Thursday, January 31, 2008

8 Wonders - Big Well

As promised, here is the first of the 8 Wonders of Kansas , alphabetically, based on a national survey sponsored by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, as announced by the Governor at Kansas Day, the 147th Birthday of Kansas, on Tuesday, 29 Jan 2008.

The Big Well, in Greensburg, Kiowa County, representing Kansas Sampler Rural Culture Elements: Architecture and History. The Big Well, of course, is currently closed as a result of the May 4, 2007 tornado.

Build in 1887-9, the well was hand-dug, cribbed, cased and stoned with rock from Medicine River and sand from the Cowskin Creek; some have called it "a pioneer engineering marvel."

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The 8 Wonders of Kansas!

Based on a national survey sponsored by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, the 8 Wonders of Kansas were announced by the Governor at Kansas Day, the 147th Birthday of Kansas, on Tuesday.

The last alphabetically, but first in our hearts, is the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve & the Flint Hills. The other 7: Big Well, Cheyenne Bottoms/Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, Kansas Underground Salt Museum, Monument Rocks & Castle Rock, and St. Fidelis Catholic Church (Cathedral of the Plains).

We'll look at each of them, again, in coming days; and their relation to the Kansas Flint Hills!

See you in the Kansas Flint Hlls! ;-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hertiage Park in Junction City

In Junction City, Heritage Park is located at the intersection of 6th Street and N. Washington Street, central public space. Check it out!

The park serves as the site for many community events and features: the Civil War Arch, a State of Kansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the 1st Infantry Division Memorial and more.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Monday, January 28, 2008

"Glory of the Hills" Exhibit

The Butler County History Center's "Glory of the Hills" exhibit, in El Dorado, deals with every aspect of the Kansas Flint Hills. In fact, if you are coming from the south, it is a great place to learn about the Kansas Flint Hills before taking a tour of the Flint Hills!

“Glory of the Hills” features the unique ecological, cultural and agricultural history of the Flint Hills and Butler County. This new exhibit will help visitors understand that the Flint Hills are a precious remnant of the once vast grasslands. Through historic photographs and artifacts, the exhibit gives visitors a glimpse of early native inhabitants utilizing the land, of the first settlers devoted to the land, and of 21st Century farmers and ranchers managing a natural resource. This stimulating display of the Flint Hills, farming and ranching pays tribute to the land and the people who came here seeking not to dominate the land, but to live in productive harmony.

Exhibition can be viewed during museum hours: Tuesday – Friday 9am – 5pm and Saturday 12 – 5pm. Admission is charged. The Butler County History Center & Kansas Oil Museum is a non-profit educational institution. Website: telephone: 316-321-9333.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Historic Beaumont Hotel

For a truly unique Kansas Flint Hills experience, visit the Historic Beaumont Hotel in the south east corner of the Flint Hills in Beaumont.

Drive in or Fly in and enjoy a warm and relaxed atmosphere. The Hotel was created in 1879 as a stagecoach and railroad stop to shelter weary pioneers - when the railroad brought cattle barons and frontier society to Beaumont.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Flint Hills National Scenic Byway

Have you traveled the Kansas Flint Hills National Scenic Byway lately? It is a distinctive experience, at any time of the year. Give it a try!

Flint Hills Scenic Byway is a byway located in Kansas. It is a section of K-177 located in the Flint Hills region of the state, stretching from Interstate 35 at Cassoday in the south to U.S. 56 at Council Grove in the north. Along the byway there are rolling hills and some of the only tallgrass prairie left in North America. It is a National Scenic Byway. (from Wikipedia)

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Faris Family Bluegrass Show

Now at the Columbian Theatre Museum & Art Center, in Wamego:

Faris Family Bluegrass Show

January 25, 26 & 27, 2008

The Farris Family reflect the best in bluegrass music heritage inherent in today's generation of bluegrass artisits. Fresh and innovative, yet never losing touch with their roots. The result is the fresh sound of tradition! A blend of the past, persent and future.

7:30 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday, 2:00 p.m. show on Sunday.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saving Horses - Changing Men

Just to the west of the western edge of the Kansas Flint Hills lies the Hutchinson Correctional Facility of the Kansas Department of Corrections. I was at a meeting with the warden on workforce development in Topeka on Wednesday where I learned about the wild horse program with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Hutchinson. Check out the link for more detailed information. The warden says they welcome visitors and are very proud of all aspects of the very special program.

He noted that most of the men in the program are there for "abuses of recreational aspects" of their lives, and all will return to their communities; they will be better citizens on their return because of this program.

Some of the wild horses are kept for periods of time on Kansas Flint Hills grazing lands. I'll provide more on this program at a later time.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kansas Birding Festival

Looking ahead: The Kansas Birding Festival will be held April 25-26-27, 2008, in Wakefield, Kansas.

Plan to take a birding and wildlife trip you well never forget. Over 300 species of birds can be seen in the Milford Lake area. April is the best time for birding in this area.

A registration form is available when you go to the website linked about. Make your plans now. For related activities, be sure to also check: and

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Toronto Lake & Wildlife Area

At the far southeast corner of the Kansas Flint Hills, check out:

Toronto Lake is in the scenic valley of the Verdigris River, just south of the town of Toronto. It lies at the northern end of the Cross Timbers area, which extends through east-central Oklahoma into northern Texas. It was so named because the first explorers found it so brushy as to make it difficult to travel through.

Toronto Wildlife Area, located along the Verdigris River, Walnut Creek, and the north end of the lake, provides year-round viewing for white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoon, and turkey, particularly in the twilight hours. In summer, check the shallow waters for great blue herons. During spring and fall migrations many species of waterfowl can be seen on the lake. Plovers and sandpipers can be viewed on the northern and western mudflats. American white pelicans are common visitors to the open waters. Bald eagles perch and scavenge near the park office in winter. During summer, purple martins are seen around their houses at Toronto Point and Holiday Hill. Look to the sky and you will likely see circling turkey vultures.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rock & Rose Ranch - Randolph, KS

Randolph is west and north of Tuttle Creek lake...

For hunting, shooting sports, kenneling dogs, fishing, wildlife recreation, hiking, camping, ranch experience, and art lessons, check this out. Guests must bring their own mounts to ride trails. Lodging available with 3 rooms.

Contact is by phone: (785) 363-2669 or mail at: 16400 Axelton Hill Rd, Randolph, KS 66554.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Antiques in the Kansas Flint Hills

There are many great antique shops throughout the Kansas Flint Hills. Be sure to visit a few when you come to visit.

One specific example would be Sisters & Co, in Paxico. Check it out, along with others, while you are in town.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Council Grove - on the Santa Fe Trail

A favorite place to start your Kansas Flint Hills visit is Council Grove, in Morris County.

The name "Council Grove" originated from treaty negotiations conducted here in 1825. The treaty, forged between U.S. commissioners and Osage Indian chiefs, granted whites safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail.

The site of Council Grove was a camping and meeting place for Native Americans, explorers, soldiers, and Santa Fe Trail traders. Here they found ample water, grass, and abundant wood due to the extensive groves of hardwood timber. As a rendezvous point for caravans moving west on the Santa Fe Trail, Council Grove provided both Hispanic and American travelers an opportunity to repair wagons and secure provisions in preparation for the long overland trip to Santa Fe.

Plan to visit soon!

We'll discuss some of the individual historic sites to see in Council Grove another day.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Kansas Landscape Arboretum

The Kansas Landscape Arboretum lies just south of Wakefield on the west side of Milford Reservoir. Over 1,000 species of native and exotic woody plants adapted to the Kansas environment are found here. The Arboretum is open daily from 8 A.M. to dusk, March 1 to October 31. Stop at the kiosk off the Utah street entrance for a brochure. Much of the area is left in native vegetation, and foot trails provide easy access to both prairie and woodland habitats. Check it out!

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

An Evening of Kansas History

For an evening of Kansas History: On Saturday January 19 at 7 p.m. The Columbian Theatre in Wamego, KS, will be showing the documentary: “Bloody Dawn: The Lawrence Massacre.” The documentary tells the story of the 1863 sacking of Lawrence by Guerrillas led by William Quantrill.

Tickets are $6, general admission, at the door. The Columbian Theatre will open at 6 p.m. and the film will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information on the showing please contact The Columbian Theatre box office at 785-456-2029.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wichita - A Gateway to the Kansas Flint Hills

To learn "The Real History of Wichita" visit the Wichita-Sedgwick County The Historical Museum

The Museum is currently celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first ever performance of the electric guitar with a special exhibit. Check it out!

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Scott Spring Historical Park - Westmoreland

Check out Scott Spring Historical Park in Westmoreland. Walking trails to nearby creek and burial site. A metal sculpture of a full-sized team of oxen pulling a wagon is accessible to motorists.

This site was famous for its springs and was heavily used throughout the active history of the Oregon-California trail as a campground by emigrants.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Waterville, Kansas; on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills

Located in southwest Marshall County on the Little Blue River where Highways US 77 and K-9 intersect, Waterville was an "end of the line" town for the railroad for a time in the nineteenth centrury. Victorian homes, the restored 1907 railroad depot (now a museum), Weaver Hotel and other sites make Waterville worth a visit.

Consider staying at the Vintage Charm B & B; call 785-363-2327.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sedan Lodging - Kansas Flint Hills

If you are looking for lodging in the far southeast corner of the Kansas Flint Hills, you might check in Sedan, in Chautauqua County, at Red Buffalo Country

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Prairie Fire Inn and Spa - Kansas Flint Hills

For a special overnite - or more - stay in the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills, check out the Prairie Fire Inn and Spa, in Strong City, Kansas.

Kevin and Rachel moved from Chicago to establish this neat business opportunity in the Kansas Flint Hills. They are active supports of all things Flint Hills. Thanks for your support!

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Flying W Ranch - Kansas Flint Hills

I didn't have time, yesterday, to post more about the Flying W Ranch, operated by Gwen and Josh Hoy, near Cedar Point and Clements, in the beautiful Kansas Flint Hills. It is a 10,000 acre working cattle ranch that offers guest ranch services for people looking for the real Cowboy Culture and Kansas Flint Hills experience. I've been there. It is neat!

I'm looking at both their brochure and web-site, as I type this. A wide range of service, "tailored to each customer," as Josh said at the meetings, both yesterday and Wednesday evening.

Their catering and food preparation ranges from authentic Rustic Chuckwagon to Professional Kitchen serving white-table cloth Gourmet Dining for up to 700! Check it out!

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2 AGRITOURISM: Your Next Cash Crop?

See Tuesday, Jan 08, post.

Both meetings exceeded expectations, with 45 in Emporia, including many new people, and even more in Council Grove, today.

In the photo, Josh Hoy, of the Flying W Ranch, speaks to the group in Council Grove about their agritourism business - working ranch experiences and catering for up to 700 guests, along with lodging.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Photographs of Ranch Life in the Kansas Flint Hills

In the Main Gallery at the Manhattan Arts Center you can now spend some quality time with Judith Lennox Sabatini's photographs of ranch life in the Kansas Flint Hills. The show, titled "A Golden Day," is scheduled to run through February 16, 2008. The Gallery is at 1520 Poyntz Ave. in Manhattan. For more information, see:

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

AGRITOURISM: Your Next Cash Crop?

“Flint Hills visitors are looking for such things as farm and ranch vacations, riding a combine cutting wheat, or sitting atop a horse while a rancher moves cattle. They are looking for vineyards and wineries, farm fresh eggs for breakfast, bird watching at a Country Inn, hiking, biking and riding trails. They are looking for opportunities to hunt, fish, camp or just sit around a campfire and stargaze while someone tells stories of the history, culture and traditions of the area. Our tourists are seeking high quality art, music, foods, clothing and other products representative of the Flint Hills.”

If these issues are of interest to you, please join us in Emporia on January 9 or in Council Grove on January 10 for one of two informational meetings intended for farmers, ranchers and anyone interested in starting or expanding a business in which rural tourism would be an important source of income in the Kansas Flint Hills.

Wednesday evening, the meeting in Emporia will be held at the American Legion, 2921 W. 12th, from 6:15 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The Thursday meeting will be in Council Grove, on January 10, at the United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 21 N. Mission Street, from 1:15 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Each meeting will have three parts. First, Abby Cash, Director of Oklahoma Agritourism, will give an illustrated presentation about the characteristics of the clientele, the kinds of experiences and products they want, and how to get started in your business. Second, a panel of Kansas Agritourism providers will describe their businesses and answer questions from the audience. Finally, an upcoming business development class will be explained.

For more information on the meetings in Emporia and Council Grove call Jan Jantzen or Bruce Wells at The Flint Hills Resource Conservation and Development Council, 620-340-0113, ext. 9, or the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Emporia State University at 620-341-5308.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ... perhaps at one of these meetings! ;-)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tall Grass Gospel Singin'

Held the second Friday of every month, at the Emma Chase Cafe, check out the Tall Grass Gospel Singin' event in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, in the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills, Friday, January 11, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

The Emma Chase Cafe is located at 317 Broadway, phone 620-273-6020

Check out the acoustic Gospel music!

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

"The Prairie on Fire" - Kansas Flint Hills

See previews of the new 12-minute art/documentary by artist Louis Copt entitled "The Prairie on Fire" at:

Music for the film is by Kelley Hunt!

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills ;-)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Eagle Watch in January - Kansas Flint Hills

Many eagles migrate to Kansas to spend the winter - mid-winter is a good time to view Bald Eagles in Kansas. The Chapin Nature Center in Arkansas City is coordinating an Eagle Watch event on January 26. Check the Event tab at for details.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills ;-)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Kansas Flint HIlls Traveling Exhibit - 2008

Kansas native, Jim Richardson, photographs highlight the National Geographic's April 2007 issue examination of the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas. 32 large-scale versions of the photographs featured in the magazine make up a traveling exhibit that has been touring the region and is already booked into 2009.

The exhibit is in Frankfort from Jan 2 - 13 and in Washington from Jan 14 to Feb 4. The complete exhibit schedule is available at and www.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008 will be a Great Year in the Kansas Flint Hills

We will do our best to assist you with plans for your visits in the Kansas Flint Hills in 2008.
Start with our website:
If you have comments or questions, go to the free forums at the website - or, simply add your comment or questions on this blog. We'll get right back to you.
During 2008, we will try to regularly highlight distinctive aspects of the Kansas Flint Hills and a variety of events that might interest you.
The Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc. is developing the first ever Kansas Flint Hills Tourism Guide, that should be ready by the end of March. Check the website, and this blog, regularly, for further information on the Tourism Guide.See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)