Saturday, December 5, 2009

An Afternoon in Washington County

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take a "Dare to do Dirt" loop around a portion of Washington County in North Central Kansas.

I entered the county in the south and headed to Palmer where I had a buffet lunch at the Palmer Cafe. While in town, I also went to the grocery store for a few items, then drove around town. This small town had several businesses downtown and the elegant St Paul Lutheran church. I was impressed to see that such a small town was still vibrant and well.

Then I went on to Linn to see another small town. I noticed several churches, a unique clothesline mural downtown, a nice city park, and another local grocery store, Jack's Food Store. I purchased some polish sausages and pork jerky from Jack's to take home - both were good.

Next up was the town of Greenleaf. I noticed a mix of older abandoned buildings and newer structures and some nice residential areas. The farmer's COOP was active, and there were several churches and a nice downtown area. The two limestone WPA community buildings were very striking.

From Greenleaf, I headed east, then north to the Little Blue River valley. I headed up a hill to Pine Hill Cemetery, where I found the grave of Ezra Perkins, a Pony Express Rider in 1860 & 1861. The views from this cemetery were great all around.

I headed north thru Hanover, then west across central Washington County, noticing great views in the hills. This area is in the Smokey Hills psysiographic area, but other parts of this county are actually in the Glacial Hills and Flint Hills regions. I eventually ended up in Morrowville, where I stopped to see the replica of the world's first patented bulldozer in the city park. I was also struck by the elegant old concrete water tower structure.

After leaving Morrowville, I headed south then west to visit two former town sites. First, I went through Enosdale, where I found some crumbling wood structures and an active Friends Cemetery. Then I headed west on K-148 and stopped at the monument to the former townsite of Strawberry.

I enjoyed my visit to Washington County and need to go back to see more.

To see more of my photos from Washington County visit my gallery at the following link: