Local residents Don and Shelia Lampe were our Explorer guides on the day we researched Piqua.  Piqua is an unincorporated town in Woodson County located right off U.S. 54. 

Though the Piqua Farmer's Co-op grain bins dominate the landscape, there are some dandy Explorer reasons to visit this town.

For instance, Piqua probably has the most famous water office in the state.

The water office, 302 S. Hill, is the home to the Buster Keaton Museum.  The Keaton family was performing in the area with magician Harry Houdini in 1895. They stayed in Piqua for night and Buster was born!  That one night has put Piqua on the Buster Keaton map.

The public is invited to come and see the one-room museum.  Judy, pictured on the left, runs the water office and is there daily from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (620.468.2385).  Shelia, on the right, also is a great source of information about the museum.

The tiny museum is full of pictures donated in 2002 by author Jeffery Vance and the late Eleanor Keaton, Keaton's second wife.  Buster Keaton, one of the greatest silent comic actors and filmmakers, was one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas People finalists.

Hey, WenDee and Don.  Didn't you know Keaton was known as "The Great Stone Face."  You can't be smiling!

Don...what did I tell you?  No smiling...

Just south of U.S. 54 and all the grain bins is the 1922 St. Martin's Church.

Closed for regular mass, it is still open for special occasions and the doors are open so visitors are able to see this beautiful church.

A statue of St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, stands in front of the church.

A wide sidewalk behind the church leads to the cemetery.  The focal point is the graves of the priests that have served the church, positioned in a semi-circle.

Back in downtown Piqua by the post office...

Silverado's, with the green door, is the local bar and grill.  Open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight.

Silverado's, 112 2nd St., is a clean place with good food.  On Thursday, the popular nightly specials are "Nuts or Hot Beef!"

The next stop is the Co-op Farm Store.  When have you last been in such a business?  Here's your chance!

The Farm Store is the place to get gas, buy some candy, hardware store items, or get your hair cut.

Jay, the barber, is only open on Tuesdays.  This person is just excited to sit in the chair but she obviously needs to wait for Jay to do some trimming.

Unless you have a load of grain in your trunk you better not drive across the grain scale.  However, we did drive across in Don's van, since he works at the co-op, with our load of four people.  This was after we ate at Silverado's.  Our total weight was 5,500 pounds.

Anyone is welcome to come in the scale house to look at grain prices.

You may meet people like Ron.  They aren't used to non-farmers coming in so just tell them that you are with the Kansas Explorers Club.

You can also learn more about Piqua on the Rural Kansas: Come & Get It site.

Piqua is a small town full of people with big hearts!  Go that way sometime!

ERV blog post by Marci Penner.  The ERV trip and blog is a project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.  The trip to every incorporated city in Kansas (626) will provide information and pictures for the next Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.