Sunday, December 5, 2010

Labette County Roaming

At the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, Karen and I had a chance to to some exploring in Labette County in southeast Kansas.

We visited some rural areas of the county as well as towns of Angola, Chetopa, Dennis, Mound Valley, Oswego, Parsons and Valeda.

Oakwood Cemetery - Anteitam Circle
In Parsons we looked over some of the impressive architecture downtown, including churches and the city building. Also in Parsons is the beautiful Oakwood Cemetery with it's Antietam Circle with Civil War Veterans graves.

Osage Indian Village Mural - Oswego
Oswego has a group of nice murals downtown with the highlight being the Osage Indian village mural. The farm scene mural in the Post Office and the railroad mural on a private shed were also beautiful. Also, Riverside Park at the north end of town offers an impressive view of the Neosho River below.

Sinclair Service Station - Chetopa
In Chetopa, we admired the architecture of the old mill at the east edge of town, and the beautiful Sinclair Service Station. The city building downtown has some elegant stained glass in the windows. Also, while in Chetopa, we found a flea market open on the holiday weekend and did some shopping.

In smaller towns, Mound Valley has their old brick city jail out for display and the flagpole at the middle of the downtown intersection. I was also impressed with the decaying abandoned school in Valeda. It must have been quite a building in it's heydey.

Pumpkin Creek Pony Truss Bridge- ca 1932
As always, when exploring rural areas, I try and get a sampling of some historic bridges, and Labette County does have some memorable ones. There is quite a selection of concrete arch bridges dating back as far as about 1915. There is also a few iron pony truss bridges left, with the most impressive one we saw over Pumpkin Creek just west of Angola.

Finally, we had an unexpected surprise when visiting the Mt Zion Community Church west of Big Hill Lake. We pulled up to admire this old wood country church, and found the pastor Marty Warren there, and he gave us a tour and told us about the recent renovation of this church. When I hear about rural Kansas people getting together to save and restore something important to their lives, it makes you proud to be a Kansan!

To see more of the photos Karen and I took while in Labette County visit our Smugmug photo gallery:   Labette County Photos

For more information see the following:

City of Parsons:

City of Oswego:

City of Chetopa:

Blue Skyways Labette County:

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