I spent last weekend doing something that I have never done before. I went to Stafford Kansas to the Henderson House Bed and Breakfast, as a guest of a group from Kansas City, for a murder mystery party. It was different and fun. The group of friends that organized the event are from the Kansas City region. I was the only man in the group of eight women so it was not like getting together with the guys. It was great to do something totally different.
I journeyed to Stafford and had a great hamburger at the Curtis Cafe. The Cafe is famous for it's decor, walls covered by jigsaw puzzles. There were newspaper articles about the original owner and her passion for puzzles.
I have always liked Stafford. There is a very real sense of history here and the efforts to remember the past continue to grow. There are some great old homes in this town that have been restored and many more that need a loving owner to fix up. One huge house caught my eye because of not only it's size but the unusual features that we call 'Ginger Bread'. The other reason is it is literally starting to rot away. It needs a person with vision and deep pockets. I later found out that it was originally a hospital and the family living there just cannot afford to do all the work.
The Henderson House B&B is a collection of big Victorian homes that have been restored and attract visitors from all over the country. Clare Moore and His wife Nancy have gone the extra mile to create a special place to enjoy small town Kansas.
There is a renovated movie theater downtown in Stafford and a great place called the SEED Center. The SEED Center is a part of the Stafford School system whic is a Entrepenuer center for it's students. Students write a business plan and have to seel the concept to the teacher, school board, and their parents. If approved the school district buys the needed equipment and materials and provides the space. The rest is up to the motivation of the students. The variety and sophistication of businesses leaves you thinking that these have to be older than high school students. So far there has been 100% of the students go on to higher education.
We toured two of the several buildings of the Stafford County Museum. The amount of information contained in this museum would rival larger towns. The various buildings containing the museum are all historical.
There is also a bitter history of what Stafford could have been and how a small mind and bitter feelings prevented the town from growing into a larger city. This is a story for another time. Leave it said that one person with a small following can affect the long term prospects of any community. There are some towns following the same path while others are looking to the future and growing.
On the following day there was a tour of Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. The efforts to return the salt water marsh to it's original state are coming along well. A recent tornado inadvertantly helped remove a lot of invasive trees and the marsh needs only the return of the regular rains to return to it's full state.
The last thing was noontime Sunday Dinner at the Wheatland Cafe in Hudson. Fried chicken, Ham and homade ice cream. The cafe is opne only on sunday and the line was huge. Homade bread using Hudson Cream Flour was also served. Hudson is hometown to Stafford County Mills that produce the highest quality flour in the world. The cafe is in the shadow of the mill.
It was a great weekend and another chance to explore small town America.
To contact the Henderson House for a wonderful B&B stay call 800-888-1417. Look at their web site on the www.kbba.com website.