August 19, 2007

The Many Lives of Atchison, Kansas

Although we were now in Missouri, we decided to give Kansas one last hurrah and visit the historic town of Atchison.

Even though Atchison is only 33 miles from St. Joseph, Marlon had only driven through...he had never stopped.

Here Doug is standing at the official Atchison Visitor Center, Museum and Trolley Stop.

Being as Marlon had never been to Atchison, the teller at the bank didn't recognize him and refused to cash his check.

Atchison was made famous in several ways, one being because of the success of The Atchison, Topeka and The Santa Fe Railroad (ATSF).

In 1946, Judy Garland starred in the MGM musical "The Harvey Girls", which forever immortalized the ATSF in an Oscar Winning Song.

The Harvey Girls truly existed from 1883-1968 and worked in Fred Harvey's famous Harvey House restaurants. Extensive information about Fred Harvey and his Harvey Girls can be found on the internet.

The Atchison Museum is directly adjacent to the Atchison Rail Museum where many old railroad cars are on display.

Here is an actual railroad car from the ATSF Railroad.

This is a close up view of a United States Mail Railway Post Office train car. This particular car was #1604 Silver Pouch and was in service from 1953 to 1970 servicing Kansas City to Chicago as well as Denver. Railway Mail Service was discontinued in 1970.

Doug's dad, Bob, worked on the Railway Mail Service during the early years of his career with the USPS.

We found out that Atchison is the most haunted town in Kansas and has been featured on The Travel Channel.

This is the haunted Glick Mansion which now operates as a Bed and Breakfast.

This is the Gargoyle Home. You can read about its legend and the legends of many other haunted buildings in Atchison at http://www.legendsofamerica.com/OZ-HauntedAtchison.html .

Did we mention that Atchison lies on the Lewis and Clark Trail? They explored the Atchison area in 1804.

Another Atchison claim to fame is as The Birthplace of Amelia Earhart, the famed female aviator who disappeared at the age of 39 on a circumnavigational flight at the height of her international popularity.

Here's Marlon outside the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Musuem. He always seems to have a way with animals.

This is Amelia Earhart's order for the Lockheed Electra 10-E she was flying when she disappeared in 1937.

The International Forest of Friendship is located in Atchison. This arboretum and memorial forest was started in 1976 with the cooperation of the city of Atchison and The Ninety-Nines, an international organization of licensed women pilots.

It is a memorial to everyone involved in aviation and space exploration, including the crew of the ill-fated Shuttle Columbia.

This is the Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge, so named in 1997 upon the 100 year anniversary of Amelia Earhart's birth. The bridge, considered by KDOT to be "structurally deficient and functionally obsolete" will soon be replaced by a new bridge expected to be completed in 2009.

See you later, Kansas. Until the next time....

To view more pictures of the sites of Atchison, go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/august/atchison-kansas/ .

To be continued...

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