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Hutchinson, Kansas

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hutchinson, Kansas in Reno County is an area with a unique history, rich heritage and vision for the 21st century. Unlike the "wild west" reputation of other Kansas towns, Hutchinson's founder, C.C. Hutchinson, was determined to populate "his" town with only those persons of "high moral fiber."

After making an agreement in 1871 with the Santa Fe Railroad to develop a community at the point the railroad crossed the Little Arkansas River, Hutchinson began selling lots, each with a deed containing a clause forbidding the sale of liquor for three years. He further convinced the State Legislature to divert cattle drives around the county, thus keeping the rowdy cowpokes out of town.

The grain industry took off when Russian Mennonite farmers introduced Turkey Red Wheat to the Kansas prairie in 1875. Booming wheat production and the confluence of three railroads contributed to making Hutchinson the hub of the wheat market. Railroads played a significant role in the development of smaller towns in the county.

In 1887, a prospector was disappointed to find salt in South Hutchinson while searching for oil. Others capitalized on the discovery; however, and salt extraction remains one of the area's largest industries.

Early industries also included processing plants, milling, and buffalo bones collection. Grain elevators were built to store wheat for the growing number of farms.

By 1913, the State Fair was an important annual event. Today, the Fair draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The grocery business has also been important to the community's growth. J.S. Dillon opened his first store in the 1920's. Over time the company became Dillons and has since grown to over 200 stores statewide. The company, now a division of Kroger, Inc., still maintains a distribution center and headquarters in town.

During World War II and the following decade, Reno County was home to the Hutchinson Naval Air Station located southeast of Hutchinson where flight training for Naval pilots was conducted. The site is now an industrial tract with a variety of businesses.

From pioneers of westward expansion to the explorers of space, history is being preserved in this Midwestern town. The Reno County Museum holds the history of the past while the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson is quickly becoming the most comprehensive space museum in the world. Named one of the first affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution, the Cosmosphere's Hall of Space Museum brings the Space Race to life, from the ominous beep of Sputnik to the chilling symbolism of the German Wall to the victorious planting of the American flag on the Moon.

At Hutchinson, hold on tight, "You're go for lift off!"

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Hedrick Exotic Animal Farm, Inc

Eight miles West of Hutchinson camels, giraffes, kangaroos, ostriches, zebras and more can be found at Hedrick'

Hutchinson, KS Zoos

Fun Valley Sports Complex

Nicknamed "America's tournament headquarters," Fun Valley has been named Softball Complex of the Year by both U.S. Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) and Softball Owners and Directors of America and hosts more national events than any other baseball/

Hutchinson, KS Sports

Hutchinson Zoo

The Hutchinson Zoo features wild habitat exhibits with naturalistic settings. River otter, pronghorn, bison, coyote, ringtail, bobcat, reptiles, porcupine, golden eagles, and native birds are but a few of the animals. The Animals &

Hutchinson, KS Zoos

Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center

This impressive Smithsonian-affiliated facility houses one of the most comprehensive space museums in existence and offers the Carey IMAX Dome Theater; Dr. Goddard's Laboratory - a live rocket science demonstration; the Justice Planetarium Theater with both star and laser shows;

Hutchinson, KS Museums

Prairie Dunes Country Club & Golf Course

In just about every ranking found anywhere, this impressive course consistently sits among the elite as one of the very top golf courses in the United States. As a tribute to its greatness, the United States Golf Association selected Prairie Dunes as the site of the 2002 U.S. Women'

Hutchinson, KS Golf Courses

Things to do near Hutchinson, KS

Pratt Wildlife Center & Aquarium

Housed in an 80 year old buidling, the Education Center contains numerous wildife mounts, dioramas, 12 400-gallon aquariums, ...

Pratt County Historical Museum

A visit to the Pratt County Historical Museum is like instant time travel to the days when America began building an empire o...

Pretty Prairie PRCA Rodeo

The Rodeo began in the depths of the Great Depression, promoted by three dirt farmers and a school teacher, its roots extendi...