The downtown area is built around a Fountain Park which gives Blue Rapids the distinction of being the only round town square in Kansas. Founders platted the town much like those in New England to include a "hub"
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
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.
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.