Day #5 of another road trip - some exploring

Day #5 of this trip found me back in Baxter Springs for part of one more day, after packing up for the last morning in Miam-uh OK. I stayed four nights at a fairly nice campground, although it was awfully loud at night (especially the night it stormed). One night I said to one of the campground owners, "It's quite loud tonight." "Oh," she explained, "They're all set up with their TV watching the game outside." Oh. I see.

Anyway, I did some exploring this morning, first via 1930 Sanborn maps at the Heritage Center and then via Prius around Baxter Springs.

You can take this "broken arrow" as a peace offering or you can mourn its demise. The building under it is in just as bad shape. This may have been one of the drive-ins I've been looking for.

Here are a couple shots of the crumbling remains of the electric railway bridge across the Spring River. This is still in existence due to the efforts of local history and preservation fans led by Phyllis Abbott in the 1990s. 

On the Willow Street stretch of 66 on the north side of Baxter, here's what remains of a gas station just past the curve. This was across 2nd Street from the Sunbeam Tourist Camp.

Fort Blair was reconstructed in Baxter. There is plenty of good signage in this area and the Heritage Center is nearby.

And, here's an extant post from the entrance to the old reunion grounds southeast of town. Reunions were huge here, and after they ceased to exist (the head of the reunions passed away), someone else picked up the torch and began the rodeo and birthday celebrations! The reunions were held in this very pretty, hilly area, which is now filled with nice homes. But in the days of the reunions, families camped on the hillsides. Entertainment and side shows were plentiful in an area known as "Red Hot Street," which later became the site of the Price family home. 

Then it was time to get on the highway. I had intended to make Amarillo tonight, but I didn't leave the Tri-State area until 2 pm. I made it to Elk City in time for a nice sunset. Tomorrow it's on to Albuquerque!


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