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A few words in Jewell County

Mankato, Kansas -Burr Oak, Kansas -Jewell, Kansas -Randall, Kansas -Esbon, Kansas
When we first enter a town, we drive around to get the lay of the land.  Before we meet the people, we read the signs.  They are either informative, humorous, or charming!

The pickup seemed a perfect prop in front of the machine shop sign in Burr Oak.

I don't think this alarm in Jewell is used any more but I wouldn't want to test it!

The 1936 Jewell County Courthouse is the only courthouse in the state to be constructed by the WPA (Works Progress Administration).

Now a thrift shop, the YMCA still sports it's original sign.

Thanks to efforts of many, the Ute theater is once again providing movies for the community.

A local man erected this recognition to Edison in 1957 (or 1967).  It sits across the street from what was the high school at the time.

All that is left of Randall schools is this granite homage in front of the abandoned rural high school.

With day lilies bordering the front sidewalk, it must be pleasant to walk into this depot post office.

A nice sign and symbol of the old days in the Webber park is situated right beside the post office.

That's what I call a strong declaration of a city name!

We can attest to the truth of this sign in the unincorporated town of Lovewell.

What will be the next announcement in Formoso? 

The individuality of expression is unique to each town.  When out exploring, it's worth the time to dip into each town to detect part of the story, if even just from the signage.

It's all good in Jewell County!

See you down the road, KE #2 Marci Penner.


A dead ringer in Holton

Holton, Kansas

We were walking around the Holton city cemetery and from the distance we saw a bell on top of a gravestone.  Of course, we had to go check it out.

It was the grave of Lyle Campbell (I don't think he has died yet!).  We took a closer look at the picture in the oval.

Mr. Campbell must have been a telephone operator of some sort.  And that's why the
wording on the bell reads... lies a dead ringer!

Who knew how much humor could be found in a cemetery.

See you down the road, KE #2 Marci Penner


Two fitting tributes in Jackson County

Holton, Kansas -Netawaka, Kansas
Bernard Lee Deghand, U.S. Army, 1964-2006

This memorial stands on the southeast corner of the courthouse square in Holton.

His Purple Heart hangs on the memorial.  It's safe there.

Danny John Petersen, U.S. Army, 1949-1970

At rest in the Netawaka Cemetery in the northeast quandrant.

Petersen is honored with this display in the Jackson County Courthouse.

And a portion of U.S. 75 is named in his honor.

These are just two of the many ways veterans are recognized in Jackson County.


Hello Dolly!

Russell, Kansas

We don't always know the extraordinary talents located in our rural communities.  Dustin Poche' has moved back to Russell and you must see his web site.  The pictured doll, found in D.Palma & Co. Mercantile, is one of his fun dolls.

The following is taken from the "about" section of Poche's web site:

Dustin Poche is a Midwestern multi media artist who has created great excitement with his sculptures and original “one of a kind” dolls. Each piece is individually designed, painted and crafted by him. His use of antique and vintage materials along with couture sewing methods bring a uniqueness and originality to his works of art.

Dustin was formally educated at the Colorado Art Institute. He draws his inspiration from his love of period fashion and his work experience in New York, where his career involved costume design, textiles, and illustration within the fashion industry.

Following his creative instincts and his desire to return to the Midwest, he began to sculpt and create “heirloom” quality dolls. His works of art are timeless and destined to be passed from generation to generation.

His dolls are a work of art.  Really!  Take a look at

Amazed on the road, KE #2 Marci Penner


A trifecta of charismatic places to eat in Russell County

Russell, Kansas
There are many good places to eat in Russell County.  Meridy's in Russell has some of the best steaks anywhere.  San Juan, 740 E. Wichita, is a great place for Mexican in Russell. 

Aside from the beautiful stone, you have to look closely to see the Bunker Hill Cafe sign.  It's across from the Smoky Hill public television station building.  It's open Thursday-Saturday 5-9 p.m.  Call for reservations, 785.483.6544.

Owner and cook Tom Taggart gives you the freshest in ingredients.  He even makes the salad dressings.

Select your main dish and then you get a choice of sides.  Raisin bread, twice-baked potatoes, corn on the cob complimented the chicken fried sirloin steak.  The Bunker Hill Cafe has long had a certificate from the Kansas Sampler Foundation for doing the chicken fried steak the Explorer Way, 1)  fresh meat, 2) hand-breaded, and 3) grill or pan fried.

Along with a thick boneless pork loin, grain-fed catfish, salmon, boiled giant green shrimp, stuffed shrimp, jumbo King crab legs, there is Kansas buffalo, Kansas elk (when available) and a vegetarian dinner.

The Old 40 Bar and Grill is the stop to make in Dorrance.  The grill is open daily 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Wednesday-Saturday 5:30-8 p.m.

The burgers are juicy with hand-formed patties.  Fries are hand cut.

You get to sign your name on the wood shelves!

Waudby's Bar in downtown Russell is a fun place to eat.

With high tin-pressed ceilings and wooden floors, it's old but trendy.

Once known as Waudby's Pool Hall, it still offers some of that early nostalgia.  Shoot a round while waiting for your food!

Exploring Kansas is about finding good places to eat with atmosphere.  All three of these places fill the bill.

As you know, it's part of our research job to find and try these types of places!

See you down the road, KE #2 Marci Penner