Edwards County Attractions
Midway USA Sign & Park
Enjoy a rest from your travels in Midway Park, take your picture next the Midway USA Sign and enjoy some free sites! Kinsley, Kansas, earned the name "Midway USA" by being exactly 1,561 miles from San Francisco to the west and 1,561 miles to New York in the east, inspiring a 1939 Saturday Evening Post cover showing two cars, starting in Kinsley and going in opposite directions, both bearing a sign saying "World's Fair or Bust." In 1939, there were two "World's Fairs": an eponymous one in New York, and the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco. The sign and park are located at the juncture of Highways 50 and 56. The park features a rest stop complete with picnic tables, bathroom facilities, and playground equipment. The Edwards County Historical Society Museum shares the park and features a steam engine, antique farm equipment, an old church, sod house, museum and murals. Also close by is the All Veterans Memorial.
Edwards County Historical Society Museum and Sod House
A hidden treasure, this museum is one of the most comprehensive in the Southwest! It features everything from farm machinery to dolls and antique clothing and hats. An authentic sod house was built on site in 1958 and the sod cutter that was built to cut the sod is featured here as well. Room vignettes show you what it was like to live in Edwards County through different times in history. Also featured on the grounds is an old church built in 1881, a steam engine, rest stop and playground equipment and even the World Famous Midway USA Sign! A permanent Santa Fe Trail Exhibit tells of our proud history in the settlement of the Wild West. The sod house has now been covered to protect it from the weather and the building features a beautiful mural painted in the summer of 2009. Come and visit us! But don't stop in a rush because you will get so caught up in the wonder of our history that you will lose track of time!
Located at the Junction of Highways 50 and 56 on the west side of Kinsley. Open May through September Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Sundays 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM. For more information contact 620-659-2420. For tours by appointment during the winter season call 1-877-464-3929.
National Foundation for Carnival Heritage Center
In 1908, Edwards County resident, Charles Brodbeck was fascinated that people would ride a horse to town and pay a nickel to ride a wooden horse. He bought a carousel and the family built one of the largest family carnivals in the nation. The Center preserves the traditions of the family carnival, salutes famous carnival individuals and provides a nostalgic look at a form of entertainment from a simpler time in American life.
Located at 113 E. 6th in Kinsley, see a very unique Carousel where the animals were designed by children from Kansas. Schedule a tour by contacting John Ploger at Fireside Realty (620) 659-2201.
Coming Soon - 1900 Heyn Double Decker Carousel - the only one in the Country!!!!
The Palace Theatre
Built in 1917, the theatre has been in continuous operation ever since. Now operated by the E-Team, a volunteer group that provides entertainment in Edwards County, the Palace uses the latest technology to bring current films on the weekends as well as live play productions. Tours are available for this site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The inside looks much as it did in 1917. Located at 223 E. 6th Street in Kinsley, call 620-659-2225 for information.
All Veterans Memorial
This stirring tribute to the men and women who have served our nation was built by volunteers who continue to maintain its beauty and dignity. Located in the parking area near the VFW Post on Highway 50, it features a M60A3 tank which is a fully tracked and heavily armored close combat tank.
Civil War Monument
Near the end of what Thies, an archeologist and cultural resource specialist with the Kansas Historical Society, calls the "Great Monument Era" (1885-1918), residents of Kinsley unveiled their long awaited memorial to Civil War veterans. Many communities across America had done the same, but the Kinsley experience was unique: the Kinsley monument was created by a local artist, David A Lester, himself a veteran and commander of the GAR post there. But perhaps most important, writes Thies, "Lester's monument clearly deserves recognition and documentation as 'grassroots' art and as a uniquely vernacular expression of a nationwide movement. . . . At a time when most such monuments were mass produced in bronze or stone and purchased by mail order from foundries and quarries in the eastern United States, the Kinsley monument was created in the local community by a local artist using common and utilitarian material: cement. It is a homespun creation in 'high art' style." The monument is located in the Hillside Cemetary, located a few miles West of Kinsley on 1st Street.