Off the Beaten PathBike 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 … Read More »
A Bolder Humboldt
Group dreams big and gets to work in 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 … Read More »
Thrive Allen County makes big strides for Southeast Kansas
You don’t have to search hard to see the impact Thrive Allen County has had in Iola.
There’s the new Allen County Regional Hospital, the soon-to-be-constructed grocery store in the heart of town, the bike sharrows painted in the streets. There’s the 7-plus-mile trail system on the south edge of the city, the Happy Tails Dog Park, and even the less-visible projects – like a pilot program to help public housing residents quit using tobacco to comply with new federal requirements.
Thrive Allen County either initiated or had a hand in every one of those projects – and they’re really just the tip of the iceberg…
Want to keep reading about Thrive Allen County? Check out the spring issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much … Read More »
Iola attracts multiple candy companies over the years, including Sifers Valomilk
Next time you spot Valomilk, that vintage chocolate-coated treat with a runny marshmallow center, make sure you thank Iola.
Valomilk’s creator, Sifers Candy Company, originated in Iola and was based there for several decades before moving its entire operation to Kansas City. It is one of a handful of candy manufacturers that have called Iola home since the late 1800s – including one of the country’s four Russell Stover factories, which is still based there today.
“You know candy was profitable here when three different men came to town before Sifers and all made big, big money from it,” says Donna Houser, volunteer with the Allen County Historical Society…
Want to keep reading about Iola’s candy history? Check out the winter issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story … Read More »