Blog | New guidebook spotlights Wonders of Kansas

New guidebook spotlights Wonders of Kansas

The "8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook," the latest book published by the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation, is now found in retail stores around the state.

The guidebook is a 272-page book showcasing more than 800 photos of the 216 entries in the 8 Wonders of Kansas contests.

Between May and November of 2010, farmer/stockman Harland Schuster of Morrill, Kansas, took photos at each of the 216 places. Liz King, Penner's sister, designed the book to be a coffee table/guidebook duo-purpose book.

Author Marci Penner compiled background information, location, contacts, Web sites and hours to make this spiral-bound book a useful tool when exploring Kansas. Bobbie Pray edited the book.

Penner, director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, said, "Harland's photos make it a beautiful book for armchair travel but my greatest hope is that the book will inspire people to head out on the Kansas roads to see the 216 Wonders -- and all sorts of terrific places along the way."

More than 100,000 people voted in the contests that ran from 2007-2010 to determine the top 8 Wonders in the categories of Architecture, Art, Commerce, Cuisine, Customs, Geography, History, People, and overall. The top 8 are each featured with their own two-page spread in the book. The remaining 16 finalists are each recognized on a half page.

Mennonite Press, Newton, printed the book. Koerperich Bookbinders, Selden, a finalist in the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce, bound the limited hard-back version.

The book made its debut at a reception for the 8 Wonders of Kansas exhibit at the Eisenhower Presidential Library on April 16. More than 350 attended. The exhibit, designed by the Eisenhower staff, shows artifacts from the top 8 Wonders in each category and will be on display through September 5.

The 8 Wonders of Kansas contest and book was created to help achieve the non-profit's mission of preserving and sustaining rural culture. Penner says, "If we give people the tools to see the state better, they'll learn to know it and love it more. First-hand knowledge of our state and emotional ties are important for the hard work of sustaining communities."

The guidebook is being sold statewide in retail stores and gift shops at a price of $29.95. For information about where to find the books or to order online, go to