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Archive for kansas

The Center of the USA

By Linda Tancs

The geographic center of the contiguous United States is the point where a plane map of the 48 contiguous states would balance if it were of uniform thickness. That point has been officially established by the U.S. Geological Survey nearest the town of Lebanon, Kansas. This arguably obscure fact is commemorated by a stone monument at the end of Kansas Highway 191. The actual center is about a half mile away in the middle of a former hog farm. Another more colorful marker is a few miles away on U.S. Highway 36. At least this community can boast that it is, quite literally, at the center of it all.

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A Medicine Magnate’s Mansion

By Linda Tancs

Dr. A. B. Seelye made his fortune concocting patent medicines, compounds marketed under colorful names in the 18th and 19th centuries as cures for various ailments. His success bought him a stunning 25-room Georgian mansion in Abilene, Kansas. One of the finest historic homes in the state, the Seelye Mansion boasts among its charms a Tiffany-designed fireplace, original Edison light fixtures, gold-laden French furniture and a bowling alley purchased at the 1904 World’s Fair held in St. Louis, Missouri. You can tour the patent medicine museum at the rear of the house.

Raising a Glass in Kansas

By Linda Tancs

Prohibition was a 13-year ban on the sale of alcohol in the United States, beginning in 1920 and ending in 1933.  Someone forgot to tell Kansas.  Boasting some of the strictest alcohol laws in the nation, the state prohibited the sale of alcohol in open saloons until 1987.  The change in law spelled good news for Free State Brewing Company, becoming in 1989 the first legal brewery in Kansas in over 100 years.  The brewery is just one signature attraction on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence, voted the cutest downtown street in the state.  Commonly known as Mass Street, the 600 through 1200 block is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Spinach Capital Hosts Festival

By Linda Tancs

Popeye, the fictional sailor of comic strip and other media fame, certainly made spinach look cool when he sang “I’m strong to the finich cause I eats me spinach.”  The folks in Lenexa, Kansas would no doubt agree with that sentiment.  Part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the city once dubbed the “spinach capital of the world” pays homage to this super green with a super-sized salad and a recipe contest.  This year’s Spinach Festival takes place on 10 September from 9 to 5 at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park.  Not into greens, you say?  No worries.  The annual event is equal parts art, crafts and antiques, from stained glass to puzzle boxes to copper tree art.

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Life on the Farm

By Linda Tancs

Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park, Kansas depicts a bygone era.  The 12-acre property, designed to depict a turn-of-the-century family farm, has almost 200 animals, vegetable and flower gardens, a one-room schoolhouse and more.  Re-named in 1985 in honor of a police officer killed in the line of duty, the aim of the farmstead is to preserve the traditions of the Kansas family farm, a way of life fast disappearing.  Children can enjoy the experience of bottle feeding baby goats, milking a cow and taking a horse drawn wagon ride through the woods.  The facility opens for the season on 1 April.  Reservations are accepted for parties and tours.

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Getting Back Into Dodge

By Linda Tancs

The Old West town of Dodge City, Kansas inevitably evokes images of saloons and shootouts.  The violent history underlying the early settlement of  Boot Hill, in particular, can be imagined while strolling through the old cemetery and its memorials to cowboys both known and unknown.  Given its legendary past, it’s easy to understand why the denizens of the day would be eager to get out of Dodge.  Today all that gore gives way to gaming with Boot Hill’s casino and resort, the first state-owned and operated gambling hall in Kansas. Phase 1 of the project now offers 580 slot machines and thirteen table games including such standards as blackjack, craps, roulette and poker.  Phase 2 of the resort, slated for a December 2011 opening, will feature a hotel, day spa, two more restaurants and lounges, and more game space to lose–er, donate–your cash.  A veritable hodgepodge to get you back into Dodge.

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DISCLOSURE OF NO MATERIAL CONNECTION

The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

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