14 May 2018

"Early Entertainment in Wellington and the Historic Regent Theater"

Monday, May 21st, 2018
6:30 p.m.
Wellington Public Library
121 W. 7th, Wellington, KS
Lower Level; West door

“Early Entertainment in Wellington and the Historic Regent Theater”

Wellington – Jim Bales, Chisholm Trail Museum, Wellington, is fascinated by Sumner County History, and he and other volunteers work each week to preserve Sumner County’s fascinating history and share it in articles, presentations, and with museum visitors.

Bales will present the program “Early Entertainment in Wellington, and the Historic Regent Theater” to members and guests of the Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society on Monday, May 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellington Public Library. Everyone is invited to attend the free program. For information or weather cancellations: President Jane Moore - 620-441-9835 or Vice-President Sherry Kline at 316-833-6161.

According to Bales, the first theater mentioned in newspapers was in 1907.

Prior to theaters, Bales said the Opera House, located on the southwest corner of 7th and Washington, where the Beehive  Quilt and Toy Shop now stands, featured live acts, vaudeville, and even showed a few films before burning down in the early 1900’s.

“There were several theaters in Wellington mentioned throughout the years,” Bales said, adding that there was an outdoor theater named the Airdome and two indoor theaters located in the 100 block of South Washington, right across the street from each other.

“Sometimes, the locations of the theaters stayed the same, but the name changed several times, “Bales said.

Bales said that the Regent Theater building housed several different businesses before becoming a theater.  

"The Ashland was the first theater’s name," Bales said, "but before it became the Ashland, there was a livery stable, then a wholesale grocery distributor, and then a roller rink."

Bales said in 1908, newspapers documented a juvenile crime wave, as they were unable to afford some of the early days entertainment, some of the city’s youth turned to theft to be able to afford to go to the theater.

Bales said that he can identify with these youth.

“We used to ride around town on bicycles and pick up pop bottles,” Bales said, “and then cash them in at Hepler’s Market and hit the candy aisle.”

Bales will share information and photographs with a PowerPoint presentation, and would like help identifying an interior photograph of an early days Wellington theater.

Admission: FREE


04 May 2018

May 21st, 2018

Speaker - Jim Bales, Chisholm Trail Museum

Jim Bales, Chisholm Trail Museum
Jim Bales, Chisholm Trail Museum

Our speaker for May will be Jim Bales from the Chisholm Trail Museum!  Jim has two topics to choose from for his May talk and he will let us know soon which he chooses!

"The Plunge" the private Wellington swimming pool and the historic "Regent Theatre"!  Whichever topic Jim chooses will be fascinating with lots of tidbits you didn't know!

  We meet at the Wellington Public Library, 121 W. 7th, Wellington, Kansas at 6:30 p.m.

Admission: FREE


15 March 2018

Etzanoa – The City Before Arkansas City

Etzanoa - The Great Settlement sat in 1601 where the city of Arkansas City now sits!
Etzanoa - The Great Settlement

Long before there was a city named Arkansas City, before Kansas was a state, even before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, the Rayados people had a large and thriving settlement at the confluence of the Walnut and Arkansas Rivers where Arkansas City sits now.

On Monday, March 26th, Sandy Randel, Director of the Cherokee Strip Land Museum and Coordinator for the Etzanoa Conservancy, will speak to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society and share the story of “Etzanoa – the city before Arkansas City” with a video and PowerPoint presentation and answer questions. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellington Public Library, lower level, 121 W. 7th, Wellington. P program is free; visitors welcome.  For questions or weather cancellation, contact Jane at 620-447-3266 or Sherry at 316-833-6161.

They were hunting for gold…

It was 1601, 417 years ago, when Juan de Oñate, colonial governor of the Santa Fe de Nuevo México province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain set out with approximately 130 Spanish soldiers, a dozen Franciscan priests, servants, scouts, cannons, and weapons to search for gold.
They didn’t find it. 
But according to diaries, eyewitness accounts, and maps from the Conquistadores, they did find herds of “monstrous cattle” that they pronounced “good to eat”, grass so high in places that it “hid a horse,” and when they reached what is now Oklahoma, they found the Escanxaque native people who were nomadic hunters, and enemies of the native people of Etzanoa.

The Escanxaque told the Conquistadores about the “great settlement” called Etzanoa, and then followed Oñate and his troops north to the Great Settlement at the confluence of what is now the Walnut and Arkansas rivers.

There, Oñate and his soldiers found at least 2,000 post and pole, grass-thatched houses seventy to eighty feet in circumference. Houses separated by crops of beans, squash, and maize, houses big enough for eight to ten occupants.
Because of the paint and tattoos on their faces, the Conquistadores called the natives at Etzanoa the “Rayados”, which means “striped” in Spanish.
When Oñate decided to return to Nuevo México, the Escanxaque attacked the troops. Even though they were outnumbered, the Spanish cannons and muskets forced the Escanxaque to take shelter in a rocky gully, leaving behind evidence of the battle. Several of the Escanxaque were killed or wounded. Some of Oñate’s troops were injured, but none were killed. 
The next day, Oñate and his troops began their journey back to New Mexico; they arrived on Nov 24, 1601.

After a new translation of the Spanish records of Oñate’s journey was done in 2013 it helped Dr. Donald Blakeslee, Professor of Anthropology and Archeology at Wichita State University to locate and verify the location of the Great Settlement.

And that battle between the Conquistadores and the Escanxaque left behind cannon and musket balls that helped Dr. Blakeslee verify that this is the site of the Etzanoa village.

How Old Was the Settlement?

They don’t know how long Etzanoa existed prior to 1601, and they aren’t sure how long it was there after 1601, but Randel knows that a town of that size didn’t spring up overnight.
 “We know it was there in 1601,” Randel said., “there would have needed to be quite a bit of things in place to support that many people.”
Currently, the estimated size of Etzanoa at a population of 20,000 puts it second in size only to the 13th Century settlement of Cahokia near St. Louis, but the exact boundaries of the settlement at Etzanoa is still unknown and some suspect that further discoveries may show that Etzanoa is larger than Cahokia.
“The settlement does go north of Arkansas City,” Randel said, “We don’t know how far north it goes.”

How to Get Involved in the Project…

Randel stated that the Etzanoa Conservancy welcomes volunteers and involvement with the project and she will bring information on volunteering and getting involved.  For more information, check out www.ks-schgs.blogspot.com.
 Articles about Etzanoa:

Lost city found: Etzanoa of the great Wichita Nation

Lost City of Etzanoa Found

Etzanoa: The Great Settlement

WSU professor, students continue research on archaeological discovery

 WikiPedia - Rayado Indians

Etzanoa Facebook Page

Searching for Etzanoa

Has a High School Student Found the Mythical City of Etzanoa

The Lost Ancient City of Etzanoa Has Been Hidden in Kansas All This Time