Car Run

Car Run

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Frankfort's Events for May 13th

Go for a drive and play in our park on May 13, 2006…

Frankfort Special Events for the Day*
(*In case of inclement weather, all events are moved to Grandpa Red’s Backyard Grill in downtown Frankfort)

In addition to this list, YOU ARE INVITED to visit with the shop owners
as many of our downtown businesses will be open to welcome you.

11:00 a.m. Information Booth opens (@ City Park flag pole)
White Way Memorabilia Display, Old School House, City Park (free)
1887 Banker’s Inn B&B Tours(free)
123 N. Kansas Avenue, Downtown
American-made Motorcycles Display (free)
by Henry’s Chop Shop, 107 W. 2nd, Downtown
Music in the Park (free)
Food Booths Open:
*Grilled Hamburgers—City Park
*Popcorn/Pop—Bank Downtown
*Brownies/Ice Cream—City Park
*Bake Sale—City Park
*Little Diner Specials—Downtown
*Elsie Grace’s Cream Pies--Downtown

12:00 Bike Show Entries Begin--Downtown
(Judging at 1:00 and entries on display until 3:00. Sponsored by Henry’s Chop Shop)

Book Signings: (Books for purchase, signing free)

At the City Library, Downtown...(ends at 4 p.m.)
*“My Name is Ester Clara” by Laurel Johnson, (author of several books) Spent time in Frankfort with her grandparents as a child.


At the City Park…
*”Dispatches from Kansas” by Tom Parker (Marshall County Author) is a compilation of his personal views of Kansas
*”A Light in the Shadow”, by Anna Mitchell Zernickow (1983 FHS Graduate) as a tribute to her father, Raymond Mitchell who lived in Frankfort.

12:30 p.m. Bandstand entertainment, City Park
12:30--“Wildcat Singers”, FHS Performance Choir
1:00--MAVIN, Local band debut, FHS Students (Classic to modern rock & roll) (Tentative)
1:30—Cindy Maynard Gymnastics Demonstration
2:00—White Way Celebration (see below)

1:00 Reception—City Park (free)
Cookies and Lemonade for all Car Run participants, under the shelter house in the center of the park(ends at 3 p.m.).

2:00 White Way Celebration, Bandstand, City Park
Guest Speakers:
*Sharon Owen, Lifetime resident of Frankfort and City Mayor
*Alvin Gleason, “Mr. White Way”, Historian
* Lori Parker, Re-enactment Coordinator & Historian
Wildcat Singers, Encore Performance

3:00 50/50 Drawing: Try your chance at winning $ by making a donation to the City Park Improvement Fund. A booth will be by the information booth with the drawing held on May 13th. The winner gets 50% of the donations and the park fund gets the other 50%.

PLEASE PARALLEL PARK on main street downtown Frankfort to re-enact the parking of 1914.

Restrooms can be found at the following locations:
1. East side of swimming pool house (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
2. City Library (Noon to 4 p.m.)
3. Little Diner (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
4. Amoco (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

Information Booth:
Visit the information booth as you enter town as the following information will be available:
1. Parking information,
2. Frankfort Historical Walking Tour maps(free),
3. Special Edition Frankfort Area Newspapers for purchase(reprints of 1914 articles and photographs),
4. Commemorative T-shirts for purchase (a portion of the sales goes into the White Way Planning Fund),
5. Beverages (water and soda) for purchase,
6. Last minute changes to the events for the day, and
7. Lost and Found items.

The information booth is sponsored by the Frankfort High School FCCLA Chapter (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. This organization promotes making stronger families and communities through service projects and leadership development.

Become a White Way Booster:
Sign one of the White Way “Guest Books” located at the City Library, Information Booth, Old School House or Hanks Chop Shop and you will be added to our booster list to receive information about future can runs and White Way events. Let us know what you thought of the day by writing in the comment section.


Circle the corresponding May date on your 2007 calendars!!!

Talk has already started about making the Kansas White Way Car Run re-enactment an annual event. Based upon the success of today, future activities will be added and could include an antique car show, antique flea market, quilt show, derby race, white way run contest and expanded park activities.


1915 Van's Garage in Blue Rapids

When looking over the old articles we find out the names of the ones who did the original run. G. VanValkenburg was one of those. He owned the Dodge dealership in Blue Rapids.Van's first garage in 1915, on south Main, west side of the street, (later Markley’s hatchery, burned down in Blue Rapids) photo summited by Paul VanValkenburg, he is G. VanValkenburg's grandson. Paul's brother John still has one of the 1928 Dodges that his grandfather sold in Blue Rapids.

May 22, 1914 article in New Leaf newspaper of Effingham

May 22, 1914 issue of the New Leaf

Kansas White Way Through Effingham

Effingham was well represented at Frankfort Friday where a big auto road meeting was held. Five from this locality drove their cars: W. S. Heffelfinger, F. M. Hawk, Wm. McAdam, Homer Pittman and Wm. Channon, and with them were Mayor Wallick, T. J. Bohannon, C. A. Taliaferro, Fred Sutter, R. B. McPhilmy, Ed High, Bon Hargrove, Wm. Sutter, D. L. Richards, Rob’t Pinder, T. W. Tucker, J. E. Hitchner, J. A. Harman, J. E. McArthy and C. E. Sells. The cars made the trip to Frankfort in about three hours, a distance of 71 miles. At times the cars traveled along some? for the roads were fine. Some one asked Ed High if he was frightened when they traveled so fast and he replied, “Just once and that was all the way out and back.”
All the cars made the trip without any serious accidents and it is safe to say that every one in the crowd enjoyed the outing. Crops looked good the entire distance and the green foliage along the way furnished a scene worthy of notice. On majority of the farms men were busy with their farm work and if the weather man remembers us this season all will be happiness and prosperity along the Central Branch this fall.
The object of the meeting at Frankfort was to establish an automobile road along the Central Branch railway from Atchison to Clifton. At Clifton the road will join the Kansas White Way road, thus making a first class route from Atchison to Denver. Each county represented at the meeting selected a logging committee of five and a member of a board of directors. The organizers of the White Way idea had planned to have the road pass through every town of any size along the Central Branch, but in Atchison County a vote had to be taken to settle the matter. Fred Schurman, Wm. Critchfield, Alex and Wm. McLenon, A. J. Smith and a party from Lancaster were present and made a fight to get the logging committee to establish the route out of Atchison along the Parallel. As an Atchison man put it, “That would leave out one of the best towns on the Central Branch, Effingham. So the Effingham delegation did not lose any time in checking the scheme. John Q. Adams, Secretary of the Kansas White Way says: “No regular White Way markers should be placed where it would lead drivers off the main road. I sincerely hope that your committee has made no mistake in logging the road through your county as it is very important that the road should travel from town to town on the best and shortest routes and there should not be any personalities of people who have farms they would like to divert this ravel and send tourists on bad roads and out of the way.”
W. S. Heffelfinger, T. W. Tucker, Jas. Talbert, C. D. Brenner and A. S. Drury were selected as the logging committee for Atchison County and A. S. Drury was elected its director. The route as established will come through Monrovia, Effingham and on to Muscotah, Whiting, etc. It has already been logged and will be marked as soon as possible with a 20 inch galvanized marker painted white with a black band at the top and bottom. The auto and commercial clubs of the various towns and the county commissioners will work together in keeping up the road.

Steve Caplinger lives on the White Way near the old town site of Monrovia. His home was built in 1863 and was placed there because of a watering hole. Here is a picture he shared with us of one of the culvert boxes under construction near his home. This was taken in about 1922

The Route Concordia to Frankfort

At Concordia you will be starting in front of the Brown Grand Opera House, 310 W. 6th Street . The start time is 8:00 a.m. but come early because the Opera House will be open and serving rolls and coffee plus a quick tour. If you are returning in the evening, they are planning a program.
You are off and running heading towards Rice. If it is dry weather we are stopping and paying respects to the old stone bridge that was part of the White Way.
The highway went through Ames back then. Drive through and see how the town is doing. They have a historical marker to fill in on details.
Clyde ( is waiting for us, so be on the lookout for white flags. We have planned for pit stops at these locations. The Seifert family would like you to stop for some snacks and welcome you to their community at Seifert Jewelry Store. They just celebrated 65 years of business in the community. If you love a great cup of tea be sure and drive by the Cloud County Tea Company ( They are located at the old Baptist church at 403 Lincoln. I am not sure they will be open. Their hours are Monday thru Friday. Those who are meeting us in Concordia on Friday could stop. Be sure and check out the Arboretum on the northeast of Clyde.
On our way to Clifton be on the lookout for parking meters. Make sure to bring your nickels. We will be driving by the LCL Buffalo Ranch. We are hoping to stop and see the collection of antique farm equipment, but if not be sure to check out the parking meters for a look at the buffalo. You are on Parallel Rd just like the guys that started in Atchison. The Clifton Museum is housed in an 1877 Missouri Pacific depot. If you love history and stop at every railroad spot or took pictures of every jail or building recorded on the Historical Register on the way you will not make your 2:00 p.m. meeting in Frankfort. That just means you will have to do it again! Clifton also has a jail.
Off to Palmer. We will have to make a run through because it is now one mile off the highway. It has three old gas stations, a corner bank and a wonderful St Paul Lutheran church built in 1891. It also has a community-owned café. Take a look at Tom’s blog and his article about Palmer at If we are running late we will be bypass it, but will have pictures for you to see. But remember: this is your adventure and if want to stop or go on ahead to see some of the things you have planned for, please do so. Frankfort is planning on activities from 11:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. for those who are planning on going all the way. If you want to do some dirt on old Hwy 9 you can go across the paved Hwy15 and go on Hwy 148 to Osage road and that will take you into Linn.
In Linn we will be on the lookout for the white flag pit stop at where used to be the White Way Hotel. I love the mural of clothes hanging out to dry.
Greenleaf is off the road and I haven’t been able to document if the highway went through there or not. If we have time they have a great WPA community center and jail. I will post a picture of the hand- and footprint I found in front of the jail.
Barnes will be fun. They have a community restaurant and what is becoming the famous Our Daily Bread. If you haven’t got your fill of shopping your will have your choice of serveral antique shops. If you are a list person you can stop by and shop two mercantiles before you get to Frankfort.
Waterville has three buildings on the Historical Register and lots of Victorian houses that were there in 1914. Be on the lookout for the pit stop at Fancy T’s on Commercial Street (785-363-2515). If you want to explore Waterville this is a good place to start. The Weaver Hotel, Opera House and the Caboose Museum will be on the tour. Also if people like murals stop and go into the basement of the Methodist church on Highway 9.
Blue Rapids has the only round town square left in Kansas so be sure to go around—it’s on the old White Way, which once ran down 6th Street. (The current Highway 9 is 5th Street.) Take notice of the silhouettes of the baseball players. Blue Rapids had the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants play here in October 1913 on their World Tour. To get to the square you can turn on Gypsum Street which is where the silhouettes are and go one block south and then turn east and you will run into the square. Follow it around to the library, which is a pit stop. This library is the oldest library in continual use this side of the Mississippi. It is on the historical register. If you are hungry, the Blue Valley Café has a White Way Special. There are two other great places to eat on the square also. If you have the shopping bug, Round Square Antiques is open. When you get back on the highway there is an old gas station painted pink that will be open for business and also be on the look out for the second Mercantile to stop in and see (401 E. 5th St.). The Blue Rapids Museum is in the mercantile. They have Pete the Pirate there if you would like to get your picture taken with him. For later information the stories and information that has been collected for this blog will be kept at the Blue Rapids Mercantile.
Now we come to a dilemma. Those of you who want to stick to pavement might want to go on to Marysville and then over to Home and then down into Frankfort. There is a bridge out between Blue Rapids and Frankfort. If you continue on Highway 9, you can get around the detour by going east from the junction of Highway 77 and 9 approximately 4.5 miles to 14th Rd. This is a good all-weather gravel road. Turn north (left) and drive 2 miles to Tumbleweed Rd, then go east to Frankfort. This will take you in by the city cemetery.
I hope you enjoyed your journey. Remember the vision the people before us had.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The route Atchison to Frankfort

You are actually starting at Parallel Street to Parallel Rd to old Hwy 9 to present-day Hwy 73 to Lancaster. Check out the Pony Express Station Marker in Lancaster. Be on the look out for Monrovia, a ghost town (1857-1955); there are only a few houses left. It was on the Overland Stage route.

Go on to Effingham. If you want to make a postmaster happy, stop in and see Elaine Montgomery and buy some stamps. Elaine said she would be waiting to welcome you. To check if they are open Saturday afternoon call 913-833-5825. Check out the the green-roofed water tower. The Atchison County fair is held in Effingham. (I need the date of the fair.)

You are off to Muscotah. If you have time find the gargoyles on the front step of the high school. It looks like someone is living there. Check out the calaboose. When doing the research for this run, we found a lot of old jails. We must have had some rowdy ancesters! I would be interested in a count of how many you find. Also be on the look out for all the old gas stations. If you are into sports check out Joe Tinker's stone. He was the shortstop of the Chicago Cubs in 1912. Check out that water tower. And how about those WPA outhouses?

Your next town will be Whiting. If you are getting hungry stop in and see Rosa at the Whiting Cafe or buy some of her homemade candy. The old school is the community center. They have an old corner gas station. Did you see the train engines? They're hard to find and not where you'd expect to see them, but if you find them I'd like to hear about it.

Get your camera ready because you are off to Netawaka. The Central Branch Railroad divides the town. You might want to get a picture of your car on Whiteway Street. They have a nice city park; again, check out those water towers. You have been through two counties so far.

Wetmore is your next town. They have an old calaboose across from the city park. Be on the look out for one or two of those corner gas stations. For those who celebrate how long the Pony Express has been out of business you might like to pay respects to Don Clarence Rising, who is buried on the south end of the cemetery about eight stones north on the first row on the east side. Rising was a Pony Express rider.

In Goff check out the old drinking fountain on the main drag. There are more corner gas stations here. Alvin Gleason will have stories to tell when we meet him in Frankfort, but this is where the original Whiteway Chevrolet Garage was. I hope he tells the story about showday.

In Corning they have a place I want to call the Corning Mall. They have everything! If they don't have it, you don't need it. You can get out and stretch your legs at the city museum, open from 10-4. Check out the watertower and that corner gas station.

Centralia is next and they just restored their fire truck and it might join you on your way to Frankfort. Oh, did I mention to be on the lookout for other cars to join. In Goff there will be some participants honoring the Whiteway Chevrolet.

Take the road into Vermillion. There's a treat waiting in town. The town is quiet now but they have murals and have put some personality into the old buildings. The city hall and library are in the old hotel. Vermillion has several points of interest: The Historic Depot, the first depot in Marshall County; the Curtis House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places; the Vermillion City - Library building; murals painted on several buildings in the downtown area; and the Vermillion City Park, which lies on the original route of Highway 9.

The old Hwy 9 still runs between Vermillion Frankfort but don't even consider taking it when the road is wet. If necessary, go one mile north to the present-day Hwy 9, which is paved. If you take the dirt road, there is an old bridge that will give you a thrill and an old cemetery that needs a story to be told about it. Take it at your own risk--of course this whole adventure is at your own risk. Check out the water tower. They have the Tim Lee Cafe, open from 5 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Vliets is the last stop before Frankfort. There is a beauty shop there. Get your party flags going!

Frankfort has planned for you to come and celebrate. If you come early or arrive late they want to celebrate. There will be a meeting (that's what they called it in 1914) at 2 p.m. at the city park. The mayor wants to welcome you and of course Mr. Whiteway himself, Alvin Gleason, has a few words to say. There will be time for those who want to add a few words. If your group wants to participate feel free to e-mail me. Doing some research we have come across some descendants; we would love to hear their stories.

I would like to thank all the people who put their heart into this Great White Way. This is just one more thing that we have to be proud of. We have come by this wonderful place and the stories need to be kept alive. Be on the look-out for white flags. They will be at places in various communities that know of the run and want to welcome you.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'll be there -- Will you?

People are asking who all is coming. My answer is Nancy, Tom, and I are coming but I think they want to know more. Organizers at both starting points and Frankfort are trying to get an idea of how many people to plan for. If you would email me or leave a comment about who you are, how many in your group and where you will be starting from etc. would be greatly appreciated. An example is the Brown Grand in Concordia will open up and be serving rolls and coffee before we start at 8:00 a.m. and want to make sure they have enough goodies. Any additional information like vintage cars, modern cars, motorcycles, fire trucks , camels would be appreciated

Monday, April 10, 2006

Cool map: Concordia to Clyde from 1917 Atlas

Summited by Don Kerr. Kerr is acting organizer in Concordia and can be reached at 785-243-4472. Click map to enlarge. The stone bridge as listed near marker 31 can be reached by a short spur off present Hwy 9. To reach the bridge, go 5 miles east of Concordia then turn north into Rice at 200 Rd. and take the next turn east to the river.
According to Marci Penner's Kansas Guidebook for Explorer's, Ray Doyen restored this 1899 JB Tremblay single-arch bridge almost 100 years after it was built. For more information on the Concordia area, check out Marci's book. It is the best single volume book on Kansas ever printed. For more information click on the Kansas Guidebook link.

Important notice of detour!

For those coming from Concordia or points west, there is a detour between Blue Rapids and Frankfort. If it hasn't rained hard, you can get around the detour by going east from the junction of Highway 77 and 9 approximately 4.5 miles to 14th Rd. This is a good all-weather gravel road. Turn north (left) and drive 2 miles to Tumbleweed Rd, then go east to Frankfort. This will take you in by the city cemetery.
For those not wishing to drive on dirt roads, follow the detour signs to Marysville, take Highway 36 to Highway 99, and drop down to Frankfort.
The map will enlarge if clicked on.