Kansas Travel Blog

Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration & photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact him.
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Snack Platter - RJ's Bob-B-Que in Mission, Kansas
Friday - June 6, 2020: With a special event to celebrate, we decided to have our first meal in a restaurant since March. Sierra Grill in Lenexa, Kansas is our favorite nice restaurant nearby and their web site made it clear that they are making their customers' and employees' safety a priority. Dining was by reservation only and we called from the parking lot to find out when we could enter and go straight to our prepared table.

Customers go in the main entrance and leave by the fire exit. We wore masks until ordering. The menus are single use and already at the table when you are seated. The number of tables has been reduced to allow enough space between parties.

I had the rib eye, which was perfect, with a wonderful sauce which goes well with the steak and pureed potatoes. Linda had the grilled pork chop. We took home enough food for two more meals.

 

Sierra Grill - Lenexa, Kansas Sierra Grill 
 
Thursday - June 11, 2020: We are off too explore Kansas overnight for the first time since February.

The first stop of the day was the Historic Ritchie House in Topeka. It was built by John and Mary Jane Ritchie in 1857 and was a stop on the underground railroad. The small home is sparsely furnished and would take 5 minutes to see, but there are displays in the adjacent building and our guide spent over 30 minutes giving us history of the Ritchies and Topeka.

The staff at the Ritchie house seemed serious about being COVID19 cautious. We and our guide were all masked. 

Driving north on Kansas Avenue, we stopped to photograph street art and the mural which was painted last year on the police parking garage.

We stopped at C W Porubsky Grocery & Meats, a family market which opened in the Little Russia neighborhood of north Topeka in 1947. The marker and deli is sell meals only to go, The staff were all wearing masks, the floor was marked with one way aisles and there was sanitizer at the check out. 

We bought pimento cheese spread and some sausage and beef sticks from Fanestil Meats in Emporia, Kansas. I love their "hot" pimento spread, which has lots of jalapenos and I only recommend it to fans of hot spices.

Our next stop was Alma Creamery in Alma, Kansas. I wanted to pick up some of their oldest, sharper cheeses, which are not available at their outlets. We got extra sharp cheese made in 2014, 2013 and 2010. So far we have tried only the 2014, which is is quite sharp and crumbly. You have to pick up small pieces of the cheese as a slice will not hold together.

The only ways that Alma Creamery appeared to recognize Covid-19 is the option of calling in and having an order brought out to your vehicle, and they have eliminated samples.

Driving north, we drove through Wamego, stopping only to get a photo of the restored old Dutch windmill which was damaged in a storm last year, and turned west to tiny St. George, Kansas,

Lunch was at Willie's Hideaway in St. George. The rustic K-State bar's only acknowledgment of Covid-19 appeared to be the sanitizer available on the bar. It is possible that they have spread tables farther apart, but different parties couldn't get quite 6' apart and the stools were packed together at the bar.

The staff was friendly and the food ranged from average to very good. The French fries were average, the BLT was good and the onion rings were very good.

My favorite item was the Philly Cheese Steak (steak, pepper jack cheese, 5 blend cheese mix, roasted peppers, and sautéed onions. Topped with cheese wiz served open face.) The cheese wiz almost scared me off, but it is just a little extra flavor on top. The bun was soft and good as well. I would love to be able to have this sandwich more often!

St. George has no major attractions, but there are a bunch of minor attractions within a couple of blocks of Willie's Hideout. Some cool old grain elevators (including the last wooden silos in Kansas), Black Jack Spring, a mural, a nice view of the Kansas River and the largest Bur Oak tree in Kansas.

We drove for over an hour to Prairie Lavender Farm near Bennington, Kansas. Things are quiet right now and the gift shop is presently only open on Saturday, but they agreed to let us visit today. Mike Neustrom showed us around the gardens, small gift shop and the drying area where Lavender, sage and other herbs were hanging. 

We bought a number of toiletries, a lavender spice mix and a chocolate bar containing lavender oil, produced by Cocoa Dolce in Wichita. Mike and we wore masks during the tour.

We continued north and then west, stopping in Delphos, Kansas to photograph the church where actor Milburn Stone was married and driving southwest of town to the Zebulon Pike Monument and its nice view of the Solomon River Valley.

We also photographed the 1884 Pott's Ford Bridge, southwest of Glasco. The 310' truss bridge is still in use today.

Supper was at Trapper Joe's in Simpson, Kansas. The restaurant is in three buildings which been built together. I dined there in 2008m when it was Trappers, but it closed and reopened about 5 years ago with new owners and a new name. The young owners have two extremely well behaved small children who were playing in the front of the restaurant. 

There were no apparent COVID19 related precautions. 

We had chicken fried steak and a grilled chicken breast (loaded with white cheese, bacon, green onions and sour cream). The meals were reasonably priced. Good, but nothing which stood out. 

Before leaving town, we took many photos of the nearby, decrepit railroad depot. It is very photogenic!

We spent the night at the Old Station Inn Cawker City. The one room building is an Air B&B in and old service station. Tiny, but comfortable with very nice towels. It is a fun place to stay, across the street from the World's Largest Ball of Twine. We spent some time at the ball of twine, adding some twine to the ball, meeting travelers from Washington DC and Las Vegas, and having a long chat with Twine Ball Caretaker, Linda Clover, who had brought the twine for folks to add. She keeps a record of how much is added. The ball now weights 27,000 lb.. Linda wore a face mask wile interacting with the visitors.

We enjoyed our stay at the Old Station Inn, sitting outside and catching up on the internet with the wifi in the evening. It wasn't obvious what was being done for COVID19, but we had inquired before booking and Pamela told us that they have been removing and washing all bedding and towels between guests (everything). They have also taken extra care to wipe all surfaces with Clorox.

Two more days of trip report to follow!

 

Historic Ritchie House - Topeka, Kansas Historic Ritchie House
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

C W Porubsky Grocery & Meats - Topeka, Kansas C W Porubsky Grocery & Meats
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Willie's Hideaway - St. George, Kansas Willie's Hideaway
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Prairie Lavender Farm - Bennington, Kansas Prairie Lavender Farm
 
 
 
 
 

Pott's Ford Bridge - Glasco, Kansas Pott's Ford Bridge
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Old Station Inn - Cawker City Old Station Inn

Friday - June 12, 2020: Despite being just a few feet from US-24, the highway noise did not keep is awake in the night.

On our way out of town, we stopped to photograph Red Crown Inn, a second Air B&B in another old gas station and its associated art. A few miles down the road, we drove into Downs to photograph a nice looking railroad depot and the outside of the City Offices in a former lumber yard across the street.

Next up was the Geodetic Center of North America in a roadside park at US -81 and US-24, Actually a historical marker about it. The actual Geodetic Center is on the Meades Ranch, with no public access, about 18 miles farther south. There is a replica of the bronze disk which marks the real center, and a guest register which appears to be only used a few times a year.

The Geodetic Center is similar to the geographic center, but takes into account that the Earth is a sphere, rather than flat.

We retraced a few miles of US-24, driving on to Portis, Kansas the birthplace of animator Tubby Millar, who was a writer for Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. He was particularly associated with Porky Pig. There is a stone sign about Tubby in the Portis City Park.

After stops in Gaylord, Kansas to photograph a wrought iron park entrance built of metal from an old bridge and in Cedar Kansas to photograph the Missouri Pacific Depot, we had an early lunch at the Triple C Cafe in Glade, Kansas. The Triple C was packed, without social distancing or other obvious precautions. 

I had the signature Triple C Burger (2 half pound bacon cheeseburgers with fries) and a hot roast beef sandwich. The food was good and quite reasonable. The Triple C Burger was way too much food. I ate most of the meat and barely touched the fries. Although there were two huge patties, there was just one slice of cheese. 

Triple C was busy and lunch took much longer than we anticipated, so we hurried north to Phillipsburg, to visit The Shepherd's Mill, which they say is the only fiber processing facility in Kansas. The turn hair from sheep, yak, alpaca, goat and are animals into thread and yarn. There is an attractive gift shop and the mill shares a wall with several windows where the work can be watched. The mill manager explained what the various stations were going. 

Before leaving, we purchased a Christmas gift for a family member.

Still running late, we crossed town to the C & R Railroad Museum, which is part of the Huck Boyd Community Center. The museum is only open by appointment and we were met by three docent engineers: Bill Schick, Merlyn Schick and Mike James. Before seeing the museum, they showed us around the community center, which has an impressive 500 seat theater and a reproduction of Huck Boyd's office. Huck was a politician and newspaper publisher.

The C & R Railroad is a large O-scale layout which includes a community, 57' mountain range, 1,200' of track, 94 engines, 170 cars and 34 cabooses. They showed us many of the specialty cars and buildings and ran several of the trains for us, giving Linda a chance to operate a train. The room also houses 136 railroad lanterns and other train memorabilia.

An adjacent room houses the Rachel Martin's photo gallery.

We saw no obvious signs of social distancing or other efforts to prevent Covid-19 in Phillipsburg.

Back on the road, we stopped at the ghost town of Densmore, where we photographed the beautiful little St. Mary's Catholic Church, tucked behind some evergreen trees, then were back on the road to Bow Creek Ranch, a few miles south of  Lenora, Kansas.

Stephanie and Doug David showed us around the ranch, where they raise Angus cattle, yak, and long haired heritage pigs. They sell meat by appointment at the ranch, but primarily sell the meat and yak hair/hide clothing at shows and online. We purchased an assortment of yak Polish sausage, steak, and hamburger, as well as bacon and beef sticks.

We were running late again and raced to Selden, Kansas to make our 5PM reservation at the Elephant Bistro And Bar. The Bistro is a surprisingly nice restaurant for a community of just over 200 people. We split a Korean chicken wing appetizer and had the Italian pork chop agrodolce and bison Philly sandwich. The wings were less spicy than I wanted, the Philly and pork chops were quite good. The thick twice fried house cut fries were a little over done.

The restaurant has reduced their seating to allow for social distancing and is accepting customers by reservation only.

We made a few more brief stops for photos, before spending the night at the Days Inn and Ellis. The hotel is in good repair and the prices were reasonable, however there was no acknowledgment of Covid and no signs of taking precautions. Although some customers wore masks, no one working in the motel did. The desk clerk just handled the keys and other documents & pens, handing them to us. There was no sanitizer available to use after checking in.

 


 
 
 
 
 

Geodetic Center of North America - Osborne, Kansas Replica bronze disk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Triple C Cafe - Glade, Kansas Triple C Burger
 

The Shepherd's Mill - Philipsburg, Kansas The Shepherd's Mill
 

C & R Railroad Museum - Phillipsburg, Kansas C & R Railroad Museum
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bow Creek Ranch Yaks - Lenora, Kansas Bow Creek Ranch Yaks
 
 

lephant Bistro And Bar - Selden, Kansas Elephant Bistro & Bar

Saturday - June 13, 2020: It had been several years since my last visit to the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays and the current temporary exhibit, The Prairie Ocean: Long Time, No Sea, sounded interesting

The Prairie Ocean exhibit was created by Chuck Bonner and Ray Troll, and is on display at the  Kansas until September 8th. The exhibit highlights stories of the Bonner family, and their family legacy as fossil hunters, and also focuses on Kansas and its natural history. It features a variety of Chuck and Ray's artwork, and fossils found here in Kansas.

The tickets cashier was was wearing a mask so were a portion of the customers. Most of the customers who did wear masks, took them off when there was no one near them in the galleries.

We had lunch at Vernie's Hamburger House. I had been wanting to try them for some time, but they had not been open when I wanted to dine there. They got the highest marks for Covid-19 precautions during our trip. There were new shields at the cashiers stations, there were sanitation stations, the condiments had been removed from the tables with individual packs available, and tables had been made unavailable so that there was plenty of distance between the tables in use.

The food was standard drive-in fare, at what seemed a fair price. Vernie's has been in business since since 1969.

Back on I-70, we pulled off at Victoria, Kansas to revisit the Cathedral of the Plains. The sanctuary was in use the last couple of times I stopped so it had been many years since I had been inside the church. I was looking for exterior signs calling it the Basilica of St. Fidelis, but found only signs calling it St. Fidelis Church.

Next stop was Russell, Kansas, where I photographed the historic Dream Theater and the 2011 mural in Cecil Bricker Park.

The final stop of the trip was to photograph the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific Railway depot in McFarland, Kansas. I need to return some day when we can see the museum inside. They don't have regular hours and it is hard to schedule an appointment for a time in the middle of a long day of stops, when I don't know what time I would be in town. 

 

Sternberg Museum of Natural History - Hay's Kansas The Prairie Ocean
 
 
 
 

Vernie's Hamburger House - Hays, Kansas Vernie's Hamburger House
 
 

Russell, Kansas Mural Historic Russell Mural

 
Saturday - June 20, 2020: Added a new page devoted to the Vieux Cemetery & Homestead in Pottawatomie County. The photos were taken in 2015, but the page was just completed.

 

 
Monday - June 22, 2020: Added a new page devoted to the Vieux Crossing in Pottawatomie County. The photos were taken in 2015, but the page was just completed.

 

 
Friday - June 26, 2020: We are back on the road again, starting out headed down I-35, stopping just before Emporia to photograph the burial site of Edward J. Alexander, "The Children's Friend" at Camp Alexander. A former slave, he operated a farm at this location and sold produce from a wagon, door to door in Emporia, giving away as much produce to children as he sold.

Sometime after his death, it was discovered that he had donated his estate to children of Emporia, reserving one acre for his burial and for others too poor to afford plots. If there are other burials present, there is no sign of them today.

We drove on through Emporia to Fanestils Fresh Local Market, on US-50, just west of town. We had recently purchased a couple of their products at C W Porubsky Grocery & Meats in Topeka, and particularly the beef sticks. We loaded a large cooler with 2 types of beef sticks, 3 types of sausages (Italian, Mesquite, Apple Gouda), 2 kinds of beef jerky, a large slice of bone in ham. So far we had tried the ham (good), Italian sausage (very good) and hot jerky (tough with no flavor other than the heat). We learned that tours are available at Fanestils Meats processing facility on the south side of Emporia, but photography is not permitted.

We had an early lunch at Cassoday Country Store. just off the Kansas Turnpike in Cassoday, Kansas. An old gas station (you pump the gas before you pay) and restaurant with some convenience store items. The menu was on a chalk board on the wall

We had a butterfly shrimp basket and a double cheeseburger with onion rings. All of the food was good, but nothing stood out, but part of the point is that there is any restaurant at all in a community of 129 people and no other communities nearby.

The house cut fries were my favorite item. We also loved Maizie, the restaurant dog.

The only acknowledgment of Covid19 was a sign on the door asking people to wash their hands when they entered.

We have been wanting to photograph wild horses near Cassoday for a number of years. We've known that there are several thousand kept at ranches in the area, but did not know where to them. Today we were armed with Jim Grills directions to a large herd south of town and a mention in the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers 2, that they may be visible in the distance from Teter Rock.

Heading south from Cassoday, we had only driven about 3 miles before seeing a small group of wild horses in the distance. After taking photos, we continued on, seeing several small groups, perhaps 70 or 80 total. All were fairly distant.

We returned to town and headed east out of town on NE 150th Street, where we were delighted to find 2 groups of about 15 wild horse, on of which groups was right near the fence of the road/ They were not spooked by my presence and let me get out of the car and come within 30 feet to take photos and video.

We continued on to Teterville & Teter Rock, turning off of the gravel road, over a cattle guard onto a two rut road. The road was very rough and we could only drive 10 miles per hour or slower. It winds through the ruins that are all that remain of Teterville, Kansas, a small community which formed near the Teter Oil Fields in the 1920s. 

We worked our way to the high point where James Teter erected a pile of local rocks on his land as a guidepost for homesteaders searching for the Cottonwood River. As Teterville grew, the original rocks were used in the construction of several of the buildings and the Teter marker disappeared. Teter Rock was reconstructed in 1954, when a 16' slab of rocks was erected in honor of Mr. Teter.

It has always been windy when I have been to Teter Rock and that was true today. The view is impressive and (sure enough) we saw a far distant group of over 50 wild horses.

We took back roads south and east, making just a couple of brief stops and eventually getting to Eureka Lake Falls. 

The falls is in the outflow from the lake and has either had very little water or and enormous amount whenever I have been there. Today it was a small flow and local young people were having fun in the water and not social distancing.

In Eureka, we toured the restored former Santa Fe Depot which is now the offices of Invena Corporation, an energy and aerospace engineering and fabricating company. Cammi Wilson took a break from her duties to show thorough the entire building and tell us what was restored, replace or reinvented. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

We photographed several other buildings before stopping a the Lo-Mar Drive In for a snack. Lo-Mar was built in 1955. It does not have car hops and food is ordered at window in an enclosed foyer. When we had passed Lo-Mar before visiting the rest of town, the foyer was packed with people, making no effort to self distance.

When we returned, the foyer was no longer packed, but the kitchen had not recovered. We waited nearly 40 minutes for our mushroom Swiss burger, twisters and a chocolate malt. The twisters, which are fresh, spiral cut potato chips, were my favorite item by far. Next time I would go with regular, rather than seasoned. 

Our next stop was in Yates Center, where we photographed an 1899 stone jail and two murals. Then on to Fredonia, where we spent the night at the Americas Best Value Inn.

Supper was a long awaited revisit of Stockyard Restaurant, which is in the same building as the Fredonia Livestock Auction. There lunch menu is sandwich oriented, but in the evening, it lives up to its name and is a steakhouse. 

There were signs at the entrance, encouraging people to social distance. Some booths were not in use, to allow for space between different parties and we saw tables being sanitized between parties. 

They brought a nice sized loaf of very good, warm sweet brown bread with honey butter before the meal. I'm not that much of a bread person, but was very impressed with theirs.

Linda had beef tips with baked potato and mixed vegetables and I had rib eye with salad and ranch fries (large fresh cut, fried potato wedge. The rib tips were cooked with mushrooms and grilled vegetables, but the serving was almost exclusively meat. The rib eye was cooked exactly to the medium which I requested. The ranch fries would have been better if they had been cooked a little shorter time, something I almost never say.

We followed dinner with a drive through town, photographing many of the murals which have been sponsored over the years by the Fredonia Art Council.

More to come...

 

Edward J.Alexander Grave - Emporia, Kansas Edward J. Alexander Grave

Fanestils Fresh Local Market - Emporia, Kansas Fanestils Fresh Local Market
 

Cassoday Country Store - Cassoday, Kansas Cassoday Country Store

Maizie dog - Cassoday Country Store Maizie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wild Hoses - Cassody, Kansas Wild Horses
 

Wild horses - Teter Rock Wild horses in the distance from Teter Rock
 
 

Eureka Lake Falls - Eureka, Kansas Eureka Lake Falls
 
 
 
 

Lo-Mar Drive In - Eureka, Kansas Mushroom Swiss Burger
and Twisters
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Stockyard Restaurant - Fredonia, Kansas Rib eye & ranch fries

Saturday - June 27, 2020: We had a family event in Fredonia, but were back on the road in the mid afternoon. Our first stop was Chanute Art Gallery. The public art gallery has three display galleries and has a different guest artist each month. There ar no permanent displays The water colors of Diane Barton are on exhibit until July 11th. Masks were being worn and there was a sanitation station.

We continued north to Iola, to visit John Brown's Cave at Lehigh Portland Trails. We parked as close as we could and hiked about a quarter mile. The trail was in pretty good shape, just a little muddy. We picked up a tick during the hike.

There is no known connection to John Brown, other than his having lived in eastern Kansas.

The entrance to the cave is along a 10-20' high stone bluff in an area which reminds me of the Ozarks. It appeared that it was just a short opening, but if we had pushed on, it opens out into about a 200' long space with an exit at the far end. It is reported that you can't go through the cave without getting wet and 3 light sources are recommended, so we weren't prepared to explore it. It was still an interesting spot.

With only the briefest of stops for photos, we drove on to Council Grove, and had an early supper at the newly reopened Hays House Restaurant in Council Grove, the oldest (1857) restaurant in Kansas. It had closed in December, there was fear that it might be closed for good, but they reopened with new owners 3 weeks ago.

There were sanitation stations near the entrance and (at least while we were there) parties were seated at tables which were at least 6 feet apart. Condiments and all other things had been removed from the tables.

A young man who appeared to be about 10 years old seated us. Near the end of the meal, he returned to ask how our meal was. The menu was shorter than the last time we dined here, but had a large enough selection. We were happy with the service and there was no evidence that the present version of the restaurant was less than three weeks old.

We had chicken fried steak ($15 with choice of potato and a side) and prime rib ($28 for the smaller 12 ounce cut with potato and a side). The chicken fried steak was hand breaded, with much more meat than breading. The coating was crisp and delicious, and the steak was tender and beefy flavored. One of the best chicken fried steaks I have had. We didn't really notice the garlic in the mashed potatoes, but that was fine with this dish and gravy. 

The prime rib appeared larger than the 12 ounce "The Pilgrim" cut. I thought they hit the medium I requested right on. It was a little more fatty than I would choose, but with the generous serving, I could avoid that and still have plenty of meat. It was tender, but I did need the steak knife. It was well flavored as well. There is a larger 18 ounce "The Duke" cut available for $4 more.

The HH fries, are house cut, slender fries. They were crispy and not greasy. I would have liked a little more seasoning on the shaved Brussels sprouts.

We split a large blueberry cobbler ($5 with whipped cream). The cobbler was more cake like than we are used to with cobbler. 

We spent the night at Cottage House Hotel, just around the corner. The Hotel began as a three room cottage and blacksmith shop, built in 1867. We stayed in the main building, where there are 26 rooms. The room was reasonable comfortable for an older hotel. The clerk wore a face mask and there was a Plexiglas shield between her and the customers. 

There was no refrigerator in the room and no ice machine. I was able to request ice from the clerk. When I requested another bucket of ice in the morning, all they has left was a third bucket of old ice and frost.

After settling in, we went back out to photograph some of the sites on the Council Grove list of 25 historic sites. On the door of the old Carnegie Library which is now the Morris County Archive. we found a list of people to call to make an appointment to use the Morris County Historical Society and I took a chance and called several of the numbers, where I found someone willing to to show us their museum the next day.

Concluding the evening with sunset photos at Council Grove Lake, we called it a day.

 

Chanute Art Gallery - Chanute, Kansas Chanute Art Gallery

John Brown's Cave - Iola, Kansas John Brown's Cave
 
 

Hays House Restaurant - Council Grove, Kansas Hays House Restaurant
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Prime Rib - Hays House Restaurant Prime Rib
 
 
 
 
 

Cottage House Hotel - Council Grove, Kansas Cottage House Hotel

 

Sunday - June 28, 2020: I walked over to Hays House for breakfast. There was a different staff and I had a chat with Randall Dickson. one of the three new partners in the restaurant and former chef at Six Mile Chop House and Tavern, near Lawrence, Kansas.

There are a few less expensive items, but most breakfast meals are $10-15. I had the Carnivore 3 egg scramble ($12) made with bacon, sausage, ham, cheddar & Swiss cheese, breakfast potatoes and choice of toast. I enjoyed the meaty scrambled eggs and the wheat toast. I would have liked the potatoes a little crisper.

It was still early and downtown was quiet. I took some photos on Main Street, then walked along some of the Riverwalk, before returning to the hotel.

After checking out, we drove west, stopping briefly for more photos, before arriving at Hope Community Historical Museum in Hope, Kansas. The museum wouldn't have been open at this time, but Joe Hirsch met us to show us around. Joe is a history teacher who (in addition to volunteering at the museum) operates Sunflower State Tours with Kansas travel and history tours.

Joe gave us a fascinating tour of the small museum which wills a former church. We liked the ways he related the exhibits to the history of Hope and enjoyed hearing him play a wax cylinder on a Edison Cylinder Phonograph, and a Regina Disc Music Box. They have manage to include a lot in this two room building!

One of the displays was the Eisenhower family connection to Hope. Joe also told us that the final rest place of Margaret Rebecca Matter Eisenhower & Jacob Frederick Eisenhower, grandparents of President Dwight David Eisenhower, was nearby and we photographed the grave in Belle Spring Cemetery, about 10 miles west and north of Hope.

Returning to town, lunch was a revisit of Gridiron Café. Although the changes were subtle, they had clearly taken care to make dinning more Covid safe, for example, removing chairs from some tables to permit social distancing. We had catfish and chicken fried steak. Near the end of the meal, the owner, Fred French, stopped to talk to us. I have only been to this restaurant twice before (2016 & 2018), but he remembered me from the previous visits.
  
Driving back to Council Grove, we drove into Herington to photograph the mural showing the (now gone) railroad depot, as well some of the beautiful old downtown buildings. 

We were met by Kelley Judd of the Morris County Historical Society, at the Post Office Oak Museum The museum is in a classic old stone building which was built in 1864 and housed a brewery in the basement. The name of the museum comes from the stump of the Post Office Oak in the front yard, which local tradition says was used to leave messages and letters during the days of the Santa Fe Trail. 

After touring the museum, we each drove to the Seth Hays Home, which was built in 1867 the founder of Council Grove, Seth M. Hays. It is now furnished with period furniture and only open by appointment.  

That was the end of the day's explorations.
 
 


 
 
 
 

Riverwalk - Council Grove, Kansas Riverwalk

Hope Community Historical Museum - Hope, Kansas Hope Community Historical Museum

Rebecca and Jacob Eisenhower Grave - Hope, Kansas Eisenhower grave

Gridiron Café - Hope, Kansas Gridiron Café
 
 

Seth Hays Home - Council Grove, Kansas Seth Hays Home

 
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