County Attractions and Entertainment
Mt. Sunflower: Mt. Sunflower
is surrounded by a typical western Kansas pasture. During the summer months, the yucca plant blooms with all its
glory, and many types of Kansas wildflowers dot the native buffalo
grass. The smell of
sagebrush assures you that you are indeed in Kansas.
Wildlife is abundant on the mountainside.
Antelope, deer, prairie dogs, coyotes, jack rabbits and foxes
make this spot their home. Many
types of birds spend the summer months raising their young on the
prairie. Hawks, owls pheasants, swallows, and larks are common.
Mt. Sunflower was
designated as Kansas highest point in 1961.
A United States Geological Survey officially plotted the
elevation at 4039 feet. True
mountains are called such because of a 2000 foot difference in altitude
in a 10-20 mile radius. Since
this does not apply to the contour of the land surrounding Mt.
Sunflower, it is not considered a true mountain.
Mt. Sunflower is on privately owned land one of the few privately
owned high points in the country. It has been in the Harold family since 1940.
Ft. Wallace Museum: Wallace is
home to the Fort Wallace Museum “…the fightin’est fort in the
West!” The original Pond Creek Stagecoach Station, built in 1865, is
displayed on the museum grounds. This rare relic of the Butterfield
Overland Dispatch is the oldest building in Western Kansas. Many legends
of the old West served or stayed at Fort Wallace like Wild Bill Hickok,
“Buffalo Bill” Cody, William Comstock and George Armstrong Custer,
along with his Seventh Calvary. Stop by the Fort Wallace Cemetery and
see what is believed to be the only surviving relic of its
kind from the legendary division, a cenotaph. (See below) The Museum also maintains the 1879
Railroad superintendent’s office and residence in Wallace, and the
Union Pacific Railroad Depot built in 1891 and used in Weskan.
Old Ft. Wallace Post Cemetery:
This cenotaph, which stands in the old fort cemetery, was erected
by the men of Custer’s 7th Cavalry, in Memory of the
comrades who lost their lives near Fort Wallace during the summer of
1867. It is believed to be the only surviving relic of its kind
remaining from the legendary division.
There are several graves
of special interest in the post cemetery.
Two of George Forsyth's scouts are buried here, as well as the
members of the German family who, in 1874 were massacred by Cheyenne
warriors east of Fort Wallace. The
re-created wooden headstones reflect the names and correct epitaphs of
civilians, settlers and scouts who died at the fort.
However, the exact placement of these graves is unknown. The fort parade grounds are on private property and are
inaccessible to the public.
Pond Creek Stagecoach Station:
The original Pond Creek Stagecoach Station, built in 1865, is
displayed on the museum grounds. This rare relic of the Butterfield Overland Dispatch is the
oldest building in Western Kansas.
The bullet-holes dotting the building attest to the determination
of the Cheyenne, Kiowa and Sioux braves to protect their hunting grounds
and main source of subsistence – the buffalo.
Sunderland-Poe Building: Large
exhibits of the museum are displayed here.
It houses an original Cowboy Chuck wagon with a simulated camp displayed, Conestoga wagon,
and Butterfield Overland Dispatch Stagecoach. All are accented by original barb-wire sculptures created by Ernie Poe. This
building is located in Wallace at the museum.
7ft tall 3ft wide buffalo stands tall at the entrance to the museum.
The idea came from the history that resides in the county.
Buffalo Bill and General Custer both hunted here for buffalo.
The horns on the statue are original buffalo horns!
While visiting make sure to see the other barb-wire statues in
the Sunderland-Poe building!
Rhea’s pump organ collection has a new home on Main
Street in Sharon Springs, Kansas.
The old drugstore building at 117 N. Main Street houses
most of his 56 restored antique pump organs.
been a collector of pump organs for many years and was running out
of space to store and display them. He and his wife, Bernice, have
traveled throughout the Midwest, including Wyoming, Colorado,
Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico and put over 34,
000 miles on his pickup to retrieve these antique organs. He
recently purchased the building and has transformed it into a
museum for his restored organs.
The organs are all different and unique from one another
and were built between 1848 and 1914.
is welcome to stop by on Sunday afternoons from 1:00-4:30.
Dick will open for special groups.
Special arrangements to see the organs may be made by
calling him at 785-852-4951 or 785-821-1101.