Letters to the Editor
To the editor:
Dear Thief or Thieves,
Our family moved here to Baldwin City in the early summer and have so enjoyed this community and partaking of the beauty of the city during the summer and early fall.
We looked forward to Maple Leaf and the fall holidays in our new community.
But to our dismay, we were sadly disappointed on Halloween night by the actions of a thief or thieves.
My daughter spent 2-3 hours carving a scene of a wolf howling at the moon with trees into the entire side of a pumpkin and shaved it thin so that the light would shine through. It was truly a work of art and so beautiful. She did an outstanding job and we had a great evening with trick or treaters. However on Sunday morning, when I opened the front door, the carved pumpkin was gone. I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew someone had the nerve to walk right up to the front door after 11 p.m. (last time we'd been out) and steal this from us. I walked out onto the street and saw our pumpkin smashed in the neighbors' driveway just two houses down the street. I literally was sickened. I will never understand why some feel it is OK to steal or destroy that which does not belong to them. I just want to say this to that individual — “Thanks for the unforgettable welcome to our new home and community and I hope you can live with your conscience. Oh wait, apparently you don't have one.”
To the editor:
Last year I wrote about some items concerning publicity of the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society’s activities. This year, all problems had been corrected due to the efforts of Annie France, Bryan Butell, Susan Baker and who knows who else. Even the sound system worked. The weather was nice and the traffic well managed. Thanks to all.
I gave tours to Vinland and Black Jack Cabin. There were about 20 out-of-towners on each tour bus. John Jackson had arranged for the tour bus and loudspeaker system. All worked well. Ray Wilber and Paul Caviness met the Vinland bus at Coal Creek Library (Martha Smith, the regular librarian, couldn’t be there). They gave such a good tour we had trouble getting people to leave to go on to the Grange. Ray also hosted the tour of the Grange to the satisfaction of the tourists and their many questions. On the way out to Vinland we discussed the geology of the area, orchards and vines which were grown on the hills, and some of the families who owned and loved the land. Their fruit businesses contributed significantly to nutrition required by area settlers and those on the Santa Fe Trail. We came back on the east side of the valley. Lots of new houses. That tour ended at Signal Oak with its history, view of the valley and Bishop Quayle’s farm.
The second tour started at Signal Oak, went past the old location of Kibbee’s Cabin with its history, and on down to Bishop Quayle’s farm. We turned around and came back to U.S. Highway 56 in order to avoid the traffic on County Road 400 on our way to Black Jack Park.
John Jackson hosted visitors at the cabin from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. During the two days, more than 130 visitors enjoyed the cabin with its maps, plats of settlements and their stories and histories presented through artifacts of the area. He supplemented those histories with the political background of the area. The Free State question caused a pro- and anti-slavery mix in the area. That caused many conflicts and raids. The Santa Fe Trail ruts in the adjacent Ivan Boyd Prairie Park were enhanced by plants Roger Boyd had labeled in the prairie. Visitors appreciated this very much.
Although there was a constant trickle of people both days, the largest crowds came as people were leaving town. We feel that signs in the information booths and storefronts announcing the cabin was open; a new sign at the park announcing the cabin was open arranged for by Ray Wilber; and the smoke from the chimney helped draw visitors. All in all, it was a successful weekend. Thanks to all who worked so well together.
Santa Fe Trail Historical Society