Lincoln County offers a number of great day-trips, or, stay longer.
For more than two decades each February Lincoln has been home to the Annual Lincoln Reenactment dedicated to memorializing the nation's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. Organized by Village Lines owner Marilyn Helmer and members of the Lincoln County Historical Society and the Lincoln Reenactment Committee, the Reenactment is highlighted by an Abraham Lincoln Look-a-Like Contest.
The century-old Lincoln County Courthouse is a perfect location for the morning program and Look-A-Like Contest Ceremony. This 110-year-old native limestone building is one of the most photographed buildings in Kansas.
For history buffs, Lincoln County offers many unique museums.
The Lincoln County Historical Society's Kyne House museum complex located at 216 W. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln has been richly endowed with artifacts dating from prehistoric times. From Civil War days to early newspapers and early 20th century beauty shops, the museum offers exhibits that bring history to life.
The Kyne House, standing on its original site at the historical society property, was built in 1855 by Timothy Kyne. Home to Timothy and his wife Bridget, the home is furnished entirely in period furnishings. It was one of the first limestone homes built in the county. The Kyne House is listed on the Kansas Registry of Historic Places.
The Topsy School, a county one-room school originally located south of Lincoln and west of Westfall, was moved to its present site, directly east of the Kyne House, and renovated by the historical society and its volunteers. A pot-bellied stove in the middle of the room, old desks, a teacher's desk, piano, dunce chair, lunch buckets, books, and maps bring to life the world of education in days gone by.
The Marshall-Yohe House, at 316 S. 2nd Street in Lincoln, was constructed in 1895 by Lincoln builder Henry Casserly. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the three-story Queen Anne Victorian house with a full basement, sits on a rusticated native limestone block foundation. The home includes lincrusta wainscoting in the main floor parlor, and eight foot stained glass stairway leading to the second foor, and original and period furnishings. The home was updated in the 1920s, adding many art deco details and indoor plumbing. The garden area occupies a lot and a half directly behind the house.
Originally the home of Abram Marshall, a prominent Lincoln banker, and his wife Belle, the house was purchased by Ben and Della Yohe in 1936. In 1987 the Yohe family bequeathed the house and its contents to the Lincoln County Historical Society, and the house is now open to tours by appointment.
The Yesterday House Museum is located on Main Street in Sylvan Grove, and is maintained by the Sylvan Grove Historical Society. Among the museum's many exhibits that display everyday life in rural Kansas is the region's largest collection of barbed wire.
Displaying collections that remind us of our forefathers, Yesterday House is a friendly walk through Post Rock country.
Crispin Antiquarian Foundation
The historic Cummins Block Building in downtown Lincoln is home to the Crispin Drug Store Museum and Post Rock Scout Museum. Lincoln residents Jack and Kathie Crispin are owners and curators.
The Cummins Block Building was built in 1881 of native limestone in the Italianate style, and was originally a bank and additional offices.
The Crispins spent 10 years renovating the second story of the building into what is now their home.
Post Rock Scout Museum
Opened in 2004, Lincoln resident Kathie Crispin, a life-long Girl Scout and leader, created the Girl Scout Museum with her own collection of scouting memorabilia. Located in a corner of the building that once housed a bank, the original bank vault is still intact in this comprehensive museum.
Dedicated to the preservation of historical artifacts of various scouting organizations, the museum offers exhibits devoted to Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Pioneer Girls, Campfire Girls, and other youth organizations. Girl Scout uniforms dating as far back as 1918 are on display.
The museum also offers scrapbooking sessions for scout groups. Tools are available at the museum and scrapbook supplies are available for purchase.
Other scouting related items and gifts are also sold within the museum.
Crispin's Drug Store Museum
Jack Crispin, a long-time pharmacist who owned and operated Crispin Pharmacy in Lincoln for many years, opened Crispin's Drug Store Museum in 2007 with his vast collection of pharmacy artifacts.
He recreated the museum in the style of an 1880-1920 drug store to capture the feel of a transitionary time for druggists, switching from preparing ingredients and products from seeds, barks, and roots, to buying the ingredients and products prepared by manufacturers. The museum displays both drug ingredients and manufactured drugs.
The Drug Store Museum is packed full of artifacts, floor to ceiling, and corner to corner. Jack's description of the displays and vast knowledge of the history of pharmaceuticals makes a visit to the museum a must.
Both museums are open by chance, or by appointment. For more information visit their websites at postrockscoutmuseum.com or crispinsdrugstoremuseum.com.
Lincoln Art Center
The Lincoln Art Center celebrated 20 years in Lincoln in January 2012. A non-profit entity, LAC offers first-rate exhibits throughout the year, highlighting the work of local and regional artists and artisans. An Art Walk opens each new collection at the center.
The Art Center, under the direction of artist and photographer Joyce Harlow, is the home of the Lincoln Public Art Collection. Beginning in 1986 with the purchase of an oil painting by Charles Rogers of Ellsworth, additional works are added to the collection each year.
Exhibits are free and open to the public and the center is one of the most well respected facilities of its type in all of Kansas and the Midwest.
The center hosts an open studio every Tuesday evening and fundraising events include the annual Casino Night and Benefit Auction, two of the community's most well attended events.
The center has also served as a meeting facility, most recently hosting the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce's Annual Banquet.
Like trim on a drapery, the towers and blades of two local wind farms trim the county's horizon, creating a majestic presence among the beauty of the Smoky Hills.
The Smoky Hills Wind Farm, located on the Ellsworth-Lincoln County line involves more than 12,000 acres, with expansion possibilities of up to 20,000 acres.
Phase I of the project went online in January of 2008, with Phase II going online at the end of that year. The project, owned and operated by Enel North America, produces 250 megawatts of renewable electrical energy.
Construction began in late 2011 of the Post Rock Wind Project, originally developed by Hilliard Energy and later purchased by the Wind Capital Group.
The completed project will consist of 134 wind turbines expected to generate 201 megawatt of energy. The project will spread across 23,000 acres.
Both projects are easily viewed by drivers passing by on Interstate 70, but drivers are encouraged to take extra caution if pulling off on the shoulder or off ramps to view the enormous structures.
Spillman Creek Double-Arch Bridge
A limestone double-arch bridge built in 1908 under the supervision of John Edward Beverly, is located nine miles north of Sylvan Grove on K-181 at the south fork of Spillman Creek.
Built of native limestone quarried in the hills southwest of the site, the arches, spanning 20 feet, are semicircles with the south arch being 20 feet in diameter and the north arch 24 feet in diameter. To support the rocks as they were being laid, temporary wooden arches were constructed, then removed when the key rock at the uppermost point of the arch was placed. At this point the arches were self-supporting.
Originally the bridge had stone banisters on both sides that were removed when it was necessary to widen the bridge. In 1946 the state made the road a highway and surfaced the bridge with asphalt. In 1993, the road was moved to the west of the bridge to remove sharp curves in the roadway and a new bridge was built.
The State Highway Department abandoned the bridge at that time and initially intended to demolish it, but thanks to the work of the Sylvan Grove Historical Society, a grant was secured to complete repairs to stabilize the bridge and the historical society was given the bridge and the 1.3 acres adjoining it.
Signs on Highway 18 to the east and west of the Sylvan Grove turn-off on 181 note the bridge's existence to the north.
Delmar Vonada and other volunteers were instrumental in securing the bridge's placement on the State Register of Historic Places in 2004.
The Finch Theatre
Thanks to thousands of dollars in donations and hundreds of volunteer hours, Lincoln is host to a beautiful, modern first-run movie theater in their community.
Built by volunteer labor with donated monies and materials, the Finch is located on Lincoln Avenue in a former hardware store. A non-profit corporation, the Finch is decorated in the style of the early 1900s, but equipped with state-of-the-art digital cinema with 3D capabilities. The facility shows first-run movies every weekend, and is used for many other events and productions as well.
The Finch community room, with a fully furnished kitchen, is available for rent for any occasion ranging from Lincoln Rec.-sponsored dance lessons to reunions, weddings, and birthday parties.
The theater's stage is home to the Finch Children's Theater for two weeks each July, culminating in a full blown musical production by area children who have completed grades three through eight.
The theater's biggest annual fundraiser, Studs in Stockings, is in April. Five to six area men compete in a comical beauty pageant including evening wear, sportswear, and talent.
Other productions, such as special music performances by professional musicians from the across the country, help keep area residents entertained in a variety of ways.
The Lincoln County Fair
The Lincoln County Fair has been held in Sylvan Grove for more than 100 years. The event is a showcase for 4-Hers across the county, and includes an open class for non-4-H exhibits. Beginning with a fashion review and ending with a demolition derby, the Lincoln County Fair keeps area residents busy for three full days.
Exhibits ranging from 4-H and open class fashion, lifestock, arts, sewing, photography, and foods; a Cow-Calf Classic, carnival rides, special evening entertainment, bingo, antique and youth tractor pulls, exhibits by area historical societies and antique farm implements, and of course, fair food, are among the attractions offered by the Lincoln County Fair.
Post Rock Festival
Second only to the county fair, the annual Post Rock Festival held in Lincoln attracts young and old alike from throughout the county.
Held the Saturday of Labor Day weekend each year, the festival is sponsored by area businesses and individuals, planned and staffed by volunteers, and offers a variety of events.
The Festival kicks off early with the Post Rock Classic Run/Walk, sponsored by the Lincoln Rec. A golf tournament at Lincoln Golf Course follows.
Other events include the parade, museum tours, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at "the slab", childrens' games and inflatables, a photo scavenger hunt, cardboard boat races, dinner in the park, fireworks and a "street" dance.
Home spun crafts, merchant exhibits, entertainment, and food vendors round out the day, busy from dawn to dusk.
Lincoln County Rod and Custom Car Show
On the second weekend of September each year, Lincoln plays host to car, truck, and motorcycle enthusiasts from across the state when the Lincoln County Rod and Custom Car Club sponsors their annual car show.
From totally restored beauties to tricked out hot rods to new and old trucks and motorcycles, this show is a must for anyone who loves speed and has a passion for detail.
Set in Lincoln's City Park, the event includes old time rock and roll, a barbecue under the trees, and many prizes. This event is a must-do every September.
Sylvan Community Day
The City of Sylvan Grove stages their annual Community Day the first weekend of June each year in Sylvan's City Park.
Reminiscent of days gone by, the day begins with a church service in the park, includes a pot luck lunch, horseshoe tournament, volleyball, 2-on-2 basketball tournament, frog and turtle races, and a pickle eating contest, and ends with a watermelon and hot dog feed.
People from throughout the county are drawn to the event, enjoying old fashioned fun in the sun.