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Rural Culture Elements

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Commerce

To learn more about the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce, click here.

To find out about "practically, one store towns," click here.

Assess Commerce in your own community.  Ask these questions:

What is the story of businesses past or present in your town? Here are some questions that will help you answer that question.
  1. The town was probably founded due to a certain business. What was it in your area?
  2. What were some of the other early businesses?
  3. Is your town known for a certain kind of business, i.e. agriculture, manufacturing, cottage industries, etc.?
  4. What are your specialty shops?
  5. What retail shops are located in historic or unique buildings?
  6. What is the lineage of businesses in each building?
  7. Is there a story to tell about the economic drama of your town -- past or present?
Here are some ideas on how to view commerce, past and present.
 
 
*Tours
Towns can work with local businesses to help organize tours. Some interesting tours in the state include those at 
  • Henry's Candies, Dexter;
  • Karg Art Glass, Kechi;
  • Vonada Stone Company, Sylvan Grove;
  • Schlaegel's Popcorn, Whiting; and
  • LCL Buffalo Ranch, Clifton.
 
*Shopping
In your brochures or on your web site, let the public know what kind of specialty shops you have or what kind of Kansas products are made in your town and available in retail shops.

Maybe feature the product; maybe feature the building the store is housed in. People love to shop!
 

*Specialty Products

People are always surprised to find a product that doesn't match their image of a state or region. Did you know Kansas has seven wineries? High-dollar kaleidoscopes are made in Johnson City. Dulcimers are made in Burns.

*Museums

We have some fascinating museums in the state that help tell the story of commerce in an area. A 16-story electric coal shovel, Big Brutus, helps tell the story of strip-mining in southeast Kansas. It's now a museum. The Finney County Museum in Garden City uses photos to help tell the early story of cattle feedlots.