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Kansas Sampler

2017 We Kan! Award Winners Annou...

The 25th annual We Kan! awards were announced May 6, 2017 at the Kansas Sampler...

Public invited to Big Kansas Roa...

On May 6 at the final Kansas Sampler Festival, the Kansas Sampler Foundation an...

Kansas Guidebook 2 shares 4,500 ...

Co-authors Marci Penner and WenDee Rowe spent four years traveling to every one...

Kansas Explorer Club

Kansas Explorer Club

Members of the Kansas Explorer Club receive 5-6 print newsletters a year full of things to see and do that are off the beaten path.

We Kan!

We Kan!

The Big Rural Brainstorm will be held March 7 in Newton in 2016.

Kansas Sampler Festival

Kansas Sampler Festival

The 2016 Kansas Sampler Festival will be held on May 7-8 in Winfield at Island Park.

Rural Culture Elements

Rural Culture Elements

The 8 rural culture elements are: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people! They help you see a place with new eyes.

8 Wonders

8 Wonders

Have you seen the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook? Let it guide you to all 216 Wonders!

ERV

ERV

Marci and WenDee, of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, are going to every (626) incorporated city in Kansas to research for the second edition of the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers.

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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.