Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Prairie Museum - Cooper Barn

October 26, 2016
Colby, Kansas

After leaving Cedar Bluff State Park, it was time get on I-70 and make my way to Denver.

Since I would be driving west on I-70 most of the way, I needed to find rest stops and diversions from interstate driving.

I decided to stop in Colby, KS "The Oasis on the Prairie" and visit the Prairie Museum and the Cooper Barn.

In addition to the museum building with several galleries, you can walk around outside to see the Cooper Barn and other buildings that have been moved to the site. Historical houses, a schoolhouse, a church and a smaller barn.

48 feet tall, 66 feet wide and 114 feet long
What makes the Cooper Barn, said to be the largest barn in Kansas, even more fascinating
 is the fact that it was moved in one piece to the Prairie Museum complex in 1992.

The massive building was built in 1936 and was once part of the Foster Farms operation, headquartered 16 miles northeast of Colby in Thomas County, Kansas. The structure was built by men in the area using lumber from the Foster Lumber Company. Diagonal undersheeting was used for increased support and insulation. House siding was used on the outside rather than regular barn siding because it was more attractive and served as good advertising for Foster Lumber Company.

Benjamin Butler Foster, owner of the vast lumber yard empire based in Kansas City, Mo., had begun buying land in western Kansas and eastern Colorado between 1908 and 1938 during the Dust Bowl period. But Ben Foster was a man of vision and faith and after buying up these large tracts of land, he introduced improved farming methods seeking to hold the soil in place.

a beautiful fall day in Kansas

High & Dry: Agriculture on the High Plains: Focusing on the rich agricultural history of northwest Kansas, the new exhibit is on display in the Prairie Museum's Cooper barn.

I tool photos of several paintings, by Jennifer O'Meara

I stopped for the night at the Goodland KOA. I arrived early enough to walk around town a little.  The Van Gogh Sunflower is a short walk from the campground.

One of the world’s largest Van Gogh Sunflowers paintings is in Goodland. The reproduction of Van Gogh’s classic stands on an 80-foot tall easel. Canadian artist Cameron Cross chose Goodland for his “Big Easel Project" The artist spent six weeks in Goodland, painting the huge fiberglass "canvas," with the help of some Goodland elementary students.

Next up: visiting with family in Denver for 2 months
              and getting my steps in along Clear Creek

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It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb