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Stagecoach travel through Kansas (article by Deb Goodrich)

As you all know, the Journey Stagecoach recently took a trip through Kansas, stopping at several places along the way. Around Kansas host and Fort Wallace Museum Garvey Texas Foundation Historian Deb Goodrich wrote an article that has appeared in several places in Kansas. The article is below.

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In the annals of great historical moments, the past week was full of them.

Rick Hamby, an intrepid cowboy from West Plains, MO, took his 19th century stagecoach to the far reaches of western Kansas, following the Smoky Hill Trail from Mount Sunflower back to Monument Station (Monument Rocks). That tour covered three counties: Gove, Logan and Wallace. The crew camped at or near the locations of the original stops in Butterfield Overland Despatch. Because these are all on private land (or owned by the Nature Conservancy), the trip required the cooperation and generosity of several landowners: Ed and Cindy Harold, Davy Jones, Fraser Farms, Mark and Cindy Smith, Smoky Y Ranch, the Nature Conservancy and Little Jerusalem, and Norman Nelson. Their generosity allowed the rest of us to experience these amazing locations.

Ozark Radio News promotion guru Bev Broyles posted interviews along the way to OzarkRadioNews.com and many people shared some great photos. Check out the Facebook pages for Around Kansas, the Fort Wallace Museum, and the Western Vistas Historic Byway for evidence of the adventure!

It is difficult to describe exactly what this journey has been and the impact on these communities and everyone it has touched. Rick is a man on a mission – not only to preserve the story of the American West and perpetuate Western lifestyles and values, but to share God’s love and connect with his fellow man on a personal level that many people never achieve . He really does look like a prophet of old, venturing into foreign lands with a bag of children’s letters to spread the gospel of friendship.

Along the way, he has amassed followers: family, friends, strangers who have become friends. Now his village has expanded to include our village.

While at Pond Creek Station, Mark Smith announced that he and Cindy will ensure this land and its rich history are preserved for generations to come. It will not be operated or outsourced to wind turbines or oil wells. Artist Jerry Thomas, “Mayor of Pond City,” told the crowd about the multi-layered past, about the personalities who stood where we stood. Mark and Cindy’s recognition of the significance of this place and their efforts to preserve it are a testament to their community spirit and endless generosity.

If one word could be found to sum up the week, it might be it: generosity. The gifts of time and effort were seemingly bottomless. The stagecoach crew themselves and those who hosted them and helped them along the way gave so much of themselves and their energy to create memorable experiences.

No one who was privileged to be a part of it will ever forget it.

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