Category Archives: Bourbon County

The Future Of Bridal Veil Park Is Weighed

The view from Second Street looking northwest into Bridal Veil Park.

Fort Scott City Manager Dave Martin is seeking input from the community on what to do with Bridal Veil Park.

The park is located just west of the Marmaton River on Second Street on the west side of town.

It is a low-lying area encompassed by an attractive, low rock fence on the south.

History of the park

Three concrete picnic tables, a pavilion, and numerous large tree stumps, with a meandering dirt road, are all that’s left of an area that was at first two community swimming pools, one for girls, one for boys.

“It began as Napp’s Park in the 1880s,” Fred Campbell, a local historian said. “It had a large artesian water well in the southeast corner of the park, 40 yards from the entrance. It flowed mineral water. As the water shot up about 20-30 feet from the spring, it looked like a bridal veil.”

Three concrete picnic tables that have survived since the 1930s at Bridal Veil Park.

In 1936, the Works Progress Administration of the federal government built a new community swimming pool at the current site on Main Street, said Don Miller, a local Fort Scott historian.

“At that point, the (Bridal Veil Park) swimming pools were turned over to the African-American community,”  Miller said. “Segregation was the law until 1954.”

After desegregation became law the swimming pools were filled in, Miller said.

In 1986, a flood swept away the brick shelter house at the site, he said.

The current pavilion at Bridal Veil Park. The original brick one was destroyed during the flood of 1986.

“After that, it was used for a hang-out place,” Miller said. “There was a lot of illegal activities going on.”

Keep or sell the property?

Fast forward to 2017.

Martin said there is still “suspicious activity” for the Fort Scott Police Department to investigate at that location and it floods easily because of its location near the Marmaton River.

The cost of maintaining the park is approximately $5,000 to $10,000 a year, Martin said.

“Taking care of that park, is it a vision for the future of our city?,” Martin asked in an interview with

“There is a vision to have a hookup between Gunn Park and Riverfront Park in the long-term,” Martin said. “We will try to keep an easement for that,” Martin said.

The vegetation overgrowth prevents a view of the Marmaton River, on the east edge of Bridal Veil Park.

Input requested by November 21

“I’m wanting input from the community between now and November 21,” Martin said. “I talked to people who feel it would not be a good idea to sell the land.”

At the November 21 city commission meeting,  a decision will likely be made, he said.

Emails can be sent to or call Martin on his cell phone at 620-644-2498.

“I think it will be good for the city to sell the property,” Miller said. “But save the picnic tables. Those were built by the WPA, they have historical value.”



3rd Saturday Downtown Marketplace Tomorrow

North Main Street in downtown Fort Scott Thursday afternoon. October 21 is the 3rd Saturday Downtown Market Place when this street will be lined with vendors.

Last month a collaboration of Fort Scott Farmer’s Market, Chamber of Commerce, city personnel and downtown merchants led to the first ever 3rd Saturday Fort Scott Marketplace.

The September event went well, according to Lindsay Madison, executive director of the chamber.

Tomorrow the North Main section of the downtown area will once again be cordoned off for vendors. This will be the last marketplace this year.

“This is the second one,” Madison said. “The plan is to set it up for May to October next year. Which is when Fort Scott Farmer’s Market is open.”

Fresh produce vendors, downtown merchants, and other organizations will take advantage of the warm weather to sell their wares from 8 a.m. to noon.

Papa Don’s Pizza, 10 N. Main will take its turn doing “Breakfast on the Bricks,” which is the breakfast offering each farmer’s market day.  On the menu are breakfast pizza, cinnamon rolls, coffee, and juice.

Breakfast on the Bricks gets its name from the brick Main Street in Fort Scott.

Downtown merchants The Iron Star and J & W Sportshop will be open early for the event.

A free spinal screening will be offered by Hartman Spine and Joint.

Other vendors will be Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries, and Gold Canyon Decor, to name a few.

Continuing from last month, city golf carts will be available to transport people or purchases to their cars, say, for instance, produce vendor Ronnie Brown’s pumpkins.

One of the goals of the chamber is to boost the benefit of the downtown stores and farmer’s market, Madison said.

October 28 will be the last Fort Scott Farmer’s Market for 2017.




Fall Fun At Fort Wise

Fort Wise Pumpkin Patch will be a hub of activity, this weekend.

Two races and a Fort Scott organization’s social gathering are on the agenda.

The seasonal business has been in operation since 2015 and is owned by Chad and Melissa Wise.

Since the couple opened Fort Wise Pumpkin Company, they have geared up for each weekend in October when they open their property to the public for family fall activities.

Activities such as pumpkin chunking, a corn maze, a corn pit, an obstacle course, a slide, and a hayride on an army truck are available at this fort. Food, pumpkins and Stewart’s Mums can be purchased as well. The large mums are $10 until sold out.

The entry fee to Fort Wise is $5 person, with kids under two-years-old, free.

Fort Wise is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sundays in October.

Patriotic 5K/1 mile fun run

This weekend, there will be a 5k/1 mile competition to benefit Wreaths Across America,  a non-profit organization that puts live wreaths on the graves of military veterans in December each year, to honor those who served in the military.

This is of interest to the couple because Chad Wise just retired from military service in May 2017.

The local group of this organization is hosting a Wreath Ride Patriot Pumpkin 5K/1 Mile Fun Run at Fort Wise for Saturday, October 21. Registration is at 8 a.m. Costumes are requested. The 5K run starts at 9 a.m. with the one-mile fun run starting at 10 a.m. Prizes will be awarded at 10:30 a.m. Preregistration for the event is $20 for the fun run and $30 for the 5K. The day of the race, each race registration fee will increase $5.

The runners/walkers will be traversing the 40 acres of the Wise property, which has some hills.

December 16 is the National Wreaths Across America Day, with Fort Scott National Cemetary as the local site for the ceremony to honor military service men and women.

For more information: 620-224-8933, 620-215-2174 or

Young Professional Social

In addition, Fort Wise is hosting a Young Professional League Social  Sunday.

“This is for YPL members and their families,” Melissa Wise said.

From 4-5 p.m. the families will enjoy the activities at Fort Wise. From 5-6 p.m., after Fort Wise closes to the public, there will be a safety briefing on firearms, then a competition on shooting targets.

During both Saturday and Sunday activities at Fort Wise, it is open to the public from 11 a. m. to 5 p.m.

The gate to Fort Wise Pumpkin Company, six miles west of Fort Scott on Maple Road.

Gunn Park To Expand

Fort Scott Parks and Buildings Supervisor Todd Farrell works to subdue the overgrown vegetation on the newly purchased seven-acre property at the entrance to Gunn Park.

Fort Scottian Frank Halsey is a trailblazer.

He has worked in the last decade to mark and prepare trails through Gunn Park so he can mountain bike.

His passion for this sport has led to over eight miles of bike trails for public use.

He has spearheaded construction of trails that meander around the edge of the park and most recently helped the City of Fort Scott purchase more land for public use trails.

The acreage addition to the park began about two years ago when Halsey noticed a “for sale” sign near the entrance to the park.

“I inquired about the property about one-and-a-half years ago,” Halsey said. “Over the last two years, the price has become doable.”

Halsey learned of  Timken Industries grants to communities. The business has a plant in Fort Scott’s industrial park.

“Where they have plants, they have grants to help the community,” he said.

“Gunn Park Trails was able to acquire the grant to help pay for the land,” Halsey said. “We were able to get awarded $10,000 to buy property.”

The City of Fort Scott got on board.

At a recent Fort Scott Commission meeting, the city agreed to allocate $10,000, which along with the grant of $10,000 allowed the purchase of the seven-acres from the owner, Jerry Jackman, Iola.

“The corner lot (of the property) is an ideal location for pump tracks,” Halsey said. “Pump tracks are like a skate park for bikes.”

The six acres behind the corner lot is ideal for more trails, he said.

Halsey will begin work soon.

“Winter is a good time to build trails,” he said. “There is not so much vegetation. We hope to have it completed by the spring of 2018.”

For more information see the website www.gunnparktrails.com

Fort Scott Parks and Building Supervisor Todd Farrell mows the newly acquired acreage Monday.

KState Extension: Why Do I Have Branches All Over My Yard?

You may have asked yourself this exact question recently. After closer inspection of the branches, your next question is probably what in the world caused this buzz saw look to every one of them? It’s the handy work of twig girdlers – a longhorned beetle (Oncideres cingulate).

The adults have a grayish-brown body that is stout and cylindrical. One has but to look at the head of the twig girdler to realize that it is well-equipped for the girdling task. The head is compressed from front to back, and somewhat elongate from top to bottom. This makes it just right for allowing it to fit into the V-shaped girdle it creates.

Twig girdlers have a wide host range including hickory, pecan, oak, maple, hackberry and elm. While hackberry is listed as “high” on the lists of hosts, in Kansas, most reports of littered lawns occurs beneath elms.

So why do they girdle branches? The beetle has a one year life cycle. Late in the growing season, the female deposits eggs in small scars it has chewed through the bark and then chews a continuous notch around the twig girdling it. The notch is cut below the site of egg deposition apparently because the larva is unable to complete development in the presence of large amounts of sap. The larvae of twig girdlers require a “drier wood” for their growth and development.

Girdled twigs die and fall to the ground where the eggs hatch. Girdled twigs look like a beaver has worked on it only in miniature. The outside of the twig is smoothly cut but the center of the twig has a broken appearance. The larvae begin feeding on dead wood inside the twigs the following spring and continue through most of the summer. Pupation takes place inside the feeding cavity. Development is completed during August when the adult emerges to repeat the cycle.

The good news is twig girdlers cause minimal damage the tree – just annoying work for us picking up cut branches! Chemical control is impractical because the adult emergence is lengthy, spanning from August into October. The best control option is to gather up fallen twigs and dispose of them in the fall or spring. This will destroy the larvae inside the twigs. Natural mortality is generally high due to excessive drying of fallen twigs or too many larvae per twig. However, this does not mean that twig girdlers won’t be a problem the following year.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District.

She may be reached at or 620-244- 3826.

City/School 2017 Election Forum Oct. 26

Fort Scott Livestock Market is where the candidate forum will be located Oct. 26.

New council and board members are a possibility in the towns and schools in Bourbon County.

A candidate forum for the November 7 election is slated from 6-8 p.m., October 26, at Fort Scott Livestock Market, 2131 Maple Road. This forum is to let voters learn about the people who are running in the election for town and school positions.

The names of the candidates and the position for which they are candidates are as follows:

USD #234 School Board Positions: Geoff Southwell and David Stewart will vie for position four; Gary Billionis is unchallenged for position five; Jamie Armstrong is unchallenged for position six.

USD #235 School Board Positions: Brian Stewart for position four, Mike Mason for position five, and Tyler Martin for position six are all unchallenged.

Fort Scott Community College Board of Trustees: John Bartlesmeyer, Elizabeth Meyer, Tina Rockhold and Kevin Wagner are on the ballot. The three persons receiving the highest number of votes will be elected.

For the City Commission of Fort Scott, the two candidates receiving the most votes will receive a four-year term. The candidate receiving the third greatest number of votes will receive a two-year term. Those competing for the position are Cheryl  Adamson,  Carol MacArthur, JoLynne Mitchell, and Robert Nichols.

In the City of Bronson, the mayor and the two candidates for council that receives the most votes will receive a four-year term, the next three candidates for council that receives the most votes will receive a two-year term. Those running are Clearsia Botts, Geraldine Reeder, Charlotte Stewart, Kathaleen Stewart and Michael Stewart.

Alan Stewart and Lee Roy Whitcomb are running for mayor of Bronson.

For the mayor and council members of Fulton, Mapleton, and Uniontown, no candidates have filed for these positions.

When no candidates file for a position “it will be a write-in,” Bourbon County Clerk Kendall Mason said. “The most votes will win.”

In the City of Redfield, Clarence “Ed” Guss is running unopposed for mayor, while Michael Beerbower, Wilma Graham, Clarence “Ed” Guss, Kirby Martin, and Richard Smith have filed to run for council.

For the Southwind Extension District Board, Ethan Holly and Terri Williams have filed.

Local Author, Local Story

Recently, Joyce Love has published a novella about life in the Fort Scott area at the turn of the last century.  But writing is nothing new to her.

In her years as the librarian at Eugene Ware Elementary School,  Love wrote skits and short stories for the library students, using puppets to act the stories out, she said.

She also wrote articles for the Fort Scott Tribune magazines “She” and “Ageless” and for her church denomination (Church of God) magazine, “The Gem.”

This summer, Love finished her first historical fiction novella, “A Kansas Sunset,” and will have a book signing from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at Fort Scott Public Library.

The book is the story of a 17-year-old girl, circa 1901, who comes from Chicago and stays in Fort Scott before heading to Pawnee Station, southwest of Fort Scott. Scenes for the story were taken from newspaper articles she found during her research in the Genealogical Society library in the basement of Memorial Hall.

Some photos in the book were loaned to her by local historian Don Miller.

The book cover is a photo of a Kansas sunset she took and features her granddaughter, Adriana Love, daughter of Jason and Kelly Love.

Love and her husband, Bob, live on a farm near the site of the fictional story.

Love is also the author of a children’s  book completed this year, “The Three Little Pigs, Retold by Joyce Love.” That book will be featured in a children’s story time at the Fort Scott Public Library in the future.

Publishing books

Many aspiring book writers wonder about publishing their work.

Love chose to publish her books through Create Space, owned by Amazon.

“They print on demand,” she said. “I had an editor who formatted the book and I submitted it through Create Space. It’s available on Amazon and Kindle.”