Tourists will relive a bit of the past when they visit the Adobe House located at the Prairie Dog State Park. This earthen-walled structure is the only one in Kansas on its original location and preserved as a museum. As near as can be determined, the house was constructed in 1892, by the John Spencer family.
The Adobe House was constructed out of a mixture of mud and straw, called adobe, which can be viewed on the interior walls. A horse was used - traveling in a circular trench in which dirt, water, and straw were added, and mixed to the proper consistency. The mixture was then formed into bricks, put in place, and given a smooth coat of the same mixture.
After the construction of the Lake Sebelius Dam, the adjoining land became the Prairie Dog State Park. This area was to include picnic shelters, bathhouses, and the old adobe house was to be torn down. Interested citizens protested and wanted it preserved. A volunteer group worked on the building. They fixed the roof, the deteriorating walls, replaced missing windows, cleaned the interior, and furnished it with antique furniture donated by interested persons. Recently, the Adobe Home has been extensively renovated.
During the construction of the dam, an old wagon was discovered buried under 19' of earth in the old original Burlington Railroad fill. It became visible when the shoreline of the reservoir was worked. The wagon, which is an old-type two-horse, dirt-moving slip, was recovered and donated to be placed near the house. A windmill with a wooden wheel was also moved in.
Address: Prairie Dog State Park, 4 miles West of Norton on Highway 36, Box 431
Come visit us in Norton, Kansas