Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 23, 2018

January 23, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. It is Tuesday and that is our day set aside for more “History of the C.L. Hoover Opera House”.  Today’s story is about a 1918 performance at the Opera House and is information taken from the “Junction City Union” of that year. On one particular night, there was a variety of acts from opera singing to seals that played an instrument. 
The article stated that “An unusually well balanced bill is presented the last half of the week at the opera house.  “Herbert’s Seals” are five highly trained animal performers that do balancing and juggling stunts.  One of the seals draws a lot of applause when it plays “America” on a set of pipes.
            Hall and Beck have a sketch in which singing predominates and their numbers are popular with the audience. Walter Neland and Co., have a twenty minute sketch titled “The Fixer”.  Stewart, Haynes and Evans, are three men who present one of the best singing acts that has yet been staged at the opera house.  Two exceptional vocalists, a tenor and a bass are included in the group.  Their operatic medley number is exceptionally pleasing. 
            The Five Cubans have a tight wire and acrobatic act that has not been duplicated here.  Some of their tumbling feats are particularly good.
            I have seen many performances at the Opera House, but have difficulty imagining a tight wire act on the stage there. Perhaps they weren’t very high up from the stage?  
            Well, that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 22, 2018

January 22, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the house on the corner of Fifth and Adams Streets. The information is taken from an article written by Eric Stahl, a Geary County Historical Society Board member.    
“The house, located at 301 West Fifth Street is a grand old Victorian house nicknamed “The Painted Lady” because the color scheme is appropriate for a Victorian “painted lady”.   The lot on which the house currently stands was the original site of the First Congregational Church.  That church was completed in January of 1869.  By 1909, the church membership was only about 25 persons and the building was in need of upgrades.  The Congregational Church Society of New York sold the property to Thomas B. Kennedy, who in turn sold the church building to the Trustees of the First Christian Church of Junction City.  They had the building moved off the lot.  Thomas Kennedy had his Victorian house built on the property.  Kennedy moved to Junction City with his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Maxwell Kennedy.  After working for the Rockwell Merchandise and Grain business, Thomas started his own bank with his cousin, M. C. Kennedy and later that bank consolidated with the First National Bank.  Thomas Kennedy was the President of First National Bank for over 25 years.
Following Thomas Kennedy’s death the property was deeded to Mary I. Green in 1932.  In 1943, Miss Green deeded the same property to Mrs. Rose Darcy and Claire Dickman for $7,500.  Claire Dickman opened Claire’s Dress Shop in the Steadman building in the 700 block of North Washington.  While Claire owned the home, her sisters Nell and Rose lived with her.  The house was divided into three apartments and each sister had her own floor.  Walls were added for separate entrances and each floor had a kitchen.  After Claire’s death the house changed hands twice and was eventually restored to a one family residence again.”  The house is currently owned by Jan and Curtis Gray.  A 1914 Pennell photo shows the Kennedy house.  This photo may be seen on page 207 and 208  of the book titled Set In Stone, which we have for sale at our Museum.   And… that’s today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.   


Friday, January 19, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 19, 2018

January 19, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s program provides a time to reflect on some 1953 businesses in Junction City, some of their products sold, costs of items and even phone numbers.  We do not recommend you try to call them, however.   See if there are some you remember or have heard others talk about from the past.
            The “Daily Union” newspaper sold subscriptions for 25 cents a week.
            Crocker Motor Company was located at 117-119 West 8th Street.  Their phone number was 1364 and they sold Dodge and Plymouth cars.
            Waters Appliance Store was located at 111 West 8th Street.  The phone number was 32.  They sold 7.2 cubic foot Frigidaire refrigerators with a 5 year protection plan.  Colors came with a blue and gold interior and they were built by General Motors.  They could be purchased for $209.95 with $21.00 down. 
            The Bramlage Service Station, located at 9th and Washington Streets sold B.F. Goodrich tires.
            The New Sweden Hot Dining Room was located at 1509 Washington Street.  They took reservations only.  Their phone number was 826, They served pan fried chicken, country gravy, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, cottage cheese and desserts in family style.   
            That sounds a lot like the menu at the Brookville Hotel in Abilene.
            Well, perhaps that was a trip down memory lane for some of you.  Enjoy the rest of your day from the Geary County Historical Society.
           


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story was taken from an article written by our Executive Director, Katie Goerl, on the topic of “Heritage Park – A Trip Back In Time”.  It was published in a special edition of the “Junction City Living Magazine” in the spring of 2017.  She wrote: “The park was first named City Park.  A fitting name as it was included in the original city plan when the city was planned in 1858.  The block where Heritage Park is, was purposely left blank on the map for use as a city park.”  The park remained City Park until 1988 when the park was renamed Heritage Park. The unlikely source of the new name was a local fifth-grader, Gery Hoffman. A city-wide competition was held to gather name suggestions and the youngsters name choice was deemed the winner.
            Organizations have honored Junction City’s long standing and important history with the military and Fort Riley with memorials. The first structure in the park was a wooden bandstand, which was erected in  1878.  In 1911, community members replaced the wooden bandstand.  The first monument installed in the park was the Civil War Memorial Arch that visitors pass under as they enter from the northeast side of the park.  Civil War veterans who were members of a fraternal organization composed of veterans from the Union Army suggested the memorial and advocated for its installation in the park in 1898.  Community wide fundraisers were held to fund the construction of the arch.  Schoolchildren even got involved by selling buttons to pay for the arch.
            The water fountain in the park is lighted and shoots water up to 12 feet in the air.  The fountain was gifted to the park in 1937 through the will of Jacob Benton Callen. The Vietnam Memorial, with more than 700 men and women who fought and were killed in action in Vietnam is also located in the park on the East side of the park.  The third oldest memorial in the park was installed thanks to efforts of the American War Mothers.  The memorial served as a special place for the mothers of soldiers who died overseas, many of whom did not have the opportunity to bury their sons.  Recently the memorial was restored through fundraising by Lincoln Elementary School.”
            Stop by and see these memorials and others in Heritage Park at the square between Fifth and Sixth Streets and Washington and Jefferson Streets. 

            And… that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 17, 2018

January 17, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is titled “A Store Where the Number One Cook Stove May Be Purchased.”  This story comes from an article written by an unknown author in December of 1867.  Here is what was written about the stove.  “We visited the extensive stove and tin establishment of McKenzie and Smith on Washington Street and were pleased to see a stock worthy of our prosperous city.  The many different kinds of stoves now manufactured, the advantages some possess over others and the perfection to which some of them are brought require more than a passing observation to make a decision.  What every family ought to have is a No. 1 Cook Stove.  The years of experience and practical knowledge of this business which this firm possesses is in itself a sufficient guarantee of their fitness for selecting the best stoves in the country.  Their arrangements for manufacturing tin and sheet iron ware are complete and defy competition being themselves practical workmen and supplied with all the latest improved machinery. They are prepared to compete with any eastern market.  Their application to business and the reputation they enjoy for fair and liberal dealing has secured for them a prosperous and prominent business.              
            This is another reminder that our Museum is hosting a special Smithsonian display titled “Water Ways”.  It will be at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets beginning tomorrow, January 6, through February 18. Our Museum is one of only seven sites in Kansas where this display can be seen.  Please stop by and see the impact water has on our play, our celebrations, our work and where we live.  Learn where our community’s water comes from, what the future holds for water and what you can do for water in Junction City.  
            A special presentation is being held on January 20 at 3:00 PM at the C.L. Hoover Opera House titled “Water in Kansas: Past and Present”.  The presentation will be given by geologist Rex Buchanan about the importance of water to Native Americans, pioneers and Kansas today. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 16, 2018

January 16, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is another in the series of stories in honor of the C.L. Hoover Opera House’s 120th anniversary this year. We are reserving Tuesdays for these special stories. In today’s program we are listing some of the people and events of the early days of the opera house.
            We have mentioned last Tuesday that the Opera House was originally completed in 1882 and was named the Blakely Opera House.  In 1890, a portion of the building was leased and managed by A.P. Trott, who was a local photographer and man of many trades.  In May of 1894, Thomas Dorn, then the Junction City Clerk, became the manager.  A history of the Opera House was written by Mrs. F.H. Stout for the “Women’s Edition” in the “Republic” newspaper.   
In January of 1898 at 5:30 PM, the building caught fire. Efforts began almost immediately to rebuild and renovate the building. In September seats had arrived, molding for the ceiling installed, the Board of Education room was taking shape, linoleum was installed on the floors and Police Judge Nobel’s room was completed, the fire escape was installed, the new bell for the City Hall was tapped for the first time and the clock was ready for operation. Be listening next Tuesday for more on the history of our C.L. Hoover Opera House. And… we hope you will visit the Opera House at the corner of Seventh and Jefferson Streets for a tour or a show.  Sheila, Joe or Danny would be glad to give you a tour.   Stop by or call 238-3906. 
Remember, if you are a regular listener, but miss one of our broadcasts, remember you can go to gearyhistory@blogspot.com and read the daily scripts heard on KJCK.  Geary history and blogspot are each one word.
That’s our time together today on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 15, 2018

January 15, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is taken from an editorial written in December of 1867. However, the author or source is not identified.  Here is the story:
            “The military authorities at Fort Riley have enclosed the Post burial grounds with a strong stone wall.  We are glad to note this thoughtfulness, for soon military authority will vanish and that memorable home of the dead may be left without protecting care.  We wonder if it is possible to get up some interest in Junction City towards preparing and sustaining a first class cemetery.  The fact is we’ve all got to be buried someday – there’s no dodging it.  We imagine it to be difficult for a man to bury a wife or a child or someone dear in the open prairie without protection from the cattle.  The place where burials are made in Junction City is a piece of wild prairie with no one having title to it nor can anyone obtain title to it.  There are a large number of graves in that burial ground.  Many of them are being obliterated because there is no one caring for the place. These are the resting places of people like Ben H. Keyser, S.B. Garrett and others who have friends caring for their graves, but after years pass, the public will want to know the spot where lay  the remains of people so prominent in history of the neighborhood.  We trust some interest may be taken in this matter.  There is nothing that will contribute more to the respect of a community than the degree of respect which it shows to its dead.    
            We now have two beautiful cemeteries in Junction City.  St. Mary’s Cemetery is on St. Mary’s Road and Highland Cemetery on Ash Street.  We want to thank those who care for them.
            That’s today’s story on…. “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 12, 2018

January 12, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is about the first concrete bridge in Geary County.  H.H. Ziegler recalled that the first concrete  bridge ever erected in Geary County in 1909 spanned Humboldt Creek on a township road west of the Chris Zumbrunn farm.  The firm of Ziegler and Dalton had built the bridge over the protests of many people who said the contractors had gone “concrete crazy.”  Little was known at the time about mixing concrete.  Gravel was taken from the creek and sand was secured on the military reservation near the present site on Marshall Field.  Instead of using pilings, two big concrete slabs were poured for the piers to rest on and then the whole bottom of the creek was given a concrete slab beneath the bridge to prevent washing. 
            Since its construction, floods had covered the bridge frequently and big trees came downstream and hit the bridge with tremendous force.  However it had stood for twenty years at that time and apparently was in as good a condition in 1929 as on the day it was finished.
            And… speaking of bridges and floods here is another reminder that our Museum is hosting a special Smithsonian display titled “Water Ways”.  It will be at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets , January 5 through February 18. Our Museum is one of only seven sites in Kansas where this display can be seen.  Please stop by and see the impact water has on our play, our celebrations, our work and where we live.  Learn where our community’s water comes from, what the future holds for water and what you can do for water in Junction City.  


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Some of the people who read this blog are historical trivia buffs.  So, today we are asking some rhetorical questions about Geary County history and then will give the answer and some additional information related to the question.  Here is the first one: 
            Did you know that Kathleen Eloisa “Kitty” Rockwell – also known as Klondike Kate, the Belle of the Yukon – was a vaudeville singer and dancer? She made her name and fortune on the saloon stages of Dawson, in the Yukon, Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush.  Klondike Kate was born in Junction City in 1876, but left as a young girl when her parents divorced and her mother moved to the state of Washington.
            The second question is: Did you know that during Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show in 1900, Theodore Roosevelt also visited here and the people of the area were treated with two grand events?  Col. Cody’s entire mounted show was drawn up in three lines north of a platform facing east.  As the shows train pulled in, his command of horsemen, Gatling gun and battery of light artillery gave a salute that lifted people off their feet.  Roosevelt was introduced and spoke for about eight minutes.  Col. Cody, who was a great admirer of Roosevelt, also made a stirring speech of two or three minutes. 
                        You may have heard that our Museum is hosting a special Smithsonian display titled “Water Ways”.  It will be at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets beginning tomorrow, January 6, through February 18. Our Museum is one of only seven sites in Kansas where this display can be seen.  Please stop by and see the impact water has on our play, our celebrations, our work and where we live.  Learn where our community’s water comes from, what the future holds for water and what you can do for water in Junction City.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 10, 2018

January 10, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            My wife and I were married in the St. Mary’s Chapel and still regularly attend Mass there.  It is the first limestone church built in Kansas.  Its cornerstone was laid in 1855, when Major Ogden arrived and began construction of permanent buildings on Fort Riley.  St. Mary’s was completed, however, in 1866, when General George Armstrong Custer was commander at Fort Riley.  The funds for the construction of the chapel came from Officers, Soldiers and residents of the post.  A leading force behind the effort was Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart, who later became a famous Confederate cavalry officer in General Lee’s Army of North Virginia.  St. Mary’s was completed after the end of the Civil War when at that time an organ and furniture were purchased for the structure.  In the years following the Civil War, St. Mary’s Chapel not only served as a church, but also as a school for the post’s children.
            During this time, a form of religious service was not prescribed, but Army Regulations mandated that the Post Chaplain deliver “a short practical sermon suited to the habits and understanding of soldiers.” Attendance at Sunday service was mandatory and Soldiers were required to march in formation to and from the service.
The Roman Catholic Mass is still used by Soldiers, their families and civilian on Saturdays at 4:30 PM and Sundays at 12:00 PM.  Visitation is welcome prior to or after these services.   And… thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 9, 2018

January 9, 2018

            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            As a tribute to our Opera House’s 120th Anniversary, we will be sharing stories about the Opera House almost every Tuesday morning during this time frame. This is today’s story.
            Perhaps many of us were unaware the Opera House we refer to today as the C.L. Hoover Opera House was once called the Blakely Opera House. The idea for an opera house  started in 1879, when a group of 75 people went to see a play in Abilene’s Opera House.  Having seen and experienced that Opera House, they returned boasting that one day Junction City would have a theater just as impressive.  Soon afterword a meeting was held in the Bartell House at the corner of Sixth and Washington Streets in Junction City. The meeting was a big success, because the city council acted quickly to submit a proposition issuing bonds in the amount of $20,000 for a combination city hall and opera house to be built.  However, later the amount was reduced to $12,000. 
            The site was to be lots 8, 9 and 10 at Seventh and Jefferson Streets in Junction City.  Voters were in favor and the issue passed.   A Mr. Wells (first name unknown), from Kansas City was asked to draw up the plans for the opera house-city hall but the city council insisted that construction be done by Junction City businesses. His proposal was agreed upon on August 14, 1880 and completion was set for April of 1881. For some reason, the work was suspended until Spring and then resumed in March of 1881. 
            Soon our Opera House was given a more formal name as The Blakely House.  It was named for a well-known and active man in the community, William Blakeley, who died in 1881. 
            

Monday, January 8, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 8, 2018

January 8, 2018
           
                        This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story is titled “A Surprise For The Preacher And His Wife”.  In January of 1881, Reverend Volney Powell wrote to a Junction City newspaper that he and his wife were quietly enjoying an evening visit with their neighbors, Captain White and his family, when suddenly they were interrupted by an announcement that a couple was wanting to be married.  Apparently, this kind of short notice was not uncommon for the Preacher.
            Reverend Powell and his wife went to the home of the couple who had made the request and upon opening the door to the house found no one visible.  However, a boy appeared and told them the party was in the back.  Reverend Powell and his wife quickly went through the house and unbolted the back door to find people laughing and snickering.  There were several matrons as well as several brides elect - really too many to count. 
            Each one of the couples deposited mysterious packages on a table.  It seems the Preacher and his wife were the ones being honored and had been tricked into coming to the house for that purpose. Groceries that would last them a long time were given them at what was called a “pounding party”.  The practice of giving a “pound” of various commodities was usually reserved for newly married couples on the frontier.  However, the long-wed Powell’s were surprised that THEY were the ones receiving the gifts. 
            And…. that is today’s story on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.





Friday, January 5, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 5, 2018

January 5, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Today’s story may bring back some memories about the “Good Eats Café”. The source of this information is taken from an Industrial Issue of the “Junction City Republic” newspaper of July, 1915. This is a portion of that article: “One of the neatest and best appointed cafes in this section of Kansas is the Good Eats Café of Junction City, owned and managed by Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Tomlinson. They have a light and airy dining room with clean table linen and plenty of efficient help to afford prompt and courteous service. The Tomlinson’s have three cafes.  One is at 607 North Washington, one at 314 East 10th Street in Junction City and one at Eureka Lake (in Southeast Kansas). 
            The front of the Good Eats Café is arranged or public dining.  The managers are considerate of the amusements of their guests and at intervals provide a cabaret entertainment for a series of evenings.  You are welcome at this place no matter whether you spend 5 cents or 5 dollars and you are given courteous treatment at all times.   
            Our Museum is hosting a special Smithsonian display titled “Water Ways”.  It will be at our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets beginning tomorrow, January 6, through February 18. Our Museum is one of only seven sites in Kansas where this display can be seen.  Please stop by and see the impact water has on our play, our celebrations, our work and where we live.  Learn where our community’s water comes from, what the future holds for water and what you can do for water in Junction City.
            And… thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.

            

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Our Past Is Present January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018
            This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
            Many of our listeners will remember the “Mid-Way” Drive-In, which was located at 614 Grant Avenue.  In a 1983 article written by Mike Ardis, “Daily Union” newspaper staff writer, he stated that the “Junction City Police believe arson was the cause of an early morning fire at the Mid-Way Drive In. 
            Police and fire departments were alerted to the fire at 3:40 AM by Delvin Byrd a B & W taxicab driver, who was driving in the area at the time.  According to police reports, a suspect entered the concession area, removed numerous candy items and possibly set fire to the building.
            JCPD Investigator, A. B. Farrow, said that it appeared the office had been searched but he didn’t know if money had been taken.  Some items had been removed from the office,  Officers found two bags of chips, a case of Snickers candy bars and a case of M&M’s along the west perimeter fence about 200 yards from the office.  Farrow said the concession area was almost gutted and the fire department has estimated damage from the fire at $30,000.
            The last truck left the scene at 6:29 AM and no one was injured in the fire.  Tom Lobdell, assistant manager of the Westside Twin Cinema, said that the Mid-Way was currently only open on weekends.  He did not know how long the Mid-Way would be closed.
            There are many memories of the old drive-in.  If you have some to share, stop by our Museum and tell them to our staff.  We love hearing those stories about Geary County History and perhaps we can use some of them on “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.