Sometime it takes awhile for the perspective to come, for the questions to percolate... 

The primary end goal for our travels to Windom, and every other town in the state, is to update the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

The key word in the title is "Explorers."

"Explorers", in the Kansas Sampler Foundation vernacular, are a unique breed.  They are people who have a high degree of curiosity, a low degree of judgment, and a desire to look in nooks and crannies to find the story, intrigue and drama of a town.  They know that little things can add up to make for a real adventure.

In the 2005 guidebook edition, there were entries for 500 of the 627 incorporated cities.  What do you include in such a book?  The entry has to be legitimate to gain the trust of the reader/explorer.  The trick is to decide what will tickle the curiosities of the explorer audience and if the physical evidence helps tell the story.

Let's look at Windom with those thoughts in mind.



The side of this block has the most business buildings.  All but one is abandoned.  Is there an interesting story about one of these ghost businesses that would be compelling enough to make an entry?  If so, even a crude sign in the window telling just a part of the story would help make it guidebook-entry worthy. 

There will be lots of buildings in many towns that share this look.  You know that some of these businesses were highly successful or added some kind of character to the town.  How can we help these old buildings talk?



The contrast to the abandoned buildings is the sweetest looking senior center in all of Kansas.  Who wouldn't want to step inside and share a meal with Windom senior citizens?  We need to find the contact number. 

Several years ago, Windom earned the monicker of "Covered Dish Capital of Kansas."  How "Kansa-cana" is that?  I bet the made-from-scratch dishes, shared in the senior center, are delicious, too!  If there was a sign that shared that designation it would definitely be a guidebook entry.



This is city hall.  The picture is an interesting snapshot of red brick sidewalk leading up to a building with a limestone base and Dakota sandstone top half, making it a unique exterior.



I hope someone will know the story about this.  We need to find out the year the structure was built and the original purpose of the building.  Why did they use the two different building materials?  A sign that explained this would be super.



And what about this?  It's another unique structure in Windom.  This Dakota sandstone structure is beside the city hall.  Was it a well.  When was it built?  How long was it used?  What is the story? 

Answers to all these questions might just put Windom into the guidebook, especially if there was some signage.  Signage doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, just informative.

Windom is the hometown of 130 people.  The city has an elementary school for the Little River-Windom School District, a grain elevator, a post office, a nice park with a picturesque waterway, and the award-winning Stellar Antique Auto Restoration business. 

Windom, we're coming back to dig a little deeper.