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Posts Tagged ‘Birger Sandzen’

Gypsum and Lindsborg, Kansas

Posted by graywacke on October 1, 2016

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days 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) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2299; A Landing A Day blog post number 729.

Dan:  This was just my second landing in Kansas since I changed how I select my random lat/longs.  Fortunately, Kansas is large enough to be undersubscribed, so my score went down from 663 to 644, a new record low.

Here’s my regional landing map:


And my local landing map:


My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Gypsum Creek:


And as you can see, the Gypsum makes its way to the Smoky Hill River (18th hit); thence to the Kansas River (63rd hit ).  Zooming back further:


The Kansas makes its way to the Missouri (415th hit); on, of course, to the MM (898th hit).

Take a look at the above map (especially where the Kansas meets the Missouri at the state line).  I can just imagine the old-time surveyor’s notes about the state line between Kansas and Missouri:   “ . . . extending generally southeast coinciding with the centerline of the Missouri River, until the confluence with the Kansas River.  At the junction of the two river centerlines, the boundary shall extend due south 147 miles to the 36o 30’ line of latitude, the boundary between the State of Kansas sand the Oklahoma Territories, then extending west along the 36o 30’ line of latitude for . . . “

It’s time for a spaceflight in to good ol’ central Kansas (smack dab in the middle of the lower 48).  Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and hit your back button.

As usual, the first thing I do is check out Street View.  Bingo! 


And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:


I can take look at the unnamed tributary to Gypsum Creek (where my drainage ends up) as well as the landing:


And here’s the view:


I went a couple of miles north to get this view of Gypsum Creek (looking downstream):


I had the Orange Dude turn around to show you the upstream view and the little dirt road that somehow got Street View coverage. 


As I’ve mused before, I wonder if the GoogleCam driver makes his own decisions about what roads he covers . . .

So, right off, I took a look at Gypsum.  From Wiki:

The community was founded as a Templer community called Tempelfeld.  Gypsum was named after Gypsum Creek.

Gypsum Creek was likely named from reports of deposits of gypsum discovered on the Coronado expedition.

Before getting to the Templers, here’s a little detour about Coronado, from Wiki:

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado (1510 – 1554) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer who led a large expedition from Mexico to present-day Kansas through parts of the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542. Coronado had hoped to reach the Cities of Cíbola, often referred to as the mythical Seven Cities of Gold. His expedition marked the first European sightings of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, among other landmarks.

Here’s a map of the expedition (from Wiki):


It looks like he ended up right at my landing location!

Amazing to think about a trek of well over 2,000 miles in totally uncharted territory.  I fear we’d be appalled if we saw how they treated the locals . . .

Anyway, on to the Templers (the founders of Gypsum, in case you’ve forgotten).  From Wiki:

Templers are members of the Temple Society, a German Protestant sect with roots in the Lutheran Church. The Templers were expelled from the Lutheran Church in 1858 because of their millennial beliefs.

[Millennial beliefs?  They are centered around the second coming of Christ and the establishment of a heavenly kingdom on earth, that will last for a thousand years; i.e., millennial].

The word Templer is derived from the concept of the Christian Community as described in the New Testament, where every person and the community are seen as temples in which God’s spirit dwells.  Thus. the name is not connected with the Medieval Knights Templar.

Called “Deutscher Tempel” by its founders, their aim was to advance the rebuilding of the Temple in the Holy Land (Palestine), in the belief that this would promote the second coming of Christ.

Anyway, they started some communities in Palestine and Egypt, which hung in there for quite a while.    Obviously, they also exported their ideas and people all the way to Kansas.  Today, there are a few colonies in Australia and Germany.

At least there are more Templers than Shakers (see my Troy NY post, a couple back).

Skipping hookless Assaria, Bridgeport and Roxbury, let’s move down the road a piece to Lindsborg.  From Wiki:

Lindsborg was settled in the spring of 1869 by a group of Swedish immigrants led by Pastor Olof Olsson.

[I wonder what Pastor Olsson and his flock thought of that bunch of German Templers just down the road?]

Today, thirty percent of the population is of Swedish heritage. The downtown features gift shops that specialize in Swedish souvenirs, including various sizes of Dala horses.

I’ve never heard of a Dala horse.  No surprise, there’s a website called dalahorse.com:

Since Viking Times, the horse has been considered a holy animal in Sweden, and  wooden horses have long been carved as children’s toys. In the central Swedish province of Dalarna comes unique horse carvings that became known as Dala Horse.

It seems appropriate that the Dala Horse was selected by the city of Lindsborg as its symbol of identity with Swedish customs. The practice of using a Dala Horse-shaped plaque at the entry of homes, bearing the address or family surname, was begun in Lindsborg by local artists in the early 1960’s. Today the Dala Horse is recognized as an unofficial symbol of Sweden throughout Swedish-America.



Moving right along, it turns out that a Swedish artist lived and painted in Lindsborg, by the name of Birger Sandzén (1871-1954).  He moved to Lindsborg in 1894 to teach at Bethany College.  From Sandzen.org:

Sandzén interpreted the landscape. In an article published in 1915 he stated his views on the special relationship of landscape to the use of color: “I feel that one should be guided in both composition and use of color by the character of the landscape. There are western motifs out here, especially in a certain light (for example, in gray weather), which are distinguished by their majestic lines as in protruding rocks, rolling prairie and winding ravines. One should, when painting such motifs, first of all emphasize the rhythm and then sum up the color impression in a few large strokes.”

Here’s some of his work (which I really like):





I’m sure the originals are much richer in color and texture.  I think I’d really enjoy one prominently displayed in my house . . .

It’s time for some GE Pano shots.  About 10 miles south of my landing is the Maxwell Wildlife Sanctuary.  Here’s a shot of some of the local wildlife, by Jeff Heidel:


And some more local wildlife, by Jerry Burnell:


Also at the wildlife sanctuary, here’s a lake shot by McPhersonCVB:


I’ll close with this shot entitled “Tedd Liggett’s Photograph of the Day #748,” of an old bridge over Gypsum Creek, not far from the sanctuary:


That’ll do it . . .




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