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Blue Rapids, Kansas

Blue Rapids, Kansas

On October 24, 1913, more than 3,000 fans watched the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants play baseball in Blue Rapids, Kansas, on the field that is still in use as a ball field today. Baseball legends like Jim Thorpe, John McGraw, Sam Crawford, Bill Klem, and Christy \"Big Six\" Mathewson were there that day.

While in Blue Rapids, be sure to visit the historic Public Library. It is one of the oldest public libraries west of the Mississippi River still operating in its original building. Also, just north of town is Alcove Spring Park. Alcove Spring is one of the most historic camping stops on the Oregon Trail. Such people as Kit Carson, John Fremont, and the Donner Party camped there while heading west. Alcove Spring is now a 200 acre park open to the public.

The townsite for the development of Blue Rapids was chosen at the junction of the Big Blue and Little Blue Rivers in 1869, by the Genessee Colony of LeRoy, New York which was organized with plans to build a model community in the Midwest. It was, and is, an area which boasted abundant and good tasting water, oasis-like beauty and rich natural resources.

A dam was built across the river to generate power for a woolen mill. In 1902, a fire destroyed several of the industries, and the 1903 flood waters completed the destruction. After these disasters many of the business places were rebuilt away from the river\'s edge at the site of the present day business district.

The community continued to prosper by centering on the gypsum industry. In the early 1900\'s there were four gypsum mines in operation. Today only one remains, with a supply of gypsum estimated to last at least one hundred years.

In 1958, the gates to Tuttle Creek Lake on the Big Blue River were closed and water covered a large trade area important to the town. Many industrial and residential changes were made because of it.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Alcove Spring

Alcove Spring is a spring of fresh water flowing from the side of the alcove into the basin below the Naomi Pike 10-12 foot falls, all in a woodland setting. The spring has never been known to dry up, even during severe Kansas droughts. Today, the spring is part of a 223

Blue Rapids, KS Landmarks

Gypsum Plant

In 1871, Judge J.V. Coon of Elyria, Ohio, visited Blue rapids and took samples of gypsum back to Ohio for testing. It was found to be suitable for the manufacturing of plaster of paris. In 1872, he and a brother returned and set up the first machinery for processing gypsum. In the early 1900

Blue Rapids, KS Tours

Historic Library

The Blue Rapids Public Library, second site in Marshall County chosen for the National Register of Historic Buildings, was built in 1875 for a library and has served for that purpose ever since. The library has existed in one location longer than any other library in the state.

Blue Rapids, KS National Register

Holm Log Cabin

The two room Holm cabin was built by Swedish pioneers in approximately 1876 of hand hewn logs of oak and door frames of walnut. The cabin was lived in until about 1981.

Blue Rapids, KS Pioneer Life

Outdoor Mural

This mural painted by local artist, Kenny Winkenwader, depicts the historic Alcove Spring park located five miles north of Blue Rapids. Alcove Spring is one of the best-known stopping points in the 1850s for travelers making the trip west on the Oregon Trail.

Blue Rapids, KS Arts

Things to do near Blue Rapids, KS

Pony Creek Lake Fishing Report

This is just to remind you that fishing reports are given with the best intentions to help you catch fish. And do remember fi...