Kansas Pasture, Lyon Country


Flyover People - Kansas

Skies of blue and white, fields of gold and brown and green, hedge fence posts, barbed wire. Limestone courthouses, wooden barns, windmills. Grain elevators, corn, milo, soybeans. Combines, wheat trucks, open highways, starry nights. History, trains, cattle, oil, education, aviation.

Sand hill plums, blackberries, sunflowers, clover, cottonwoods, elms, Russian olives. 1861, the 34th star on the flag, Kaw, Pawnee, Kiowa, cowboys, soldiers. Fort Scott, Fort Riley, Fort Hays, Arkansas, Verdigris, Kansas, Perry, Milford, Wilson, Santa Fe, Oregon, Chisholm, Pony Express, sod houses.

The Dust Bowl. Route 66, I-70, the Kansas Turnpike. Coronado, Medicine Lodge, Nicodemus. Saloons, Dodge City, Abilene, Delano. Carry Nation, John Brown, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart. And that's just for starters.

Kansas Places


Toad Hollow Daylily Farm

The American Hemerocallis Society has named Toad Hollow as one of seven Display Gardens in Kansas.

To find Toad Hollow Daylily and Iris Farm: take I-35 east from Emporia. At exit 135, go south to the first intersection (about a block) and take a left (east) for about another block. Off-road parking is marked.

Visitors are welcome in the evenings and all mornings except Wednesdays.

Toad Hollow Photo Gallery



Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

a place to explore the Flint Hills. Operated by a partnership of the Nature Conservancy and the National Park Service, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

is located two miles north of Strong City on K-177.


Pawnee Rock State Park

Kansas historical site.


Sites around Emporia

Carnegie Libraries, Peter Pan Park, William Allen White

William Allen White

home, Veteran's Memorial, etc.


The Emporia Zoo - in Soden's Grove Park.




Kansas Events

Hartford Harvest Day - September 2006

Living History Day - Howe House - October 2004

Flint Hills Beef Fest - August 2004

The Kansas Shrine Bowl Parade - 31 July 2004

The Lyon County Fair - August 2004



Kansas-related books

"Civil War in Kansas" by Roy Bird describes the involvement by Kansas and Kansans in The War Between the States. Bird follows Kansas military leaders into battles, giving details of war strategies and logistics. The author also tells about the many African-Americans and American Indians fought in Kansas regiments during the war.
A guidebook for railroad fans: "Kansas Railroad Attractions" by Robert Collins lists railroad museums and excursions, depot museums as well as depots that have been adapted for other uses. You can also find locations of displays of locomotives and railroad cars. It's a thin 44-page book that will travel well in your car. An index by city is included.

"Images of America: Wichita, 1860-1930," by Dr. Jay Price, documents historic Wichita with photos and captions. The book covers the Native American era, the cowboy years, and then on to the development of Wichita businesses. Photos also show the social aspects of a growing city in Kansas. Jay also helped produce another photo-filled book, "Wichita's Legacy of Flight"

"For All Time: A Complete Guide to Writing Your Family History" by Charley Kempthorne. One of the best books available for anyone wanting to document his or her life or family history. Charley lives near Manhattan and teaches workshops in journaling and writing family history.

"Passing Gas- And Other Towns Along the American Highway" by Gary Gladstone. "Passing Gas" is a fun book of photographs. Gladstone traveled the country with a sense of humor and made a portrait of a resident in each of the oddly-named small towns that he visited. In Kansas, he photographed Bonnie Steward of Bonnie's Corner Cafe in the town of Gas.

"Driving Across Kansas: A Guide to I-70" by Ted T. Cable and Wayne A. Maley. "Driving Across Kansas" points out things to see milepost by milepost. Anyone passing through Kansas on I-70 should be issued this book at the border. It gives non-Kansans a clue what's on the sidelines. And it has tidbits of information that many Kansans may not know. (For more about "Driving Across Kansas," "Wichita: 1860-1930," and "Kansas Curiosities," read my column "A Book Tour of Kansas.")

"Felicia, these Fish are Delicious: Poems, Essays and Short Stories," by Max Yoho. "Felicia" combines humorous and more serious writing. Some of his pieces are laugh-out-loud funny; some are thoughtful and wise. Other books by Max Yoho are "The Revival" and "Tales from Commanche County.  (For more about Max, read The Storyteller - 03/01/05.)

"Kansas Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities and Other Offbeat Stuff," by Pam Grout. As we all know, Kansas is full of weird stuff: The Garden of Eden in Lucas, for example. In "Kansas Curiosities," Grout describes Art Tougeau, the annual art car parade in Lawrence and Humbolt's Biblesta, the largest parade in the world that depicts scenes from the Bible.

"FDR's Secret Army," by Willard Stibal covers American history for the first half of the 20th century. His subtitle: "How World Events Ultimately Affected Life in Small Town, U.S.A. How the Depression Led to the Establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corp and How This Writer Came to be in Roosevelt's Secret Army." Stibal also wrote "The Gentlemen Giant," about Dale Burnett, an Emporia football star, who played for the New York Giants.

"Final Destinations: A Travel Guide for Remarkable Cemeteries in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana," by seven writers from "The Dallas Morning News," including my brother, Leon Unruh. "Final Destinations" describes more than 50 graveyards and includes one piece about learning about life and death at a Kansas cemetery. Photographs show unusual stones and graves of famous people. A great book for anyone interested in cemeteries

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