Column published in the Smith County Pioneer, April 17, 2014

By El Dean Holthus

Dean Panter and Zack Hiller have taken down some of the old buildings at the Home on the Range site as they help us clean up and prepare the site for the re-dedication October 3-5, 2014. The program is rapidly shaping up and we will soon be able to provide a detailed schedule of events and principals.

Many visitors have asked when we would have furnishings in the Cabin; Gerald has most of them finished, enough when placed inside to provide visitors a concept of what a single pioneer doctor might have had in a cabin. We are waiting to have our video security system installed by NexTech and some minor work to be completed before we place anything in the Cabin. The furnishings we will be placing in the Cabin represent the quality craftmanship of Gerald; he has been the primary worker on all the building and restoration, only a violin has been restored by someone else but Gerald is making a quality display case for its display.

Dr. Roger Marshall, Rotary International District Governor Elect of Great Bend, has become excited about Home on the Range and the Smith Center Club’s long time interest in this historic site to the point he is working with local president Clark Lambert to organize a state work day at the site. They and we have agreed on April 27, 2014 as the date to finish the two remaining foot bridges. Clark and I are working together to have the ground work laid so work can proceed smoothly.

After completion of the bridges we will continue to develop the nature walk. Sandra Wick and I met last week and selected the location of the native grasses plot that will be established and maintained by the Smith County 4H Council for the enjoyment and education of visitors for years to come.

The Sarah Steward Chapter of the Daughters of the American invited me to their regular meeting, hosted by Marilyn Overmiller, where I shared with them the activities at the HOR site. We also finalized plans for the dedication of their new flag pole to be on June 14, 2014. Joyce Jones, local president presented me with a new flag to fly after the pole is installed. The DAR is an excellent organization continuing to tell us of the history of our great Nation.

Again as school field trips are planned Gerald and I invite you to visit Home on the Range; just give us a couple of days notice.