Elk City State Park

Elk City State Park boasts a rather varied early history.  Like much of southeastern Kansas, it was once inhabited by Osage Indians, but this changed after the Civil War.  Many Union veterans had visited Kansas during the war.  Those who were looking for a fresh start in what promised to be a thriving post-war state…… Continue reading Elk City State Park

El Dorado State Park

When the United States Army Corps of Engineers began construction on El Dorado Lake in 1973, there were already two lakes on the proposed site—Bluestem Lake and the original El Dorado Lake. However, for improved flood control on the Walnut River, the two lakes were combined. The Bluestem Lake dam was breached and the waters…… Continue reading El Dorado State Park

Eisenhower State Park

Eisenhower State Park was made possible by yet another flood control project carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  This time, the offending river was the Marais des Cygnes, once infamous for destructive floods.  Construction was authorized in 1954, but the project was not started until 1967.  The lake was completely filled and…… Continue reading Eisenhower State Park

Crawford State Park

The land that makes up Crawford State Park has long been the scene of government activity.  Before white men settled in Kansas, present-day Crawford County belonged to the Osage Indians.  A series of treaties changed this forever. In 1827, the government requested the Osage Indians to stay out of the area, which would be set…… Continue reading Crawford State Park

Clinton State Park

The Wakarusa River has had an ugly track record ever since white men settled along its banks. Every so often terrible floods swept through the valley and left significant damage in their wake. When the Flood Control Act was passed in 1962, states had the opportunity to receive federal assistance in constructing reservoirs and other…… Continue reading Clinton State Park

Cheney State Park

Cheney State Park is better known for its recreation activities and its proximity to Wichita than for its unique history.  The reservoir was intended to provide flood control along the Ninnescah River and to provide a source of water for Wichita.  The dam was constructed between 1962 and 1965 by the United States Bureau of…… Continue reading Cheney State Park

Cedar Bluff State Park

When you are standing on the windy limestone outcroppings overlooking Cedar Bluff Reservoir, it is hard to imagine a time when the lake and the state park were not there.  Yet it was once just a river valley inhabited by Indians.  Few people cared to traverse the vast prairie without a good economic reason, and…… Continue reading Cedar Bluff State Park

Kansas Barns

Have you ever driven along the back roads of Kansas and wondered about the stories those old barns could tell? Whether you love barns or are just an all-around Kansas history buff, you will probably enjoy Kansas Barns and Kansas Barns II by Martha Knudsen. The two-volume set features at least one barn from every…… Continue reading Kansas Barns