14 Fun Facts About Kansas

Sitting smack dab in the middle of the country is our wonderful state of Kansas. In fact, Kansas is actually home to the geographical center of America, along with some of the longest bridges and the Garden of Eden. Here are 14 fascinating facts about the Sunflower State! 

1. Longest grain elevator

Hutchinson is the home of one of the longest grain elevators, possibly the world. The elevator is around 2,600 feet-long and could hold 46 million bushels of grain in some 1,000 bins. Built in 1961, you can’t miss it.

2. Longest railroad bridge

North of Arkalon is the Rock Island Railroad bridge built in 1939 and nicknamed, the Sampson of the Cimarron. Possibly the longest known railroad bridge spanning over 1,200 feet across the Cimarron River and towering 114 feet, give or take a foot, above the river. 

3. Garden of Eden

Imagine seeing the Garden of Eden characterized in over 100 tons of concrete and located in Lucas. Civil War veteran S.P. Dinsmoor built his adaptation between the 1900s through the 1930s. It is a remarkable place to visit. An indescribable homage, complete with 30 to 40 foot concrete trees! 

4. Don’t break the rules of pie!

The American Pie Council has reported that in Kansas it has been against the law to provide ice cream on top of cherry pie when served.

5. Birthplace of Pizza Hut

The first Pizza Hut was opened in 1958 in Wichita by two brothers who were attending Wichita State University and wanted a place to eat a good pizza. Now the chain has over 13,000 locations worldwide. 

6. Which creek?

Several articles have been published stating that in Kansas there are 27 creeks named Walnut Creek.

7. Largest ball of twine

In Cawker City, officials have on display the largest ball of Sisal twine and it continues to grow ever year. Recently listed as being around 7,974,454 feet of Sisal twine rolled into a gigantic ball. A local farmer Frank Stoeber began winding his Sisal twine in 1953 and both locals and visitors continue the winding to this day. 

8. The center of America!

Driving down Highway 281, a few miles northwest of Lebanon you will see a Historical Marker that announces you are smack-dab in the center of the United States, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

9. A groundbreaking discovery

In the early 1900s, a newly-dug well started spewing gas, and it took two professors from the University of Kansas to determine the unknown gas was helium. This discover was uplifting for the state of Kansas.

10. Our favorite cold drink

The first Icee drink was first made at a Coffeyville Dairy Queen by the owner, Omar Knedik in the 1960s. Customers loved the fruit flavored frozen drink so much that Knedik had a specific machine developed to serve the new sensation drink, named Icee. 

11. First Payless Shoe Store

Topeka is the home of the first Payless Shoe Store. Founded in 1956, Payless broke ground selling quality shoes at a value price, in which shoe shoppers could select shoes and try them on without the salesperson’s help.  

12. The 4-State Lookout

If you stand in a certain spot in White Cloud you can view the panoramic vistas of the Missouri River valley and see four states, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, all at once without taking a step. Locals call the spot, the 4-State Lookout. 

13. Birthplace of Chrysler

Walter P. Chrysler was born in Wamego in 1875. Raised in Ellis, he began his engine mechanics training and his automotive career as a young man. In 1925, he started his own automobile company with the Plymouth, Desoto brands. Combining other auto companies and became the third largest automaker in the United States, and finally acquiring Dodge. One of the richest men in America in the 1930s, he built the Chrysler Building in New York City, the world’s tallest skyscraper at the time, and in 1929 Time magazine named him “Man of the Year”.

14. The Big Well

The Big Well in Greensburg is known as the world’s largest hand dug well and an engineering wonder. Workers hand dug the well for days in 1987 using hand tools and completed the 109 feet deep, 32 feet in diameter well in 1988. Named a National Museum in 1972, millions of visitors tour the well by taking a metal stairway down into the well cavity every year.

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600 West 5th Avenue, Arkansas City, KS
The Skate Park is located @ Paris Park Recreation Area adjacent to Paris Park Pool 600 West 5th Avenue in Arkansas City.  The Skate Park was b... Read More
1047 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS
Mission:The Douglas County Historical Society encourages civic engagement by supporting the research and interpretation of county history through a... Read More
200 North Broadway, Wichita, KS
The Orpheum Theatre in Wichita, Kansas built by theatre mogul Carl Hobitzelle, opened on September 4, 1922, and was the first atmospheric theatre i... Read More
5555 Zoo Boulevard, Wichita, KS
About Us:Sedgwick County Zoo was established by the volunteer efforts of civic-minded citizens who formed the Sedgwick County Zoological Society in... Read More
204 South Main Street, Wichita, KS
Mission: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum’s mission is to educate the community and its visitors about local history by colle... Read More
835 East 1st Street in Old Town, Wichita, KS
Mission: To provide a gateway to the past that educates, entertains and inspires life long learning History: The Museum of World Treasures was f... Read More
1400 West Museum Boulevard, Wichita, KS
Nestled in the heart of the Museums on the River district just five minutes from downtown in the Riverside neighborhood, the Wichita Art Museum is ... Read More
3350 South George Washington Boulevard, Wichita, KS
Kansas Aviation Museum opened on April 19, 1991 to showcase Kansas aviation history.Today the building is on the National Register of Historic Plac... Read More
1900 East James Street, Derby, KS
Rock River Rapids is the premier water park in south-central Kansas!  Rock River Rapids is a full service Aquatic Park with Concessions, Lock... Read More
383 East Central Avenue, El Dorado, KS
Mission:To preserve and interpret the history and culture of the people who settled and developed Butler County, with emphasis on those industries ... Read More
303 East Iron Avenue, Salina, KS
Mission and History: Salina Community Theatre is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of people in Salina an... Read More
625 North Hedville Road, Salina, KS
Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure Zoo (formerly Rolling Hills Refuge) west of Salina, Kansas is one of Kansas’ newest zoos. This high quality,... Read More
1500 E 8th Avenue, Winfield, KS
Winfield Community Theatre began in 1967 as a creative outlet and an entertainment resource for Cowley County. Through 31 years of production at Th... Read More
500 West Wyatt Earp Boulevard, Dodge City, KS
Mission & Vision Statement:The mission of Boot Hill Museum is to preserve and interpret the Old West through exhibits, education and entertainm... Read More
120 Mill Street, Lindsborg, KS
Standing tall on the banks of the Smoky Hill River, the McPherson County Old Mill Museum preserves the early heritage of McPherson County. The muse... Read More
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