Cawker City got its name because Harrison Cawker won a poker game. In 1914 his daughter dedicated a memorial drinking fountain (for humans and horses) to honor her father. It can be found in the city park.
Glasco has a Rhubarb Festival the first Friday in June.
The Silver Bell Motel in Longton (Elk County) has the reputation of being the cleanest and most inexpensive motel in existence.
Rural communities might not have large commercial tourism attractions but they are really good at being themselves! These entries and more are what make rural Kansas appealing to an explorer audience.
The public now has easy access to hundreds of entries about locally-owned businesses, historic icons, quirky customs, and intriguing visual details on a newly-released website, getruralkansas.org. The website is part of a statewide project called "Rural Kansas: Come and Get It" that is designed to collectively promote what there is to see and do in rural Kansas and to help the world "get" rural life.
Last summer, representatives from more than 80 communities took a class and researched their towns. Forty communities have reached a certain standard and their entries can now be seen on the website.
A joint project between the Kansas Sampler Foundation and tourism alliances statewide, the effort was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Division.
Foundation director Marci Penner said, "There is a certain audience that wants to explore and we need to make it easy for them to find interesting nooks and crannies and find the local flavor in rural communities!"
Here are abbreviated samples of entries found on the web site:
Ulysses has the only triple-roof, lattice-type, hyperbolic paraboloid church in the state--maybe the only one in the country!
You can get your hair cut on Tuesdays at the barbershop located in the Piqua Co-op (Woodson County). It's $8.
You can play nine holes twice on rotating tee boxes to have an 18-hole experience at the Meade Golf Course. Green fees are $8 during the week and paid on the honor system.
In Coldwater, golf the only course in the state that has 10 holes. Club members couldn't decide if the extra space should be a swimming pool or a practice green so they just built another hole--the tenth hole!
Representatives were urged to have fun with the entries and to point out nuances that might be missed otherwise. Directions, hours, and background are included. Penner said, "The people that worked on these sites aren't professional photographers nor have most worked in journalism. But in a grassroots team effort, we've all coordinated our talents to produce the best site possible for the public. I'm so proud of these towns."
Each community has placed their information into one of the rural culture element categories of architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people. Website users can choose a city, county, or region to find information or they can click on "cuisine", for example, under "What to do" and all the cuisine entries in the state will appear.
The public can also sign up to get Facebook, Twitter, or blogs to receive updated information and to learn more about any particular town.
Not the usual tourism site, this explorer version is designed to help the world see rural Kansas with new eyes and to understand rural culture.
More classes will be offered this summer and communities interested in being part of the project should contact email@example.com.
Want to explore rural Kansas this summer? Come and get it at getruralkansas.org!