Kansas ‘Wonders’ on display at Eisenhower Library


Father Emil Kapaun of Pilsen, a decorated military chaplain who died as a prisoner of war during World War II in Korea, will be one of the many people, places and things highlighted at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.

Canton was also recognized in the geography category for Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, which is home to one of the few surviving wild buffalo herds.

Marci Penner, director of the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation said Monday that Father Kapaun and Maxwell Wildlife Refuge will be part of the 8 Wonders of Kansas exhibit designed to help celebrate Kansas’ sesquicentennial.

The exhibit will open to the public on Kansas Day, Jan. 29, and close Sept. 5.

“There is no admission charge,” she said, “and the library at SE Fourth St., will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily.”

Displays will feature the top 8 Wonders in the contested rural culture element categories of Architecture, Art, Commerce, Cuisine, Customs, Geography, History, and People, plus the overall 8 Wonders of Kansas, she said. The additional 16 finalists in each contest will be recognized.

“Some of the artifacts that will be shown include a spacesuit from the Kansas Cosmosphere, a full Buffalo Soldier uniform from Fort Leavenworth, John Steuart Curry’s paint palette, rolling pins from MarCon Pies in Washington and a place setting from Brookville Hotel,” she said.

In addition tools to dress post rock from the Post Rock Museum in LaCrosse, shoes and a helmet worn by Amelia Earhart, and a dice game from the original Long Branch Saloon, Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City can be seen.

“Because of the vision of Director Karl Weissenbach, tens of thousands of people will get to see exhibits that feature some of Kansas’ best-found in unincorporated towns and our largest cities,” Penner said.

“In one fantastic venue, the focus will be on the diversity and highlights of Kansas. This exhibit will no doubt inspire an increased enthusiasm to explore Kansas.”

A reception for the exhibit and the premier of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 16 at the Eisenhower Library.

Overall 8 Wonders

The following is a list of the top 8 Wonders from each category. Each will be represented with an artifact, photography, and information.

Those included:

• Big Well, Greensburg;

• Castle Rock/Monument Rocks, Gove County;

• Cheyenne Bottoms/Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Barton and Stafford Counties;

• Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene;

• Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson;

• Kansas Underground Salt Museum, Hutchinson;

• St. Fidelis Church (Cathedral of the Plains), Victoria;

• Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (Flint Hills), Chase County.

Featured Architecture

• Chase County Courthouse, Cottonwood Falls;

• Cooper Barn, Colby;

• Fromme-Birney Round Barn, Mullinville;

• Holy Cross Church, Pfeifer

• Kansas State Capitol, Topeka;

• Lebold Mansion, Abilene;

• Ness County Bank, Ness City;

• Seelye Mansion, Abilene.

Featured Art

• Birger Sandzen, Lindsborg;

• Blackbear Bosin’s Keeper of the Plains, Wichita;

• Blue Sky Sculpture, Newton;

• Charlie Norton’s Buffalo Bill Bronze Sculpture, Oakley;

• Garden of Eden and Grassroots Art Mecca, Lucas;

• Gordon Parks, Fort Scott;

• John Steuart Curry Murals, Topeka;

• St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Benedict.

Featured Commerce

• Big Brutus, West Mineral;

• Brant’s Meat Market, Lucas

• Frontenac Bakery, Frontenac;

• Hemslojd, Lindsborg;

• MarCon Pies, Washington;

• Moon Marble Company, Bonner Springs;

• Stafford County Flour Mills, Hudson;

• Vonada Stone Company, Sylvan Grove.

Featured Cuisine

• Bobo’s Drive In, Topeka;

• Brookville Hotel, Abilene;

• Cozy Inn, Salina;

• Crawford County Fried Chicken, Crawford County;

• Free State Brewing Company, Lawrence;

• Guy and Mae’s Tavern, Williamsburg;

• Hays House Historic Restaurant and Tavern, Council Grove;

• WheatFields Bakery Cafe, Lawrence.

Featured Customs

• Bringing musicians together, Cottonwood Falls;

• Chanting a school fight song, Lawrence;

• Clicking your heels three times…, Liberal and Wamego;

• Commemorating Veterans Day, Emporia;

• Displaying an ethnic handicraft, Lindsborg;

• Ordering a soda fountain treat, statewide;

• Riding a carousel, Abilene and Leavenworth;

• Using post rock for fencing, Smoky Hills region and LaCrosse.

Featured Geography

• Alcove Spring, near Blue Rapids;

• Coronado Heights, near Lindsborg

• Four-state Lookout, White Cloud;

• Gyp Hills Scenic Drive and Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, Barber and Comanche Counties;

• Konza Prairie, Manhattan

• Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, near Canton;

• Mushroom Rock State Park, Ellsworth County and Rock City, near Minneapolis;

• Pillsbury Crossing, near Manhattan.

Featured History

• 1930s Dust Bowl Days to Gas Exploration, Historic Adobe Museum, Ulysses;

• Boot Hill Museum and Historic Dodge City, Dodge City;

• Council Grove, a Santa Fe Trail National Landmark town;

• Fort Scott National Historic Site, Fort Scott;

• Historic Fort Leavenworth, Fort Leavenworth;

• Historic Fort Riley, Fort Riley;

• Kansas Museum of History, Topeka;

• Kanza Tribe and Lewis & Clark’s Independence Creek, Atchison.

Featured People

• Amelia Earhart, Atchison;

• Buffalo Soldiers, Fort Leavenworth;

• Carry A. Nation, Medicine Lodge;

• Emil Kapaun, Pilsen;

• George Washington Carver, Minneapolis and Beeler;

• James Naismith, Lawrence;

• Martin and Osa Johnson, Chanute;

• William Allen White, Emporia.

The Eisenhower Presidential Library and the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation partnered to display the 8 Wonders of Kansas in the exhibit, Penner said.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.