historic preservation

Megan Verlee / CPR News

A half-dozen horseback riders traveled back into the 1840s last week on the Comanche National Grasslands. Their mission: to spend three days living like the frontiersmen who traveled this country more than 150 years ago. Their destination was the same as many of the travelers they were emulating: Bent’s Old Fort on the Arkansas River. As reported by Colorado Public Radio, the riders were on their way to the 2015 Fur Trade Symposium, which was being held at the fort.

Slideshow: "Aud" to Receive a Makeover

Sep 18, 2015
Terry Henderson
Canadian Record

The dinosaur statue that looks out from atop a mesa outside Canadian, Texas, has fallen into disrepair. But now, reports the Canadian Record, the 50-foot-long, 17-foot-high dinosaur has a bright future. A fund has been established for the concrete-and-steel dinosaur’s restoration. 

A Peek into America's Unusual Culinary Past

Sep 3, 2015
Di Qiu / Creative Commons

Of regional interest, Americans of the 19th century had some rather unusual eating habits, according to the History Department, an NPR project that takes a fresh look at American History.

Marjan Lavareski / Flickr Creative Commons

StoryCorps has a big homework assignment for students as they head back to school this fall.

Wikimedia Commons

Of regional interest, The Pampa News has published an interesting story about Peter Gray, for whom Gray County in West Texas is named. Gray was a lawyer in Houston in 1847, when he agreed to take the case of Emeline, a freed black woman who had been forced into slavery.

A Journey around Colorado's Ghost Towns

Jul 29, 2015
Diddley Squat / ghosttowns.com

Looking for something fun to do this summer? Why not grab a camera and go hunting for Colorado’s forgotten past? The website ghosttowns.com has a Colorado section, with helpful interactive maps, where you can learn about towns like Tuttle, in Kit Carson County, which was a US Post Office for the Pony Express, or Boggsville in Bent County, which was the final home of Kit Carson, or Chivington in Kiowa County, where the old dilapidated schoolhouse still stands out on the open plains.

Iconic "Tex Randall" Statue in Canyon to be Restored

Jul 26, 2015
Jonathan Baker

“Tex Randall,” the iconic 47-foot cowboy in Canyon, will be repaired soon, reports the Amarillo Globe-News. The Canyon Main Street program has raised $350,000 to complete the restoration, which will begin this fall.

TEXAS Outdoor Musical Celebrates 50th Season

Jul 16, 2015
Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation

Robyn Ross of the Texas Observer has written a wonderful article on the 50th season of the outdoor musical TEXAS, performed each year in a 1,600-seat amphitheater in Palo Duro Canyon, southeast of Amarillo.

Historic Buildings in Amarillo to be Demolished

Jul 14, 2015
Amarillo Globe-News

A construction company in Amarillo has announced that it will be demolishing two historic structures this week, reports Amarillo.com. Sunbird Construction will tear down the Jackson Square Apartments, built in 1926 on the corner of South Jackson Street and Southwest 16th Avenue. The company will also destroy a home of approximately the same age to the south of the apartments.

Derrick Ho / The Oklahoman

In the late 19th century, with rigid prohibition laws enacted in Kansas, cattlemen flocked to the thin strip known as “No Man’s Land,” now the Oklahoma Panhandle. When the Santa Fe Railroad arrived in the 1880s, it brought with it droves of cowboys looking for liquor and women, and Beer City was born. Among the entrepreneurs who   came down from Liberal to serve the needs of these cowboys was Nell “Pussy Cat” Jones.

Public Domain

Legends of America has published an interesting retrospective of Nicodemus, Kansas, the only Western town founded by African Americans after the Civil War that still remains. Nicodemus was established by ex-slaves, who had fled the South seeking of place to restart their lives. Founded by a land developer from Indiana and an African American clergyman named W. H. Smith. The first settler was another clergyman, the Reverend Simon Roundtree.

After Lightning Strike, A Kansas Town Fades Away

Jun 30, 2015
Amy Bickel / The Hutchinson News

The Hutchinson News reports the story of Esther and Dean Lamm of Bristow, Kansas. If you haven’t heard of Bristow, you’re not alone. Nothing remains of the town but an old cemetery; the rest has been consumed by wheat fields. Esther and Dean were married on July 21, 1957, in the Bristow Methodist Church in Osborne County.

Colorado Remembers the Pony Express

Jun 29, 2015
Frank Reese / Flickr

Last week, on a warm Wednesday evening, 600 riders raced on horseback across the northeastern corner of Colorado. The riders were retracing the route of the legendary Pony Express, to commemorate the mail service’s 155th anniversary.

A Remembrance of Black Wolf, a Forgotten Kansas Town

Jun 24, 2015
Legends of Kansas / Public Domain

The Legends of Kansas website has posted a fascinating history of a Kansas ghost town known as Black Wolf, which was situated on the north bank of the Smoky Hill River. Located halfway between Ellsworth and Wilson, the town began as a station on the Union Pacific Railroad.

Barclay Gibson

While many towns in the Texas Panhandle have grown over the last century, others have dwindled in population, and some have been almost completely forgotten. The website texasescapes.com has a section dedicated to the ghost towns of the panhandle, where you can learn about the forgotten past of the Llano Estacado.

OKCPS Emerson

The online magazine Slate this week provided readers with a fascinating view into America’s educational past. Workers renovating a high school in Oklahoma City came across a number of blackboard lessons that had been frozen in time. The blackboards, which had been covered by new chalkboards in 1917, still retained lessons and drawings on math, reading, music, handwriting, personal hygiene, pilgrims, and God.

The Prowers Journal

The Prowers Journal reports that historical preservationists have begun restoring the Camp Amache Japanese internment camp near Granada in Southeast Colorado, which held over 4,000 Japanese Americans during the Second World War. Workers have completed reconstruction of a water tower and a guard tower, and now work has begun on a barracks facility. The preservationists hope to accumulate 10,000 bricks in order to complete the project, and they are gathering as many used bricks as possible.

Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle

It's the Cathedral of the Plains, a landmark to travelers along Interstate 70, and its stained-glass windows will be safer and a little more brilliant now.

St. Fidelis Catholic Church in Victoria, Kansas is restoring its stained glass windows and installing new protection for the windows on this historic church, a building dedicated in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.