We are finally in Kansas after another long driving day, about 300 miles. I am happy to report the weather was much better, but we do have a slide cover to replace after all the wind whipped it into pieces. Yikes! We are hoping to find a replacement when we arrive in Branson, Mo.
We will be exploring the area for a couple of days before moving on to Branson. It looks like there is a lot to do here. Wilson is only 7 miles from Lake Wilson, "The Clearest Lake in Kansas". It is also home of the Annual Czech Festival, and the Famous Midland Hotel featured in the movie "Paper Moon".
In 1865 a Butterfield stagecoach station was built a half mile south of the present site of Wilson. "Attica" and "Bosland" were early names for the town before the US Post Office decided it was "Wilson" in 1873. Large numbers of immigrants from Czechoslovakia in the 1870's came to work on the railroad and gave the area a unique culture. Francis Swehla was the first Bohemian homesteader in 1874 and was instrumental in bringing more Czech settlers here which eventually lead to the Charter naming Wilson the "Czech Capital of Kansas" in 1974, 100 years later. J.T. McKittrick was one of the first settlers who built hotels and business, and brought the Pennsylvania-Dutch to this area.
Check back later for more about this interesting city.