A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Almena KS’

Prairie View, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on October 20, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a one-to-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Wastin’ away again in OSer-land . . . KS; 56/52; 3/10; 2; 156.6.  Here’s my landing map:

Today’s landing is the eastern-most.  The other nearby landing was back in January 2009.  Not surprisingly, that’s for my “Almena, Kansas” post.

I landed in the Crooked Creek watershed (my 11th “Crooked” watershed, my 9th “Crooked Creek”); on to Beaver Creek (34th “Beaver” watershed, my 25th “Beaver Creek”); on to the N Fk of the Solomon River (2nd hit); on to the Solomon R (6th hit); on to the Smoky Hill R (17th hit); on to the Kansas R (56th hit); on to the Missouri (357th hit); on to the MM (759th hit).  Phew . . . .

Here’s a broader view:

Here’s my GE shot, showing a totally-predictable agricultural scene:

Here’s a StreetView shot, looking south.  My landing is about a mile down this little road, on the right:

Here’s the “Welcome to Prairie View” sign, from the town’s website:

From www.skyways.org (a service of the State Library of Kansas):

In May of 1873, the Robert and Daniel W. Thomas families arrived in the yet unnamed “Prairie View” area. They left Missouri early in the year to get “to wherever they were going” in order to plant crops.

[I love the above quote –  I wonder where the author got it  . . .]

The Dan Thomas family at that time consisted of 4 children, so they had a stove in their covered wagon. Robert Thomas had 6 children, so there was no room for a stove, therefore, cold nights were miserable.

[Wonderful detail – likely from the same source]

Arriving in this area, the wagon boxes were placed on the ground and claims registered. The first two permanent families had arrived.

A 1906 paper accounts this story about one of the first days. “ The only thing that dispelled the feeling of homesickness that was crawling over our friend Tuck (Dan) Thomas of Prairie View, the second day after he reached Phillips County, was his good luck in downing a fine buffalo with his six-shooter and then having to ride it a few hundred yards before finishing it with his jack-knife.”

[Another great piece of local color!]

Work on dugouts waited until sod was broken and the crops were planted. Both families spent the first and possibly the second winter in a dugout.

After some slow growth, the town got its first Post Office in 1879.  The first school was built in 1881:

I’ll close with this Panaramio sunrise shot, looking east (duh) on Route 36 just north of my landing:

That’ll do it. . .



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Almena, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on January 24, 2009

First time here?  Check out “About Landing,” above.

NOTE:  I had to delete much of this post because of a website manager who demanded I delete all of the stuff I copied from his site.  This post is pretty much butchered now and doesn’t make much sense.  Oh well . . . .

Dan –  Gee whiz.  A very cool 4 USers in a row, but now, crashing the party comes the third WBer in a row (after SD & MT) . . . KS; 49/44; 4/10; 5; 166.7.  For the fourth time (count ’em, four), I landed in the Prairie Dog Creek watershed, on to the  Republican R (17th hit); on to the Kansas R (51st hit); on to the Missouri R.

So I landed near Almena (pop 469), in N-Cen KS right near the NE border.  Here’s a map (you can see the state border up at the top).


Here’s a broader view.


Remember I told you that the border between KS & NE is exactly on the 40th parallel?  Well, my latitude for this landing is 39.9369 . . .

So, Almena.  Here’s a shot of the town in 1924:

And here’s some info from a 1924 piece written by a 14-year old resident of Almena, Armida Gishwiller.  She starts with a list of commercial establishments and services in the town.

When Armida made this list, and said “But Not What We Will Have,” of course, she meant that the town would continue to grow and that there would be more and more services available in Almena.  But I fear that the moment these words were written, the curse of Armida Gishwiller was cast, and the town began its decline . . .

So, “Suitatorium?”  A Google search shows that it’s a word used most commonly in 19th century Kansas (and some in Nebraska and Florida), and that it is most typically a facility that repairs, cleans and presses clothes (although it looks like some suitatoriums might also sell custom-made clothes).

Notice that the most common item is “Insurance Agents” (6).  Who’d a thunk?

Here’s a nice shot of a general store in Fairhaven, 10 miles south of Almena:

And a couple of cool Almena storm shots.  First, a tornado (it’s far away, on the left):


Then, after the tornado stopped, this “Mothership” cloud remained:


Here’s the same cloud at sunset . . .


To see more storm photos (including close-ups of the tornado), click HERE (and scroll down to June 3rd).

I landed not far from the town of Long Island.  I thought the name was peculiar, so I took a quick look.  Well, a Kansas State Libraries website has three sentences about Long Island.  Check out the three sentences HERE.

I’m particularly interested in the second sentence.  It sounds like the good ship Minnie B plyed the waters around Long Island KS, right?  But, of course, that makes no sense, when you look at a map:


As you can see, Long Island, like Almena, is on the Prairie Dog Creek.  There’s no way a steamship is doing excursions on Prairie Dog Creek!!!

There’s another creek to the north of town, Elk Creek.  It seems to me that the name “Long Island” could have something to do with the fact that the town is nearly surrounded by water (oh, OK, by creeks).

But what about the Minnie B.?  What does that have to do with anything?  Was the town actually named after Long Island NY?  If so, does the Minnie B. have something to do with the naming of the town?   The captain of the ship moved to Kansas?  A passenger of the ship with fond memories of excursions in Long Island Sound moved to Kansas?  The Landing Nation wants to know!  FYI, I’ve emailed the website and asked for more information on the origin of the name.  Obviously, I’ll let you know if I hear anything . . .



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