Category: Heartland Country

Heartland Country

Wellington Parks

Woods Park – 183 acres for fishing, camping, and picnicking.

Sellers Park – baseball field with covered stadium, football field and stadium.

Worden Park – 140 acres housing a remote control airplane field and a 1/4 mile dirt go-cart track with facilities.

Hargis Creek Watershed – 200 acres land, 68 acres water surface.


Contact the Wellington Chamber Office for more information.

Wellington Lake

We hope the information given to you on this page will encourage you to visit our beautiful lake. Our lake provides a variety of recreational opportunities.


Picnicing shall be permitted in all areas which are safe and suitable and in shelter houses with purchase of Recreation Permit. Picnic tables and shelter houses are available for use on a first come first serve basis. No advance reservations shall be made. All picnicers shall be responsible for the policing of the picnic area or shelter they have used to see that all food, waste paper, paper cups, dishes and other utensils and containers used are properly disposed of and the area left in a neat and orderly condition. Shelter houses are not to be used for camping of any kind whatsoever, nor shall campers use electrical outlets at shelter houses in connection with camping activities.


Swimming shall be permitted in the beach area located in the southwest corner of the lake and marked by buoys. When buoys are not in place, no swimming will be permitted. Swimming may be restricted when the waters of the lake are for any reason unsafe for swimmers. A Recreation Permit shall be required for swimming. No lifeguards will be provided. The swimmer will assume all risks of injury which may result. Children under the age of twelve (12) years must be accompanied by an adult. No glass, alcoholic liquor, cereal malt beverages, or animals will be permitted. The area shall be closed from one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise.


The sport of archery, whether for purposes of practice, competition or otherwise, shall not be permitted without specific written authority from the City of Wellington. Such authority shall not be granted unless adequate insurance coverage is provided to protect the City as well as others using the recreation area and surrounding territory against personal injury and property damage. Each participant in the sport agrees in writing to abide by and comply with all rules, regulations and requirements.


Camping shall be permitted in those parts of the lake which are designated, marked and posted. Primitive camping will be permitted in areas designated but will not be permitted in camping areas serviced by electricity. No advance reservations will be made. Any person desiring to set up camp shall first pay the Lake Supervisor the appropriate camping fee. No camp site may be occupied by the same person or member of that person’s household, nor shall a recreational vehicle be parked on a campsite for more than thirty (30) days. After the lapse of five (5) days following the end of the thirty (30) consecutive day period, that same person and members of his/her household may again occupy the same camp site if available. No camper or other person shall make any connection to water outlets for a period longer than necessary to fill water tanks or storage facilities on the trailer,rnmobile home, camper or recreational vehicle. Only vehicles using electrical outlets provided for campers shall be parked at such outlets. Any other vehicle parked near the electrical outlets will be required to pay camping fees for the additional vehicle. No 30 amp electrical adapters shall be plugged into or used in 15 amp outlets. Shelter houses shall not be used for camping, nor shall any electric outlets in shelter houses be used to supply electrical power to trailers, mobile homes, campers or other recreational vehicles. No trailer, mobile home, or other recreational vehicle shall be parked in boat ramp areas. During cold weather, public restrooms will be closed and not available for use. Campers using the recreation area during this time must provide their own restroom facilities.

Camping Fees:rnResidentrnPrimitive Camping With Permit/Per Day = $3.00rnCamping With Use Of Electricity With Permit/Per Day = $7.00rnNon-ResidentrnPrimitive Camping With Permit/Per Day = $4.00rnCamping With Use Of Electricity With Permit/Per Day = $10.00rnCampers using electric space heaters will be charged an additional $2.00 Per Day plus the above camping fees.rn”Day” shall mean any period of twenty four (24) consecutive hours, or any part of such period. No camping will be allowed from December 1 through January 31.


The operation of boats shall be permitted at all times except as designated by Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks as seasons for the hunting of waterfowl, game birds and animals in Sumner County, Kansas. During hunting season, boats propelled only by human power and boats with trollingrnmotors may be used with extreme caution for the purpose of placing or removing decoys and blinds. Hydroplanes, aeropropellers and houseboats shall not be permitted.

Licenses:rnBefore any boat shall be operated, a license shall be obtained from the Lake Supervisor. The boat must be determined safe and seaworthy. Motor boats or a sail powered boat must be insured for public liabiltiy and property damage with a single limit coverage of not less than $25,000.00 before license is issued.

Hours:rnNo boats, except fishing boats being operated at a speed that produces no visible wake, shall be operated between one half hour after sunset and one half hour before sunrise.

Launching:rnMotor boats shall be launched and removed only at designated areas. Small human powered boats may be launched where convenient.

Life Jackets:rnApproved life jackets shall be available for each occupant on all boats. Persons twelve (12) years of age and under shall actually wear an approved life jacket at all times when on a boat.

Traffic:rnBoats shall travel in a generally counter-clockwise direction. Boats shall turn to the right when meeting another boat; turn left when overtaking another boat. Boats approaching each other at right angles shall give right-of-way to the boat on the right. Motor powered boats shall at all times give the right-of-way to sail boats and human powered boats.

Rough Waters:rnNo person shall operate a boat when the waters of the lake are considered dangerous.

Swimming Areas:rnNo boat shall proceed into any area which is designated and marked as a swimming area.

Boat Trailers:rnBoat trailers shall be parked only in those areas as are specifically designated and marked for boat trailer parking.

Water Skiing:rnWater skiing shall be permitted in those areas designated. When meeting or passing other boats, skiers shall take and maintain a position behind the skier’s towing boat until the other boat has safely passed. Skiers shall be retreived from the water as soon as possible. No boat shall be operated with ski lines behind the boat unless a skier is being towed or retreived from the water. Water skiers shall wear approved ski vests.

All owners and/or operators of boats shall render assistance at all times of emergency and the enforcement of rules and regulations when called upon by the Recreation Area Supervisor or authorized agent. Boat docks are provided for the purpose of loading and unloading. No privately owned boat docks shall be constructed or maintained.

Boating Fees:rnResidentrnCanoe & Human Powered Boats – Daily = $2.00 Annual = $4.00rnSail Boats 14′ & Power Boats up to 10 hp – Daily = $3.00 Annual = $10.00rnPower Boats 10-40 hp – Daily = $4.00 Annual = $20.00rnPower Boats 40 hp+ – Daily = $5.00 Annual + $30.00

Non-ResidentrnCanoe & Human Powered Boats – Daily = $4.00 Annual = $8.00rnSail Boats ’14 & Power Boats under 10 hp – Daily = $6.00 Annual = $20.00rnPower Boats 10-40 hp – Daily = $8.00 Annual = $40.00rnPower Boats 40 hp+ – Daily = $10.00 Annual = $60.00

Penalty: Any person who shall violate Boating Rules and Regulations shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $200, or be imprisoned for not more than thirty (30) days, or both.


Fishing will be permitted in accordance with the laws of the State of Kansas and Rules of the City of Wellington. No unattended fishing lines or drop lines may be used between sunrise and sunset. No trout or link lines may be used at any time. To insure quality fishing, the size and possession limits of fish taken shall be as follows:

Largemouth Bass: 18″ minimum – 2 Per Day

Hybrid Striper (Wiper): 18″ minimum – 2 Per Day

Crappie: 6″ minimum – 20 Per Day

Walleye & Sougeye: 18″ minimum – 5 Per Day (any combination)

Channel Catfish: 15″ minumum – 5 Per Day

Flathead Catfish: no limit – 5 Per Day

All other species no limit – State Creel limit

The following fees for those persons who are required by laws of the State of Kansas to have fishing licenses shall be charged per fisher:

Resident:rnSeason = $10.00 Per Day = $2.00

Non-Resident:rnSeason = $25.00 Per Day = $4.00

Upon the payment of the fees and showing valid fishing license issued by the State of Kansas is in their possession, permission to fish will be granted. Accessible fishing dock is available on the West side of the lake. Dock is reserved for persons needing special accommodations and one attendant.


The hunting of waterfowl shall be permitted during seasons established by the State of Kansas in Sumner County, Kansas. The hunting of upland game birds, fur-bearing animals, deer and predatory animals, as well as trapping or fur-bearing animals is prohibited at all times.

The display or discharge of firearms except during a State established waterfowl season is prohibitied.

Those persons who are required to hold a valid hunting license issued by the State of Kansas, must also hold a valid Wellington Recreation Area Waterfowl Hunting Permit. ALL persons must hold a valid Recreation Permit for the Wellington Lake Recreation Area.

Upon payment of the following fees and showing by the hunter that they hold a valid hunting license issued by the State of Kansas and such waterfowl stamps as are required, the hunter shall be issued a license:

Residentrn(Per Hunter) Season = $20.00 Per Day = $4.00

Non-Residentrn(Per Hunter) Season = $30.00 Per Day = $6.00

Hunters who desire to construct a duck blind shall deposit $25.00 which will be refunded to the hunter if the blind that the hunter has constructed is removed within thirty (30) days after the close of the current State waterfowl hunting season. The failure to remove the blind in the prescribed time shall cause a forefeiture of the deposit. Upon the deposit of $25.00, the Supervisor shall assign a specific area upon which the hunter may construct his/her temporary blind. The assigned site may not be transferred to another hunter.

The area that may be used for the construction of duck blinds shall be determined each year by the Recreation Area Supervisor. No blinds shall be permitted in any other part of the area. Blind sites may be assigned to the same person every year subject to the payment of the permit fee and actual use of the site. When sites become available or a new site permitted, it wll be allocated by lot.

If a hunter, other than the hunter to whom a particular duck blind was assigned, wishes to use that particular blind, written permission for use signed by the hunter to whom the site was assigned and the name of permitted user, must be furnished to the Supervisor and fee paid for established use.


Commercial activities may be carried on only by persons, firms, associations and corporations who have written agreement with the City of Wellington.


Continual siren: Tornado sighted, take cover.rnFog Horn followed by message: Severe Thunderstorm Warning.rnSiren will be tested every Monday at noon. Lake office maintains a C.B. base station.rnEmergency Number – 911: A shelter house is located north of the restrooms on the west side of the lake.


It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, association or corporation to do any of the following acts in the Wellington Lake Recreation Area.

1. To possess or consume alcoholic liquor.

2. To drive any vehicles at a speed greater than the posted 20 miles per hour.

3. To drive any vehicle, including dune buggies, at any place except on roadways.

4. To park or leave unattended any vehicle on the roadway in such a manner as to block or impede traffic.

5. To violate any traffic laws of the State of Kansas.

6. To permit domestic pets or farm animals to run at large. Hunting dogs shall be permitted to run at large during hunting seasons if kept under control of the owner.

7. To transport any person for hire for any valuable consideration without valid concessionaires’s written agreement from the City.

8. To build, start, or maintain a fire in or about the Wellington Lake Recreation Area except for permanent fireplaces, grills or other facilities provided.

9. To engage in or solicit any business in any manner whatsoever, including the dissemination or posting of handbills and notices without a valid concessionaire’s agreement or specific permission granted by the Governing Body of the City.

10. To dispose of, throw or leave along any roadway or on the ground in any picnic or camping area, any refuse, garbage, rubbish, sewage, gray water or waste of any kind. Use depositories provided.

11. To pollute the waters of Wellington Lake in any manner.

12. To go upon the dam, the emergency spillway, or any part except by a person walking under their own power.

13. To make a false statement or representation in order to secure any permit, license or agreement.

14. To operate any off-road vehicles including 3 & 4 wheelers, go karts, etc.

PENALTY: Any person who violates 11 and/or 12 shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $500 or be imprisoned for not more than thirty (30) days, and in addition may be ordered to make restitution to the City for damages resulting from such violation.

ENFORCING OFFICER: The City Manager of the City of Wellington or his/her duly authorized agent shall have the duty to enforce Ordinances of the City pertaining to the Wellington Lake Recreation Area.

For a full and complete copy of the Rules and Regulations and Penalties contact the Lake Manager or the City offices at 317 South Washington, Wellington, Kansas.

The Chisholm Trail

The city of Wellington, Kansas, lies just 7 miles east of the cattle trail of the 1870’s that led to the largest cattle market of its time in the entire world. While those days are over 120 years gone, it is only fitting that those of us who call this area home reflect on those times and events, and be aware of what a rich heritage is connected with what came to be called the Chisholm Trail.

Little known to many other than historians, is the fact that an ambitious 30 year old man named Joseph G. McCoy probably did more than any other one individual to establish cattle drives up the route that was later to be called the Chisholm Trail.

The forward looking and fairly wealthy McCoy was a cattle trader from Springfield, Illinois, who came westward into Kansas searching for the best location to establish a railhead for loading cattle to be shipped to the eastern states, where shortages of beef were widespread because of the Civil War.

He had learned that wild cattle brought to Mexico by Coronado, had multiplied and migrated northward into Texas, and nearly six million longhorns were free to be had by those willing to round them up. The value of the Texas longhorns was low in the sparsely populated state due to their abundance, and Texans were beginning to get wind of Kansas markets, but were afraid to drive herds northward, not knowing for sure where they could be sold.

During his efforts to establish what would soon become the world’s largest cattle market in Abilene, Kansas, McCoy enlisted the help of Jesse Chisholm in showing cattle drivers the route he had used since 1865 across the Oklahoma Indian Territory to and from his trading post in Wichita. The first year, 1867, 35,000 cattle came up the trail, and then McCoy sent representatives to Texas advertising the route, and took out ads in newspapers and dispersed circulars throughout Texas advertising the trail and cattle market. As a result, 75,000 came up the trail in 1868; 350,000 in 1869; 300,000 in 1870; and the best year of all was 1871, when 600,000 were driven up the trail.

After contracting with the Kansas Pacific Railroad to receive $1 for every carload of cattle shipped from Abilene, he built the first hotel and stockyards in Abilene. Unscrupulous KPR managers failed to pay McCoy the money they owed him. Bankrupt and nearly broke, he died in Kansas City, October 18, 1915.

Jesse Chisholm’s life was spent without any idea on his part, that he would ever be known as an historical character, and he died without considering that he was, or ever would be, known other than an ordinary trader. The route he laid out was commonly called Chisholm’s Trail in what is now Blaine County, Oklahoma. He died in March, 1868, at the age of about 62.

Courtesy of the Chisholm Trail Museum, Wellington.

Carnegie Library

On April 1, 1914, at the spring election the voters approved the support of a public library by a vote of 3-1. In May, 1914, the Wellington City Library board held it first meeting and voted to begin the process of erecting a library building. On April 10, 1915, it was voted to buy a site from the Long-Bell Lumber Co. at the corner of Seventh Street and Jefferson Avenue for $3,500.00. The board had begun negotiations with Andrew Carnegie, and on April 19, 1915 the Carnegie Corporation stated that it would give $17,500.00 for a library building. The library building was accepted from the contractor on June 12, 1916, was dedicated June 19, 1916.

In 1986 the Library Board of Trustees. and community became involved in a project to enlarge and renew the original structure; June 6,1987, the Wellington Carnegie Library was entered in the National Register Of Historic Places; 1988 ground was broken to start the exterior shell of the addition to the building. For nearly 2 years the library was in temporary housing as the interior underwent extensive renovation. The interior of the library maintains its original open floor plan and vestibule entrance. The first floor pillars retain their marble wainscoting.

The Chisholm Trail Museum

Wellington’s Chisholm Trail Museum contains over 40 rooms filled with over 20,000 artifacts and pictures, most collected locally, some dating back to the Civil War and the early days cattle trail that passed west of Wellington.

The building itself is a reinforced concrete structure built in 1916 as the Hatcher Hospital. Originally a two story structure with rnbasement, a third story and electric elevator were added in 1920. The nearly 80 year-old elevator is one of the oldest functioning elevators in Kansas. Many older people still living in the Wellington area either worked at or were treated by doctors in this building. In fact, many Wellington residents were born here between 1916 and 1961. The original second floor nursery is preserved as part of the museum that many return to see.

The hospital closed in 1961 and became the Chisholm Trail Museum in 1965. Staffed and operated by community volunteers and supported by donations from visitors and local patrons, the non-profit educational organization is free to the public.

The First Floor of the Museum contains 12 rooms and the Corridor Displays. A red 1904 Pope Hartford automobile, owned by a local Wellington doctor greets visitors as they enter the museum.

Library1904 Pope Hartford
Music Room
Children’s Doll Room
Military Rooms
Sound Room Early Radios & TV
Railroad Room
Automobile Room
Doctor’s Office
Pioneer Room
Chisholm Trail Room
Gift shop


The Second Floor contains rn15 Rooms and the Corridor Displays.

Laundry Room
Dining Room
Womens Hat Room
Handmade Walnut Furniture
Shoe Closet
China & Glass Room
Sitting Room
General Store
Beauty Parlor
Hatcher Nursery
Elks Room
Tool Room
Sports Room

The Third Floor contains Thirteen Rooms with exhibits ranging from the marionette puppet show housed in the old Hatcher Hospital dumb waiter to a barbershop scene containing a child’s chair as well as the conventional adult chair.rn

Business Machine Room
Barber Shop
Weaving Room
Dentist’s Office
Mayors’ Room
Raymond Frye Collection
Sewing Room
rnSchool Room
Santa Claus Room
Photography Room
Grandmother’s Room
Child’s Room
Bones Display Archeology


The Archives are in the basement and are open to the public only by appointment, usually on Tuesdays.