Mining and "The Mother Road": A Tour of Southeast Kansas' Most Iconic Landmarks

Join us for a nostalgic look at some of Southeast Kansas' most iconic landmarks. Our day begins with breakfast at the historic Beaumont Hotel. After breakfast, we continue southeast to the town of West Mineral where we will visit the Big Brutus visitor center and mining museum. It's then on to Route 66. The 13 miles of Route 66 is the shortest stretch of the iconic highway, but among the best preserved. Our first stop will be Cars on the Route, a restored Kan-O-Tex service station. Outside the building you will see the mining boom truck that inspired the character "Tow Mater" in Radiator Springs from the movie Cars. We continue on Route 66 to the town of Riverton and a stop at the Eisler Brother's Old Riverton Store for lunch. The store has been operating on Route 66 since before the Route officially opened. Our trip continues to Baxter Springs with stops at the Route 66 Visitors Center and the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum where you will learn about the area's mining history as well as the history of Route 66. As we make our way back to Wichita, we will drive through Picher, OK, which was once a major national center of lead and zinc mining but is now a ghost town due to groundwater contamination and health effects of mining. We will also stop in Independence for dinner before we conclude our trip.

Facilitator: Beccy Tanner, Adjunct Instructor, Department of History, Wichita State University

Tour Date: Saturday, October 2, 2021

Fee: $129.00


7:00 a.m. - Depart WSU Metropolitan Complex 

7:50 a.m. - Arrive Beaumont Hotel for Breakfast 

9:00 a.m. - Depart Beaumont Hotel 

10:45 a.m. - Arrive West Mineral Big Brutus Visitor Center Noon Depart Big Brutus 

12:30 p.m. - Cars on the Route - Galena 

1:15 p.m. - Depart Galena

1:20 p.m. - Arrive Riverton Eisler Bros. Old Riverton Store - Lunch on own 

2:15 p.m. - Depart Store Drive by Empire Power Dam Falls 

2:30 p.m. - Route 66 Visitor's Center, Baxter Springs 

3:15 p.m. - Depart Visitor Center 

3:25 p.m. - Arrive Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum 

4:30 p.m. - Depart Baxter Springs, Drive across Rainbow Bridge, Route 66 Baxter Springs 

4:45 p.m. - Arrive Pilcher, Drive through 

6:00 p.m. - Dinner at Independence 

7:00 p.m. - Depart Independence 

9:00 p.m. - Arrive at WSU Metropolitan Complex

Available Sessions

This course contains no sessions