Column published in Smith County Pioneer – July 30, 2015

HOME ON THE RANGE
By El Dean Holthus

The number of visitors to the Home on the Range Site has been consistent even in the heat of July; comments are consistent in their saying, “Thanks to everyone responsible for saving/restoring this beautiful special historical site”. Many of you who are reading this were and continue to be a part of the work being done so personally I say, “Thank you for saving the Higley/Home on the Range Cabin.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAInstallation of the directional signs, funded by the Smith County Convention and Visitors Board, was completed yesterday (7-26) by Marcus Allen and Tanner Campbell. This has taken longer than planned but being dependent on volunteer work we have had to work around harvest schedules and the heat. Thank you to John Struckhoff for giving permission to place one sign (K-8 and 95 Road) on the corner of his property. These signs alert drivers, both north bound and south bound, to the entrance to the Home on Range Site; each is ½ mile north or south of the 90 Road/K-8 Junction.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The next planned on site event is the dedication of the highway naming signs; scheduling is difficult as we are working to include Governor Brownback, Sen. Bowers, Rep. Waymaster, Kansas Department of Transportation officials and local dignitaries in the event. Manufacture of the signs is scheduled to be completed this week. We are working to find a day in the week of August 23.

Behind the scenes work continues on the Home on the Range documentary with current emphasis by The Peoples Heartland Foundation and Lone Chimney Films soliciting financial underwriting to fund the production. I might review that Public Television funds few if any of the documentaries we enjoy viewing which means the cost of production of a documentary must be privately funded. Ken Spurgeon, producer, is hoping we will have a work that is timeless and of interest to educational institutions for many years. The Foundation and Lone Chimney Films are qualified public charities guaranteeing all donations to be tax deductible. If anyone is interested in being a donor contact Mark McClain at the Peoples Bank in Smith Center or me; we would be happy to provide you with more details.

As we enter the Fall season we encourage individuals and groups to visit and spend some time at the HOR Site; if your group would like a presentation on site or need a program give please contact me at 785-695-2347 or cell 785-695-2347; email holt@ruraltel.net; looking forward to hearing from you.