Sunday, September 21, 2014

Kansas History Field Trip (Day 1 and 2)

Where did we go? What did we do?
It was 5 weeks ago! I wish I knew!

So glad for pictures to help refresh the memory...

It all started at the home school conference where I attended a workshop about making history exciting. The speaker said he was planning a week long Kansas spiritual heritage tour for the summer, so we signed up for the informational email.

Next thing ya know..

August 11. We woke up in the pre-dawn hours to leave by 5 a.m. for Topeka.

First on the itinerary: tour of the capitol building. 


Shannon & Caroline climbed many steps above this dome (pictured below) to an exterior dome and walkway outside where they looked over the city from the tip-top of the tall tall structure!

inside looking up into the dome
The very old library had one solid bookshelf towering from the bottom level to the 2nd, glass floors, a dumb waiter, and neat-o lighting.

Details in the ceilings, furnishings, and wall paintings are amazing!

When the tour guide offered for anyone to sit in the big chairs for a picture, Meg quickly retorted, "I want to!" So Daddy escorted her to the front of the room.

such a handsome Daddy
Next on the schedule: Old Prairie Town. We ate a picnic lunch and wandered midst the old buildings. There was a garden behind the log cabin where the little girls picked and slurped cherry tomatoes. The unpicked okra was higher than our heads and 8 inches long! An old apple tree's low branches made a lovely shady perch for Caroline and her new friend. They gathered the windfalls and we enjoyed apples the rest of the week.

In front of the old barber shop, soda fountain/candy shoppe. Apple tree on the right.
A beautiful botanical garden was also on the property with winding paths, fountain, and sparking stream.

kaleidoscope of  living flowers
Then, we spent several hours at Brown vs. Board of Education national historic site learning about the role Kansas played in the desegregation of public schools. Very interesting, unfortunately both Annie's and my camera batteries were dead. There she he received another Junior Ranger badge.

The day was waxing old and the historic churches were closed. However we sat on the steps of the church where Charles M. Sheldon preached his sermons that eventually were compiled in the book In His Steps (WWJD) and listened to our tour guide give a short account of Charles' life and ministry.

We ate a picnic supper at the huge Gage Park where even the big kids had fun playing!

Cora met a new local friend and they moved from one play area to another, almost covering the entire park!

At dusk we arrived at our overnight accommodations: Topeka Bible Church. The children played in the gym upstairs and we settled our packs and bags on the basement floor, each family in their own corner.

Day 2
We spent all morning browsing through the Kansas Museum of History. Annie took a survey that likened her to William Allen White, a famous newspaper editor. She liked the Indian exhibits and the more modern displays. The younger girls liked the discovery center where they dressed up, had puppets, and hands on activities.

Most of our group stood for a picture next to the famous Kansan mannequins...Carrie Nation, George Washington Carver, Amelia Earhart,

Dwight D, Eisenhower, Kiowa Chief Satanta, and painter John Stuart Curry. Annie is in the back next to her similar personality, Mr. White.

The Pottawatomie Baptist Mission building has been relocated outside the museum.
We picnicked on tables nearby.

Then we drove 30 minutes to Lecompton and browsed through the Territorial Capitol Museum and Constitution Hall: places and events in history that our family knew nothing about because we grew up in different states that had different statehood significance.

mid-1800s jail

Next we traveled to Lawrence where we watched a  documentary at the Information Center at Santa Fe Railroad Depot. Just down the street by the river, some children had made mud forts similar to those built long ago. Our children played and pretended awhile before we walked downtown Lawrence retracing Quantrill's Raid.

Our second day of the tour ended with supper at South Park, Lawrence. Another homeschool family had joined our group for this afternoon, so we enjoyed more fellowship on a lovely summer evening!

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