Cedar Vale, Kansas
A Great Place To Visit,
A Greater Place to Live!!
Come visit Cedar Vale, Ks, and explore the history filled museum, take a driving tour of the town and see the many turn of the century homes, Hewins Park and Pavilion, Slocum Park and bandstand, War Memorial Park,  then take in the many more sites  that are in and around the area of Cedar Vale and Chautauqua County, Kansas.

Visit the Tourism page! It is under construction, but hope to have it up and running soon!!

Enjoy your vist!!
Hewins Park & Pavilion, Cedar Vale, Ks. Built in 1918.
Hewins Park & Pavilion, Cedar Vale, Ks. Built in 1918.

In addition to what we have on this page we will soon be adding more information on the area attractions. These are just some of the many attractions within Cedar Vale and the surrounding area we will be adding information on: Chisolm Trail, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Red Buffalo Ranch, Blackdog Trail, Lookout Mtn, and much more.

Check out the new Tourism page!!

Points of Interest Cedar Vale and Chautauqua County Kansas
  See pictures of some of the following points of interest in the photo album: coming soon. You can also see these pictures in the photo albums and on the Cedar Vale pages at our sister site www.diamondsnspurs.com .

Cedar Vale, Kansas lies in the western part of Chautauqua County. It is the beginning of county tours from the west.  Tourists may travel east on Highway 166 or go south to the Wee Kirk Chapel of the Valley, east to Hewins, Elgin and onto Highway 99.  Cedar Vale has a museum, some beautiful old homes, churches and downtown buildings and businesses.  Take time to drive around and look at them.

Cedar Vale Museum
houses a collection of miniature replicas of old buildings, early homes, churches, stores, and other buildings, which made up the frontier town of Cedar Vale.  The Cedar Vale museum is one of the county's outstanding museums and is located in the building once occupied by Adam's Mercantile.  The museum is filled with memorabilia, artifacts, pictures, history and more of the town and area. (see below for more information)

Blacksmith Shop
. A part of what was the Barger Bros. Blacksmith Shop, a business that was established in the  late 1800's, is located on Monroe St. on private property.  

Old City Jail.   Located next the City offices of Cedar Vale, Ks. on Lawrence St.  

Hewins Park and Pavilion 
  Cedar Vale, Ks. was built in 1918.

Slocum Park and Bandstand Gazebo
.  Located north of the school in Cedar Vale. The bandstand in the past was host to many a band concert.  

Frontier Park,  Cedar Vale, Ks

Double Rainbow Arch Rainbow Bridge
is located on Heritage Road just east of Cedar Vale.

Old Iron Bridge
This bridge is 1/2 mile east and 1/2 mile north of Cedar Vale off of Heritage Rd. Built in the late 1890's and the dam was built in 1913 during the drought.

Spring Branch Schoolhouse  built in the 1930's is located 2 miles east of Cedar Vale just north of Highway 166 on private property.

Lookout Mountain
located southwest of Cedar Vale near Road 1 and Frontier road.  It is the highest point in Chautauqua County and served as a lookout point for the Indians and they traveled along the Black Dog Trail. Two of the well known sites around Cedar Vale are right together on Lookout Mtn. One is the "cave" and right near it is the ruins of a spring. the spring went dry when oil wells were drilled on Lookout Mtn.

Black Dog Trail  or the Great Osage Trail was marked by trail markers constructed with a pile of rocks along the trail. There was two of the markers near Cedar Vale at one time. One is located on a hill south of Cedar Vale. The other was on top of Lookout Mountain, but has been torn down and the rocks scattered.

Wee  Kirk Chapel
  of the Valley is located just south of Cedar Vale.  A six foot white Carra marble statue of Christ meets visitors.  The church built by Lotus M. Day has stained glass window, 2 marble carvings and seats 12. The chapel is located on private property, but  it can be seen from the county road. (see below for more information)

Chautauqua Gemstone
, is a limestone formation and juts more than 20 feet in the air.  Located east of Cedar Vale, it was unearthed during construction of Highway 166.

Round Mound Cemetery
located on Round Mound Road is named because of the mound of land on which the cemetery is located.

Otter Creek Bridge
is a metal truss bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located 3 miles north of Cedar Vale.

Ozro Falls is located near Hewins and was a campground for the Indians as they traveled the Blackdog Trail.  At the turn of the century, it was a favorite picnic ground for many locals.  

Historic Harts Mill
, located west of Elgin on the Caney River, was a working mill in the 1870's, and ground the meal and flour for the community. The millstones can be seen beside Dalton Road where it crosses the Caney River between Elgin and Hewins.

Cedar Creek Bridge
is a rainbow arch bridge located 1.5 miles east of Elgin.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Railroad Stone Arch Bridge is an old railroad bridge spans a creek located along Road 11 about 2 miles northwest of Elgin west of Elgin.  

Stony Point Lookout
is a high point along Road 11 with views for miles in every direction.

Robber's Cave was used as a hideout by two men who robbed a bank in Sedan in the late 1800's.  A complete counterfeiter's set was found in the cave in 1899 and appeared to have been there for many years.  The opening is only about three feet high, but the cave opens into a large room.  The cave is located northwest of Elgin on Road 11  above the the old railbed.

Hell's Bend in the curves outlined by the Caney River near Hewins, was the scene of many dastardly deeds.

Rock Church located on Cowboy Road in the town of Chautauqua, was built in 1886 and 1887 of stone from a quarry northwest of the town .  It was known as the "Chapel of theTrails". 

Moonshine Cave  

Red Buffalo Ranch  is 9000 acres of tall grass prairie lands.  It is privately owned, but each summer the ranch host chuckwagon races.  Day tours and dinners tours are available by reservation. (Also see Butcher's Falls )

Butcher's Falls was named for Preston Butcher, who acquired the property in 1889.  It is found on Pool Creek , west of where it flows into the Caney River. It is privately owned and a part of the Red Buffalo Ranch.  There is a visitors's center, and four miles of nature trails.  A massive rock sculpture, Prairiehenge, by artist Stan Herd is also at this location.

Landon Sign was laid out of stone by Cal Floyd.  Mr. Floyd was showing his support for his friend Alf Landon, who was running for President  in 1936.  The letters are three feet wide and thirty-five feet high and is visible fron Highway 99 on the side of the hill between the Sedan City Lakes.

Union Chapel Church was built in 1906 on donated land. Work was begun on the church by men of the community with $900.00 in pledges and every dollar pledged was actually given.  The church was completed within a few dollars of the original estimate.  There was no charge to buried in the cemetery and community men would dig the graves. 

Quivira Scout Ranch is the second largest Scout ranch in the world.  It covers 3,146 acres and includes the largest watershed lake in the county.  The facilities are used all during the year and over 175,000 scouts have used this campground.

Grafton Bridge

Loyd Foster Home originally built in the 1889's and was single story flour mill with the wheel run by a natural waterfall.  In the early 1900's it served as the Grafton Post Office.  Around 1930, Loyd and Alice Foster purchased the property. Loyd Foster by himself built on a second story of limestone and added roof tiles from the Peru Tile Company.  The small round house out back  originally held a large water tank, which serviced the house with river water.

Three Barns is a two-story structure known as the Casement barn.  When it was built in 1911, it was the most modern and impressive barn in the area.  The 54 by 94 foot barn has been totally restored by Don Armstrong.  A meeting room and modern kitchen have also been added to the structure.  Several events are held each year at Three Barns.

Sedan Opera House
, was built in 1885 and is listed on the Kansas Register of Historic Places.  It is a home to the Emmett Kelly Museum, commemorating the world famous clown, Weary Willie, who was born in Sedan in 1898.

Sedan Floral started in 1948, is the largest grower of bedding plants in the area.  They have eight acres of covered greenhouses  in Sedan. They have their own electrical generators and water supply.

Main Street Sedan features historic turn of the  20th century buildings, which house a unique variety of shops and dining establishments. 

High Rock School  was a one-room stone school house  with 36 pupils in 1879.  A new stone school was completed in 1942 at a cost of $2500.00 Located in Sedan.

Hollow Park was built by volunteers out of a former dump site. It is a creekside park with board walkways, flower gardens and an ampitheater.  The restored historic St. Charles Schoolhouse is also located in Hollow Park. Located in Sedan just north of  the main street. 

Yellow Brick Road is located in downtown Sedan with over 10,700 yellow bricks respresenting people from every state and 28 foreign countries.  

Harper Creek School has been vacant many years but the stone building still stand and is a landmark in this community. Located on Lariat road north of Monett.

Lone Cherry Southern Baptist Church began with the purchase of the Lone Cherry schoolhouse,  which was orginally built in 1871.  The school closed in 1946 and was used as a hay shed until it was purchased by the Hillsdale Mission in 1954 and became a Southern Baptist Church in 1955.

Kirkpatrick Lake

Shotgun Ridge

Brick Plant Ruins located at the east edge of the town of Peru, claimed to be one of the largest brick andtile plants in Kansas at the the turn of the 20th century.  The remains of the plant are on private property but can be seen from Highway 166.

Stone Church, United Methodist Church, cornerstone was set on on May 15, 1895 in the town of Niotaze.  The church Bible was copyrighted on July 1, 1886 and has been in the church since it was first organized.  The church was turned into a museum in 2002 as a branch of the Chautauqua County Historical Society.

Chautauqua Springs.   The Springs were once well known for its mineral water and fresh springs.  There was a springhouse and a large hotel to accomodate the people who came for the mineral baths. The hotel guestbook shows signatures of Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.  The spring is still there in a lovely park setting on Cowboy Road just east of Chautauqua.

Jonesburg Church lies in the Jonesburg Valley or community.  The church has been a landmark since 1882.  Sunday School and other services are still held here as well as a Memorial Day reunion. 


Towns of Chautauqua County

Belknap is a community centered around the church/community building.  Many of the families have live in the area for several generations.  When more than one pair of hands is needed with farm and ranch work, they still help each other.

Cascade community was first settled in 1860.  There was an Indian Trading Post with a stage coach stop.  Cascade was also a stopping point for soldiers enroute to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Cedar Vale  was established in the 1870's and today is a small thriving community with an approximate population of 700.  It was referred to as "The Gem City of the Sunflower State... Cedar Vale is the most enterprising Little City on Earth.." in the book 'Dawn of the Twentieth Century 1901'.  Today it is a town with many businesses, beautiful old homes, churches and downtown buildings.  Located just off of Highway 166 in western part of the county,  Cedar Vale has a school with grades from Pre-K through high school, lovely parks, swimming pool, hospital and many more amenities.  It is a farming,and ranching community, but also is home to many other businesses which are important parts of the the local economy.  It is home to the Cedar Vale Museum, an outstanding  museum housed in the historic old Adams Mercantile building where you will find many artifacts, pictures, history of the town and area.  Cedar Vale hosts several events throughout the year, including Spring Fling with Barbeque Cook-Off, Rodeo, Entertainment, Craft Booths, and Car Show,  Memorial Day Weekend  with Rodeo and  Alumni Reunions, Labor Day Celebration and Rodeo, and Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration. 

Chautauqua is on Hwy 99 near the southern border of the county.  It is the home to Chautauqua Springs where many in the past traveled to bathe and drink the mineral water.  To accommodate the guests there was a springhouse and the Eagle Hotel.  In 1882, the springs were flowing at 180 gallons per hour.  At one time a bottling works was built at the at the spring that bottled and shipped the water. During the railroad "boom" Chautauqua also had a dance hall, trading post, a stock shipping station, lumber company, gas and oil wells and five saloons.  At the present time it is a quiet community, and home to many families. 

Cloverdale is identified by a basement schoolhouse and one house nearby. It is east of Cedar Vale and north of Highway 166.  Cloverdale cemetery is located one mile east of Cloverdale and the Shaff cemetery is about one mile southwest of the old town.

Elgin, the oldest town in the county, was noted as the largest cattle shipping point in the world in the late 1800's.  6,500 railroad cars of cattle were shipped out of Elgin in 1902.  During the oil boom days the streets were paved with brick and city water was installed.  The Methodist Church in Elgin was built in 1922."A Town Too Tough To Die" nearly drowned in a flood on October 3, 1986, when the water crested at 26.7 feet above flood stage.

Hale is a community in the northeast part of the county.  The community building called "The School House" was lost years ago when it was struck by lightening and burned.  The community spirit is still here though, as they hold a reunion each year at the Don Beason Farm.

Hewins  once a thriving place, began in 1886, when the Santa Fe railroad put in a station to accomodate Ed Hewins, who was at that time one of the largest cattle raisers and shippers in the world.   Residents of the community go to nearby towns for goods and services.  

Monett  is home the Mt. Vernon, a one room schoolhouse built in 1879 and still has its original wood blackboards. Monett has only a few builings remaining,  one of which is a store building that  was originally built in 1879 and rebuilt in 1920.  

Niotaze has a population of approximately 85 people and is the only town in the United States with this name.   In 1886 there was a cotton gin here which operated for about five years.  

Peru claimed one of the largest brick and tile plants in Kansas at the turn of the 20th century.  During the oil boom in 1904 there were over 115 oil rigs running in the city limits.  The Brick Plant on 8 acres at the east edge of town operated from about 1904 to the 1930's and once employed at least 125 men.  In 1905 the population was about 1500.  Now Peru is a quiet community, with a population of about 280.  

Sedan is the county seat of Chautauqua County and is located on business 166 and K-99.  Sedan was established in 1876 and legend says Sedan was named for Sedan, France.  In the 1880's a building boom resulted in the construction of many brick, sandstone, and limestone buildings downtown.  Farming, ranching and petroleum make up parts of the local economy.  In recent years tourism has become more significant.  Sedan has a small airport, parks, swimming pool, fairgrounds, schools, hospital, many businesses, art galleries, and a beautiful well-maintained  golf course.  Some of the events Sedan has during the year are the Yellow Brick Road Festival held Memorial Weekend, Chautauqua Blues Festival, Chuckwagon Races, Chautauqua County Fair and Rodeo, Fall Festival, Christmas parade and lighting displays.

Wauneta is identified by the United Methodist Church located on Highway 166 east of Cedar Vale.  This church was built in 1956 after a fire destroyed the old church.




Cedar Vale, Chautauqua County, Kansas
Cedar Vale, Chautauqua County, Kansas
Cedar Vale, Kansas
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Adams Mercantile

The picture above and the following four pictures are of the Cedar Vale Museum.The museum displays are housed in a sandstone building that was once home to the many departments of L.C. Adam Mercantile Company.  L.C. Adam's Mercantile celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1935. The store began in 1885 when Lewis Cass Adam bought the stock of Kenesson, Adam and Shaver in 1885.   In 1904 L.C. Adam and Company traded J. B. Whartenby an interest in their building for his property located on the corner of Cedar St and Lawrence St. and absorbed the Lewelen and Jones stock of hardware.  After incorporating, they built a 50 foot by 140 foot two story stone and brick building.  They stocked it with dry goods, shoes, clothing and and furniture. 1800 people attended the community party at the time of the store's opening in 1904. They usually employed about twenty-five salespeople, clerks, book-keepers, cashier, livestock and grain buyers. In addition to the mercantile business, the company dealt largely in the purchase of live stock and grain, and had their own elevator at the Missouri Pacific railroad yards.   By 1935, the company was engaged in other local variations of their slogan"Buy and Sell Everything," and had acquired several additional buildings.  L.C. Adam Mercantile Company served Cedar Vale and the surrounding area for 68 years.  They closed their doors August 19, 1953 according to an issue of the local newspaper at the time, The Cedar Vale Messenger.

Link to more information on Adams Mercantile: National Historic Register www.kshs.org/resource/national_register/nominationsNRDB/Chautauqua_AdamLCMercantileNR.pdf

 
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Cedar Vale Museum is located in the Adams Mercantile Building.
Cedar Vale Museum is located in the Adams Mercantile Building.
Cedar Vale Museum
Houses a collection of miniature replicas of old buildings, early homes, churches, stores, and other buildings, as well as many other historical items which made up the frontier town of Cedar Vale.
Open year round:
Call for an appointment to visit the museum
620 758-2590
618 Cedar
Cedar Vale, KS 67024
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Hewins Park and Pavilion was built in 1918.  Other historic  parks include Frontier Park and Slocum Park with a bandstand, was used for many outdoor concerts in the early 1900's.

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Hewins Parke Entrance, Cedar Vale, Kansas
One of the many historic buildings in Cedar Vale, Kansas.
One of the many historic buildings in Cedar Vale, Kansas.

Wee Kirk Church, located south of Cedar Vale, Ks.
Wee Kirk Church, located south of Cedar Vale, Ks.
The Wee Kirk of the Valley
By SB Mar. 3, 2012
We have many times in the past been fortunate to have been able to enjoy the picturesque serene countryside setting of The Wee Kirk of the Valley. Wee Kirk of the Valley was built by Lotus M. Day on his 80 acre farm 6 1/2 miles south of Cedar Vale, Kansas. This tiny chapel is on private land owned by the grandson of the Lotus M. Day and is currently not accessible to the public.
 
The church is known as Wee Kirk is a Scottish word meaning little church and was opened to the public in 1964. Construction of the 8 by 14 foot chapel and was done in a year by Mr. Day.
 
After Lotus Day suffered a heart attack, he decided to retire from Day Monument Company in Arkansas City, Kansas but retained a partnership, to fulfill a long held dream to build a tiny stone church that seats 12 to represent seating for the 12 apostles.
A huge cross on "Mt. Baldy" is visible in the distance from the chapel.
 
As you near the chapel to the right of it you will see a gazebo/pillared shelter with a bench that overlooks a pond and the area known as Lookout Valley.
 
To enter, there is a gate that keeps the cattle out of the Wee Kirk yard. Across the top is written, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Psalm 122." Then a country turnstile to go through to reach the chapel. Steps on the turnstile bear the engraved message "welcome," the other side "the Lord's House is Your House." Above the stile an archway gives the chapel name, "The Wee Kirk of the Valley."
 
The steeple of the chapel was made of copper. Inside the tiny sanctuary, the walls are of concrete, painted and marked to resemble stone. Mr Day's used craftsmanship skills and abilities he had acquired during of a man 40 years working with masonry, marble and stone made memorials for others in his monument company. The floor is concrete covered with tile. Most of the sand blasting and chisel carving that in the course of the construction were done by Mr Day.
 
When you open the door of the church it automatically plays the hymn, "Bless This House"
In the front center of the church is a basket of Kansas flowers.
 
Narrow windows are on each side of the structure. As the sunlight streams through the cross designed stained glass windows that adorn the chapel it lights up the pulpit, guest registry, both made of redwood, and the stone carvings by Mr. Day of the Last Supper and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. When the door is shut, indirect lighting also illuminates the carvings.
 
The 6 ft. Statue of Christ that visitors see as you approach the chapel setting was designed by Mr. Day. One source indicated that the statue was sculpted in Italy. The statue was erected by Mr and Mrs. Lotus M Day and is made of white Carrara marble; and the base is granite. Jesus stands barefoot wearing a belted, caped robe, with his arms outstretched, hands open and palms up. The integral base on which he stands is cut to be a half-globe on top and a hexagonal slab at the bottom. The sculpture is mounted upon a square base with inscriptions on all four sides
On the Front of the base: "Come Unto Me, All Ye that Labor And Heavy Laden And I Will Give You Rest; Matthew 11:28.
On one side of base: "If Ye Love me, Keep My Commandments." John 14:15
On the other side of base: "Lo, I Am With You Always Even Unto the End of the World; Matthew 28:30
On rear of base: Erected/1970-71/Mr. & Mrs. Lotus M. Day
 
"My heritage from the ages gone was the privilege of enshrining sacred memories in the temple of memorial art; the privilege of creating the book of history in stone; the privilege of enriching the heritage of future generations: this is my calling, this was my mission to serve." ....Lotus M. Day
 
Thousands of people from all parts of the world have visited The Wee Kirk of the Valley.
Unfortunately, now you will see a sign that says "Closed due to Vandalism. Sorry- stay out" . Although the chapel is not open to the public, you can see it from the road. We don't know if you can call and get permission to visit the Wee Kirk.
 
http://www.usgwarchives.org/ks/chautauqua/postcards/wekirk.jpg
Postcard circa 1960's The Wee Kirk of the Valley
 
Sources:
Note:
Artist; Lotus M. Day, designer. Day Monument Company, fabricator
 Lawrence Daily Journal World Dec. 1964
 Author's personal observations



Slocum Park & Bandstand Cedar Vale, Ks.
Slocum Park & Bandstand Cedar Vale, Ks.

Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek

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The Old Caney River Iron Bridge was built in the late 1890's and the dam was built in 1913 during the drought. They both are located just 1/2 mile east and 1/2 mile north of Cedar Vale off of the old hwy166 on your way to the double arched rainbow bridge pictured above and below.
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Double Arch Rainbow Bridge East of Cedar Vale on Old Hwy 160.
Cedar Vale,KS. East on old hwy Double Arched Rainbow Bridge.Ice Storm 2002
Cedar Vale,KS. East on old hwy Double Arched Rainbow Bridge.Ice Storm 2002

Scenic pond. You will find this scene many times throughout the area surrounding Cedar Vale, and Chautauqua County, Kans
Scenic pond. You will find this scene many times throughout the area surrounding Cedar Vale, and Chautauqua County, Kansas
Scenic ponds such as this one are found in abundance throughout the county and along with the Caney River, Little Caney, Spring Creek and Cedar Creek flowing through the county, fishing is a favorite pastime.
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Similar views of Lookout Mtn. can be seen looking west throughout the town of Cedar Vale. In the past it was a lookout point for the Indians along the Black Dog Trail. It is the highest point in Chautauqua County, located southwest of Cedar Vale, Ks near Road 1 and Frontier Road.


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Scenic view in valley nestled in the Chautauqua Hills.
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The Old Caney River Iron Bridge was built in the late 1890's and the dam was built in 1913 during the drought. They both are located just 1/2 mile east and 1/2 mile north of Cedar Vale off of the old hwy166.
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Throughout Chautauqua County are scenic vistas such as this one. For the outdoor enthusiast and sportsman, there if fishing and hunting. You'll find an abundance of wildlife, with turkey, quail and deer wchih are often seen in the countryside. A drive through the Chautauqua Hills is an enjoyable way to relax and see the beautiful breathtaking views that you will see throughout the area.



Ozro Falls
Ozro Falls
Ozro Falls is located near Hewins, Ks and was a campground for the Indians as they traveled the Blackdog Trail. At the turn of the century is was a favorite picnic ground for many of the area locals.
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Elgin, the oldest town in the county, was noted as the largest cattle shipping point in the world in the late 1800's. Just west of Elgin is Robber's Cave and and old stone railroad trestle pictured above.

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