The Historical Road Trip of Your Dreams: Nicodemus, Kansas

Today, I found myself in Kansas. Again. No, I don’t know how that keeps happening.

It was a good drive. Lots of pretty countryside, and long, elegant roads cutting through the limestone hills. Sunlight–which is probably the big thing that lures me over the border–because, after all, Kansas is south, and south is usually just a little brighter.

I wound up in Nicodemus. Year-round population? Evidently right around 20. It’s a town settled by African Americans right after the civil war. And every summer, their descendants (and probably quite a few others) come back for a reunion/festival and/or youth summer camps.

I took pictures, and here’s the link to history, parks information, and summer camps, if you’re interested. (I have no personal knowledge of the camp, or anyone involved with it, so do your due diligence before you send your kids.)



This is what Kansas Limestone looks like when it’s neatly organized, and not just dynamited out of the road crews’ way.


This is the school. The playground is more or less what my own grade school looked like. Very typical for a small town/rural school.


Historical marker. Every state has their own design. You can probably find all this information on the internet. Or, you know… blow the picture up and squint real hard.


There were real live people in this church, today, so it, at least, is still functioning.

So, for comparison, here is another school. Which is currently functioning as a museum one county over. This one might be school/church. A lot of them did double duty, back in the day.


And old farm equipment over to the left. Enjoy it. I will not be photographing the tractor museum.

And as an added bonus… I give you the geographic center of the United States. Well, sort of. The actual center is on private property (according to not this marker, but that’s the rumor) and a little bit of a trek, so here’s the almost-nearly marker people can actually get to without trespassing.


And a marker for the “Last Indian Fight” in the county:


You can tell this marker is older because it does not have that nice, standard Kansas History Here! Design.  It also does not appear to have “official” status, since they usually just add the official marker next to the old one.

Some Days, It’s ALL About the Pie

Today, I have been–among other places–to the happiest place on Earth… Yup, that’s right. Marcon Pies in Washington Kansas.


You can tell the pies are good, if there are people camping outside the kitchen. Every pie should have groupies. These pies deserve them.

I like my pies a little tart, and Marcon does that really, really well. They do things with gooseberries. (Yup. Plural. Gooseberry and Gooseberry sour cream.) And their sour cream raisin is phenomenal. If you like things tart, you know how hard that is to find. This is it.


This pie was baked today. (It will likely be gone by tomorrow, but let’s just focus on the fact that it was baked today.)

They also make the most amazing, light, flaky crusts I’ve ever had in my life. (Sorry, Grandma.)


That would be the gooseberry, if you’re wondering.

For those of you who like your pies a little more on the kinky side, here’s the topless sugar-free chocolate.


(If you like yours topped, there’s meringue and whipped cream, but not sugar free.)