Kansas Sampler

Child Care Doalogue to answer st...

A Child Care Doalogue, organized and facilitated by the Kansas Sampler Foundatio...

Showcase counties for 2020 Big K...

Brown, Doniphan and Nemaha will be the next counties showcased in the Big Ka...

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Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace in Northwest Kansas will be the showcase counties ...

Kansas Explorer Club

Kansas Explorer Club

Members of the Kansas Explorer Club receive 5-6 print newsletters a year full of things to see and do that are off the beaten path.

We Kan!

We Kan!

The Big Rural Brainstorm will be held March 7 in Newton in 2016.

Rural Culture Elements

Rural Culture Elements

The 8 rural culture elements are: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people! They help you see a place with new eyes.

8 Wonders

8 Wonders

Have you seen the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook? Let it guide you to all 216 Wonders!



Marci and WenDee, of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, are going to every (626) incorporated city in Kansas to research for the second edition of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

Big Kansas Road Trip

Big Kansas Road Trip

The showcase counties are Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace. The event will be held over four days, May 2-5, 2019.

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Mission: Visit all 216!

When the last contest winners are announced in October 2010 there will have been nine contests with 24 finalists in each.  In some cases, there were duo finalists so there are actually more than 216!  Plus, the soda fountain entry in Customs included all 38 existing soda fountains in the state and the Post Office Section Art in Art included 22 post offices.  If you go to 216, you'll have accomplished the mission!  Good luck.

Top 8 in each category recognized with an asterisk.

(the first overall contest)

Arikaree Breaks, Cheyenne County

Ball of Twine, Cawker City

Big Brutus, West Mineral

*Big Well, Greensburg

Brookville Hotel, Abilene

*Castle Rock & Monument Rocks, Gove County

Chase County Courthouse, Cottonwood Falls

*Cheyenne Bottoms & Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Barton & Stafford counties

Cimarron National Grassland, Morton County

Constitution Hall State Historic Site, Lecompton

John Steuart Curry Murals, State Capitol, Topeka

Davis Memorial, Hiawatha

*Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, Abilene

Fort Larned National Historic Site, Larned

Garden of Eden, Lucas

Gypsum Hills Scenic Drive, Barber County

*Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, Hutchinson

*Kansas Underground Salt Museum, Hutchinson

Keeper of the Plains, Wichita

Lake Scott State Park, Scott County

Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site, Republic County

*St. Fidelis Church, Victoria

St. Mary's Catholic Church, St. Benedict

*Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve/Flint Hills, Chase County

Adobe House (formerly known as the Peter Paul Loewen House), Hillsboro
Brown Mansion, Coffeyville
Chapel of the Veterans, Leavenworth
*Chase County Courthouse, Cottonwood Falls
*Cooper Barn, Colby
Dyche Hall, Lawrence
Franklin County Courthouse, Ottawa
*Fromme-Birney Round Barn, Mullinville
Historic Fox Theatre, Hutchinson
*Holy Cross Church, Pfeifer
John Mack Bridge, Wichita
*Kansas State Capitol, Topeka
*Lebold Mansion, Abilene
Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Ulysses
Masonic Center, Salina
Muchnic Home, Atchison
*Ness County Bank, Ness City
Osborne County Courthouse, Osborne
St. Joseph Church, Damar
Samson of the Cimarron, Seward County
*Seelye Mansion, Abilene
Topeka High School, Topeka
Wichita Carthalite, Wichita
Windsor Hotel, Garden City

Thomas Hart Benton's Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley,
    Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence
*Blue Sky Sculpture, Newton
Boyer Museum of Animated Carvings, Belleville
*Buffalo Bill Bronze Sculpture, Oakley
Martin Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection, Wichita
*John Steuart Curry Murals, State Capitol, Topeka
Davis Memorial, Hiawatha
Dreamers Awake sculpture, Wichita Art Museum
Pete Felten Stone Sculptures, Hays
*Garden of Eden/Lucas, Grassroots Art Mecca
Stan Herd Earthwork, Atchison
Justice Statue, Kansas Judicial Center, Topeka
Kansas Art Collection, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan
*Keeper of the Plains, Wichita
Elizabeth "Grandma" Layton, Wellsville
M.T. Liggett's Metal Sculptures, Mullinville
*Gordon Parks, Fort Scott
Post Office Section Art, statewide  (see list below)
Red Barn Studio, Lindsborg
*St. Mary's Catholic Church, St. Benedict
*Birger Sandzen, Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg
Do-Ho Suh's Some/One, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park
Tiffany Windows, First Presbyterian Church, Topeka
Wichita High School North exterior paintings, Wichita

Baxter's Bait & Tackle, Stockton
*Big Brutus, West Mineral
Bowersock Mills & Power Co., Lawrence
*Brant's Meat Market, Lucas
Brookover Feed Yards, Garden City
Cloud Ceramics, Concordia
Cobalt Boats, Neodesha
Dessin Fournir, Plainville
El Dorado Oil Field, El Dorado
*Frontenac Bakery, Frontenac
*Hemslojd, Lindsborg
Koerperich Bookbinders, Selden
*MarCon Pies, Washington
Mill Creek Antiques, Paxico
Millers of Claflin, Claflin
*Moon Marble Company, Bonner Springs
RANS, Hays
Ringneck Ranch, Tipton
*Stafford County Flour Mills, Hudson
The Grasshopper Company, Moundridge
*Vonada Stone Company, Sylvan Grove
Wichita Aviation Industry, Wichita
Winter Livestock, Dodge City
Wolf Creek Generating Station, Burlington

Anchor Inn, Hutchinson
*Bobo's Drive In, Topeka
*Brookville Hotel, Abilene
Carolyn's Essenhaus, Arlington
Charlie's Mexican Restaurant, Leoti
*Cozy Inn, Salina
*Crawford County Fried Chicken
Crazy R's, Goodland
C.W. Porubsky's, Topeka
*Free State Brewing Company, Lawrence
Fritz's Union Station, Kansas City
Grand Central Hotel, Cottonwood Falls
*Guy & Mae's Tavern, Williamsburg
*Hays House 1857 Restaurant & Tavern, Council Grove
Hibachi Hut, Manhattan
Homer's Drive Inn, Leavenworth
Josie's Ristorante, Scammon
NuWay Cafe, Wichita
Olive Tree Bistro, Wichita (now closed)
Paolucci's Restaurant, Atchison
Pho Hoa 1, Garden City
Prairie Nut Hut, Altoona
Trapper's Bar & Grill, Simpson
*WheatField's Cafe & Bakery, Lawrence

Attending a community dinner theater, Topeka
*Bringing musicians together, Cottonwood Falls
Building wide main streets, Plains
*Chanting a school fight song, Lawrence
Checking on the weather, Harper
*Clicking your heels three times…, Liberal and Wamego
*Commemorating Veterans Day, Emporia
Connecting underground businesses, Ellinwood
Converting rails to trails, Ottawa to Iola
Cruising main street, Blue Rapids
*Displaying an ethnic handicraft, Lindsborg
*Ordering a soda fountain treat, statewide
Putting shoes on a tree, Wetmore
Racing greyhounds, Abilene
Racing motorcycles, Marquette
Racing on a dirt track, Belleville
Reciting and chanting the Psalms, Atchison
Recognizing those who came in second, Norton
*Riding a carousel, Abilene and Leavenworth
Saving a seat, Concordia
Saving twine, Cawker City
Swimming in the summer, Garden City
*Using post rock for fencing, Smoky Hills region and LaCrosse
Walking to school, Franklin and Arma

*Alcove Spring, near Blue Rapids
Arikaree Breaks, Cheyenne County
Bartlett Arboretum, Belle Plaine
Big Basin Prairie Preserve, Clark County
Brenham Meteorites, near Haviland
Cimarron National Grassland, Morton County
*Coronado Heights, near Lindsborg
Cross Timbers State Park, near Toronto
Elk River Hiking Trail, Montgomery County
*Four-State Lookout, White Cloud
Geographic Center of the Contiguous United States, Lebanon
*Gyp Hills Scenic Drive & Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, Barber & Comanche counties
Kaw Point Park, Kansas City
*Konza Prairie, Manhattan
Lake Scott State Park, Scott County
*Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, Canton
Mined Land Wildlife Area, Cherokee, Crawford & Labette counties
Mount Sunflower, Wallace County
*Mushroom Rock State Park, Ellsworth County & Rock City, near Minneapolis
Native Stone Scenic Byway, Wabaunsee & Shawnee counties
*Pillsbury Crossing Wildlife Area, near Manhattan
Post Rock Scenic Byway, Ellsworth, Lincoln & Russell counties
Schermerhorn Park, near Galena
Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays

*1930s Dust Bowl to Gas Exploration, Historic Adobe Museum, Ulysses
Black Jack Battlefield, Baldwin City
*Boot Hill Museum/Historic Dodge City
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, Topeka
Cherokee Strip Land Rush, Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum, Arkansas City
Constitution Hall State Historic Site, Lecompton
*Council Grove, Santa Fe Trail National Historic Landmark
El Cuartelejo Pueblo Ruins, Scott County
Fort Hays State Historic, Hays
Fort Larned National Historic Site, Pawnee County
*Fort Scott National Historic Site, Fort Scott
*Historic Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth
*Historic Fort Riley, Junction City
Home on the Range Cabin, Smith County
*Kansas Museum of History, Topeka
*Kanza Tribe and Lewis & Clark's Independence Creek, Atchison
Lead and Zinc Mining, Baxter Springs and Galena museums
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, Olathe
Mid-America Air Museum, Liberal
National Orphan Train Complex, Concordia
Nicodemus National Historic Site, Nicodemus
Osage Catholic Mission, Osage Mission Museum, St. Paul
Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site, Republic County
Smoky Valley Roller Mill, Lindsborg

Amazon Army, Crawford County
*Amelia Earhart, Atchison
Arthur Capper, Garnett, Topeka
Bernhard Warkentin, Newton, Halstead

*Buffalo Soldiers, Fort Leavenworth
Buster Keaton, Piqua
*Carry A. Nation, Medicine Lodge, Kiowa
Clyde V. Cessna, Rago, Kingman
Cyrus K. Holliday, Topeka
*Emil J. Kapaun, Pilsen
Frederick Funston, Iola
*George Washington Carver, Minneapolis, Beeler

Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence

Jack Kilby, Great Bend

*James Naismith, Lawrence

John Brown, Osawatomie

Joseph McCoy, Abilene, Wichita

*Martin & Osa Johnson, Chanute

Mary Ann "Mother" Bickerdyke, Bunker Hill, Ellsworth

Olive Ann Beech, Wichita, Waverly

Walter Chrysler, Ellis, Wamego

Walter Johnson, Humboldt, Coffeyville

*William Allen White, Emporia

William Inge, Independence

Section Art was part of the Art contest
The following are Kansas post offices that still have their Section Art:

Anthony: Turning a Corner by artist Joe Jones, 1939, oil on canvas

Augusta: A Kansas Gusher by artist Donald Silks, 1940, oil on canvas

Belleville: Kansas Stream by Birger Sandzen, 1939, oil on canvas

Burlington: Boy and Colt by Robert Kittredge, 1942, stone

Caldwell: Cowboys Driving Cattle by Kenneth Evett, 1941, tempera

Council Grove: Autumn Colors by Charles B. Rogers, 1941, oil on canvas (partly covered)

Eureka: Cattle Roundup by Vance Kirkland, 1938, oil on canvas

Fredonia: Delivery of Mail to the Farm by Lenore Thomas, 1939, glazed terra cotta

Goodland: Rural Free Delivery by Kenneth M. Adams, 1937, oil on canvas

Halstead: Where Kit Carson Camped by Birger Sandzen, 1941, oil on canvas

Herington: Arrival of the First Train in Herington - 1885 by H. Louis Freund, 1937, oil on canvas

Hoisington: Wheat Center by Dorothea Tomlinson, 1938, oil on canvas

Horton: Picnic in Kansas and Changing Horses for the Pony Express by Kenneth Evett, 1939, oil on canvas

Hutchinson: Threshing in Kansas by Lumen Martin Winter, 1942, mural

Kingman: In the Days of the Cattlemen's Picnic by Jessie S. Wilbur, 1942, tempera

Lindsborg: Smoky River by Birger Sandzen, 1938, oil on canvas

Neodesha: Neodesha's First Inhabitants by Bernard J. Steffen, 1938, oil on wood

Oswego: Farm Life by Robert E. Larter, 1940, oil on canvas

Russell: Wheat Workers by Martyl Schweig, 1940, oil on canvas

Sabetha: The Hare and the Tortoise by Albert T. Reid, 1937, oil on canvas

Seneca: Men and Wheat by Joe Jones, 1940, oil on canvas


Columbus: R.F.D. by Waylande Gregory, 1940, sand sculpture. The sculpture has been moved from the post office and is now inside the community building at 320 E. Maple.

Fort Scott: Border Gateways by Oscar E. Berninghaus, 1937, oil on canvas. The post office still has the mural but it's not publicly accessible. They will show it to anyone that asks.

Olathe: The Mail Must Go Through by Albert T. Reid, 1940, oil on canvas. The mural hangs in a public area in the Olathe Public Library at 201 E. Park.

Salina: Land and Communication by Carl C. Mose, 1940, sculptures. Now located on the outside of the Smoky Hill Museum, 211 W. Iron, the former post office building.

Wichita: Kansas Farming by Richard Haines, 1936, oil on canvas and Pioneer in Kansas by Ward Lockwood, 1936, oil on canvas. The post office building is now the Federal Courthouse at 401 N. Market Street. The murals are still in the lobby.

Soda fountains were part of the Customs contest
Information correct as of late 2010

ABILENE, Bankes Drug, 304 N. Broadway. 785.263.4330. Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 1920s seven-stool fountain with round mirror and 1972 Formica counter.

AGENDA, Hope Floats, 400 block of Railroad Street. 785.732.6595. Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Five-stool fountain with marble counter, back bar, and mirror.

ANTHONY, Irwin Potter Drug, 202 W. Main. 620.842.5119. Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. 1968 11-stool fountain with u-shaped bar and Formica counter.  

ARKANSAS CITY, Graves Drug, 212 S. Summit. 620.442.8317. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Ten-stool fountain is popular for lunch.

ATCHISON, Ball Brothers Healthmart, 504 Commercial. 913.367.0332. Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.  Seventeen-stool 1950s fountain and grill.

BELOIT, Perfect Pair, 100 S. Mill. 785.738.3000. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Six-stool fountain with marble counter and 1901 back bar and mirror.

BENNINGTON, The Linger Longer, 119 N. Nelson. 785.820.6050. Monday-Friday 3-7 p.m.; Saturday 3-9 p.m. 1912 five-stool fountain with marble counter, back bar, and mirror. Syrups are mixed using spigots. 

CANEY, Gabby's Flea Market, 204 W. Fourth. 620.870.9123. Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m. 1935 four-stool fountain with formica counter using spigots and syrups.

CANTON, Soda n' Suds, 116 S. Main. 620.350.8006. Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 4-8 p.m. 1939 seven-stool counter originally in Riley, Kansas.   

CHANUTE, Cardinal Drug Store, 103 E. Main. 620.431.9150. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 1914 solid oak back bar with mirror, cabinets, and  a 1937 Bastain-Blessing fountain with a marble countertop. Guests sit at ice cream tables and chairs.

CHETOPA, Riggs Drug, 426 Maple. 620.236.7272. Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Ten-stool 1920s soda fountain with back bar, mirror and Formica countertop.

CIMARRON, Clark Pharmacy, 101 S. Main. 620.855.2242. Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 1920s seven-stool fountain with tile counter and silver chrome spigots. 

COUNCIL GROVE, Aldrich Apothecary, 115 W. Main. 620.767.6731. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 1920s six-stool fountain with tile and marble counter and working chrome spigots.

GARDEN CITY, Traditions Soda & Sandwich, 121 Grant Ave. 620.275.1998. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Seven-stool Formica counter. 1950s sign says three dips of ice cream were once 24 cents.

GARDNER, Gardner Pharmacy, 131 E. Main. 913.856.8106. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Modern back bar with mirror and marble counter. Five-stool fountain has original freezer, spigots, syrup rail, and sinks.

GLASCO, Hodge Podge, 113 E. Main. 785.568.2542. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-noon. 1932 six-stool fountain with back bar and mirror.

HAMILTON, Holmes Sundry, 101 E. Main. 620.678.3341. Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 6 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 1920s six-stool fountain with marble base, original syrup pumps, and spigots.

HAYS, Soda Shoppe, 800 Main, inside Northwestern Office Supply Store. 785.625.7323. Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 1950s seven-stool fountain with Formica countertop. Lunch served here.

HERINGTON, Boelling Pharmacy, 2 W. Main. 785.258.3703. Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 1910-1915 six-stool fountain with back bar, mirror, and brass rail.

HOLTON, Koger Variety, 417 New York. 785.364.3321. Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 12-4 p.m. 1920s five-stool fountain with original tile counter and mirror.

HOWARD, Batson's Drug, 102 N. Wabash. 620.374.2265. Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Rebuilt in 1953. Eight-stool fountain with back bar, mirrors, and speckled Formica top.

INDEPENDENCE, The American Soda Fountain and Sandwich Shoppe, 205 N. Penn. Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturady 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 620.331.0604. 1930s fifteen-stool fountain with renovated Formica countertop. Lunch served here.

JOHNSON, The Old Store, 112 S. Main. 620.492.1478. Monday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 1950s four-stool Stanley Knight soda fountain with original 1920 oak back bar.

LEAVENWORTH, The Corner Pharmacy, 429 Delaware. 913.682.1602. Daily 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Victorian-era replica 15-stool fountain with mahogany bar and faux marble counter.

MARQUETTE, City Sundries, 104 N. Washington. 785.546.2234. Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.;  Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 12-6 p.m. 1901 fountain with marble counter, back bar, and mirror.  Three ice cream tables.

MERRIAM, Georgetown Pharmacy Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain & Espresso Shop, 5605 Merriam Drive. 913.362.0313. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.  Six stools date back to 1890 and the “bobtail” to 1930.  The syrups and carbonation is add separately, no mixer is used. www.ghccusa.com.

NORWICH, Redz, 246 N. Main. 620.478.2401. Monday-Wednesday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.  Six-stools at a new counter but the back bar and mirror date back to the early 1900s.

OSKALOOSA, Parker's Pharmacy, 321 Jefferson. 785.863.2200. Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 1950s nine-stool fountain.

QUINTER, Ray's Pharmacy, 414 Main. 785.754.3312. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-noon.  A 13-stool 1948 fountain with a brass rail to rest your feet.  The back bar and mirror dates back to 1904.

SABETHA, Sabetha Healthmart Pharmacy, 934 Main. 785.284.3414. Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m-1 p.m.  Seven-stool Formica countertop with back bar and mirror.

SENECA, Cornerstone Coffee Haus, 5th and Main. 785.294.0924. Memorial Day-Labor Day Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-5 p.m; Friday-Saturday 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; rest of year Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Eighteen stool 1950s double horseshoe counter.

SENECA, Rogers & Son Electric, Inc., 418 Main. 785.336.6505. Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  Four stools, a glass case, and an original 1950s Coca Cola machine make up this fountain.

TOPEKA, Potwin Drug Store (within Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site), 124 NW Fillmore. 785.368.3888. Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 12-4 p.m.; January-March Thurday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 12-4 p.m.  Four-stool 1902 fountain with dark green marble counter and mirror.   

WAKEENEY, Gibson Health Mart, N. Main. 785.743.5753. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nine-stool fountain with silver chrome spigots dating back to 1892 with a few renovations over time including a Formica countertop.

WESTMORELAND, Hoffman Pharmacy, 402 Main. 785.457.3611. Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturday 8-11:30 a.m. 1950s fountain with Formica counter, eight-swivel stools, and authentic booths.

WICHITA, Jimmie's Diner, 3111 N. Rock Road. 316.636.1818. Sunday-Thursday 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 5:30 a.m.-midnight. 1950s reproduction diner with fountain.

WICHITA, Old Mill Tasty Shop, 604 E. Douglas. 316.264.6500. Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 1920s 11-stool fountain with marble counter, back bar, and brass foot rails.