Category Archives: Uncategorized

Utility Pole Collapses

On Saturday afternoon, the utility pole in front of the library fell into National. Police said it was not hit by a car and the base had just rotted away. The street was blocked with police vehicles and cones while public works employees made sure the wires were not hot.

Art Walk brings together local artists

The Bourbon County Arts Council hosted a Downtown Art Walk Friday evening in downtown Fort Scott, drawing together local artists as well as shoppers and viewers interested in enjoying those items on display.

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A collection of photographers, painters, potters and other artists displayed a variety of items in numerous forms, giving Fort Scott residents an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the arts in their community.

Another Downtown Art Walk will be held July 15. Artists are encouraged to sign up for a booth at the event.

First Winery opens in Bourbon County

Fort Scott and Bourbon County welcomed the Vinedo del Alamo Winery Friday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony provided by the Chamber of Commerce, inviting other business owners and community leaders to see the new business.

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Located east on Poplar Road north of Fort Scott, the name of the winery is Spanish for poplar vineyard, a tribute to the business and vineyard’s location as well as the owners’ Texas heritage.

Bobby and Denise Duncan have been residents and active members of Fort Scott for several years, but also hold roots in Texas, where Denise grew up and Bobby also lived for a time. But, admitting that vineyards do not grow well in Texas, the Duncans said they looked into starting one in Fort Scott after they purchased land off Poplar.

“I like wine,” Bobby said of his reason for first considering this venture.

Initially, the couple planned to sell the fruit from their vineyard to other wineries and businesses, but none showed interest right away as their product volume is not high at the moment, though Bobby said they look forward to an increase as they move forward.

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But instead, the couple looked into opening their own winery, the first official one to open in the area.

“This is the first winery ever in Bourbon County,” chamber of commerce director Lindsay Madison said.

The business’ doors will be open Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. each week, although it is also open for Labor Day this week. The winery also has an outdoor, covered area with tables and opportunity for live music.

The Duncans requested that visitors sign a guestbook, hoping to get enough signatures to receive highway signage for the business.

Fort hosts Highlights in History event through Labor Day

The fort again welcomes visitors Monday for its annual Highlights in History event after scores of Fort Scott residents and visitors from out of town visited the national historic site Saturday and Sunday.

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Visitors could take part in guided tours, witness musket and artillery demonstrations and visit with participants dressed up as figures from history such as soldiers, officers, laundresses, cooks and physicians.

Those activities and others will be featured again on Monday, including special presentations from the viewpoint of a surviving soldier from the Marais des Cygnes Massacre and how the Bleeding Kansas events affected other areas of the community and its government.

Activities at the fort begin again at 10 a.m. Monday and will continue until 4 p.m.

New broadband provider comes to Fort Scott

For just over a month, New Wave Broadband of La Harpe has provided wireless internet services to the Fort Scott area.

“We had a lot of folks who had requested it,” said David Lee, a member of the company that has been run by his family for about 65 years.

First run by his grandfather, Lee’s father now runs the company that expanded from a telephone company with a switchboard in the early 1950s to an internet, cable and cell phone service provider as technology continued to develop. Their business was also one of the first to reach into rural areas of Kansas.

Since receiving an invitation from the city of Fort Scott to come to the area more than six months ago, Lee said they have placed broadband equipment on each of the three water towers in Fort Scott, located near the hospital, middle school and water treatment plant.

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Currently, New Wave Broadband can only provide services to those within line of sight of those three water towers. Lee said they plan to increase that reach by constructing a tower near the southwest side of the lake.

“We’re going to be building on what we have now,” Lee said.

So far, Lee said they have received very positive feedback from those in the Fort Scott area they are providing services for.

“The city of Fort Scott has been extremely pleasant to work with and very accommodating,” Lee said, saying the hospital has also worked with them. “Both organizations have really bent over backwards. They’ve been awesome.”

Chamber Coffee held at Conservation District

The Bourbon County Conservation District hosted the weekly Chamber Coffee Thursday morning, sharing about their own organization while other entities gave updates on upcoming programs and events.

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Board chairperson Kathy Valentine first asked if anyone in attendance knew what the conservation district does, and few did, although just this year the district celebrated its 70th year of existence.

“A lot of people think it’s just about farmers,” Valentine said. “It’s not about farmers, it’s about landowners…We care about water. We care about soil.”

The district sells grass and other seed as well as has different equipment on hand for rent. They also focus on training young members of the community through educational events such as a conservation day at Gunn Park, speech contests and other programs.

Other announcements given for the price of $1 towards Dolly the Trolley included:

  • Bumps and Bruises clinic will start Saturday, hosted by the Mercy orthopedic department and sports medicine. A sports massage clinic will also be provided for area athletes for $20 for a 15 minute session.
  • Next Thursday, the Fort Scott National Historic Site will start putting in the almost 7,000 flags for the Symbols of Sacrifice event starting on Sept. 11. Volunteers are welcomed to help with the flags as well as to read names of those killed in the line of duty during the event on Saturday.
  • This year, the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta will include an auction for machinery or other items on Friday, Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. Those wanting to sell items can participate as well as buyers.
  • The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes is participating in a seminar workshop for teachers concerning the Civil War and civil rights, in collaboration with the fort on Sept. 19. Two spots remain available.
  • The Meals on Wheels program for area senior citizens is in need of volunteers who can deliver meals. A route would take about 45 minutes in the mid-morning hours.
  • The Circles program continues to offer classes each Wednesday evening against poverty in Fort Scott. The program is also looking for volunteers who could serve as mentors with Circles leaders, donating one to four hours a month.
  • The Fort Scott Police Department and Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office will sponsor a drug take-back event Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., allowing members of the community to get rid of old prescription drugs and other medications.
  • In the spring, the Kansas State extension office will participate in a statewide barbecue university program, providing training sessions with meat specialists and others.
  • City Manager Dave Martin said the city is continuing to look for ways to provide better transportation system in Fort Scott. One area gentleman is interested in starting such a program but is looking for partners.
  • The Fort Scott Farmers’ Market continues on Saturday, featuring fresh peaches while pumpkin season approaches.
  • Mercy will be offering a flu vaccine drive-through on Sept. 19, from 8 a.m. until noon, for $25.
  • The Townwide Garage Sale will occur Sept. 11-12, with registrants welcome through Wednesday if they want their home to be featured on the map that will be distributed.
  • A naturalization ceremony will be held Sept. 25, at 10:30 a.m.

Fort to host Labor Day Weekend events

Fort Scott’s National Historic Site will provide opportunities for members of the community and visitors to learn about the fort’s history through guided tours, but also experience it as volunteers play the roles of soldiers and civilians from the 1840s and ‘50s.

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“What better way to learn the history of Fort Scott than to actually see people in period clothing?” park ranger Galen Ewing said. “It allows them to step back in time and use their imagination a little bit.”

The Highlights in History event held Saturday through Monday will display what life during that time period was like, through demonstrations concerning areas of life including medicine, laundry, baking, discipline and politics.

Flintlock musket and artillery demonstrations will also be given all three days. Ewing said that has been especially popular during the annual event and is a favorite of his as well.

“Everybody likes to hear the boom,” Ewing said.

The fort hosts similar events for Fourth of July and Memorial Day as well, using those holidays to share about the military function of the fort and its role in American history.

“It’s tied in to interpreting a little bit of the different military periods that the fort was occupied here,” Ewing said of those events held throughout the year, with the Labor Day event focusing on Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War.

Ewing said they have had a conservative estimate of 500-600 visitors participate over the weekend in the past, though weather plays a key role how many attend. This year, Ewing said he would like to see 1,000 come.

While each event has some similarities, Ewing said they are bringing back some special presentation that had not been offered in years, such as the Blood on the Prairie and Democracy Run Wild presentations on Monday.

Volunteers from the Holmes Brigade, a non-profit, living history organization which includes reenactors from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and other states, will participate in the weekend as well.

See the schedule below for details on the weekend events.

Saturday, September 5

10 a.m. – Sick Call: 1840s Medicine

11 a.m. – Flintlock Musket Demonstration

1 p.m. – Guided Tour

2 p.m. – Artillery Demonstration

3 p.m. – Crime and Punishment: Guardhouse Talk

4 p.m. – Flag Retreat


Sunday, September 6

11 a.m. – Flintlock Musket Demonstration

1 p.m. – Guided Tour

2 p.m. – Artillery Demonstration

3 p.m. – Post Sutler Talk

4 p.m. – Flag Retreat


Monday, September 7

10 a.m. – Blood on the Prairie

11 a.m. – Artillery Demonstration

1 p.m. – Guided Tour

2 p.m. – Artillery Demonstration

3 p.m. – Democracy Run Wild

4 p.m. – Flag Retreat