Author: #kstravel

Baker Arts Center

Known as a “cultural oasis on the prairie”, the Baker Arts Center is an art education facility which promotes the arts in Southwest Kansas. A 5000 square foot three level handicap accessible building is the former home of Irene Dillon and Francis Marion Baker.

The Baker Arts Center offers a visual art exhibit that features national traveling exhibits, local one-artist shows, an annual juried art show, works from area high schools, and pieces from its own collection. Included in these exhibits have been pieces ranging from oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, to sculptures, photography, quilt displays, handmade jewelry, woodworking, glassworks, and collages. A workshop area, a Discovery Center for kids, the Baker Memorial Room, a Library and a Sales Gallery, all make the Baker Center a delightful place to experience.


Coronado Museum

The Coronado Museum is housed in a landmark structure originally built in 1918 as the residence of the Lee Larrabee family. The building retains the warmth and style of an early Western home. Oak staircases, paneled walls and floors add an unusual charm to the treasures of the people who settled Seward County, Kansas.

In keeping with its affiliation with the Seward County Historical Society, the museum features both items that helped to settle the territory during its Wild West heyday, including an extensive weapons display and a large collection of those things that gave it a more civilized tone, including a beautifully restored ornate antique organ, quilts and home furnishings.

A Western Gallery, with photos of ranch life and frontier settlers, tells the story of the taming of the land. In 1996, the museum opened a western living exhibit, featuring artifacts and a recreation of what Seward County might have been like in its early days.

Mid-America Air Museum

With more than 90 aircraft on display, the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas, is one of the largest aviation museums in the United States. Whether you are interested in general aviation, classic planes, home builts, warbirds, or modern jets, there\’s something to spark your imagination at the museum. Highlights of the collection include the Cessna Airmaster owned by Dwane Wallace, long-time president of Cessna Aircraft and a Beech Model 17 Staggerwing. Military airplanes include a World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber, a Korean War veteran F-80 Shooting Star, and an F-14A Tomcat used during Desert Storm.

Hands-on exhibits demonstrate how and why airplanes fly. Launch a hot air balloon. Unlock the mysteries of lift using a wind tunnel. Study the inner workings of aircraft engines. Operate the control surfaces of an airplane to see how pilots guide their flying machines through the air. All this and much more awaits you at the Mid-America Air Museum.

Land of OZ Dorothy’s House

Liberal’s Dorothy’s House was built in 1907 and donated to the Seward County Historical Society. It has been carefully restored and furnished with period furnishings to reproduce the warmth of the farmhouse where Dorothy realized that:

“There’s no place like home.”

In the “Land of Oz” families can wander down the Yellow Brick Road through 5000 square feet of animated entertainment – good and bad witches, the Munchkins, talking trees, winged monkeys, and of course, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion are all there to enthrall children of all ages.

And adults will enjoy the Oz memorabilia on display, including the original model of Dorothy’s house used in the 1939 filming of the Wizard of Oz.

Squaw’s Den Cave, The Last Indian Battle in Kansas

Travel to the place where the last Indian battle in Kansas took place. Punished Woman Fork is about a mile southeast of Lake Scott State Park. It is marked by a monument over a cave known as Squaw’s Den where Indian women and children hid while warriors waited in ambush for the US Calvary.

On the afternoon of September 27, 1878 Dull Knife, Little Wolf, Wild Hog and the members of the Northern Cheyenne band came to the protecting shelter of the valley of Punished Woman’s Fork. Although exhausted from their flight before the US Army, they began at once to fortify their position and set up an ambush. In the battle that followed, commanding officer, Lt. Col. William H. Lewis was mortally wounded. He became the last Army officer killed in a military action in the State of Kansas.

This area was made a county park in 1958. The conditions have changed since the battle. The creek no longer flows as it did in 1878. What was then native grasses is now corn and alfalfa. But you still sense the historical drama that took place here and appreciate the rugged living conditions that were forced onto the occupants of these narrow canyons only a century ago.

El Quartelejo Pueblo Ruins

See the northernmost pueblo in the United States and one of the first white settlements in Kansas: El Quartelejo Ruins.

In the 1500s a group of Taos Indians migrated to the park region. They made pueblos and grew crops using irrigation ditches dug from a nearby spring. After 20 years they went back to their homes in the south. El Quartelejo was later reoccupied in 1701 by a group of Picurie Indians for nearly two years. Around 1717, Juan Uribarri, known as Jean Iturbi, (who led the explorer, La Salle to his fatal ambush) came to El Quartelejo and opened a trading post. After 1727 the site was abandoned and left to the weather and erosion. It disappeared, leaving no trace on the Kansas plains except a slight mound and some irrigation ditches which were later used by Herbert Steele for his large truck garden.

In the mid-1890s, the pueblo ruins were found by Steele and unearthed by H.T. Martin and Prof. Williston from the university of Kansas. Then, the site was forgotten until 1925 when the Daughters of the American Revolution set up a monument there. In 1964 the El Quartelejo Ruins achieved the National Historic Landmark Status and in 1970, the Kansas historical Society excavated and restored the area. Now, you can inspect the pueblo site with its foundation reconstructed. Information is posted detailing the lives of the Indians and the features of each room in the pueblo.