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It's all aboard as we take a ride on the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad. The excursion train departs Abilene eastbound for a trip through the Smoky Hill River Valley to the neighboring community of Enterprise, KS. Train passengers are invited to visit the Hoffman Grist Flour Mill during the train's layover in Enterprise to explore the mill, see how it operates and make purchases.Following our train ride, lunch will be served at the famed Brookville Hotel where we will dine on a family-style chicken dinner with all the trimmings.After lunch, we will visit the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and boy hood home. At the museum, you will have the opportunity to see the all-new 25,000 square feet of museum exhibit space, which opened this past summer. There will also be time to visit the Heritage Center of Dickinson County where you can take a ride on a 1901 C.W. Parker carousel. Our last stop of the day is the Russell Stover Candies Factory and Outlet Store where you can watch candy being made and buy some sweet treats for the ride home!

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

Tour Date:Saturday, May 30, 2020

Fee: $129.00

Schedule:

8:00 a.m. - Depart WSU Metropolitan Complex 

9:30 a.m. - Arrive Abilene Depot

10:00 a.m. - Train Departs

11:45 a.m. - Train Returns

12:00 p.m. - Lunch at Hitching Post or Brookville

1:30 p.m. - Arrive at Eisenhower Library and Heritage Center

5:00 p.m. - Stop at Russell Stover Candy Company

5:30 p.m. - Depart Russell Stover Candy Company

7:00 p.m. - Arrive at WSU Metropolitan Complex



Click HERE to register for the Historic Abilene: From the Cattle Trail to the White House Day Trip on Saturday, May 30, 2020

On this trip we will head to Northwest Kansas to view the Kansas Niobrara chalk formations, better known as Little Jerusalem and Monument Rocks. Our first stop is the canyons and pinnacles of Little Jerusalem in Logan County, which opened to the public in October 2019. You will have the opportunity to hike two permanent marked trails to view the rock formations that tower more than 100 feet. Along the way you can see fascinating plants and animals as well as the fossil remains of swimming and flying reptiles dating back 85 million years. The Overlook Trail extends one-quarter mile along a crushed rock surface to a scenic viewpoint. The terrain is loose rock surface with a gentle gradient. The Life on the Rocks Trail winds one-half mile along the rim of the rocks with multiple bends to provide a variety of views and two scenic overlooks. The trail is crushed rock surface and gentle gradients for all abilities for the first two-thirds mile (3,500 feet) to the first overlook;natural surface trail with moderate slopes for the next one-half mile (2,766 feet) to the second overlook. After a quick stop at Scott Lake, we will travel to Gove County and Monument Rocks. Known as the Chalk Pyramids, these majestic formations are considered one of the eight wonders of Kansas. Breakfast and dinner will be provided.

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

Tour Date:Saturday, June 6, 2020

Fee: $129.00

Schedule:

6:00 a.m. - Depart WSU Metropolitan Complex

8:45 a.m. - Breakfast in Hays

10:00 a.m. - Depart Hays

11:30 a.m. - Arrive Oakley Mittens Truck Stop: Bathroom Break

12:15 p.m. - Depart Oakley

12:45 p.m. - Arrive at Little Jerusalem Park

2:15 p.m. - Depart Little Jerusalem Park

2:45 p.m. - Scott Lake Bathroom Break

3:15 p.m. - Depart Scott Lake

3:45 p.m. - Arrive at Monument Rocks

4:30 p.m. - Depart Monument Rocks

7:00 p.m. - Dinner at Pretty Boy Floyds, Ellingwood

8:15 p.m. - Depart Ellingwood

10:00 p.m. - Arrive WSU Metropolitan Complex



Click HERE to register for the Kansas is Not Flat and Boring Day Trip on Saturday, June 6, 2020

Are you a fan of the old time Western? Did you grow up watching John Wayne ride the range in Stagecoach or James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon? Did you ever wish you could star in your own western? If so, join us for a memorable and fun-filled day in Enid, Oklahoma. We will be touring Skeleton Creek Productions, a real-life movie studio, where you will have the opportunity to tour seven full-size movie sets and star in a western movie with your fellow travelers! Lunch will be served on-set inside the 1890's saloon. After lunch,we will tour the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center to learn about the history and development of the Cherokee Outlet. We then travel south to Kingfisher, Oklahoma, where we will tour the Seay Mansion, home of Oklahoma's third territorial governor. Dinner will be provided in Enid before we head home. Each traveler will be invited to a movie premiere at the Metropolitan Complex and provided a copy of the movie.

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

Tour Date: Saturday, April 18, 2020

Fee: $129.00

Schedule:

7:45 a.m. - Depart WSU Metropolitan Complex

10:00 a.m. - Arrive Enid, OK  Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, Tour the last remaining U.S. Land Office, and other historic buildings

11:30 a.m. - Simpson's Old Time Museum, Skeleton Creek Productions where you will star in your own western movie with Stormy and Texas, and Lunch in the saloon

2:30 p.m. - Travel to Kingfisher, Oklahoma

3:15 p.m. - Tour Seay Mansion & Chisholm Trail Museum

4:45 p.m. - Depart Kingfisher,OK 

5:30 p.m. - Dinner: Callahan's Pub & Grille Enid, OK

7:00 p.m. - Depart Enid

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



Click HERE to register for the Lights, Camera, Action Day Trip on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Join us fora 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: Friday, April 4, 2020

Fee: $119.00

Schedule: 

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



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Whether you are just beginning your journey or are a seasoned researcher, join us for a research day in Topeka. We will visit the Kansas State Historical Society library (KSHS) and archives as well as the Baker Genealogy Center at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. The KSHS has an amazing array of resources,including maps and photographs, family history records, community history item sand corporate records. The Baker Genealogy Center has a computer lab equipped with databases such as Ancestry.com, America's Obituaries and Fold3 to help you find your family. The Genealogy Research Room has over 3,000 books that cover anything from how to get started and personal family histories to books on Kansas and many states across the country and beyond. The day is yours to explore the collections, do your own family history research and perhaps delve into that obscure bit of trivia that you have always wanted to study. At both sites,there will be experienced staff to answer your questions and assist you regarding use of the materials. A boxed lunch will be provided. When you board the bus that evening for the return trip to Wichita, you will have a chance to look through the notes and copies that you have collected and discuss your findings with your fellow researchers!

Facilitator: Dr. Jay Price, Department Chair & Professor, History, Wichita State University

Tour Date: Friday, April 3, 2020

Fee: $99

Schedule:

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

9:15 a.m. - Arrive Shawnee County Public Library

9:30 a.m. - Arrive Kansas State Historical Society

12:15 p.m. -Depart for lunch at Shawnee County Public Library 

12:30 p.m. - Arrive at the Shawnee County Public Library: Lunch 

1:30 p.m. - Depart Shawnee County Public Library

1:45 p.m. - Arrive Historical Society 

4:15 p.m. - Depart Historical Society 

4:30 p.m. - Arrive at Shawnee County Public Library

6:45 p.m. - Arrive back at WSU Metropolitan Complex



Click HERE to register for Roots & Branches: Connecting Your Family's History Day Trip on Friday, April 3, 2020