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Tag - Santa Fe Trail

Going Down: A Trip Underground in Ellinwood

An entire town – underground. That’s the bygone era you can experience at the Ellinwood tunnels. In the late 1800s, practical concerns sent many businesses into the basements of their main-street counterparts. These "underground" businesses were connected by a series of boardwalks and tunnels creating a separate underground town. The set-up also helped early settlers survive rough Kansas winters and tornado season.

Posted on September 25, 2012 5:13PM by Karen Ridder

A Modern Day Visit to the Old West

Texans know a thing or two about the old west, but when writer Matt Pryor visited Dodge City he wrote, “Dodge put the wild in Wild West.” He wandered the red brick streets to get a feel of the history, but had the good sense to take advantage of some modern conveniences, too.

Posted on January 26, 2012 4:31PM by Patsy Terrell

Tucked Away in a Corner of Kansas

My wife, Amy, and I recently took a weekend to get away from it all. And we got as far away from home as we could get and still be in Kansas.

Sprawled across Kansas' southwest corner is the Cimarron National Grassland. Amy and I spent a day here discovering the high plains of Kansas, with its scenic overlooks, dusty trails, and hidden springs. We stood in three states at once, marveled at the Cimarron River Valley from atop the third highest point in the state, and traced wagon ruts left by travelers of the Santa Fe Trail in the late 1800's.

Posted on October 11, 2011 8:43AM by Dennis Toll

Frontier Military Byway – more than a military tour

There are so many interesting places to visit along the Frontier Military Scenic Byway, you really need to plan a few days to catch it all. The byway takes you along the border area between Kansas and Missouri. It roughly follows the old military road originally built to link Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott with military installations further to the south. The area was a hotbed of activity during the Bleeding Kansas fight for statehood. Along the route you will find the site of the Marais des Cygnes massacre, a brutal attack that galvanized guerilla warfare between free-state and pro-slavery forces in territorial Kansas. Nearby Mine Creek Battlefield is the site of the only major Civil War battle fought in Kansas. This scenic byway is not all about the military though. You will find a Santa Fe Trail stop, a stately historic home, several parks and a cider mill. The drive is through a beautiful part of the state with lots of hills and trees as you head south out of Kansas City. It takes you past so many interesting stops you will surely find something to please everyone in the family.

Posted on August 24, 2011 12:27PM by Karen Ridder

Reliving History at Fort Larned

 Old fashioned fort with stone walls and wooden tables.Imagine walking 50 miles across a hostile prairie just to make sure the mail goes through. That was among the regular duties for infantry soldiers at Fort Larned in the 1860’s. The fort was among those constructed to protect commerce on the Santa Fe Trail. The trail was one of the most important trade routes in the United States, but hostilities with American Indians in the region made for dangerous travel in southwestern Kansas. Soldiers provided armed escort for mail stages and wagon trains. They participated in several small scale conflicts with tribes in the area, and when the Indian wars were ended, the fort served as a point of distribution for goods and supplies promised in the peace treaties.

Posted on July 27, 2011 8:38AM by Karen Ridder

Meeting a real Lawman in Dodge City

A visit to Dodge City was like a dream come true for my older son. At home, my husband makes it a special treat to watch old Western movies when they have a “guy’s night.” So, my six-year-old had a pretty good John Wayne impression down by the time he was four. To say the child “likes” cowboys and gun-slinging is a bit of an understatement. When we arrived at the Dodge City Visitor Information Center, we were met by a real-life-honest-to-goodness Deputy U.S. Marshal. I thought my son would go over the top with excitement. Who needs Disney anyway?

Posted on May 18, 2011 3:04PM by Karen Ridder


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