Lyons, Kansas

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If Lyons hadn’t placed its courthouse along US 56 (Main Street), I probably wouldn’t have stopped in town.  But the courthouse was so darned impressive, I took a five minute break from my trans-Kansas journey to walk around the grounds.

The courthouse was built in 1911, about 40 years after Rice County was organized.

The town of Lyons was named after the original owner of the property where the city now stands.  During an election in 1876, citizens decided on the townsite, which is in the exact center of the county.  Until then, the biggest town around was Atlanta, about 1 1/2 miles away on the Santa Fe Trail.

A Civil War memorial stands at one corner of the courthouse grounds, reading “In Memory of the Defenders of Our Union 1861-1865”.

Lyons was also home to a Carnegie library, which now serves as part of the Coronado-Quivira Museum.

The rest of downtown Lyons is pretty much what you’ve come to expect, after driving for hours, and passing through several small Kansas towns.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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