Weir City Park with historic city water tower

200 Forest Street
Weir, KS 66781
(620) 396-8214

Playground, pavilion, small stage. In the shadows of the Weir City Water Tower, which was built in 1896 of curved brick, three bricks in thickness using locally fired Weir brick. The 100′ curcular tower is topped with a 24′ steel storage holding tank. Believed to be completely original with no modifications inside or out.

Timmons Ballroom

707 N Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762
620-704-3388
facebook.com/HotelStilwellKS/

Built in 1890, the historic Timmons Ballroom sits inside the Hotel Stilwell. Features 2,500 square feet of meeting space with a capacity of 120 for dining or 180 for a meeting. The Timmons Ballroom has tables, chairs, serving accessories, catering kitchen and is ADA accessible.

St. Aloysius Church Historic Site

953 W, KS 47
Girard, KS 66743

Church built in 1881 was replaced by a larger building for use in 1907, but original building was kept. Larger building was struck by lightning, destroyed in 1982, and remains stand. Both buildings built in a Vernacular Gothic Revival. Cemetery is also on the property.

THE LEGEND OF GREENBUSH

According to legend, in 1869, Father Phillip Colleton, was caught at this site by a furious hail and thunder- storm. The frightened priest took refuge under his saddle and vowed that if his life was spared, he would build a church on this spot. The fervent promise resulted in the establishment of St. Aloysius, Greenbush. The first Catholic Church erected in Crawford County was a wooden frame structure completed in 1871. Located on the Historic “Mission Road”. The church was destroyed by a storm in 1877. Parishioners quarried limestone from Hickory Creek and completed the second church in 1881. The first resident pastor, Father F. M. Verdan, arrived in 1882 and served the church for fifty years. A larger church was needed and completed in 1907. The 1881 church was converted into a community building. The third church stood for 75 years as a landmark before it was struck by lightning and burned in 1982. The ruins remain. The 1881 church was renovated into a place of worship. Thus the second church became the fourth church on March 9, 1986 and served the people until it closed in 1993. Father Colleton’s promise will continue.

St. John's Episcopal Church (Girard History Museum)

300 S Summit St
Girard, KS 66743

facebook.com/FriendsofHistoricGirard

A community of people trying to preserve historic sites and educate people about the unique history of Girard. A hotbed for socialism during the mining era, Girard was the home to Julius Wayland and Emanuel-Haldeman-Julius’s “Appeal to Reason”l, then the largest socialist periodical in the country. Haldeman-Julius also created the Little Blue Books, small paperback books that made literature available to the masses at a cheap price – a venture that landed him on the FBI’s “enemies list”.

Saint Francis Hieronymo Catholic Church

208 Washington St
Saint Paul, KS 66771
(620) 449-2224
stfrancis-stambrose.org

Visible for miles and founded in 1847 as the Catholic Osage Mission to educate Osage children. Romanesque Revival building has five altars and numerous stained glass windows. The grounds include gardens, statues, stone bell tower, and walkway. The bell in the 1947 bell tower was brought to the mission in 1847 and is believed to be the first church bell used in Kansas.

PSU Veterans Memorial Amphitheater

1909 S Rouse Ave
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(620) 235-4762
psuvetmemorial.org

The PSU Veteran’s Memorial Amphitheater features a one-half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall, a 250-seat amphitheater and thousands of engraved pavers.

The permanent location of one of three Moving Wall structures, the Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial Amphitheater is located on the east end of the university’s campus. Since it was dedicated on Memorial Day in 2004, more than 100,000 visitors have walked through this tribute to all veterans.

The memorial was designed as a park setting to accommodate individual contemplation and provide a setting for educational programs, memorials, and other special events.

The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Three structures were created. Due to wear, one was retired and put on permanent display at the PSU Veterans Memorial Amphitheater.

The memorial also includes a reflecting pool with an eternal flame, patriotic bronze sculptures, and more than 1,000 engraved granite pavers paying tribute to veterans and veterans’ organizations.

Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium & Convention Center

503 N Pine St
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(620) 231-7827

Open since 1925, was designed during the excitement of the excavation of King Tutankhamun’s Tomb so is a rare example of Egyptian Revival Style architecture.

Old meets new in this historic 1925 theater with modern amenities. Check our website for upcoming theater productions, ballets, vendor events and art exhibits.

The Memorial Auditorium & Convention Center is truly a community center providing an attractive, state of the art venue for the performing arts as well as a pleasant place to have a private gathering, fundraisers, meetings, small conventions, wedding receptions and more.

Pittsburg Public Library

308 N Walnut St
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(620) 231-8110
pplonline.org

A rare Andrew Carnegie library without elaborate, ornate decorations, or his name – both were compromises with area miners angered with his involvement.

The Pittsburg Public Library first opened its doors on January 18, 1902, when the west wing of the city office building was used to house the small collection of books. The citizens quickly realized the value of such an institution, and the library’s popularity grew so quickly that by 1907 the Board of Trustees began looking for ways to secure funds for a larger building.

Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie was already well known for his philanthropy towards libraries across the country, and the Pittsburg library community approached him for much needed support. His donation of $40,000 angered the miners of the area and in order to appease them, the Board agreed to leave the Carnegie name off of the front of the proposed building.

The architectural firm of Patton and Miller of Chicago was hired to design the building with S.S. Geatches serving as contractor. The new building, completed in 1912, was one of the few Carnegie libraries built in Prairie Style architecture, another concession to the miners who did not want an elaborate, ornate facility. The building features an exterior of Carthage limestone and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The library operated for many years in the original Carnegie building, but it was eventually outgrown as well. A one-half cent sales tax was passed in 1994, and plans to build an addition and renovate the historic Carnegie building were put into place. The library underwent an extensive addition and renovation in 1996-98. The firm of Glenn Livingood Penzler (now GLPM Architects) of Lawrence, KS, designed the project, and the contractor was R.E. Smith Construction of Joplin, MO.

Characteristics and details of the original building have been incorporated into the addition, and the furnishings reflect the Arts and Crafts style made popular during the early 1900’s. Restoring the glory of the original building without disturbing its historical integrity earned the architectural firm of Glenn Livingood Penzler an award from the Kansas Preservation Alliance.

Miners Memorial

200 N Walnut St
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(620) 231-8310

A tribute to those who settled Crawford County. Includes a pavilion and the Miner Memorial, a larger-than-life bronze statute of a miner accompanied by granite monuments inscribed with the names of miners who worked in the Pittsburg-Weir coalfields.

The purpose of Miners’ Memorial is to honor the work and lives of the coal miners in the Weir-Pittsburg Coal Field. Construction of the Miners’ Memorial has been accomplished with local and regional funding.

The Memorial features a larger-than-life-size bronze statue of an era miner. There are nine black polished monuments flowing in an arc to the right of the statue. The first stone is an interpretive marker on the south side, and accompanied on the north side with the map of the Weir-Pittsburg Coal Field. The remaining eight monuments contain the names of miners who have been submitted by their families and friends. A star beside their name indicates that the miner died as a result of working in the mines.

Across the street from Immigrant Park.

Jefferson Highway Garage

408 N Locust St
Pittsburg, KS 66762

facebook.com/thelordsdinerofpittsburg/

Jefferson Highway linked Canada to New Orleans from 1915-1925. Built in 1915, this Jefferson Highway Garage once served automobiles traveling the highway and the structure maintains its original signage. The building continues to serve Pittsburg as a nonprofit kitchen, The Lord’s Diner.

Hotel Besse

121 E 4th St
Pittsburg, KS 66762

Seen from miles away, Pittsburg’s skyline has been defined by this 12 story Late Gothic Revival architectural ornament building since 1926.

Always surrounded by buildings that have averaged four stories, the construction of the Hotel Besse was funded without any outside assistance, and it opened on June 14, 1927, intending to “stand as a monument to the civic pride of Pittsburg”. According to the Pittsburg Sun in 1925, during its construction, “an individual, apparently attempting to measure into the sky the height of the new structure, said yesterday as he gazed skyward: ‘Gosh, a feller is liable to sunburn his tonsils trying’ to see the top o’ that place when they get it done.'”

In addition to the grand ballroom, private dining rooms, and hotel rooms, commercial tenants on the ground floor over the years included a coffee shop, cigar stand, beauty shop, a radio station, and various offices, including the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce.

The Besse Hotel closed to visitors in 1979, and was renamed the Besse Apartments in 1980. By 2006, few tenants remained and after three arson fires, the remaining tenants were ordered to vacate the building. The Besse Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, and is once again undergoing renovations for future use.

Hotel Stilwell

707 N Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762
620-704-3388
facebook.com/HotelStilwellKS/

From the times of horse and buggy to cell phones and the information age, the world around the Stilwell has changed significantly. Since 1890 she has stood the test of time and the elements.

When the Stilwell was founded Idaho and Wyoming were yet to be admitted as the 43rd and 44th states; (3 July, 10 July 1890). Our nation was growing and through the years the Stilwell changed too. Servicemen leaving for war, and returning home stayed here through the years, and the Stilwell has played a role in Kansas as well as American History. Find out more at http://www.hotelstilwellkansas.org

The historic Timmons Ballroom inside the Hotel Stilwell features 2,500 square feet of meeting space with a capacity of 120 for dining or 180 for a meeting. The Timmons Ballroom has tables, chairs, serving accessories, catering kitchen and is ADA accessible.

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The Hotel Stilwell’s history runs back to 1889, when a board of trade sought funds to build a high-class, metropolitan hotel to rival those in Chicago and St. Louis. Funds for the hotel came together through the work of railroad tycoon Arthur E. Stilwell, who agreed to sell bonds in the amount of $75,000 and secure interest from his associates in the east. For securing the funding, Stilwell was honored with the dedication of the hotel in his name.

In its early days, the Hotel Stilwell expressed the energy and strength of the growing town. Industrial and mining operations were rapidly expanding around Pittsburg, and the new hotel promised widespread attention. Documents from the Kansas State Historical Society explained that the Stilwell was “the first [hotel] with sophistication and style, the first that could be pointed to with pride by visitors and residents alike. It was the center of social activity for many generations of Pittsburg citizens.”

As the founders had hoped, the Hotel Stilwell soon received statewide attention. Responding to a miner’s strike in December of 1919, Governor Henry Allen temporarily moved his office and living quarters to the hotel for closer access to miner’s union officials. Other visitors to the hotel included women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony and famed lawyer Clarence Darrow, who visited the hotel while concluding the Scopes Monkey Trial. The trial’s final verdict was so recent, Darrow held a press conference at the hotel during his 1925 visit to answer questions from reporters.

Hotel Stilwell Notable Visitors

If any part of the hotel has seen more notable visitors, it has to be the second-floor balcony. Sitting just above the grand arched entrance, the balcony was the site of President Theodore Roosevelt’s speech during a tour of Kansas in July of 1900. Roosevelt’s speeches during this tour tended to focus on praising Kansas troops and prosperity in the Midwest, although a long speech in Emporia turned political, with the president discussing the Philippine war for independence from under U.S. control. Roosevelt exclaimed his opinion in the speech: “Our flag is up in the Philippines and it shall never be hauled down.”

After World War II, the Stilwell began to see more permanent visitors on limited incomes instead of overnight visitors. The hotel was closed in 1975 as its condition deteriorated, and subsequent owners began to renovate the building for future use. Dr. and Mrs. Wilson Rigler purchased the building in 1979 and on April 30, 1980 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hotel Stilwell Today

Stilwell Heritage and Educational Foundation director Laura Carlson and local author Kathleen DeGrave, whose 2010 book “The Hotel Stilwell: A Tale of Mortar, Money and Memories” say this period in the hotel’s life lasted until the 1990s, when building permits were issued to renovate the building into 44 apartments. “There were some doubters and croakers in 1890 when Arthur Stilwell built the hotel, and there were doubters and croakers in 1992,” Carlson said.

Despite all doubt, the project was successful in saving the hotel, which is finding new life as an apartment complex with a uniquely rich background. In addition, the Stilwell’s Timmons Ballroom still hosts wedding receptions and banquets.

Anyone interested in reserving the ballroom can contact the hotel for information.

Girard Public Library

128 W Prairie Ave
Girard, KS 66743
(620) 724-4317
girardpubliclibrary.net

Listed on the National Historic Register as a Carnegie library. The library was established in 1899, and the current Carnegie library building was built in 1906. With a population of 2,500 at the time, it’s believed Girard was the smallest city in the world to have a Carnegie Library at the time.

This is a full service library with Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, and a genealogy/history department.

The library features 2,500 square feet of meeting space and a capacity of 125 people. The library has three separate meeting rooms, two of which can be combined for a larger meeting room. The library has a kitchen, tables and chairs, limited audio-visual equipment, free high-speed wireless internet and is ADA accessible.

Carnie Smith Stadium, Brandenburg Field & Prentice Gudgen Track

1705 S Joplin
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(620) 231-7000
pittstategorillas.com

The home of the Pittsburg State University Gorillas, Carnie Smith Stadium opened in 1924 and is recognized as one of the premiere venues in NCAA Division II. Built in a Classical Revival style, a Classical arcade dominates the west side of the stadium. A decorated 6 foot tall ironstone wall encircles the stadium.

Full name: Carnie Smith Stadium, Brandenburg Football Field, Prentice Gudgen Track

Nicknames: “The Jungle”, “The Pitt”

Seating: 8,343
Executive suites: 24
Record attendance: 11,910 (October 20, 2012)
Surface: MondoTurf (installed July 2012)
Scoreboard: 40’x70′ video board dubbed the “JungleTron”

Built: 1923
Opened: 1924
Renovated: 1989
Expanded: 2001, 2006

In addition to numerous NCAA Division II regular season and playoff games, Carnie Smith Stadium has been the home to Kansas High School state championships, the Kansas Shrine Bowl All-Star game, and two National Junior College Athletic Association championship games.

Carnie Smith Stadium also features the Prentice Gudgen Track. This historic track and field facility has hosted many events at the youth, high school and collegiate levels, including the MIAA Track and Field Championship.

Timeline

1923
Construction begins with volunteer labor during the summer of 1923. $100,000 was donated by students, alumni, faculty and citizens of Pittsburg to build the stadium. To insure its completion by the start of the 1924 season, faculty members were eventually required to help work up to eight hours per week.

1924, October 11
Originally named Brandenburg Stadium, in honor of William Aaron Brandenburg, the first president of the University, the first varsity football game was held between PSU (known as Kansas State Teachers College) and Baker University, in front of approximately 4,000 fans.

1987
The University announced the field would continue to bear the name of PSU’s first president, but the stadium would be called Carnie Smith Stadium, in honor of the legendary PSU football coach who led the Gorillas to two NAIA national championships (1957 and 1961) and six conferences titles during his tenure from 1949-66.

1989
Renovations.

2001
A $5.7 million expansion provided by private funding added 2,700 seats, including new club seating on both the East and West stands, and 16 luxury sky boxes added to East stands. Stadium capacity grew from 5,611 permanent seats to 8,343. New restroom, concession stand and ticket booth facilities added. An elevator, handicap accessability and other ADA improvements made. Home and visitor locker room upgraded. New media room added.

2006
A $2.5 million expansion provided by private funding added eight luxury sky boxes to West side of the stadium.

2008
A $1.7 million upgrade through private funding unveiled the “Jungletron” video scoreboard, the largest replay board in NCAA Division II.

2011
Bleacher Report listed Carnie Smith Stadium as one of the “Top 50 Stadiums to See Before You Die” and one of the “Top 20 College Football Atmospheres in the Country.”