Smoky Hills Wind Farm


Smoky Hills Wind Farm

Smoky Hill Wind Farm

Travelers on Interstate 70 across Kansas cannot help but notice the Smoky Hills Wind Farm located about 20 miles west of Salina, Kansas in Lincoln and Ellsworth counties. Covering some 20,000 acres with 110 different landowners receiving royalties from the project this 250 megawatt wind farm was completed in 2008 and spans both sides of Interstate 70.


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Marquette, Kansas


Marquette Kansas Downtown 2

Marquette Tornado

Marquette, Kansas is a small, picturesque town located alongside the banks of the Smoky Hill River in central Kansas.  Early settlers started a flour mill on the banks of the Smoky Hill River in 1873 and in 1874 the town charter for Marquette was signed.

For several years the town grew steadily until it was struck by a devastating tornado in 1905 and much of the west side was destroyed with a total of 31 people losing their lives.

Today, Marquette, Kansas features a historic downtown area with several Victorian style buildings that are registered with the Kansas State Register of Historic Places as well as several original Victorian homes that survived that devastating tornado.

Marquette Kansas Downtown

Located just off of Highway 4 and not far from Salina, Kansas, Marquette is a great stop for those traveling across Kansas. The town features several museums including the Kansas Motorcycle Museum. The Marquette City Museum is housed in an old library building and there is also the Railroad Depot Museum housed in a restored 1910 railroad depot and the Range School Museum in a one room school built in 1906.

The “main street” of Marquette is Washington Street and features the “Opera House Block” which is an area of downtown buildings registered as a State Historic District. Across from the “Opera House” is the two early 1900 buildings that house the Kansas Motorcycle Museum which features over 100 vintage motorcycles as well as motorcycle racing memorabilia. Continuing south on Washington Street you will also find the “Artspace” art studio and gallery as well as the Washington Street Emporium, a gift shop featuring items made by local craftsmen that is housed in an1886 Bank Building where you can still see the original teller windows, safe and other bank fixtures.

Gas Pump

Other local attractions include “The Gas Pump” which features Oil and Gas memorabilia and signs as well as Steve’s British Motorcycle Museum which has over 40 British, BSA and Triumph Motorcycles on display.

Tours are also available to see the Hanson-Lindfors Home, a beautiful 19 room Victorian style home built in 1888.

Every year Marquette hosts a CFRA sanctioned Rodeo as well as the “Thunder in the Valley” Motorcycle Rally and races. Both Kannapolis State Park as well as Mushroom Rock State Park are within easy driving distances for someone who wishes to experience the unique natural beauty of this area of Central Kansas. Other close by attractions are Coronado Heights and nearby Lindsborg, Kansas.

 


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Fort Harker


Fort Harker GuardhouseFort Harker Guardhouse

Fort Harker was a short-lived but relatively important outpost along the Smoky Hill Trail as well as the military road from Fort Riley to Fort Larned. Located in Ellsworth County, about a mile north of the Smoky Hill River, Fort Harker was an active military fort from November 17, 1866 to October 5, 1872.

The fort was named after General Charles Garrison Harker who was killed in the Civil War at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. It was built as a larger replacement for Fort Ellsworth which had been located about a mile southwest of Fort Harker.


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Kanopolis, Kansas


Kanopolis Ad Lawrence Journal May 1886Kanopolis, Kansas was incorporated on January 6, 1887 on the former site of Fort Harker, an important military outpost on the Smoky Hill Trail.

Fort Harker was an active military post from 1866 to 1872. It was shut down in 1872 after the railroad reached Denver and hostile Indian attackes decreased in the area. In 1870 the Department of Interior was tasked with selling the Fort Harker Military Reservation which comprised a total of 10,240 acres of land.  A Dr. Hodge purchased the land but then sold it to Colonel Henry Johnson for $4,177.50. Then in 1885 a land syndicate based in Ohio purchased 4,740 acres of the land including the main buildings of Fort Harker for $71,000 from Colonel Johnson.

With grand plans for the new town they were going to establish, the land syndicate formed the Kanopolis Land Company and began plans for what they envisioned would become one of the largest cities in the relatively new state of Kansas. The name Kanopolis comes from combining “Kansas” and “Metropolis”.  Envisioned by the developers as becoming a large city and possibly even the future Kansas State Capitol, they laid out the town on a grand scale with plans to accommodate a population of 150,000.


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Faris Caves


Faris CavesFaris Caves

Located along the banks of the Smoky Hill River in Ellsworth County, Kansas the Faris Caves are manmade caves carved into the sandstone rock by an early settler in the area named Charles Griffee. Mr. Griffee came to the area in 1884 and purchased some land just east of what had been Fort Harker, Kansas (modern day Kanopolis, Kansas) from a Mr. Atwood. Having been a miner in Colorado and with a shortage of trees in the open prairie at that time,

Faris CavesFaris Caves


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