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Blue Rapids

By Season Osterfeld | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | November 10, 2017

     When can a square be a circle? When it’s found in the town square of Blue Rapids. A finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas, Blue Rapids has a round town square that was designed to avoid the common “straight arrow” street grid.

     Founded in 1869 and in­corporated in 1872, the city gets its name from its loca­tion. It sits in the junction of the Big Blue and Little Blue Rivers in Marshall County.

     Blue Rapids is a little more than an hour north of Fort Riley by car and has much to offer those who visit.

    The public library at 14 Public Square was built in 1875. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings and is the oldest library in continuous use in the state of Kansas. It is also one of the oldest libraries in the nation west of the Mississippi River. Hours for the library vary by day. For more information, call 785-363-7709 or visit bluerapids.lib.nckls.org.

     Resting in the round town square is the Ice Age Monument. Dedicated in 2012, the monument recog­nizes some the oldest rocks in Kansas that were brought down from Minnesota dur­ing the Ice Age.

    The Blue Rapids His­torical Society Museum at 36 Public Square is a free museum where visitors can learn the history of people and businesses in the city. There is also changing ex­hibit that rotates every three months. The museum is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon or by appoint­ment. For more informa­tion, call 785-363-7949 or visit www.facebook.com/Blue-Rapids-Muse­um-277340369088716.

     The city has an important spot in baseball history too. Oct. 24, 1913, Blue Rapids became one of the smallest cities in the nation to host an exhibition match between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants. The site of that game was the Fairgrounds and Riverside Park at 305 West 5th St., which are still in use today for the Marshall County Fair, softball games and more.

     Just outside the city, many homesteaders built cabins in the surrounding area. One such cabin was built around 1876 by a Swedish family that settled there. To honor the homesteaders, the two-room cabin has been moved into town for residents and visitors alike to view. The cabin is open Monday through Saturday from April to October or by appointment. For more information, call 785-363-7612 or visit www.travelks.com/listing/holm-cabin/12823.

      Although small, the city of Blue Rapids is rich in history and has much to offer. Some even take pride in the city’s name as it is one of a kind in the nation. To learn more about Blue Rapids, visit www.marshallcoks.com/towns/blue-rapids or www.bluerapids.org.

 

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