You must visit the Safari...
You must visit the Safari Museum. It is one of the finest museums in state of Kansas. The museum is based on the exploits of Martin and Osa Johnson. From 1917 to 1936 they travelled the world making documentary films and photographing wildlife. The films they made are historic records of a time that no longer exists and documents cultures which have now been influenced by modern society. The Johnsons were nearly killed several times on their voyages. The museum documents the life of the Johnsons and keeps an archive of over 10,000 photos and films they made. For more information about this fascinating musuem go to www.safarimuseum.com
Photo here is of downtown Chanute's main street. When I was a boy my family went to visit relatives in Oklahoma. We visited a place in Oklahoma called Woolaroc. In the Woolaroc museum we saw the world's largest elephant's head mounted on the wall. We left Oklahoma that morning and drove to Kansas. We stopped at the Safari museum. In the Safari museum was an umbrella stand made from the foot of that very same elephant whose head we had seen in Oklahoma. It became a family joke that we saw an elephant so big it's head was in Oklahoma and it's foot was in Chanute.
Chanute is a small town of slightly less than ten thousand inhabitants located in the southeastern corner of Kansas. For years it has best been known as a railroad town, but the city's Martin and Osa Johnson makes this town well worth a visit.
"The Osa and Martin Johnson Safari Museum"
Easily the most important reason to visit Chanute in my mind...
Who were Martin and Osa Johnson? Although virtually unknown today, this handsome young couple from Kansas were household names during the 1920s and 30s whose images could be seen on product endorsements in the most popular magazines of the day. Their adventure and wildlife films had movie-goers queued up all over the world, and their books were top sellers.
Half of the city's classic now serves as a museum dedicated to the Johnsons. It is quite unfortunate this museum is not better known - it is a jewel.
"The Octave Chanute Memorial"
This clever and interesting mobile sculpture occupies a prime spot on Chanute's main street, and is dedicated to Oscar Chanute.
Octave Chanute was never a resident of Chanute, but the railroads he built made the town possible. In addition to being an engineer and builder, he also developed an interest and expertise in the developing science of aviation. His book on the subject of gliders caught the attention of Wilbur and Orville Wright, who contacted him. Chanute served as a mentor to the young aviators, and the shape of their Kitty Hawk flying machine frame was strongly influenced by Chanute's successful glider design.
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