Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fire Hydrant Garden

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

In a very modest neighborhood near the center of Topeka is what some would call a dog's paradise. This multicolored garden of fire hydrants, installed by the Claude Belshe over the years to keep his two dogs "busy and happy," includes hydrants from many eras, some undoubtedly valuable antiques, all of which have been brightly painted by the Belshe's stepson, Jeffery.
Apparently he started to collect and install old fire hydrants when the garden he and his wife planted was trampled by their dogs. The hydrants have become heaven for the dogs! Belshe plans for the garden to continue to grow (which now now numbers near 100) and is always on the lookout for more hydrants. The entire garden can be seen from the street as his dogs are very aggressive to protect their paradise! Belshe readily confesses, nobody is considered a serious collector until they have at least a hundred hydrants. Belshe, who is an encyclopedia of fire hydrant information and is a most gracious host, and is happy to show visitors around the yard.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

720 S.W. 5th Street
Topeka, KS
on SW 5th St (a one way Street) between SW Taylor St. and SW Polk St.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Handicapped Accessibility:
It is a private yard and as such may not be the most accessible. Please be advised that entering the yard without permission is not advised.  All hydrants can be seen from the sidewalk and street which is pretty accessible.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

No Admission. Viewable from the public sidewalk

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