Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 1999

Tonganoxie ties go far back

October 20, 1999

As we cover Tonganoxie and the surrounding area, we frequently run into people with whom we have connections from way back. One such example last week even preceded my lifetime.

When I met with Greever and Nancy Allan at their home in Valley Falls, Nancy asked me if I was related to "the old Dr. Stevens." She was referring not to my father, as many might assume (in spite of his youthful appearance), but to my grandfather, Delos Stevens, a physician who practiced medicine in Oskaloosa during the first half of this century.

On my drive to and from Valley Falls, I passed the house where my grandmother lived when I was growing up the sight of that old house never fails to take me back a step in time.

Our city was well represented at Saturday's Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin. Both the junior high and high school bands marched. What a nice sound it was to hear the old "Cheer, Cheer for Old Tongie' High," song being played as the junior high band marched down the street.

Readers may note that The Mirror has a new photographer my son, Harold, 12, who volunteered to take pictures at the pumpkin patch Saturday. He took off with my camera and was soon experimenting, trying to determine if different photos would look better with natural lighting or with a flash. Several of his photographs were good enough to use on the front page of this week's Mirror.

  • Sunday's groundbreaking for the future Basehor Historical Museum means that another part of our county's history will be preserved. The citizens there have made it their goal to build the museum without any government assistance. I wish them well. It sounds like a great project. We in Tonganoxie are fortunate to already have such an active historical group and an old schoolhouse and church at their site.

We've been admiring the autumn foliage for weeks, spotting the most colorful trees on the hillsides that surround Tonganoxie. The state forester, Ray Aslin, told me last week that a typical hillside here is made up of about 60 percent oak trees, 10 percent hickory, 10 percent hackberry, and the rest a combination of others including elm, walnut and locust.

Aslin said that Leavenworth County ranks in the top 5 percent of Kansas counties with the most trees.
This is a good time of year to get out and enjoy not only the vistas of nature, but also to take some autumn daytrips. There are good places to visit where apple cider is made. The Free State pumpkin patch is only one of many pumpkin patches in the area, and, for those seeking a Halloween thrill, there's no scarcity of haunted houses.

I can recall when we children thought there were actual haunted houses in Tonganoxie. One was in the 700 block of Pleasant Street, a little gingerbread not lived in for many years, or at least that's what we thought. All we knew was, if walking by that house in the dark of night, it was best to scamper quickly, lest the goblins got us.

The new concrete plant seems to be Tonganoxie's newest controversy. I hadn't realized until now that the area where it is proposed to be built is within the city limits. Residents wanting to make their opinions known will want to attend the next meeting of the city planning commission, scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27, at Tonganoxie City Hall.

We invite our readers to continue giving us story and photography ideas. We depend on you to be our eyes and ears in the community, for oftentimes by necessity we are burrowed down in our office trying to get the current week's newspaper put together.

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