Mound City, Kansas

Mound City, Kansas, is another true hidden gem located in Linn County.

A quick historyIMG_1325 lesson about the town. It’s the original origin of the term “Jayhawkers.” The city’s website states: “During the Civil war the members of the Seventh Kansas regiment, commanded by Col. C. R. Jennison, became known as “Jayhawkers,” and probably from this fact the jayhawker came to be regarded by many as purely a Kansas institution,…”

The Linn County Courthouse is the second-oldest operational courthouse in Kansas, built in 1886.

The 2010 census lists the town having a population of 694.

What really caught my eye at this town was its amazing Historical Park. There are several historical buildings there that one can wander around and look at including a school, a train depot, a corncrib, a windmill and a few other buildings. There’s a lovely covered bridge that is a great place to take a portrait of someone. Of course, I had to do that. IMG_1304

I loved the pure history of the park and each building had plaques with information about its history. A half hour here and you’ll be well-versed on the buildings and get several history lessons as well.

The Number 9 School was built in 1867. It was a one-room schoolhouse that had two outdoor toilets and a dug well. Students in grades 1-8 attended the school. As many as 70 students attended the school, which closed in 1959.

Another building, the Clausen Cabin, was built in 1900 and was moved to the current site in 1982. It wIMG_1306as the last log cabin inhabited in Linn County and was made of persimmon wood. It was taken apart log by log and moved to Mound City.

I highly recommend this trip! There’s so much history wrapped into this small park!

Mine Creek Battlefield

On my way to the small town of Pleasanton, Kansas, this past weekend, I found myself at anotIMG_1285her Kansas gem. Having lived in Kansas my entire life, I have never been to Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site.

First, I’ll talk about Plesanton. The City of Pleasanton was founded in 1869, according to their website after General Alfred Pleasonton, the victorious Union General at the Battle of Mine Creek. Th
e city is built in and around the battlefield site.

“It is considered by many to be the only major Civil War battlefield in Kansas! From there, our community flourished as it took advantage of the then bustling railroad trade.  Soon, churches were founded, a school was built, stores began to open up on Main Street, and the City of Pleasanton began to grow,” according to the city’s website, referenced in an above link.IMG_1291

According to the 2010 census, the city has about 1,200 residents. And if you’re looking for some good food while you’re there I highly recommend MeeMaw’s Country Kitchen. I got biscuits and gravy and a pancake and the food is the REAL DEAL. I love food and their food alone was worth the nearly two-hour drive!

Now on to the Mine Creek Battlefield site. The Kansas Historical Society’s website states: “On Oct. 25, 1864, on the banks of Mine Creek, two Union brigades of approximately 2,500 troops defeated approximately 7,000 Confederates from General Sterling Price’s Army of Missouri. Federal Colonels Frederic
k W. Benteen and John H. Philips led the attack in one of the largest cavalry battles of the Civil War and a major battle fought in Kansas. Their dramatic story comes alive at Mine Creek Civil War Battlefield.”IMG_1209

The site today includes a nice visitor’s center (which was closed the day I went) and a walking trail where you can read about the battle. The walking trail spans 2.6 miles. The site is quiet, educational and a great way to learn about the Civil War and nature. It’s worth a Kansas road trip for sure!



John Redmond

Phew! It’s been a long while since I’ve blogged! The next several blog posts I’ll be posting about Kansas and some hidden gems!

IMG_0968Last week I found myself spending the evening after work at John Redmond Lake, which is near Burlington, Kansas. It is flanked by gorgeous Flint Hills and provides camping facilities, places to fish and places to boat and hiking as well.

According to the website:

“The John Redmond project was authorized as ‘Strawn Dam.  The town of Strawn was relocated six miles eastward on higher ground when the dam was constructed.  The old townsite is now underwater.” (The last little bit makes me want to explore the old town under the lake)!

“In 1958, congress renamed it John Redmond Dam and Reservoir for the Burlington Daily Republican’s publisher, John Redmond.”

Recent rains has the lake full and when I was there they were letting water out of the lake to lower the levels. It is a popular fishing spot and when the water levels are lower people fish right in the water near the dam.

IMG_0973The striking beauty of the lake, which is so expansive it makes you think you’re in another place altogether, takes one away from ordinary  life. It shows visitors the striking beauty of nature.

There are mIMG_0975any species of birds, ducks and pelicans can even be seen at certain times of the year.

And there’s nothing quite like the sunset over the lake as the water mirrors the striking colors of a dramatic Kansas sunset.

Kansas has so much to offer — people tend to think we’re “flat and boring,” but we’re anything but that.

John Redmond is only one of many gems we have in this great state.