Monday, October 10, 2011

Smoky Hill River Valley of Kansas

The Swedish festival of Lindsborg ended Saturday, but yesterday we were treated to more of the culture at Bethany Lutheran during the Sunday services. A children's choir, with the children  in their Swedish garb, sang "Children of the Heavenly Father" in Swedish. It is wonderful that the town and its people still holds onto its heritage after 140 years! The town of Lindsborg was settled by Lutheran Swedish immigrants in 1868. By 1881 the citizens had started up Bethany College. On Saturday we stopped at the college and its campus church, Messiah Lutheran  (daughter church of Bethany). Messiah has five sets of beautiful stained glass windows designed by Eldon B. Swensson, a church member. Below is a picture of one of them which has the title "Messiah's Path of Light". In the picture are Bethany's steeples as well as the Bethany College dove.
The first immigrants of Lindsborg settled in the fertile river valley of the Smokey River, pictured below. We took in the beautiful autumnal view of this valley and its surrounding wheat fields at Coronado Heights. In the 1930s the Works Progress Administration built a castle on this hill to serve as a picnic area and park.  In the 1950s a  professor from Bethany College  found Spanish chain mail a few miles southwest of the park and hence the park was renamed Coronado Heights. It is thought that perhaps the legendary explorer, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado passed through the Kansas Smoky Valley in the 1541.

No comments:

Post a Comment