8 Wonders of Kansas

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8 Wonders of Ellis County

The 8 Wonders of Ellis County were named and officially recognized at a ceremony held at the Hays Welcome Center on May 14th. This promotion allowed local residents as well as Hays Daily News subscribers and anyone else that logged on, to cast a vote for their top favorite attractions in Ellis County.

St. Fidelis Church
900 Cathedral Ave.
Victoria, KS 67671

The largest of the historic churches in Ellis County is also known as the "Cathedral of the Plains". This majestic church is built in the shape of a cross 220' long and 110' wide at the transepts, or lateral arms. The twin bell towers are 141' tall and can be seen from miles around. The church was dedicated on August 27, 1911 and has a seating capacity of 1100. Centennial Celebration starts on November 27, 2008 with events held through 2001. Active parish with weekend masses.

Historic Fort Hays
1472 Hwy. 183 Alt.
Hays, KS 67601
fax: 785-625-4785

The United States Army established Fort Hays (founded in 1865 as Fort Fletcher, renamed Fort Hays in 1866) to provide protection for settlers and railroad workers from Indian resistance. The military post was located south of Big Creek and included several stone buildings (blockhouse, guardhouse and bakery). Other building such as the officer's quarters, barracks, storehouses and housekeeping buildings were wood frame structures.

Sternberg Museum of Natural History
3000 Sternberg Drive
Hays, KS 67601
fax: 785-628-4518

The Sternberg Museum of Natural History is a department of Fort Hays State University with one of the most significant Cretaceous Period fossil collections in North America. Step back in time 70-80 million years ago when Colorado was ocean front property and Kansas was an inland sea. View the fossilized remains of plants and animals that lived in or alongside an ancient sea and learn about the natural history of the Great Plains.

Chestnut Street District
Sabrina William
2700 Vine
Hays, KS 67601

The oldest destination in Hays is now the newest place to visit! Downtown Hays – the Chestnut Street District – is undergoing a process of restoration and is a great place for group tours to visit, dine, shop, do some sightseeing and enjoy entertainment opportunities. Visit the art galleries, spa, general store, unique retail stores, micro brewery and coffee bar.

Holy Cross Shrine
Sarratou & St. Jacob Street
P.O. Box 5
Pfeifer, KS 67660

Often called the "The church in the valley", "The church around a church" and "The two cent church" because the church construction was financed with a levy of two cents on each bushel of wheat sold by the parishioners. This is the third church built at this location and construction began in April 1915 and was finished in May 1918. Not an active church - open daily.

Ellis County Historical Society Museum
Sharon Behrman
100 W. 7th
Hays, KS 67601

From buffalo to boxcars, outlaws to oil strikes, farming to flying, and Victorian gentility to Volga-German tenacity, learn about Ellis County's wild and varied history, including the time Hickok, Cody, and Custer spent in Hays. Visit the 1879 stone church, original Harness Shop and replica Volga German Haus for a more complete picture of early Ellis County.

Frontier Park
1546 E Hwy. 40 By-pass
Hays, KS 67601
fax: 785-628-7377

The Hays Buffalo Herd is located in Frontier Park. A herd has been maintained in the park since 1953. These mighty animals once numbered in the millions before settlers came to this area. Big Creek winds through the scenic park which features 3 large shelters, and 89 acres of recreational use areas. The park also features several walking trails, bridges, playground equipment, horseshoe pits and plenty of large shade trees.#8

Fort Hays State University
600 Park
Hays, KS 67601

Founded in 1902, the University sits on a campus of 4,160 acres of land that once was part of the Historic Fort Hays frontier military post. FHSU is academically superior to many comparable universities. It offers students an electronic learning and living environment, and is richly endowed by heritage and tradition