Cato Historic Stone School House

1153 N 200th St
Arcadia, KS 66711
(620) 232-6944
catoschool.com

The first schoolhouse in Crawford County was a log cabin built at the same location in 1867. Classes began in 1867 and continued through 1955. The Cato Historical Preservation Association maintains the schoolhouse as a historical attraction, with free admission, as a symbol of education.

The still standing one-room, vernacular stone, school building was constructed in 1869 with classes being held there until 1955. The Cato School is in the Historic Public Schools of Kansas multiple property submission as an example of the one-room country school property type dating from the early statehood period (1861-1880).

History
Founded in 1854, Cato is believed to be the first community built in the Southeast Kansas area, and it has the distinction of having the first grist mill in Crawford County, the first coal mining operation, the first school in the county, and the first County Fair. Cato was never a large town, reaching its peak population in 1910 with 112 residents.

An old, one-room, stone school house built in 1869 is on the National Register of Historic Places. The stone school house, the Cato Christian Church built in 1915, and a stone bridge that was once on the stage coach route, are all that remain of the community.

Cato Days
Each year the Cato Historical Preservation Association spends one weekend reminding residents and tourists of the pioneer days. The festival includes tours of the pioneer era community, live music, food, and re-enactments, occasionally “including a shoot-out between Missouri border roughians and Kansas lawmen”.

Carona Train Depot & Railroad Museum

6769 NW 20th
Scammon, KS 66773
(620) 396-8594
heartlandstrainclub.org

Carona Depot and Railroad Museum features a diverse collection railroad memorabilia including the actual depots from Carona and nearby Boston, Mo., numerous working rail cars, the Downes Collection, folk art collectors pieces, special events and train rides.

The Heart of the Heartlands Museum Complex is located in the former mining community of Carona, Kansas.

The complex includes the museum building; the restored Missouri Pacific Depot from Carona, Kansas; the restored Missouri Pacific Depot from Boston, Missouri; a collection of railroad locomotives and cars including the cosmetically restored KCS Steam Locomotive #1023; and, a railroad signal display.

The outdoor displays are open for viewing at any time.

The museum and depot buildings are open for visitors on the first and third full weekends (Saturday and Sunday) of June, July, and August, 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM, or by appointment.

Heartland members are dedicated to providing railroad histories, short excursion train rides and motorcar excursions during the year. We have established a museum in Carona, Kansas to preserve railroad memorabilia.

The group has restored three depots: a Santa Fe Depot in Cherryvale in 1991, a Missouri Pacific Depot in Carona in 1996 and a second Missouri Pacific Depot (The Boston Depot which is now also located on our grounds in Carona). The Cherryvale depot, built in 1910 is now operated by the SK&O Railroad. The freight room in the north end of the depot is the home of the Cherry Valley Model Railroad Club, which meets every Friday evening. The Carona depot, built in the 1940s, was used as a passenger depot until the early 1960s. At that time the depot was sold and moved 1/4 mile and used as a hay barn. The John Thompson family graciously gave the depot to the Heartlands organization. It has now been moved close to the track and restored with the help of many area volunteers and Heartland members. The Boston Depot was built in 1882 in a then thriving community of Boston Missouri. It was put out of service in 1932. Our group moved it to its current location on October 7, 2005.

Big Brutus Inc.

6509 NW 60th St
West Mineral, KS 66782-0025
(620) 827-6177
bigbrutus.org

World’s largest electric shovel honors the region’s mining heritage. New exhibit: Original 1920s shovel that inspired design. Admission charged. Hours vary.

Named to the National Register of Historical Places in January 2018, Big Brutus put the oooohs and aaahs in the backyard of the Heartlands. Miles before you reach this retired giant — you can see it on the horizon south of West Mineral, Kansas.

Standing beside it makes one aware of how fragile he or she is. The statistics give the hard cold picture — Bucyrus Erie model 1850B second largest electric shovel in the world 16 stories tall (160 feet) weight 11 million pounds boom 150 feet long dipper capacity 90 cu. yds (by heaping, 150 tons — enough to fill three railroad cars.) maximum speed .22 MPH cost $6.5 million (in 1962) There is more to Big Brutus than cold steel and long shadows falling across the Mined Land Wildlife Area.

Big Brutus is not just a symbol of the past, but an eternal tribute to the mining heritage of Southeast Kansas and to miners all across this nation who toiled to support their families. On July 13, 1985, Big Brutus was dedicated as “a Museum and Memorial Dedicated to the Rich Coal Mining History in Southeast Kansas.”

In September 1987 The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) designated Big Brutus a Regional Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, the 10th since 1971 to be so designated. On January 5, 2018, Big Brutus was named to the National Register of Historical Places.