Saturday, May 29, 2010

Denver Trip - Day 1 - Lindsborg and Greensburg, Kansas

Just 45 minutes down the road from Abilene, we arrived at our next stop, Lindsborg, Kansas. Sigrid has wanted to visit Lindsborg for several years so we made it a point to stop this trip.
The area where Lindsborg now sits was originally explored by Coronado and other Spaniard explorers in 1541. Modern day Lindsborg was founded around 1869 by a group of 100 Swedish immigrants as part of the Land Grant program. The Swed's wanted to be Americans but they also wanted to maintain the best elements of the Swedish culture. Most of the original immigrants were farmers but there was also a group of craftsmen which carried on the Swedish arts. There are now about 3,200 residents living in town. Lindsborg is the home of Bethany College.
The photo below is of a nice gift shop that had a large selection Scandinavian gift items.

The downtown streets have the original brick paving.

Items in the gift shop.

My heritage is Finnish on my mother's side so I always enjoy looking at the Finn stuff.

They actually make the Dala Horses in a workshop at the back of the gift areas. A Dala Horse is a Swedish art form that is used to decorate homes and public areas. Sigrid and I plan to order one with our name painted on the side as a welcome to our home at our front door. The whole town is populated by the horses as you will see in upcoming photos.....pretty neat.

Sigrid giving love to a really big Dala Horse.

Here is a horse showing the mixed cultures of the town..........part American and part Swedish (the blue and yellow of the Swedish flag).

Colorful old buildings like those in Wamego, Kansas (earlier post).

The horse in front of the telephone company offices.

A nice little town.

A colourful bed & breakfast right downtown.

The old blacksmith's shop is now a coffee house.

City Hall.

Any one for international level chess?

The Dala Horse in front of City Hall.

Welcome signs hang from the light posts.

Just a very pleasant place to visit. We had lunch just down the street.

Our next stop was Greensburg, Kansas. On May 4, 2007, Greensburg took a direct hit by an EF5 tornado. The tornado had 200+ mile/hour winds and was an astonishing 1.7 miles wide on the ground........just huge! The town was 95% destroyed. The residents debated whether to just call it quits and move to another town or rebuild. Ultimately a few left, but many stayed and rebuilt. They didn't just rebuild an ordinary city, they rebuilt a "Green" city and their efforts were made into a series on the Discovery Channel.
Fascinating stuff but way beyond what I can cover here. The town now has 1,574 residents and is nearly complete with the rebuilding efforts. With the exception of one surviving building the downtown is brand new. They also have a new school, hospital, and mostly all new homes. As you drive through the town, you can still see the FEMA trailers that they had to live in immediately after the tornado.

It surprised me that they didn't mention the "green city" or something about being a tornado survivor on the banners in the city. Instead they went back to their pre-tornado claim to fame of having the largest hand dug well in the world. In the back ground is one of the few remaining original trees in town and it looks the worst for wear. The rest of the trees were instantly turned into tooth picks by the tornado.

We wanted to patronize business in the town as we passed through so we got some treats downtown.

After leaving town and on our way to Dodge City, we found some realty weird art along the highway. It is hard to describe. There was a sales office, so I guess the artist tries to sell it. Judging from the rust and the "out of date" nature of so much of the collection, my guess is that not many homes in American have any of these treasures. If you are curious, you can Goggle "Kanza Art" and find out all you want about this stuff.

Our next stop is Dodge City where we will spend the night and try to get something to eat. More to follow.

1 comment:

  1. I've always wanted to go to Lindsborg and your pix make we want the experience even more.....