Mid-America News - DECEMBER 2019





St. Nicholas plans a visit to Shoal Creek Living History Museum

The village at the Shoal Creek Living History Museum is ready for the visit of St. Nicholas on Dec. 7. (photo courtesy the museum)

Need to take a break from the present? You and your family will have that opportunity on Dec. 7, when Kansas City's Shoal Creek Living History Museum in Hodge Park plans a "A Visit From St. Nicholas," where you can experience a 19th century Christmas. Join organizers for a walking tour though the holiday decorated homes and log cabins of the 1800s while historic interpreters bring the village to life.

St. Nicholas, resplendent in his green velvet robes, will be available for your visit in the Thornton Mansion.

Experience a Civil War encampment, warm up by a pot-bellied stove in the school, find peace in the serene setting of an 1884 church, see how Swedish immigrants celebrated Santa Lucia Day and watch how lace was made in the Arnold Home.

The museum is situated on 80 acres with 21 structures including 17 authentic 19th century buildings dating from 1807-1885, each re-located to Hodge Park to create a village setting.

You can end your visit with a brief horse-drawn sleigh ride through the countryside. Admission is $5. Shoal Creek Living History Museum in Hodge Park is located at 7000 NE Barry Rd. For more information call 816-792-2655.


Independence's historic homes invite you for the holidays

The Vaile Mansion is a site to behold in winter. (photo courtesy Vaile Mansion)

Two of the most noted historic homes in Independence are throwing their doors open for holiday season visitors during December.

The Bingham-Waggoner Estate will "Make a Joyful Noise" each day Nov. 29-Dec. 30 with public walk-in tours, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for youth ages 6-16. A special twilight tour is set for Sunday, Dec. 1, 4-7 p.m., which includes live music and complementary refreshments. A gift shop will be set up in the Carriage House. Group holiday lunches can be accommodated in the Carriage House. Call 816-461-3491.

The Bingham-Waggoner Estate is located at 313 W. Pacific. More details are at www.bwestate.net.

The Vaile Mansion at 1500 Liberty St., will offer "Victorian Season's Greetings" with tours Nov. 29-Dec. 30. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children. A special "Champagne & Chandelier Tour, titled "Santa's Helpers – Naughty or Nice?" will be held Dec. 7, 5-8 p.m.

Tickets are $15. More details are available at www.vailemansion.org or by calling 816-325-7430.



Steel's Used Books moves to new location

David Steel is ready to sell you a book from the new location of Steel's Used Books. (photo by Ken Weyand)

David Steel is passionate about books; he's been a bookseller for 45 years, starting first in his parents Iowa bookstore and then in Kansas City's Northeast neighborhood. And he's really excited to have moved his Steel's Used Books to a new location at 7313 N. Oak Trafficway in Gladstone late last month.

"I am blessed to be in this location," he said. Aside for a few years in the Army, "…this is all I've ever done. This is my day job."

Working for his father, he eventually learned the opportunities that dealing in used books afforded.

"Buy, sell and trade," he said, "through it all I've been able to establish a mail order catalog containing about 1,500 titles that we send to prospective customers every few months, and our data base includes 20,000 titles.

Visitors to the store will find it filled with vintage non-fiction titles with subjects covering everything from philosophy, pop culture, black voices, mythology and folklore, business, psychology, history and spirituality and theology.

"What I have are things you are never going to see again and didn't know that you wanted in the first place," Steel said. He hopes to attract more customers from the surrounding community in the new location. "I specialize in searches and special orders. Tell me what you're looking for and I'll find it."



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Fort Scott prepares for annual candlelight tour

More than 1,000 candle lanterns will illuminate old Fort Scott during tours Dec. 6-7. (photo courtesy Fort Scott National Historic Site)

Fort Scott National Historic Site presents its Annual Candlelight Tour on Friday, Dec. 6. 1,000 candle lanterns illuminate the site and 100 reenactors (plus yourself) bring the fort to life. Tours will begin at 6:30 p.m. and leave every 15 minutes until 9 p.m.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, the tours will start at 5 p.m. with the final tour leaving at 8:45 p.m. Please arrive 10 minutes early to allow time to park, present/pick up your ticket, and get oriented.

Tickets are available by calling the fort at 620-223-0310 (with a major credit card) or by stopping by the Visitor Center on Old Fort Blvd. Cost is $8 per person and non-refundable, children 5 and under admitted free. The event often sells out, so organizers encourage attendees to purchase tickets early. Participants are advised to please dress for the weather and the terrain, as they will be outside and on sidewalks.

Fort Scott was an active military post from 1842-1853, which was a time of rapid growth and change in the country. As Fort Scott was being built, the nation grew west, expanding all the way to the Pacific Ocean. With this growth, Fort Scott changed, the mission of its soldiers changed, their experience changed, the environment changed, and the nation changed. Soldiers at Fort Scott lived their lives to the fullest despite the constant change.

Additional information is available on the site's calendar at: www.nps.gov.



Lindsborg's big days of holiday celebrations

Santa will be on had for the Christmas festivities in Lindsborg. (photo courtesy Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau)

.Saturday, Dec. 14 will be a busy day in Lindsborg. Not only with the annual St. Lucia Festival take over much of the town, in addition the Old Mill Museum will host "An Old-Fashioned Christmas." The museum, located at 120 Mill St., will allow visitors to experience the sights and sounds of an 1880s Prairie Christmas celebration. Hours are 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Children can enjoy old-fashioned crafts, decorate sugar cookies, and take a moment to write that letter to Santa. Santa himself will stroll the grounds, listening to the wishes of kids of all ages. A shepherd will tell the age-old Christmas story. The popular Smoky Valley Drama Team performs seasonal drama. Tour guides will be on hand for guided tours in the flour mill. Between activities, everyone can enjoy delicious holiday refreshments and shop for those special gifts at the museum's gift shop.

On Saturday, Dec 7 the museum will showcase eight area artists as part of Lindsborg's 2019 'Christmas Artists Studio Open House.' The public is invited to come and observe these talented artists as they demonstrate a variety of arts in the museum galleries throughout the day. In addition to watching the artists at work, visitors are invited to shop for gifts of art, enjoy holiday refreshments and sign up for door prizes.

Back to Dec. 14, the St. Lucia Festival will take place at various locations around town between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Designed to celebrate the town's Swedish heritage, the annual St. Lucia Festival is a sort of living Christmas card in which the public can participate. The festival begins with live holiday music downtown, folk dancers performing to Scandinavian music, culminating with a procession of girls dressed in white and boys to Bethany Church where St. Lucia is honored with her crown.

More information is available at www.visitlindsborg.com and www.mcphersoncounty.us.



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