Monday, September 28, 2015

Little Free Library Project

The Little Free Library Project is a nationwide;  scratch that, worldwide movement that got started in 2009 when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. Filling it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it so he built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that read "FREE BOOKS."
By the summer of 2010 the mission and purposes served by the little boxes of books started becoming clearer. The original models had all been built with recycled materials. Each was unique but all shared the theme of exchanging good books and bringing people together for something positive.

In the few short years since, the movement has spread to all 50 states and even into some foreign countries. As I was researching this article over the last couple of years, I seen references to them being set up in the United Kingdom and France, among other countries worldwide.

Below is a list of the libraries in Northeast Kansas that we know about. Some residences are putting up their own libraries so there may be more out there we haven't found out about. While our original thought, was to photograph each and every library, we eventually realized that would not be practical. So without further ado, here is the list we have compiled.  Feel free to use the comments below to add other libraries in northeast Kansas that we may have missed.  

  1.  5716 SW Westport Circle  
  2.  2614 SW 15th Street  
  3.  4117 SW 34th Street  
  4.  721 SE 35th Street  
  5.  1424 SW Lancaster 
  6.  2713 SE Michigan Ave  
  7.  4449 SE Pennsylvania Ave  
  8.  225 SW Yorkshire  
  9.  3324 SW Burlingame Rd 
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
  10.  3914 SW 40th Terrace  
  11.  1800 SW Medford  
  12.  7810 SW El Cerrito Drive 
  13.  139 SW Kendall 
  14.  1202 SW Wayne 
  15.  2600 SW 8th 
  16.  1435 SW Boswell  
  17.  4400 SW 10th Avenue  
  18.  700 SW Jewell Ave.  
  19.  1110 SE Highland Ave. 
  20.  2515 SW Valley Brook Ln.  
  21.  1200 Orleans (In front of the Rainbow House)
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
  22.  (Central Congregational Church) 1248 SW Buchanan
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
  23.  The Toy Store on 21st Street
  24.  3415 SW 29th Terrace 
  25.  3320 SE Starlight Drive 
  26.  1176 SW Warren 
  27.  (Sheldon Head Start) 1155 Seabrook
  28.  700 SW Western 
    photographer Kevin Surbaugh
  29.  129 SW Roosevelt 
  30.  (Williams Elementary School) 1301 SE Monroe
  31.  1833 SW Lane 
  32.  3238 SW Oakley 
  33.  2012 Washburn 
  34.  141 West Fremont 
  35.  129 SW Buchanan
  36.  2019 SW Arnold
  37.  2053 S. Kansas Ave
  38.  1529 Jewell
  39.  107 Woodlawn
  1.   2018 Marvonne Rd
  2.  612 West 17th
  3.   733 Mississippi
  4.   2013 Vermont St
  5.   4724 Broadway Court
  6.   723 Illinois
  7.   4121 Goldfield Street
  8.   925 W. 29th Street
  9.   907 Murrow Court
  10.   1701 Barker Avenue

Baldwin City
  1.   Tom Swan Park Demonstration Garden (near 8th and High)
  1.   88916 Ensley Lane
  2.   12913 Cedar Street
  3.   10404 Wenonga Lane

  1.   2100 19th Terrace
  2.   2717 Broadway Terr.
  1.   12900 West 101st Street

Prairie Village
  1.   2709 W. 73 Street
  2.   4317 W 67th St
  3.   412 W 67th St
  4.   4916 W 78th Place
  5.   9101 Delmar St
  1.   314 Stanton Road

Map of Little Free Libraries Worldwide

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sept 24-27 Events

Here are the upcoming events for this weekend in Northeast Kansas.


Otter Feeding 
Sept 24 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Topeka Zoo   635 SW Gage Blvd

4th Friday Fitness Series
Sept 25 6:30 pm-7:30 pm  
Great Overland Station 701 N Kansas Ave

Jason Pritchett 
Sept  25  7:30 pm-10:30 pm
Topeka Performing Arts Center (TPAC)  214 SE 8th Ave
Tickets start @ $18

Fountain City Brass Band
Sept 25  7:30pm-10:00pm   
Washburn University – White Concert Hall  1700 SW Jewell

The Addams Family
Sept 25  8:00pm-10:00pm
Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy  3028 SW 8th Ave
Tickets $18-25

The Addams Family
Sept 27  2:00pm-4:00pm
Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy  3028 SW 8th Ave
Tickets $18-25

Cider Fest
Sept 26-27
Expocentere   1 Expocentere Drive
 Tickets $6/Advance  $7/Gate


Rev It Up! Hot Rod Hullabaloo Car Show
Sept 26, 2015
Car Registration 8am-10am
Car Show 8am-3pm
South Park   11th and Massachusetts

Kansas City
Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Recurring weekly on Saturday and Sunday, 10am-7pm
628 N 126th St  Bonner Springs, KS 66102
Adult tickets start @ $17.95

to submit your upcoming events comment on the events post and let us know, so that we can add it to the events listings. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Drink it Local with These Three Local Northeast Kansas Breweries

Blind Tiger Brewery (Topeka)


417 SW 37th St.
(37th and Kansas)
Topeka, KS 66611

785-267-BREW (2739)

Sunday - Thursday
11am - 11pm
Kitchen closes at 9pm
Friday - Saturday
11 am - Midnight
Kitchen closes at 10pm
Closed on Thanksgiving and

Handicapped Accessibility: Yes, a handicapped ramp is available to the entrance on the opposite side of the building, with an accessible exit right in front of the handicapped parking.

Free State Brewing Company (Lawrence)


636 Massachusetts Street
(37th and Kansas)
Lawrence, KS 66044

(785) 843-4555

Mon-Sat: 11am-Midnight
Sun: Noon-11pm

Handicapped Accessibility: Yes

23rd Street Brewery


3512 Clinton Parkway
Lawrence, KS 66047



Daily: 11am-Midnight
Full menu served until 10 PM Weekdays/ 11 PM Weekends

Handicapped Accessibility: Yes


  • Topeka Capital Journal

  • Wikipedia
  • Saturday, September 19, 2015

    Bills Chuckburger

    We are on the search for the best burger in Topeka. Here is how we rate the burger joints that we will review. First we put heavy emphasis on where the joint is headquartered, Local (NE Kansas) will garner an automatic 10 bonus points. Kansas owned chains (headquartered in Wichita, Hutchinson, Pitsburg, etc) an automatic 5 bonus points and National chains (those headquartered outside the state) will garner an automatic 0 bonus points. The ten categories that we will use in our search for the best burger in Topeka will be 1.Burger Patties Quality, 2. Bun Quality, 3. Customer Service, 4. Garnish Quality, 5. Fries Quality, 6. Atmosphere, 7. Order Accuracy, 8. Cleanliness (Restrooms, Dinning area, Entrance, etc), 9. Building Accessibility and 10. Price. All categories will earn a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the poorest.

     Heard a lot about this place and wanted to try it, but was disappointed that it was a drive-thru only.  Pat and I drove through the drive-thru and ordered two hamburgers, one large fries and two drinks (1 medium and 1 small).   Pat's burger had ketchup, lettuce and pickles. Mine was ketchup only. 

    Bonus Points:  10

    1. Burger Patties Quality: 7
     Major kudos for being a hot burger, the hamburgers at the major fast food restaurants are rarely that hot.  They were thoroughly cooked, with just the right amount of seasoning.  On the downside the patties were thin, similar to McDonald's™ Big Mac™ or hamburger. Which reminds me of the old Wendy's™ TV commercial, "Where's the beef?" One other issue, is that they served Pepsi™ rather the Coke™ products, which diminishes the taste of hamburgers especially.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh
    2. Bun Quality: 10
    A great fresh and toasted bun.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh
    3. Customer Service: 8
     Speedy service especially for a drive through only restaurant. The only negative is that they failed to ask if we wanted ketchup packets (for our fries) or give us our receipt. 

    4. Garnish Quality: 10
     Fresh and crispy lettuce with great pickles reports my wife Pat. 

    5. Fries Quality: 9
     As with the hamburgers the fries were hot, which gets them major kudos, however, they lose points for failing to offer ketchup for the fries. 

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh
    6. Atmosphere: 6
    Since it was a drive-thru only the atmosphere is whatever the inside of your car is as you drive away, trying to eat as you drive. 

    7. Order Accuracy: 10
    Perfect, they fixed our sandwiches exactly as we ordered them.

    8. Cleanliness (Restrooms, Dinning area, Entrance, etc): 5
    Restroom -NA-
    Entrance -NA-
    Dinning Area -NA-
    Parking lot was clean.  Giving 5 points for a clean exterior, though we can't say anything about the interior. 

    9. Building Accessibility:  -NA- (0)
    Since the building wasn't open to the public the restaurant failed to earn points for this.  This in turn could hurt them in the overall rating, but who knows until the final score is tallied. 

    10. Price:  8
    Considering everything $9:90 is pretty reasonable.  I usually try to breakdown the purchase item by item, but since they didn't give me a copy of the receipt, I am unable to do that.  Here is what I can say about the drinks we were charged to much.  Anytime a restaurant charges more then $1 their large, it is to much.  That said the small drink especially was to much at something like $1.09 for a drink that was smaller then small in reality (more like a kids size).

    Sept 19-20 (2015) Events

    Here is a look at the some of the events happening this weekend in Northeast Kansas


    Sept. 18-20
    Location: Ramada Inn Downtown 420 Southeast 6th Ave
    Topeka’s 1st Comic & Game Expo Is the Creation of International Award Winning Tattoo Artist, The GYPSY who saw the need for a true Geek Convention In cooperation and in partnership with QUINCY STREET Conference & Event CENTER The GYPSY & QUINCY STREET both of which supports the efforts of numerous organizations like Downtown Topeka Inc., Arts Connect and Get Downtown Topeka and numerous downtown merchants in the renovation and revitalization of Beautiful Downtown Topeka.

    Friends of the Library 45th annual Book Sale
    Sept. 18-20
    Location: Ag Hall at the Kansas Expocentre, One Expocentre Dr

    Great Overland Stations: “Emerging from the Ashes”
    July 1-Sept 26, 2015
    Location: The Great Overland Station in North Topeka at the Historic Union Pacific Railroad Station at 701 North Kansas Avenue.

    The Great Overland Station is pleased to announce its hottest new exhibit “Emerging from the Ashes”, an exhibit memorializing significant historic fires in our community and pay tribute to the courageous men and women who face this danger. The exhibit is open through September 26, 2015.

    Hours: Tuesday- Saturday from 10am to 4pm, with last admission at 3:15pm. The station is closed Sunday, Monday, major holidays and the first Wednesday of each month.


    $5- Adults

    $4- Seniors (62+)

    $2- Children

    Children 2 and under are free!

    Military discounts are available

    Paws In The Park
    Sept 19 9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Gage Park

    Downtown Topeka Farmers Market
    Sept 19 7:30 am-12:00 pm (Every Saturday April to 1st Sat of Nov)
    State Judicial Center

    Meet Me at the Park - Topeka Community Worship Service
    Sept 20 10:00am
    Gage Park Outdoor Amphitheater


    “Chef” Screening at Lawrence Arts Center
    Friday, September 18th
    7:30pm film starts; 6:30pm Cubano sandwiches by Sandbar Subs
    Lawrence Arts Center 940 New Hampshire

    Lawrence Central Rotary Community Bike Ride
    Saturday, September 19
    10AM (with activities until about noon)
    Haskell Indian Nations University – – stadium area parking lot
    Lots of fun and FREE activities!

    Gears and Grooves Festival & Kansas City MS 150 Bike Ride
    Saturday, September 19th
    South Park
    FREE Music and Kids Activities begin at 10 am.

    Print Week Print Fair
    Saturday, September 18th 10am-4pm
    Lawrence Arts Center 940 New Hampshire


    Kansans for Selzer BBQ
    Sept 20 5:00pm
    Louisburg Cider Mill

    to submit your upcoming events comment on the events post and let us know, so that we can add it to the events listings. 

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

    Coon Point

    Located next to the Lecompton, Capital of Kansas marker marking a Oregon Trail campground.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh
    Oregon Trail
    A camping ground
    Territorial Capital of Kansas
    Three Miles North

    in 1930
    by The Fifty-Sixers
    Old Settlers of Douglas County
    and the
    Betty Washington Chapter
    Daughters of the American Revolution

    the rest area at the intersection of U.S. 40 and E 600 Road

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    The parking in front of the marker is paved and it can be viewed (though this one may be hard to actually read) from the car, so it is fairly accessible.

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    Lecompton Capital of Kansas

    Located on Highway 40 between Topeka and Lawrence, is the little town of Lecompton. The town may be small, but it packs a lot of history. Today, we stopped at the historical marker along Highway 40. We will revisit this little town to visit the "Constitution Hall" which is where the "Lecompton Constitution" was drafted.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    In 1855, the new town of Lecompton was named the capital of Kansas Territory. President James Buchanan appointed a governor and officials to establish government offices in Lecompton, and construction began on an elegant capitol building. In the fall of 1857 a convention met in Constitution Hall and drafted the famous Lecompton Constitution, which would have admitted Kansas as a slave state. The constitution was rejected after intense national debate and was one of the prime topics of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The controversy contributed to the growing dispute soon to erupt in civil war. The Lecompton Constitution failed, in part, because the antislavery party won control of the territorial legislature in the election of 1857. The new legislature met in Constitution Hall, now a National Historic Landmark, and immediately began to abolish the proslavery laws. The victorious free-state leaders chose Topeka as capital when Kansas became a state in 1861.

    Erected by
    Kansas Historical Society and Department of Transportation
    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    the roadside rest area at the intersection of US Highway 40 and E 600th Road.

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    The parking in front of the marker is paved and it can be viewed from the car, so it is fairly accessible.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    Charles Curtis - Only Topekan to be Vice President

    Charles Curtis

    Charles Curtis (January 25, 1860 – February 8, 1936) was the 31st Vice President of the United States (1929–1933). Vice President Curtis, who served under President Herbert Hoover was the only Topekan to be Vice President, as well as the only Kansan and thus far was the only Native American to be Vice President of the United States of America.
    Photo courtesy: Listal
    According to Wikipedia,
    Curtis ran for Vice President with Herbert Hoover as President in 1928. They won a landslide victory. Although they ran again in 1932, the population saw Hoover as failing to alleviate the Great Depression, and they were defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Nance Garner.
    According to the United States Senate website, the Hoover-Curtis ticket defeated the Democratic ticket of Alfred Smith and Joseph T. Robinson.

    Photo from
    "Greedy Gay Amy" on Soda Head
    The Charles Curtis House Museum in downtown Topeka, near the State Capital grounds. With the Museum being open by appointment. Every year on January 25th, the mansion is open to the public, free of charge, to celebrate Charles Curtis' Birthday. The Charles Curtis home is the official meeting place for the Native American Indian Chamber of Commerce

    Location: Corner of 10th and Topeka

    Admission: $5/person

    Phone: (785) 357-1371

    Accessibility: The museum is NOT accessible to those who are mobility challenged.

    VP Charles Curtis
    Charles Curtis Museum
    Kansas State Historical Society
    United States Senate
    Topeka Cemetery