Category: Hays

Hays

Precision Valley Golf Center

“Precision Valley Golf Center where the golf season never ends.”

The facility offers golfers a much needed place to practice and work on their game. It is currently the most technologically advanced golf club fitting center between Kansas City and Denver. rnThe 6000 sq. ft building is fully equipped with four state of the art indoor golf simulators that feature 33 of some of the world’s most famous golf courses. You can chip, putt, and hit your own golf balls with your own clubs all without dealing with the elements of Mother Nature. There are two pool tables and one of the largest pro shops in western Kansas with all the leading brands in stock including – Titleist, Callaway, Taylor Mae, Mizuno, Ping, Cleveland, Cobra and Nike. The snack bar features appetizers such as pizza, chips, sandwiches, popcorn and much more, as well as offering a full bar. The inside of the building and all of its amenities are also available for private parties. (Call for details.) The outside of the facility is equipped with the only lighted driving range in the area as well as an 18 hole mini golf course that features a 10 foot tall water fall, two fountains, two ponds, as well as water hazards and many other obstacles.

DEAD SOLID® GOLF SIMULATORS – Pebble Beach Simulation

Don’t have 5 hours to spend out on the golf course, come to Precision Valley Golf Center where you can play 18 holes by yourself in 30-45 minutes.

Helping someone learn the game of golf? Bring them to Precision Valley Golf Center to help them learn and enjoy the game. Eliminate chasing balls all over the golf course, or having unpleasant people waiting angrily behind you. Keep it fun, and do it in a controlled environment.

Work keeping you from getting enough rounds in? Come play golf after work in the dark of the night and keep your game tuned up.

Got a big tournament coming up and don’t feel prepared? Play nightly preceding that tournament and have that swing grooved in.

Swinging the golf club really well? Come in to Precision Valley and have it filmed on our simulator. We will then keep the good golf swing on file and when times get rough, come back and we’ll compare the two to figure out what has changed.

If you have a Corporate Party that needs some life, or a young golfers’ birthday party, our simulators can help fulfill that request as well.

Can’t decide between one driver and the next, go hit it in the simulator and find out exactly which club you should hit. How far they each go, and which club creates the optimum launch angle for your ball flight.

Volga-German Heritage

Volga German settlers began arriving in Ellis County in the mid-1870’s. These frontier settlers were so named because prior to coming to the United States they had settled along the Volga River in Russia. Coming from a harsh climate, the Volga Germans were able to adapt and thrive in their new home. They learned to use what nature provided. A good example of this is their use of limestone in the absence of lumber. This can still be seen today in their homes, churches and fence posts. Being a very religious people, they expressed creativity in the construction of beautiful churches, many of which are still in use in the communities surrounding Hays. The most famous of the churches is the magnificent St. Fidelis Church, more commonly referred to as “the Cathedral of the Plains”, which stands today as a monument to the Volga German immigrants and their enduring lifestyle. Starting in the month of February and continuing through November there is a German celebration nearly every month, with either a polkafest, Oktoberfest or church fundraiser with tasty German food and a polka mass. Although many of the German celebrations highlight the local Volga German food, polka music, beer and family gathering time, each event emphasizes their own traditions and unique activities. For a complete listing of the German celebrations in Ellis County go to www.haysusa.net

Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course

(public)

This well-maintained course built in 1920, and designed by Dewey Longworth, has excellent bent grass greens. A few trees can alter your shots. Even though there are few sand bunkers, there are water hazards coming into play on a couple of holes. Hole #18, a 155-yard, par 3, requires a tee shot over water to the green. Chet Mendenhall redesigned nine holes in the 1960’s. Bent g

Par Yardage Course Rating SlopernBack 71 6257 69.1 111rnMiddle 71 5993 67.7 107rnForward 71 5390 72.7 116rn

KS Merci Boxcar Museum & Veterans Memorial Park

Kansas Merci Boxcar Museum & Veterans Memorial ParkrnAt the close of World War II the French nation was devastated. Reconstruction was a slow process. Farmlands had been ravished. War-damaged factories had to be rebuilt and retooled before industry could begin the production of civilian goods. By 1947, two years after the war ended, France had not yet sufficiently recovered to provide food and other necessities for her people.

Drew Pearson, a well known radio commentator and Washington Post columnist, suggested the American people do something to help ease the hunger. That was on October 11, 1947. Mr. Pearson suggested we send a boxcar filled with donated food to their former ally. Immediately the American people began to act; donations began pouring in from every state. Just three short weeks later an engine pulling 11 filled boxcars left L.A. bound for New York. Trains were added along the way, by the time it arrived in New York, 700 cars filled with tons of food, clothing, and medical supplies were lined up to be loaded on the S.S. American Leader.

To express their gratitude, the French people collected over 50,000 gifts ranging from Sevres pottery, Limoges porcelains, Baccaret crystal, engraved woodwork, church bells, bonnets, peasant costumes, and simple drawings from the children of France. The gifts were delivered using France’s infamous boxcars.

These boxcars were built in France between 1852-1885 for use of shipping freight, horses, cattle and other domestic animals and troops during the two wars. Forty-nine of these cars were located, one for each state and the District of Columbia. The boxcars were repaired, painted and then filled with the gifts and called the “Gratitude Train.”

The boxcars arrived in the United States early February, 1949. The Kansas Merci Boxcar was accepted by “MERCI GIFTS FOR KANSAS, INC.” After being on display in Topeka, the car made a 140 day tour of Kansas visiting 120 towns. Ending on Armistice Day, November 11, 1949, the boxcar was placed next to the library on the campus of the then Fort Hays State College.

The restored Kansas Merci Boxcar Museum and the Veterans Memorial Park can be seen at the Hays American Legion Hall.

Admission: Free Admission rnHours: Guided tours available by appointment. rnAddress: 1305 CanterburyrnPhone: 785-625-9681 rnWebsite: www.haysusa.net

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The Battle of the Saline River

The survey party was unprepared for the attack and the men were mowed down like grass before a scythe. P.S. Ashley and his crew of six men were careless that day, August , 1867, leaving their rifles in camp before setting to work surveying the route of the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division. Although only ten miles east of Fort Hays, they were none the less isolated and alone when thirty Cheyenne warriors, attempting to stop the construction of the iron rails through their homeland, struck. In a matter of minutes it was over.

Fort Hays had only recently been established and one of its main functions was to ensure that the Union Pacific, the first railroad to be constructed across the state of Kansas, was completed to Denver. At the time, the post was garrisoned by black soldiers of the Thirty-eighth Infantry and Tenth Cavalry, known as the “buffalo soldiers.” Captain Henry Corbin, Thirty-eighth Infantry, was in command when William Gould, the only survivor of the attack, was brought in to Fort Hays (he later died). Corbin immediately ordered Captain George Armes, Company F, Tenth Cavalry, in pursuit.

Armes and his command followed the trail for a short distance before deciding to call for reinforcements. But after four hours Armes was anxious to continue the chase and struck out again thirty minutes before his reinforcements, a detail of mounted Thirty-eighth Infantry soldiers, arrived. The mounted infantry followed Arme’s trail for only a short time when the lieutenant in command began to experience symptoms of cholera, which was nearing epidemic proportions at Fort Hays at the time, and they returned to Fort Hays.

Another detail of twenty-five men equipped with a twelve pound mountain howitzer was quickly organized and put under the command of Sergeant Pittman of Company C, Thirty-eighth Infantry Sergeant Pittman’s detachment followed the trail up the North Fork of Big Creek northeast of Fort Hays where they encountered a small band of fifty Cheyennes. Acting quickly, they loaded and fired three shells from the howitzer which succeeded in scattering the Indians but doing little damage. Finding no further sign of Captain Armes, Sergeant Pittman and his detachment returned to Fort Hays.

Armes, meanwhile, had followed the trail up the Saline River. About twenty five miles northwest of Fort Hays, they were surrounded and attacked by nearly four hundred Cheyenne warriors. Armes quickly ordered his men to dismount and fight on foot, forming a “hollow square” around the cavalry horses. This was an effective, compact defensive maneuver which was a standard tactic for cavalry troops of the era. Realizing his predicament, Armes ordered his men to “walk” the defensive square toward Fort Hays. The battle raged for eight hours until the soldiers where about ten miles north of Fort Hays when the Indians broke off the attack.

During the thirty hours the troops had been gone, they had marched 113 miles without rations of forage, fifteen of those miles while under attack. Although two-thousand rounds of ammunition had been fired during the battle, casualties were surprisingly light – only six Indians and one soldier died. Captain Armes remarked that ” it is the greatest wonder in the world that my command escaped being massacred.” But more credit for their deliverance should go to the professionalism, devotion to duty, and coolness under fire of the buffalo soldiers from Fort Hays who fought the Battle of the Saline River.

Visit the Historic Site of Fort Hays.

By Bob Wilhelm, Superintendent Historic Fort Hays

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University opened in 1902 as the Western Branch of the Kansas Normal School. For the first two years classes were held at the Fort site. In 1904 the first stone building, Picken Hall, was completed on the “flats” adjacent to Hays, and the young institution was moved to its present location.

The University remains the only state university in the entire western two-thirds of the state. It is a 4-year liberal and applied arts institute that provides education in the liberal arts, sciences and professional areas of study required to meet the industrial, business, cultural and educational needs of the western region of Kansas. rn

Hays Arts Center Gallery

The Center is the home of the Hays Arts Council, Kansas’ first such organization. The gallery features many new exhibits throughout the year, including the Five State Photography Exhibition which is held during December in conjunction with the Winter Gallery Walk. The last Friday of April marks the opening of the Smoky Hill Art Exhibition and the annual Spring Gallery Walk. The Smoky Hill Art Exhibition is the states longest running juried, fine art competition. It’s open to all artists presently living in Kansas. Each year a new juror is selected to judge hundreds of submissions to determine the artwork featured in the final exhibition. The Fall Gallery Walk is held the last Friday in August. Locations that typically participate in the gallery walks vary from ten to as high as 20 or more. The annual gallery walks are free to attend, open to the public and provide a great way for residents and visitors of all ages and interests to participate and enjoy the arts. A gift shop features art from local and regional artists and other items available to purchase.rnHays Arts Council Gallery – 112 E. 11th – Hays, KS 67601rn

Stone Gallery

Pete “Fritz” Felten, Jr. was born and raised in Hays. Pete was a track star and expert swimmer in high school and spent one year at Fort Hays State College. His interest in art and sculpting began during his time of service in the U.S. Navy between 1952 and 1956 when he was able to visit art museums along the east and west coasts and Hawaii. Once he was out of the service, Pete then toured museums in St. Louis, Washington D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Chicago, Boston, Hartford, and Baltimore. Pete then attended an art league school in New York for one month but returned to Hays to pursue his sculpting career.

We invite you to take a driving tour of Hays and enjoy 19 sculptures Pete has created here in Hays, and we will provide a listing of 10 others he has created for other communities. Addresses are available at the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Buffalo Herd

Located on US-183 Alternate, four miles south of I-70 and directly across from Historic Fort Hays is a small herd of buffalo. Free admission and visitors are welcome to view the herd from either the road that goes through Frontier Park or the access road south of the buffalo herd pasture.

The frontier Park buffalo herd was begun in 1953 with a bull named Wild Bill and a cow named Calamity Jane. The herd has grown to include the main bull, Max, and a harem of cows.

The area was the home to the largest herd of buffalo in North America, estimated in the millions. The importance of the buffalo to the Native Americans of the area should not be overlooked. The Indians depended on the buffalo for food, shelter, clothing and tools. They fought hard when millions of the animals were slaughtered as a result of the intrusion of the railroad and the white settlers.

Visitors will typically see 4 to 7 buffalo calves during the spring through fall. Toward the end of the year the calves are sold off to maintain a proper balance of available grass on the limited acreage through the winter months.