- July 1, 2023: After a decent motel breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express
in Chanute, we drove north to Humboldt. Our first stop was Neosho Valley
Woodworks, whose website says it is open 8AM - 5PM, but it was closed at
9:30AM. We decided to check out the other things we intended to photograph
in town and check once more before leaving town.
passed by a building which said, Orcutt Backyard Museum, though it was
not open this morning. I had done a lot of research for this trip and had
not encountered this museum. A new search using the name brings up only
a handful or references. This place is below the radar. We will visit it
sometime in the future.
up the street we photographed the Lander's Wagon and Carriage Shop, which
is no longer in use, but is a really interesting looking building, which
needs some love.
drove by the Humboldt Historical Museum. We haven't been to the museum
since 2007 and I had wanted to revisit it to update its review, but they
had been unavailable to show the museum today. I took a few exterior photos
and then continued north of town to the site where baseball legend Walter
Johnson was born. The monument at the farm had been defaced the last time
I saw it and I was happy to see that it has been repaired. Someone had
left a baseball on top of the monument.
in town, it was great to see the front doors were open at the Neosho Valley
Woodworks. Walking in, we saw master carpenter Pat Haire making a kitchen
cabinet. He generously stopped working to show us around the very interesting
furniture and millwork shop. It is filled with vintage machinery from the
late 1800s. These aren't what you would normally think of as power tools,
but belt driven, with leather belts running between the equipment and various
other pulleys. Pat has found and restored this machinery from places all
over the midwest. He started up some of the machinery briefly so we could
see, hear and video them in operation. It would be bad if someone accidentally
touched the moving, open belts.
shared the history of his woodworking shops. That he had first developed
one in Iola, Kansas but found himself needing to sell the machinery to
pay off the building. He restarted in Humboldt at the Landers Wagon and
Carriage Shop which we photographed earlier in the morning. He moved into
this location on the Humboldt Square a couple of years earlier.
addition to woodworking machinery, the two store fronts are filled with
some of Pat's finished works, a few pieces of antique woodwork (including
a secretary which had been manufactured in the 1800s at a factory in Humboldt
owed by Utterson and McLeod), and Pat's art made from Kansas prairie grass.
enjoyed over an hour of exploring the shop with Pat. I was concerned about
his taking so much time away from his carpentry, but learned that has been
cutting down on the number of projects he is doing and lately has limited
them to work for the local community, where among other things, he has
been making a lot of doors for building restoration. He explained that
the kitchen furniture he is working on today is for his own country home.
was at the Prairie Nut Hut in Altoona,
Kansas. We last dined there in August. After many years they have finally
made a new menu. The prices have gone up about 10%, a small change after
so long, and the prices are still quite reasonable. We had a small cheeseburger
with onion rings, a Rohr burger with home (fresh cut) fries and a side
order of mountain oysters.
food was just as good as I remembered, but the look of the restaurant has
changed over time. There are no longer photos of customers on the walls
and over all it feels cleaner. There are still T-shirts for sale, but they
have changed designs from the ones they once had. Their are still peanuts
in the shell on the tables and customers are welcome to drop the shells
on the floor.
next revisited the Norman No. 1 Replica
Well and Museum in Neodesha. It has had much more change since our
last visit. An additional building has been opened and more items are on
exhibit. At the same time, less of the wonderful circus clown memorabilia
is on display and what is displayed is scattered in three locations across
the two buildings. It had been my favorite part of the museum, but now
I would say it is the large collection of Works Progress Administration
dolls from the 1930s.
on to Independence, Kansas we visited the Independence Science And Technology
Center. Although it is primarily of interest to young people, we still
found the hands on exhibits and activities center interesting. The exhibit
which particular stood out to us was one on space shuttle thermal protection
which includes original tiles from a NASA space shuttle.
there was no exhibit about Able, a rhesus monkey which was born at the
Ralph Mitchell Zoo in Independence, Kansas in 1959 and was one of the first
two experimental animals to be shot into space and recovered alive.
we were in Independence, we also drove by an photographed Alf Landon's
House. Belmont Castle, and the impressive 1905 First Presbyterian Church.
southeast, there was a brief stop at the Little
House on the Prairie Museum for new exterior photos and a longer stop
in Caney, Kansas to photograph several chain saw sculptures in Wark Park.
They are in deteriorating condition, but some of them are still rather
nice and I hope they will have preservation work soon.
had a 4PM appointment to see Caney Valley Historical Society Museum and
were met by Board President, Dale McBride and Treasurer, Gina McBride,
who gave us a thorough tour. The main museum is in a handsome two story
building on 4th Street, but the museum has 3 other nearby buildings including
an old school house and a lovely stone building which is operated my the
society as Sandstone Event Center.
museum has many exhibits from historic Caney businesses, a large display
about Cicil War Veteran, Captain J. B. Stone, and a number of old keyboard
instruments including a 150 year old melodeon and a player piano.
town, we drove north to the nearby community of Niotaze to photograph the
Niotaze United Methodist Church (formerly known as Odell Memorial Methodist
Episcopal Church and Niotaze Methodist Episcopal Church). The congregation
was established in 1895 and the building was built under the direction
of architect Benjamin Price in the same year. It appears that the church
is no longer in use, but other than the front steps, it still looks like
it is in pretty good condition.
Coffeyville, we went to supper at The Yoke Bar and Grill. Saturday night
on the holiday weekend turned out to be very slow and we nearly had the
place to ourselves. The staff were spending the free time cleaning (but
not disturbing us). They also spent more time talking with us than may
liked the way the old building was finished and particularly like the photos
of local attractions with small signs saying what they are. Some of the
walls were lined with dollar bills which had been signed by the person
who donated them. The surface of the long bar is made of Lincoln head pennies.
had ribeye ($28.83 with side salad, choice one side, vegetable and roll),
while Linda had beef tips ($17.99 with same sides). Both meats were grilled
over open flame. The tips were marinated 48 hours before cooking and served
with sautéed mushrooms, which made me happy since Linda gave me
salad was good (and the have blue cheese dressing) though I enjoyed the
salad the night before more. The ribeye was much better. It was a real
treat. Linda was quite happy with the tips. Both the fresh cut fries and
baked potato were good. The corn was ordinary, but much I like it more
than the cheesy potatoes the night before. Tonight we boxed all the leftovers
for later in the week.
usually share a dessert, but tonight we both had root beer floats ($3.79)
made with hand dipped ice cream and the house made Death Alley Root Beer.
It was a nice finish to the meal. Iced tea and soft drinks with our meal
were only $2.29.
checking in to our motel, we revisited the 1911 Onion Creek Bridge, which
is on the southwest edge of town. The bridge is immediately next to one
which replaced it. The surface of the bridge has been long removed and
trees actually have grown up through the bridge.
to town, we saw many white-tailed deer. I caught 6 of them in one photo,
but there were at least a couple more in the field and Linda spotted more
deer farther along.
checked into SureStay Plus by Best Western on the east side of . The clerk
was inexperienced, but trying hard and it took a long time to check in,
but that was no big deal.
was a big deal, was going into the room at 8:30PM and finding that the
AC was turned off. The thermostat showed the temperature as 90 degrees.
We knew the room would take many hours to cool down and went to the desk.
The clerk said the owner tells housekeeping to turn off the AC when they
finish cleaning a room (at the Kansas/Oklahoma border in July!). The clerk
said there was just one room which might be cool. We checked. It was 86
and had been smoked in.
the time we got our things out of the original room, 25 minutes had passed
since we first turned on the AC. The temp was still 90.
moved to the Best Western Coffeyville Central Business District Inn And
Suites where we checked into a room which was 71 degrees. In general the
2nd hotel was in much better condition and the clerk was much more knowledgeable.