Spring 2019: “Fried Chicken Paradise” Sneak Peek!

Fried Chicken Paradise
Fried chicken has been famous in Crawford County for decades. Here’s why.

Photo courtesy of Chicken Annie’s Original

In the wee hours of a cold January morning, Donna Lipoglav stood over a fryer at Chicken Annie’s, cooking up some – you guessed it – chicken. A KOAM/Fox14 anchor was on his way to visit Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, and he wanted to bring the governor something that epitomized Southeast Kansas.

Fried chicken it was.

“He called, and I got here at 7 in the morning and fried him some chicken,” Donna says. “It was pretty cool.”

After all, there’s not much that’s more legendary in Southeast Kansas than its tender, juicy, crispy-coated fried chicken. The delicious tradition began 85 years ago with Annie Pichler, Donna’s grandmother and Chicken Annie’s namesake, who began serving food out of her home north of Pittsburg after her coal-miner husband was injured at work. It didn’t take long for word to spread about her fried-chicken joint – and for it to be accompanied by several others in the county.

Together, the six famous chicken houses of Crawford County have been called one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine. Some have been written up in national publications and featured on cable TV. And to this day, they’re all serving fried chicken in their own way – each with an equally zealous following…

Want to keep reading about Crawford County’s fried-chicken tradition? Check out the spring issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Spring 2019: “Off the Beaten Path” Sneak Peek!

Off the Beaten Path
Bike culture grows as SEK promotes cycling

Photo courtesy of Randy Rasa

Randy Rasa has found a new hobby: dropping by the trailhead for the Lehigh Portland Trails just to peek at the cars in the parking lot.

Their license plates hail from all over – from every county in the area and from surrounding states. Think Missouri, Texas and California. Their diversity, Randy says, is indicative of a trend happening in Allen County. A surging bike culture is taking root, thanks to several first-class trails, a new bike shop and a novel bike share programB.

And it’s not just Allen County. There are communities of cyclists all across Southeast Kansas, and they’re coming together more often these days. PedalSEK is convening area cyclists for 12 rides in 12 months in 12 Southeast Kansas counties, and the new ABC Trails project is mapping out a tri-county trail system connecting Allen, Bourbon and Crawford counties.

“Cycling – and trails in general – have grown so much in these areas,” says Lisse Regehr, deputy director of outreach and advocacy for Thrive Allen County, the nonprofit responsible for Iola’s bike share program and several trails. “This is an opportune time to take advantage of that…”

 

Want to keep reading about bicycling in Southeast Kansas? Check out the spring issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Winter 2018: “The Lord’s Diner” Sneak Peek!

The Lord’s Diner
Free meals served to the hungry in Pittsburg, 365 days a year, no exceptions

From night to night, The Lord’s Diner never looks the same. The food is always different. The guests, too. Even the volunteers are constantly rotating.

Photo by Brett Dalton and courtesy of The Lord’s Diner

The important stuff, though? That will never change.

Three-hundred-sixty-five days a year, no exceptions, The Lord’s Diner provides dinner to hungry guests in Pittsburg – for free. Operating under the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, which also manages two permanent Lord’s Diner locations and several mobile food trucks in Wichita, The Lord’s Diner serves an average of 150 people in Pittsburg every single night.

The ultimate goal, according to the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, is “to combat hunger in the community” by serving “a nutritious meal with dignity and respect to anyone who is hungry.”

In Pittsburg, in a nondescript building at the corner of Fourth and Locust, The Lord’s Diner does just that. No questions asked…

Want to keep reading about The Lord’s Diner? Check out the winter issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Winter 2018: “A Bolder Humboldt” Sneak Peek!

A Bolder Humboldt
Group dreams big and gets to work in Humboldt

Photo courtesy of A Bolder Humboldt

In a town of fewer than 2,000 people, there’s a revolution happening. The proof is found on the downtown square.

An abandoned building, formerly a jewelry store, has been transformed into a luxury candy shop with shiny marble floors and Parisian accents; upstairs, a modern Airbnb is available for rent. Next door, a new restaurant is opening its doors in another once-decrepit building, its mouth-watering menu creating a buzz in town. Around the corner, a mercantile offers upscale coffee drinks and curated boutique gifts.

Also in the works? A brewery. A renovated hotel. A makerspace.

Welcome to a new Humboldt – or, as one group is calling itself, A Bolder Humboldt…

Want to keep reading about A Bolder Humboldt? Check out the winter issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Fall 2018: “Discover Cato” Sneak Peek!

Discover Cato
SEK ghost town comes to life in a big way during annual Fall Tour

Photo courtesy of Cato Historical Preservation Association

It’s been more than 60 years since the one-room Cato School conducted official classroom business. But come one weekend each fall, when more than 600 students descend upon the ghost town of Cato, that tiny historic school and its community come back to life in a big way.

Teachers gather students for turn-of-the-century math and reading lessons. A horse-drawn stagecoach wanders near. Kids play traditional pioneer games outside the schoolhouse windows.

It all happens at Cato’s annual Fall Tour, this year set for the first weekend in November. The event highlights the history of Cato and offers several historical reenactments, music, refreshments, informational booths, tours and more…

Want to keep reading about Cato and its annual Fall Tour? Check out the fall issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Fall 2018: “Rural By Choice” Sneak Peek!

Rural By Choice
Schenker Family Farms and McCune Farm to Market invest in SEK – while serving customers around the world

It was 2008. Cherie Schenker logged on to Craigslist, a relatively new website at the time, to advertise a quarter of Schenker Family Farms’ grass-fed beef to local consumers.

Photo courtesy of Schenker Family Farms

It didn’t work.

“Somehow, it ended up going on the Craigslist in Orange County, California,” she says with a laugh. “But then – someone called.”

And someone else called. Then someone else. Quickly, Cherie and her husband, Kevin, realized: There’s a huge market for this.

“We needed a website and we needed to figure out how to ship this stuff,” Cherie says. “Necessity is the mother of invention … and we just kind of got propelled into it from there.”

Where they’ve landed 10 years later is one of the largest direct-marketing livestock operations in the state of Kansas. They sell their meat – all-natural, humanely raised beef, lamb, poultry and pork – to customers locally, across the state and throughout the country, including in every Whole Foods store in Kansas, the Kansas City metropolitan area and New Mexico. They developed a proprietary shipping container in 2009 and continue to ship their meat overseas to soldiers (their first shipment arrived to Afghanistan one week before Kevin did; he was deployed there for a little over a year). And they recently celebrated the one-year birthday of McCune Farm to Market, a small grocery store and café that sells fresh meat, locally grown produce, pantry staples and the Schenkers’ take-and-bake meals…

Want to keep reading about Schenker Family Farms and McCune Farm to Market? Check out the fall issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Summer 2018: ‘Welcome to The Lavender Patch’ Sneak Peek!

Welcome to The Lavender Patch
Fort Scott family farm features 1,000+ lavender plants

When you enter Davin and Betsy Reichard’s home, you can’t miss it: that familiar, unmistakable scent of lavender.

Photo courtesy of The Lavender Patch Farm

It’s inevitable. The Reichards are surrounded by lavender, from the hundreds of lavender plants that are blooming just outside their front door to the dozens of homemade lavender products they make in their home each week.

That’s just everyday life (“I don’t even smell it anymore,” Betsy says) as the Reichards run The Lavender Patch Farm in Fort Scott. Their small family operation centers on just over 1,000 lavender plants, plus a gift shop filled with Betsy’s lavender creations…

Want to keep reading about The Lavender Patch Farm? Check out the summer issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Summer 2018: ‘Summit Hill Gardens’ Sneak Peek!

Fall in Love at Summit Hill Gardens

There’s just something about Summit Hill. It captivated Patsy Smeed from the very beginning.

Photo courtesy of Hope’s Perspective Photography

She moved there – one acre of land south of Chanute, the site of an old one-room schoolhouse – more than 40 years ago with her late husband Larry, an artist and professor. All these years later, she still hasn’t left.

“I just fell in love with Summit Hill,” she says. “It’s been a lot of great therapy for me.”

Since her arrival, Patsy has slowly expanded her land from one acre to 65 acres. The sprawling property is much more than her home or the location of a historic schoolhouse: It’s also the site of her business, Summit Hill Gardens, which offers a soap shop (all products Patsy makes herself) and wedding venue/event center in partnership with her sister-in-law Gretchen Brant.

No matter what brings people to Summit Hill Gardens, they often leave captivated by the place – just like Patsy.

“We want people to feel that this is a very peaceful part of the world,” Patsy says. “Just a little bit of Eden.”

Want to keep reading about Summit Hill Gardens? Check out the summer issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.

Get the 2018 Adventures & Day Trips issue now!

Adventures & Day Trips 2018

 

Every other year, we publish this special tourism issue to give Southeast Kansas readers ideas for places to go and things to do right in their own backyard — and this one is our best yet, packed with more than 150 ideas!

Southeast Kansas Living subscribers received the 68-page Adventures & Day Trips issue for free as part of their subscription. Looking for your own copy? Contact us to purchase a copy and have it shipped directly to you.

Southeast Kansas provides endless opportunities for discovery and fun. We hope you’ll use the Adventures & Day Trips issue as a guide to get out and explore this beautiful, historic corner of Kansas!

Spring 2018: ‘Shaw’s Story’ Sneak Peek!

Shaw’s Story
Galesburg innovator’s legacy lives on in Southeast Kansas – and across the country

Everyone who knew him says Stanley Wilbur Shaw was an inventor by nature.

Photo courtesy of Galesburg Historical Society and Museum

At age 8, in the late 1880s, he assembled his first bicycle, using the wheels from his dad’s cultivator (come corn plowing time, he later wrote, he had to return those wheels). By 10, he had made a crude clock and was repairing farm equipment and guns. A few years later, as a young teenager, he built his first engine.

It’s no surprise, then, that Stanley would go on to make inventing his life’s work, finding success making small engines that converted bicycles to motorbikes in the early 1900s. He would later make automobiles and vastly popular small tractors and garden equipment, like the Shaw Du-All and Peppy Pal tractors. Stanley’s company, Shaw Manufacturing, was located in Galesburg, bringing national recognition to his small Neosho County hometown.

In 1962, 59 years after it was established, Shaw Manufacturing was sold to Bush Hog. But Stanley’s ingenuity lives on at the Galesburg Historical Museum, where several pieces of his equipment are always on display. This summer, the SEK Old Time Gas Engine & Tractor Club will feature Shaw equipment at its annual show in Pittsburg, with a corresponding Shaw display at the Crawford County Historical Museum.

These exhibits honor the work of a hometown innovator who, according to an old Galesburg pamphlet, was “a rare combination of good common sense, good business judgment and high-class mechanical skill, which is seldom found in one man…”

Want to keep reading about Stanley Shaw, Shaw Manufacturing and Galesburg? Check out the spring issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.