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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halstead, Kansas

A beautiful day in Kansas. Bright sun, warm air and NO wind. But it did get cold last night – brrrr – and I forgot to plug the little heater in!
We left the campground in Emporia around 9:00 but only went a few feet to the Flying J next door where we ate breakfast. So actually didn’t get on the road until a little after 10.
After much discussion we decided to stick to our original plans and go to Halstead (spelled it right this time.) A whole 89 miles down the road. A very pretty drive on a nice two lane road with lots of passing sections. We saw cattle ranches, sorghum and soybean fields, and lots of sunflower fields. Not a very good picture but…
We passed the Halstead airport so we knew we were getting pretty close.
The route was pretty straight forward and we’d been to the campground once before about 9 or 10 years ago. And the campground showed up on the GPS, except the GPS said to turn right off the highway – but I’d read the directions in the Passport America book and they said do not follow GPS – turn left. And we remembered it was on the south side of the highway. No problem right? Well…we saw the RV Park sign and slowed down and drove right past the little road heading into the campground. In our defense it was hidden behind some trees. That’s our story and I’m sticking to it. So…the highway was too narrow to make a U-turn on so we had to keep going. In the meantime the GPS was freaking out.  But she did show us another road about a mile ahead of us. We could turn left on it then make another left in a mile and then make another left in another mile onto the campground's road. Of course all these roads were dirt/gravel and in the middle of farm lands. Ah Ha – the campground – but the turn into it was a very sharp right turn over a very narrow culvert. But Bill and Alfie made it with no problem. Hum…..I don’t remember the campground looking like this. These look like permanent dwellers. So we kept going trying to find the office. Finally saw a “club house” and stopped there to ask where to go. I got out of the Alfa and a very nice man pulled his car up to me and asked, “Are you looking for the office?”  I told him yes and he replied “Well follow me – I’ll take you there.” And off we went. Over the creek.
Actually where he found us is about where we ended up parking. And he even brought us back to our space – back over the creek. Nice campground – very big. A lake, geese, good WiFi and friendly people. 50amp electricity. Name of it is Spring Lake RV in Halstead, KS.
We got settled in and decided to drive into the actual town of Halstead – it is a little place of about 2000 people. One of its claims to fame is the 1956 movie “Picnic.” It was filmed there. So we had to stop at the Riverside Park and look around.
Kim Novak and William Holden were in the movie.
The last time we were here we were invited to an Ice Cream Social here in the park. Mostly I remember the mosquitoes and the good homemade ice cream.
Looking towards the main road. The town was settled around 1870 because of the railroad.  There are several big grain elevators in and around the town
The other side of the grain elevator.
Driving down the three lined brick main street to see the house we almost bought when we were here the first time. 
We actually made an offer on it, but they didn't accept it. Then a week later when we were already in Ohio they called us and said Okay. We said nope - too late.  There was some scandal attached to the house. It had belonged to the mayor and he was in all kinds of trouble – embezzlement or some such thing.
And here it is – looking as pretty as ever. So glad it has been kept up. The front of the house was built in the late 1800’s. We loved the big porch.
This is the side of it. You can tell the whole back part was an add on – and it was beautiful. The front part, the original section, had very small rooms: a parlor, a dining room, and a couple of bedrooms that had been turned into offices. The back part had a great room on the first floor and a huge master suite on the second floor. The best of both eras. AND the drapes in the bedroom matched our bedspread and drapes we had at home. 
And we also looked at this house – it was in the middle of restoration then. They did a great job on it. The pictures don’t do it justice. 

Then we headed back into the down town part of town – all three blocks of it. 
srr the big clock on the corner
We parked and walked up and down the street. Pictures of some of the buildings
there are apartments upstairs. the bar downstairs is closed

This is the newspaper office. Publishing since 1881 – we went in but now they don’t print the paper here – they send it out to be printed.
The town barber shop – rotating barber pole and all. 
And a meat market - there was too much reflection to get a good picture of the window but it says " Locally Raised Beef and Pork. We kill em. You grill em."
We noticed there was a True Value Hardware store there. I love to go in them as they always have such neat stuff. So we headed over there.
The building used to be the Halstead Bank building – this was the main entrance. Sidewalk made of tiny mosaic black and white tiles.
Ceiling of the entrance.
The side of the building.
So then we went inside. Check out the ceiling.
And the two old vault doors. Neat place.
That is a display of thread next to the door
this door was inside an office
 Just one of the displays. So colorful
And I'm going to stop for now and write more in the morning about Halstead. We found the ORIGINAL hardware store. Amazing. 

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