Cottonwood Falls, Chase County

 

Don and Edna Coldsmith were our hosts on an excersion to Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, in the heart of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie of central United States. Cottonwood Falls is the county seat of Chase County, which contains the best of the tallgrass prairie.

Don is an awarding winning author of 39 novels -- historical fiction about the American Plains Indians and their way of life on the plains of the midwest between the 16th and 19th centuries. Don also writes for the Emporia Gazette and various farm magazines with a wide distribution.

Eddie, as her friends call her, is a retired school teacher who currently runs an after-school center for poor and migrant children in Emporia, Kansas.

Together, Don and Eddie have raised five daughters and some pretty impressive Appaloosa horses on their ranch in the Flint Hills.

Don and Eddie Coldsmith

Select a thumbnail to see original photo:
Downtown Cottonwood Falls sports a nice hotel/bar, some fine old brick businesses filled with arts, crafts, western clothing, antiques and collectibles.
Grand Central Hotel and GrillGrand Central canopedowntown Cottonwood Fallslocal gas station

The Cottonwood Falls Courthouse is a beautiful piece of 19th century architecture. Built from local limestone, it is the oldest Kansas courthouse still in use.

Far right: Cottonwood Falls Courthouse Christmas tree ornament!

Chase County Courthousecourthouse, view 2ornament made in Austria
A western flavor permeates Cottonwood Falls prairie culture. This is a land of bison, ranches, branding irons and cowboy hats. The brands burnt into the bar at Grand Central were done by the hand of a dear friend of the Coldsmiths and Cottonwood Falls native, recently deceased.
stuffed bison headslocal brands in the barcowboy hats on display
Bazaar, Kansas (just south of Cottonwood Falls) is pure tallgrass prairie. A site near where these photos were taken is where famous Knut Rockne died in an early passenger airline crash in 1931.
Bazaar Cemeterycountryside near Bazaar

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All photos © 2001 by Carol Yoho
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