(Deb) Welcome to Around Kansas. I’m Deb Bisel in lovely Lindsborg. Just had a wonderful night at the Swedish Country Inn here in the heart of Lindsborg. Heather and I have just been exploring Kansas and have we had a wonderful time. And who knows what adventures lay in store today. We’re going to share all of it with you right here on Around Kansas. Stay with us.Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.
(Deb) Welcome back to the Swedish Inn in the heart of Lindsborg. We had a wonderful night here last night and you know while we’re traveling around Kansas, we could stay anywhere, there are any number of hotels and motels along the way. But to get the real flavor of the community and the folks, it’s wonderful to stay in a place like this that so reflects the Swedish heritage of Lindsborg itself. And if you look around you can see the decor. You eat off real dishes. Lovely breakfast experience here, we just had the best time. And you know in the latter half of the 19th century Kansas was inundated with European… eastern Europeans, the Scandinavian countries. And we’ve got so many communities that reflect the heritage. But Lindsborg has to be just one of the most enjoyable and has done perhaps the best job of preserving that heritage. We’re going to visit with a lot of folks today. We’re going to go to the mill; we’re going to do all kinds of things, but you know the best part about this, it’s like taking a European vacation right in your own backyard. You know we’re close to Topeka we’re close to Wichita, we’re close to Kansas City. And I’ve had the pleasure of being in Europe and the breakfast this morning here was just like you’d gone to another country. It’s not only going back in time, its like going to another place. And I was listening to the other tourists who were sitting at the other tables talking about the community and how everybody had been so nice to them and they had been to like the gas station and how people had gone out of their way to be so helpful at the gas station. And it was just so pleasing to hear those other comments about the community of Lindsborg. Now I’ve got to tell you the hardest part about being here in Lindsborg and being here at the Swedish Inn, is getting out of the gift shop without ransoming the family jewels. These lovely Swedish tiles, these little candle holders. And of course the Swedes do Christmas up right, so they’ve got just tons of really wonderful Christmas decorations to take home with you. Lots of food, incredible things. So we’re going to be packing the car with those things on the way out. Hope you’ll join us on the rest of our journey Around Kansas.
(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas and as we were strolling through the streets of Lindsborg, this was irresistible – so welcome to Sarahendepity and this is Sarah Ash who is the proprietor here. Sarah, what a lovely shop. How long have you been here? (Sarah) Thank you. I’ve been here in Lindsborg for two years. But before that I as on the Internet and I was selling jewelry and antiques online. And so for probably five years now I’ve had Sarahendepity. (Deb) This is just a beautiful store and you’ve got the jewelry like you’re wearing that you have made as well as the work of other artists in town and then the lovely antiques. Then you and your husband farm as well. (Sarah) Yes and we have some cattle. (Deb) Have cattle, raise wheat, you do all that? (Sarah) Yes, and soybeans. (Deb) So just the traditional life of a Lindsborgian right? (Sarah) Yes. (Deb) So how did you get into the jewelry making? (Sarah) Well, I started a while back just doing beading mainly and then I went to the college and Carolyn Caylor did a workshop on how to do metal smithing and I took that course from her and I was hooked and all I wanted to do was work with metal. (Deb) Well, I love what you’ve done and we were just looking at the work of one of your other artists with the Secret Keepers. I love those. That is spectacular. Talk about what she does. (Sarah) She mainly takes… (Deb) And that’s Marie, I’m sorry. (Sarah) Marie… It’s Mri Pilar. And she takes mostly like fabrics or like vintage kind of beads or some recycled bottle caps and different sorts of things and then works them into her dolls and she calls those Secret Keepers. (Deb) They’re wonderful, they’re wonderful. Now, the antique store, you’ve got everything. I have to say you have wonderful taste. And you’ve got every price range. And you’ve got toys and then you’ve got some what we might call finer antiques or collectibles. (Sarah) Um huh. Yes. (Deb) So the real gamut… (Sarah) I try to keep the wide variety just because you never know what people are looking for and try to keep a wide variety of prices because not everybody can afford like the higher dollar things. And try to keep some Swedish stuff in here because tourists come to Lindsborg and they are looking for little pieces of Lindsborg that they can take home with them. (Deb) Now, Lindsborg of course has a real tradition of art and supporting artistic endeavors. Of course Berger Sanson being the best example of that, but I think a lot of the things in your shop reflect that artistic value, if you will, of Lindsborg, would you agree with that? (Sarah) I would. (Deb) Was that a conscious decision on your part to include those things? (Sarah) Well, I feel like it reflects me personally too because I am an artist and so I like to support other artists in their work too and so that’s one of my decisions to have the store here was because of that. And because the culture of Lindsborg draws that artistic… just from being Lindsborg, I think. (Deb) Just from being Lindsborg. Now your husband’s from here? (Sarah) He is, he grew up south, well a little bit more toward Assaria and Bridgeport. But his parents are still there and the farm is out there and so that’s one of the main reasons why we moved back here about 15 years ago, so that we could arm and help his parents and so that we could raise our kids here too. (Deb) Well, what a great part of the community you’ve become, I’m sure they’re thrilled to have you here. And I just love the shop. Just love it. Thanks for sharing it with us. (Sarah) Thank you. (Deb) We’ll be right back, stay tuned.
(Deb) Welcome to the Smokey Valley Roller Mills. Now it’s a warm summer day in here now, I can only imagine what it must have been with all these turbines going and the gears revolving and this place hard at work. Now originally this was a gristmill and gristmill means that you use stones to grind wheat or corn. Later on this became a roller mill, so there are actually rollers. And when you look at this mill, it is an industrial work of art. It’s absolutely stunning. The mill that we are in right now, sitting on the Smoky Hill River was built in 1898. It was originally powered by turbines that were run by the water of the Smoky Hill River. Later on it was converted to electricity. By the 1980s it was restored to the glory it is now. And it is part of the McPherson County Old Mill Museum. So the museum includes this mill and it also includes other exhibits related to the history of the area, especially this incredible agricultural history. You know you can raise all the wheat in the world, if you don’t have a way to turn it into flour, it’s pretty worthless. This is just a welcome stop if you come to Lindsborg and this area this is a ‘have to’ stop along the way. We’re still here in Lindsborg and we’re right across the street from the old mill the Smoky Valley Rolling Mills and this is still part of the park that is operated by the county here. This is Heritage Square. Now these buildings are not in their original location. These buildings were saved and moved to this spot to preserve again the unique Swedish heritage of this town. So the West Kentucky little school house wouldn’t have been here. But they’ve saved these great buildings and put them all together in one wonderful park that you can enjoy and the community still continues to have events here. So, we’ve got the UP Depot, the Erickson Brothers Workshop and right behind me, the center point of this beautiful park is the Swedish Hall from the 1904 World’s Fair. And that is a great, like a big ballroom. It’s just a big community room, an absolutely gorgeous structure. And you can see how well the county takes care of it. And this is included in the ticket price when you go over the the mill and get your ticket to see the mill, this is all included in it as well. They just do a wonderful job, we can’t say enough for how hard the folks work here to keep their Swedish heritage alive. And to share it with the rest of us who are lucky enough to come and visit.
(Deb) Welcome to one of the eight wonders of Kansas geography for all you folks who are under the mistaken notion that Kansas is flat Coronado Heights is a must see. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado visited this site, likely, in 1541. You know Coronado; one of the Spanish conquistadors came to what would later become Kansas looking for Quivira, the lost city of gold. And of course the natives that he would encounter kept telling him it’s just over the next hill, just over the next hill. Well scholars believe this is probably about the last hill he got to before he gave up and went back to Spain and said that no, he didn’t find a lost city of gold, Now what many of the natives didn’t understand is that Coronado kept
looking for riches when he had this incredible ground beneath his feet all along. And they recognized the richness and the gorgeous landscape. When you look around from one of the Smoky Hills right here near the Smoky Hill River, you realize just what a gorgeous land Kansas is and it’s a real pity that Coronado didn’t realize that when he was here. I wanted to add that the structures that are here, this castle like building that enables you to enjoy this spectacular view was actually a WPA project in the 1930s. So there’s a picnic area, there’s just a couple of buildings here that were constructed to help people enjoy this. This of course is native stone and the stone here doesn’t look like a lot of the stone around Kansas. If you’ll notice a lot covered with lichen and it’s a very different kind of stone, but it is native to this location. This is a must stop if you’re ticking off those eight wonders of Kansas, whether it’s the geography, the art, all those things that the Kansas Explorers club came up with to identify places around Kansas. You’ve got to have this one on your list.
(Deb) Hi, I’m Deb Bisel; I want to welcome you to Around Kansas at Fort Hays, right next to Hays city. You know back in the day that’s what Hays would have been called and Fort Hays was one of those western forts so important in westward expansion. Established to protect the travel and trade routes that were going west originally the Butterfield Overland Dispatch, there were just so many trails taking settlers through Kansas and on to the western states. Originally Fort Hays would have been here to perhaps protect the settlers against the Indians, mainly Cheyenne and Arapahoe who are in this area. That’s kind of a controversial… that’s kind of a controversial piece of history now of course. A lot of sides to
the story and this is a great place to come and learn about it. Fort Hays has several buildings preserved. The original blockhouse is still here. These are the officers’ quarters that were built in the 1860s. Really nice digs for the time by the way. So we’d love to have you come out and take advantage of all Fort Hays has to offer. This is a state historic site. It’s been start of the state historic site system since 1965. Originally Fort Hays was Fort Fletcher. And later on it was built up and moved to its current site. Some of the names that you all know that are associated with the west- Custer, Cody, Hickok, all those people played a role in the history here. Custer actually camped near here on Big Creek and built a real large tent and a tree house for his wife Libby who stayed with him out
there. And when you read the accounts especially of Libby Custer and Jenny Barnett some of wives of the 7th Calvary who experienced life out here on the plains with their soldier husbands. Oh my gosh, they’re just incredible. Libby Custer talked about this ‘fresh it’ or this rain storm that hit and it turns their little camp in Big Creek into an island. And soldiers drowned that night. There were soldiers being washed away in the current. And she said the general was too drunk to do anything about it. And she was so glad that her general, that Custer was away at the time and would not know if she perished that night, wouldn’t know what kind of danger she was facing. So, it was an incredibly historic post and so many things happened here. So many famous people came through here. And they’re doing so many events to help interpret that history. One of the ones we hope to come back for is in October, the last Saturday in October when they do the graveside conversations and they actually have the ghosts of some of these people. We may come back and do some interviews with them. So, we’ll let you know about that and hope you can join us and maybe you can be here that night too. Maybe we’ll catch you on film as well. Stay tuned for more of Around Kansas.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.