Column published in Smith County Pioneer – May 26, 2016

HOME ON THE RANGE
By El Dean Holthus
Each year the Kansas Preservation Alliance, Inc. recognizes exemplary efforts in historic preservation across the state of Kansas. The 2016 Awards for Excellence were presented May 13 at the Old Supreme Court in the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka. Restoration of the Home on the Range Cabin was one of 10 projects receiving awards. A reception followed at the Dillon House across the street west of the Statehouse.

It was a pleasant and exciting evening for relatives of Pete and Ellen Rust andAward for Excellence attendees friends and supporters of the Home on the Range Site. It was reassuring and a pleasure to the many individuals and organizations aware of and interested in restoring and maintaining historical sites and the Home on the Range in particular.

In accepting the award I told the group: “The Peoples Heartland Foundation owns the Cabin but I was accepting it in the memory of Pete and Ellen Rust who saved it and provided for its maintenance and all the people of Kansas.” This little Cabin literally belongs to the public and is there for their enjoyment.

ElDean Accepting Award for ExcellenceThis was a fitting end to this chapter in the ongoing Home on the Range story. Future chapters will include the filming of the Home the Range documentary this year for release in 2017, as well as completion of a plan for the entire 240 acres of the HOR site which will allow for planning of permanent structures, establishing flood plains, re-seeding of native grasses and development along the entire length of West Beaver Creek. This plan is funded through the Smith County Community Foundation funded by the Hanson Foundation.

We are working now to replace and repair the foot bridges. The next event on site will be visits from the Bike Across Kansas riders who choose a side trip to Home on the Range.

Thanks to all our supporters. Please come visit YOUR Cabin.