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Emporia, Kansas

Emporia, Kansas

Lyon County surrounds Emporia which is known as the "Front Porch to the Flint Hills." Prairie Passage Stone Sculpture reflects Emporia's role as gateway to the Flint Hills, depicting the land, its forces and its people.

One of the distinctive features of the Flint Hills is the mix of farmers and ranchers. Nearly all farmers in the Flint Hills also raise livestock, while nearly all ranchers in the region also raise crops.

In historic times, the two Native American tribes that inhabited the Flint Hills were the Kansas (or Kaw) in the north and the Osage in the south. Early white settlers to the Flint Hills were British, Swedish, Welsh, German, French, Slavic, and Mennonite.

The Exoduster movement in the 1870's resulted in the resettlement of African-American ex-slaves onto small farms, while in the years around the turn of the century Mexicans were brought in by the Santa Fe to work on the railroad. In more recent years refugees from Southeast Asia have moved into the larger Flint Hills towns.

In the spring, the Flint Hills becomes a natural wonderland with the grasses and wildflowers. The barren landscape becames green and lush attracting over 200 kinds of birds including hawks, robins, blue jays, meadowlarks, and eagles. There are 29 kinds of reptiles and amphibians, such as turtles, snakes, and armadillos. There are also 31 species of mammals.

The Tallgrass prairie National Preserve was designed to protect a portion of the largest remaining unbroken tracts of tallgrass prairie left in the world.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Emporia Zoo

The Emporia Zoo houses nearly 400 specimens including vultures and buffalo. One of the country's smallest accredited zoos is home to a variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The zoo also features exceptional botanical displays and spectacular holiday lights.

Emporia, KS Zoos

Emporia Center for the Arts

The Emporia Arts Council offices are in a building that was once a car dealership, and has been renovated with volunteer labor. The building also houses exhibits, classes, programs, theatre performances, and premiere performances by renowned artists.

Emporia, KS Arts

Lyon County Historical Museum & Gift Gallery

The Lyon County Historical Museum is located in the 1904 Carnegie Library Building and is on the National Register of Historic Places

Emporia, KS Museums

Lyon County Museum Research Center and Archives

The archives house one of the state's largest collections of letters, diaries, and local newspapers, dating from Lyon County's early settlement to the present. There are more than 25 scrapbooks alphabetized by family name that cover more than 100

Emporia, KS Museums

The First Presbyterian Church

Designed by Charles W. Squires and built in 1897. The limestone block construction with multiple towers and large mitered, arched stained glass windows is typical of the Victorian influence. This church is an example of the Richardson Romanesque style.

Emporia, KS Historic Churches

Things to do near Emporia, KS

Circle "E" Feedlot Tours

Custom feeding operation for 12,000 to 15,000 head of cattle. Tours by appointment. ...