Director’s Tales

Are you looking for something to entertain your visiting relatives? HCHM Director, Catherine, has a knack for finding the out of the way treasures to visit in Kansas.  Although this Director’s Tale is based on a trip taken in the spring, fall can also be a beautiful to time visit.

Director’s Tales

by Catherine Graves, HCHM Director

The act of writing is something that is not very comfortable with me, but when the idea was approached a time or two, or seven, I decided, meh? What would it hurt??

Then I thought to myself. . . Self? What would we even write about? The only thing that would be of any interest would be the small little adventures that I may or may not force my child to attend. The crazy thought occurred to me a few years back when I stumbled across the 7 Wonders of Kansas book. Looking inside, I realized that there were so many little places here in our  state that were interesting!

I’ll begin with one of our first places we explored. Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. The boy had never been, and I took a field trip there when I was in elementary school. It was a nice, beautiful, picture perfect, humid Kansas spring  day, so we slathered on a hefty amount of sunscreen. Being a couple of redheads, it is a very common practice. (Maybe I should buy stock in the stuff. . .😊)

Besides being in boots and jeans, (I was overly prepared in case of those rattle snakes decided to make a surprise visit), the boy was blown away to see the bison in real life and relatively close. At first it took a minute for our eyes to adjust and focus on those big boulder-like creatures in the pasture. What a sight to see.

Fortunately, our allergies weren’t going crazy, and the wind did help cope with the heat, but singing Home on The Range felt a bit different that day. It was nice to give him the visual to the lyrics of our state’s song.

After the journey back down the trail, we decided to walk over to the house itself. It is a beautiful limestone mansion built in the 1880s. Next to the mansion, you can visit the barn also, made of limestone.  Just down the way a bit, you can head on over to the Lower Fox Creek Schoolhouse. We didn’t go that far because we may have been out in the sun a tad too long…

Either way, if you need a little get away that is FREE, and you’re up for some hiking, we recommend heading on over to Strong City. It truly is a beautiful sight to see. Don’t forget some water and sunscreen!

2 out of 2 gingers would recommend, on a cooler day of course.

Happy trails!!

Where is the Barber Pole? #FindItFriday

Where is this barber pole?


Maybe you have noticed it while waiting on a train. The located in the 400 Block of Main on the west side.


What do the colors mean?

According to, people during the Middle Ages went to barbers not just for a haircut or shave but also for bloodletting and other medical procedures.  Practitioners were known as barber-surgeons. In addition to barbering, they took on such tasks as pulling teeth, setting bones and treating wounds.

Bloodletting  involved cutting open a vein and allowing blood to drain and was a common treatment for a wide range of maladies, from sore throat to plague.

The barber pole is a left over  from that earlier time. The look of the barber pole is linked to bloodletting, with red representing blood and white representing the bandages used to stem the bleeding. The pole itself is said to symbolize the stick that a patient squeezed to make the veins in his arm stand out more prominently for the procedure. In Europe, barber poles traditionally are red and white, while in America, the poles are red, white and blue. One theory holds that blue is symbolic of the veins cut during bloodletting, while another interpretation suggests blue was added to the pole as a show of patriotism and a nod to the nation’s flag.

#FindItFriday – Road Trip

Did you find it? Do you know where this little guy is located in Harvey County?



Did you recognize the entrance to the Burrton School located at 105 E Lincoln St, Burrton, KS?


Burrton Unified School, 2007. Photo credit, Linda Koopes.