- February 16, 2018: We started 3 days of exploring south central Kansas
at the Panhandle Railroad Museum in Wellington, Kansas, which is a neat
private collection of railroad memorabilia in an even neater old stone
building which was a coal gasification plant from 1886-1906. The museum
is owned by former train conductor Perry Wiley who assembled the collection
and his wife, Sherry. They do not have regular hours during the winter,
but agreed to meet us and show us their collection.
also showed us some of the wooden canes which he carves and uses.
second stop in Wellington was the National Glass Museum, which the National
Depression Glass Association opened in 2012. It is closed in January and
February, but the volunteers were already planning to work in the museum
morning and agreed to let us tour the small facility.
coolest part of visiting the museum may be at the conclusion of the visit,
when they invite you to select a glass piece to take with you as the National
Depression Glass Association's gift.
photographed a few other places along South Washington Avenue, including
the Sumner County Courthouse with its county map mural and mastodon bone
were met one more time, at the Chisholm Trail Museum, across the street
from the courthouse. The museum occupies the historic Hatcher Hospital
building, which incorporates the building's history as well as the story
of the nearby Chisholm Trail and other Sumner County history. My personal
favorite display was the former nursery, where the newborns were once displayed
behind a window to the hall. The museum is continuing to assemble the names
of the "Hatcher babies" who were once born there.
drove north to Wichita, Kansas to have lunch at B
& C BBQ, which is one of our favorite Kansas BBQ restaurants. We
had mixed feelings about the construction taking place while the restaurant
continues to operate. They are majorly remodeling and making the facilities
nicer, but we liked the atmosphere of the old garage. The really good news
is that the hours will be significantly expanding. Presently the restaurant
is only open for lunch.
first stop after lunch was the Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology
in Neff Hall on the Wichita State University Campus. They do little to
promote this museum, which is only open weekday afternoons and we had the
museum to ourselves. We were blown away as we explored the Mary Lynn Oliver
Gallery and the staircases and hallways of Neff Hall. We probably didn't
find all that the museum has to offer.
next stop was at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, which was once located
in the Old Town section of Wichita. At that time, the Hall of Fame included
a large museum devoted to sports in Kansas. In 2010, that collection moved
to a new Kansas Sports Museum in Newton, Kansas (which later closed). The
Hall of Fame moved to the Wichita Boat House, where it is still located
today and has a small museum which is open just Monday - Friday.
largest artifact at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame is America³ (pronounced
"America Cubed") which stands behind the Boat House along the Arkansas
River. In 1992, America³ defeated the Italian challenger Il Moro di
Venezia to successfully defend the America's Cup. America³ can be
viewed at any time.
final stop in town was the Wichita WATER Center (Wichita Area Treatment,
Education & Remediation) which opened in 2003 to serve as a treatment
facility for the Gilbert-Mosley Project and as a museum devoted to public
education about the importance of water quality and conservation.
remediation system treats over 1,000,000 gallons of water a day and the
treated water flows through the fountains, aquariums and creek on the way
to the nearby Arkansas River. Some of the water is used to irrigate Herman
Hill Park, which surrounds the WATER Center.
building where the water is treated is kept locked, but you can ask at
the center's desk and an employee will show you through the treatment center
if they are available.
drove on to Hutchinson, Kansas, to the Atrium Hotel and Conference Center
where we spent part of the weekend participating in BYOc, a minimal programing
science fiction convention and annual gathering of friends.
drove to the Carriage Crossing in nearby Yoder, Kansas for supper. It had
been several years since the last time we dined there and it gave us a
chance to update the listing in our Hutchinson
Kansas Restaurant and Attraction Guide.