Sitting on a hill above the Kaw (Kansas) River valley is a brick home built in 1857, one of the first in Kansas. Its original owners were Moses Grinter, operator of the first ferry service in the territory of Kansas, and his wife Annie, a member of the Delaware tribe. The home's interior is furnished just as it might have been 150 years ago.
Open for tours Saturday afternoons from 1-5 only due to cutbacks in state funding. My visit was on a cool early spring day when I was the only person there. The state historian on duty was most informative and generous with his time.
For additional pictures and comments, see my Grinter House Travelogue.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped four nights at Kaw Point in what is now the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, Kansas. This site is the confluence of the Missouri and Kaw (Kansas) Rivers. Captain Clark wrote that "the Countrey about the mouth of this river is verry fine," and the explorers recommended a fort be built there at some future time. (Obviously they were not aware of the periodic floods that inundate this area.)
The skyline of Kansas City, Missouri can be see behind the explorer silhouette, on the opposite side of the rivers. Visitors can take advantage of several walking trails, and view historic memorials.
While looking for a small town in Kansas we made a wrong turn and at a distance we saw rows of cars, horse trails causing traffic. At these point we were at HWY 35, we stopped and looked for a parking lot amogst others. Got of the vehicle and just followed the crowed and found an "auction place". Horse can be bought between the price of five dollars on to about five hundred dollars or more. Here are photos which will give you idea how auctions run.
Knowing how expensive it would be to get a massage in the US, I was thrilled when my best friend, EI found a reasonable place to get a massage for US$39. Now, this is still pricier than back home in Malaysia, but hey, the spa queen desperately needs her massage on a regular basis.
Massage Envy is the place. With branches spread out across the US, they are pretty accessible. Of course, the pricing above is only for 1st time visitors and you can still enjoy this rate if you sign up for their package.
Everything runs like clockwork in the States and so is this establishment. During your 1 hour session, you get 5 mins to choose your massage, 5 mins to change out of your clothes and 5 mins to put them back. In essence, your massage is only 45 mins.
Therapists here are pretty well trained and don't forget to tip them if you're happy with their service.
Ambience is basic but comfortable. Would I go back? Well, this is what I can afford in the US.
300 acres with
- 30 acres of gardens and turf
- 70 acres of prairie
- 200 acres of wooded natural area
- nearly 5 miles of paved and wood chip hiking trails
Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens offer unexpected pleasures to everyone of all ages, in all seasons.
We came here in mid Oct'07 hoping to catch the trees dressed in its fall glory but the warm weather this year delayed autumn's arrival.
Still, it was fun to walk around this spacious place with beautiful flowers, shrubs, tress, water features, sculptures etc to enjoy. We wondered on the hiking trails meandering next to Wolf Creek, taking pictures, enjoying the sun and what nature has to offer.
Great job Mother Nature!
Check out Overland Park Arboretum travelogue for pictures of this beautiful place.
Open seven days a week
8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., April 10-Sept. 30
8 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct. 1-April 9
Closed Christmas Day
At the very least, tens of thousands of people see this KCK landmark every day, as it is quite visible from Interstate 35. It sits high on a bluff above I-35, the Kansas River valley, and the massive railroad yards. Yet few people know what it actually is, why it exists, or have made their way to the arch itself.
Rosedale was one of those communities that became part of Kansas City, Kansas. In 1923, this arch was dedicated to those from Rosedale who served and sacrificed during the Great War, now known as WWI. It was designed by a local resident who apparently liked Paris' Arc de Triumph. In recent years, a smaller monument has been placed between the pillars of the arch to honor America's soldiers in other wars.
In the second photo (in landscape format), you can faintly see the skyline of Kansas City, Missouri, in the background, as well as a grain elevator below and to the left, a reminder of KC's economic dependence on agribusiness.
I'm not normally effected much by visiting cemeteries, but a walk through the Huron Indian Cemetery and being aware of its sad history did impact me.
More than 400 members of the Wyandot tribe are buried here, most in unmarked graves. A large number of those died after the forced relocation of the Wyandot nation from Ohio to Kansas Territory, victims of typhoid fever and cholera. In the 1840s and 50s, this sacred burial place was on a high point overlooking the junction of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, but in time became prime commercial land in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Kansas. An attempt to sell the acreage to developers led to a long, drawn-out legal and political battle. According to Marci Penner's "The Kansas Guidebook for Explorers," Eliza and Helena Conley established their own fort (a shack over their parents' graves) in which they endured the elements for three years to protest the sale of the cemetery. In In 1910, Eliza argued the case before the US Supreme Court, the first Native American woman to do so. She lost her case, but in 1913, Kansas Senator (and Kanza Indian) Charles Curtis persuaded Congress to strike down the sale. One of the attached photos shows the modern headstones used to mark the Conley graves.
Even in recent years, use of this land has been central between court battles between the tribe and the State of Kansas, this time over the Wyandot's use of a building adjacent to the cemetery as a casino. At this writing, the state holds the upper hand.
Sadly, many of the headstones are damaged or missing, such as that marking the grave of Wyandot Chief George Clark. I suspect that much of this is due to vandalism, not the ravages of time. Sad, sad, sad.
Argentine, another neighborhood with its own identity and history, was an independent city until it was incorporated into Kansas City, Kansas, in 1910. It's name is derived from a prosperous silver smelting plant, now long-closed. One part of Argentine is still known as Silver City. Prior to that, the land was part of the Shawnee Indian reservation, and the grave of the great Shawnee prophet Tensquatawa is located on private property within the city.
This amazing mural traces the history of Argentine from the Hopewells, the earliest known Indian tribe in the area, to contemporary times. The mural is 200 yards long (equivalent to two football fields), and varies slightly in height according to the terrain of the hill behind it, but for the most part is 30 foot tall. I was shocked when I first saw it, not expecting anything so overwhelming in size and scope.
Jesus Ortiz served as art director for the project, assisted by a team of six artists from Kansas City and Mexico. It was dedicated in August of 1998.
In addition to the photos here, I have entered a travelogue with photos of the wall, including some details. Whenever possible, I have entered an explanation of the photo.
Sitting high on the bluff overlooking the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, this church is the spiritual home of the Kansas City, Kansas, Croatian community.
There is a marvelous view of the Kansas City, Missouri, skyline from the mini-park across the street.
A tranquil refuge in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, located next to the historic Huron Cemetery. Pictured here on a cold, blustery St. Patricks's Day after the daffodils and hyacinths have already bloomed. Two days later, these flowers will be covered with snow.
My heart and my admiration go out to all of the people who are fighting an up-hill battle to transform a section of this old school house into a museum.
Quindaro, Kansas Territory, was significant in the state's history, and its story needs to be told. That is why this infant museum exists, and why archeologists have begun the arduous task of unearthing the town's buried secrets, and perhaps more of its story. At its peak, Quindaro was home to Europeans, Native Americans, and African Americans, all living together peacefully. Many of them worked together to free slaves from their cruel bondage. Its location opposite the towns of Parkville and Gladstone on the other side of the Missouri River made it a convenient embarkation point for escapees on the Underground Railroad to freedom. Many slaves made their escapes in winter, when they could simply walk across the frozen Missouri River.
I was privileged to tour the museum with guide Emmanuel Northern, a retired Santa Fe Railway worker with a keen interest in, and family ties to, the area's history. I found his accounts of the area's history fascinating, and hope that people of all races will become aware of Quindaro's existence. Because the museum is in its infancy, someone from the Vernon Multi-Purpose Center must now unlock the room and show visitors the collection of photos and artifacts. I did not tour the archeological digs, as it was a cold, windy day, and entrance is not allowed without permit from the city.
The school in which the museum is located has an interesting story of its own. Vernon School was opened in 1936 (then known as Colored School of Quindaro), closed in 1971, and was placed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places in 2004. Note - the third photo shown is from the bluff overlooking the Missouri River and the site of Quindaro. It is about a block away from the school building.
A bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church was instrumental in this Italian-carved marble statue being placed in Quindaro in 1911. The location is the site of the early territorial settlement of Quindaro, and later the all-black Western University. Neither the town or the university exist today, other than the ruins which are now the subject of archeological digs.
John Brown was one of the most militant of the mid-19th century abolitionists. You can read more about this enigmatic character, controversial to this day, on my Osawatomie, Kansas, page.
If you're interested in dog races this is the place for you. It's located on the west side of Kansas City south of I70 off of I435.
You can watch live dog racing plus they also have live Simulcasting, and a short horse racing season from September 24 through October 29 (for 2005).
The funnest event of the year is the wiener dog races. In 2005 the date is July 31st.
They have several different dining options:
1)The Kennel Club Restaurant for fine dining
2)The Starting Box - Sandwiches, snacks & drinks
3)Woody's Deli had hot and cold sandwiches, soups, and salads
4)The Turf Club Restaurant is open during horse racing season only and serves premium lunch items.
Going to watch the T-Bones is just as fun as watching the Royals, but better! It's a BRAND NEW stadium, the cost is less, it's closer for people living on the western side of Kansas City, it's easy to access, and it's near several new great restaruants, the Nebraska Furniture Mart, and Cabella's. Plus they have a lawn seating area that's fun for the kids - there's even a play area.
They do fun things to get the crowd involved between each enning, have cheerleaders, and clowns making balloon hats! Food is reasonable, and check out the website for dollar days!
A large number of Croatian immigrants flocked to the hilly bluffs on the west side of the Kansas River to work in the stockyards and meatpacking plants of Kansas City. This area became known as Strawberry Hill, and is still home to the descendents of many of these hardworking immigrants. The cultural pride of this tight-knit community continues to this day.
This museum and cultural center are in the heart of Strawberry Hill. On the March Saturday in which I visited, the genial caretaker was getting ready to close down so he could go to Mass at the church next door. We talked for a few minutes about the opportunities to see and hear some of the folk music and dance ensembles from the area perform, then I departed, promising to come back to get a tour.