinn.com/

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Historic Cottonwood Falls Courthouse

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Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America, today only 4% remains, mostly here in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

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One of the largest Cottonwood Trees in Kansas

This is one of the largest cottonwood trees in Kansas.  It is located in El Dorado.  Pioneers used the cottonwood as building materials for cabins.  It was not the preferred wood as it is soft, weak, and porous.  It was chosen only when other sturdy woods were unavailable.  They reproduce from the “cotton” that the Kansas winds blow around like snow in the early summer.  Cottonwoods grow rapidly in ideal conditions, reaching 100 feet in 15 years.

Where’s Wylie????? (Look closely)

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Can quite reach far enough.  I love those tree huggers:)

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Burns, Marion County, KS

Burns is located in Marion County, KS  It was originally named St. Francis, but they realized that name was already taken so they changed the name to be the same as a nearby Burns train station.  The Burns Union School was built in 1904, the high school closed in 1965, the grade school and junior high closed in 1997.  The population of Burns is 228.  There are numerous business including churches and the Burns Cafe and Bakery which is open Friday and Saturday.

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The Old Mill at Oxford, KS

Oxford a small town located in Sumner County, is know for the Old Mill that was built in 1874.  Restoration was completed in 2000, the mill is part of the local school’s entrepreneurship program.  Students have cleaned up the grounds and created walking trails through out the area, they also manage the Mill Restaurant and serve lunch on Sundays.

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Old Truss Bridges

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Elmdale, KS

Elmdale is located in Chase County, KS.  Some consider it a Ghost Town, but it is still home to about 50 people.  Elmdale has been damaged by numerous floods, a major one in 1951.

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Bummies was a must stop back in 1980’s to pick up a sandwich before heading into the Flint Hills while hauling equipment to watershed dams.

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The school was closed in 1967.  It is now a private residence.

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Santa Fe Trail, Morris County, KS

Beautiful church and cemetery outside of Herington, KS

St. John’s Lutheran Church

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Located along the Santa Fe trail

As I traveled along the Trail, I was amazed at the beauty of the lush grass land of the Flint Hills.  I was also thankful that my “buggy” had air conditioning as it was in the upper 90’s.

Lost Springs, KS

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Burdick

The Santa Fe trail passed approximately 3 miles north of Burdick.  Know as “Six Mile State Station” it was needed on the trail after the station at Diamond Springs was destroyed by  Missouri Bushwackers in 1863.  Burdick was settled in 1880, located on the Atchinson Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.  The line has been removed but the railroad has not abandoned the right of way.

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Diamond Springs

Diamond Springs know as the “Diamond of the Plains” along the Santa Fe Trail, due to the prairie fountain that was of high quality water.  The spring now rises in a concrete cistern and is piped to a nearby stock tank on the Diamond Spring Ranch.

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Continuing south from Diamond Springs is Hymer Station along the abandoned train line

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This beautiful bridge did not withstand the flooding this year

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My lunch plans were changed as the Ad Astra in Strong City is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Went to the Grand Central Hotel and Grill in Cottonwood Falls and discovered another wonder place to eat in Small Town Kansas.  The rooms in the Hotel are named after local ranches and look very comfortable.  Pet friendly too….Wylie!!

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Strong City

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Close to Home

One of my favorite “close to home” adventures is just south of Salina, KS.

Classes were in session at the Smolan High School from 1926 – 1950.  The last graduating class had 3 students.  Elementary and junior high classes were held there until the closing of the school in 1987.  In 1996 the school was occupied by the Hickory Tree BBQ Restaurant.  It’s no longer open, I miss that place!

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Salemsborg Lutheran Church.  Built in 1929.

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Certainly didn’t plan on the serpent!

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The stone pulpit stand on the site of the original sod church

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Coronado Heights overlooking the Smoky River valley

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Dickinson County, KS

 

Cemetery and Church near Holland, KS

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Navarre, KS

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Woodbine, KS

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Pearl, KS

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Barn and abandoned farms near Chapman, KS

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Enterprise, KS

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Patriotic silo near Abilene, KS

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Bavaria, Brookville, and Glendale, Saline County, KS

Bavaria is an unincorporated town in Saline County, KS located along highway 140.  It is named after the state of Bavaria in Germany, where Ernst Hohneck one of the original settlers was from.  Barvaria was originally  known as Hohneck, he came to this area in 1862.  Today just a few people live in the town.

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Brookville was a cow town that got its start in 1867 after the railroad reached this area.  The town grew quickly as a major cattle shipping point.  Numerous businesses that once thrived were 3 hotels, saloons, furniture store, drug store, elevator, livery stable and 2 lumber yards.  Today there is a junior/senior high school, numerous churches, and a saloon.  The famous Brookville Hotel Restaurant has since relocated to Abilene, KS it is  worth a stop for one of their chicken dinners!

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Glendale, Saline County, KS

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