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Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters

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S: Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters Photos by Thomas Parish

FC: Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters Photos by Thomas Parish

1: T. Candon / Carr Root Cellar (Alternate View) - Liberty Township, Geary County | Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters Photos by Thomas Parish All images copyright: Thomas Parish www.parishphotography.net Prints Available thru Strecker-Nelson Gallery, 406 Poyntz Ave. Manhattan, Ks

2: This series of images is an exploration of native stone cold storages, storm shelters, and root cellars (basically places of last resort) which exist around the Flint Hills of Kansas. These arched roof, man-made caves (often built as safe havens by early settlers of the area before any other structures including their homes were erected) dot the landscape in this region of Kansas that I’ve called home most my life. Notably, these native stone constructions are often all that remains of early homesteads and represent the last traces of the people who built them. I’ve spent a great deal of time researching and looking for these elusive structures, wandering the landscape in hopes of stumbling upon them, as well as talking to numerous locals for any possible leads. Through my photographs I hope to preserve and present these structures in a new and visually stimulating way. Using technologically advanced photographic techniques, I have created 180 to 360 degree impressions of their interiors in order to contrast the similarities and differences among these seemingly primordial structures that the builders seemed almost hard-wired to create. I am seeking to document what was left behind, and show the fingerprint-like quality left by the people who built these subterranean structures. These native stone structures follow a common archetype. Like the wheel, once we first figured out that an arch was a more secure support for a roof, we seemed never forgot it, even at times when we were collectively reset to a more primitive status. These structures exude a spirit or soul, possibly due to their resemblance to ancient crypts or to some early religions' holy places. But more than that, the chisel marks on the native stone, harvested from local quarries or gathered from the surrounding pastures, are like the lines on your hand, unique to the individual structure and speak of their region and geography. These were not large scale projects the likes of which entire communities, states, or even countries participated in and/or celebrated the creation of. Rather, they were often built by an individual and/or a family with the sole purpose of sustaining their respective lives and providing for their future in a time of crisis. Beyond their original purposes these places might have served other purposes, too, being the settings for all kinds of drama, as suggested by the artifacts that are still littering the floors. Other than these relics, about all that's left of the people who relied on their security is a crypt-like cavity in the ground. It is hoped that the viewers of these images will take the opportunity to reflect upon their own role in the world, what they themselves have created or helped to create, and what legacies they will leave behind. How fragile and tenuous life really is. Lessons may be taught and/or learned from an examination of these humble structures and the stories associated with them.

3: Whiskey Lake Root Cellar Jefferson Township, Geary County

4: T. Candon / Carr Root Cellar Liberty Township, Geary County

5: John and Mary Hohman Root Cellar Sherman Township, Riley County

6: A.A. Carlson / Days Ride Hotel Root Cellar (West) ShannonTownship, Pottawatomie County

7: A.A.Carlson / Days Ride Hotel Root Cellar (East) ShannonTownship, Pottawatomie County

8: Joseph Zabokrtsky Root Cellar Little Blue Township, Washington County

9: Matej Knedlik Root Cellar Little Blue Township, Washington County

10: A.G. Davenport Spring House Newbury Township, Wabaunsee County

11: A.G. Davenport Root Cellar Newbury Township, Wabaunsee County

12: R. Peterson Root Cellar Liberty Township, Geary County

13: Chas Borene Root Cellar Jackson Township, Riley County

14: A.G. Carlson Root Cellar BalaTownship, Riley County

15: Ida Summers Root Cellar Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

16: Louis Svacha Root Cellar Swede Creek Township, Riley County

17: Wesley Vaclan Hula Root Cellar Swede Creek Township, Riley County

18: Elmer Zeckser Root Cellar Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County

19: Charles Warner (Tulley Hill) Root Cellar Wingfield Township, Geary County

20: John Wright Root Cellar Sherman Township, Pottawatomie County

21: F.I. Davis Root Cellar Sherman Township, Pottawatomie County

22: G.W. Engstrom Root Cellar Liberty Township, Geary County

23: W.A. Horne Root Cellar Jackson Township, Geary County

24: Jacob Nye Dugout Zeandale Township, Riley County

25: Joseph Boller Root Cellar Jefferson Township, Geary County

26: C. Kobiskie (Kopiske) Root Cellar Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County

27: Old Stone Fort Root Cellar Washington Township, Wabaunsee County

28: N.T. Dameron Root Cellar Newbury Township, Wabaunsee County

29: L. Noller / Gnadt Root Cellar Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

30: Dwight (W. Cypress) Root Cellar Ohio Township, Morris County

31: N.W. Nelson Root Cellar Ohio Township, Morris County

32: W. Orch / Theirer Root Cellar Washington Township, Wabaunsee County

33: John Johnson Root Cellar (Bachelors Hollow West) Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

34: John Redman Root Cellar (Bachelors Hollow East) Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

35: John Redman Root Cellar (Bachelors Hollow East) Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

36: Jacob Shreiber Root Cellar Alma Township, Wabaunsee County

37: C. Smith Root Cellar Manhattan Township, Riley County

38: A.A.Carlson / Days Ride Hotel Root Cellar (East - Alternate View) - ShannonTownship, Pottawatomie County | Joseph Zabokrtsky Root Cellar (Alternate View) - Little Blue Township, Washington County

39: A.A. Carlson Days Ride Hotel Root Cellar (West Alternate Views) ShannonTownship, Pottawatomie County

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  • By: Thomas P.
  • Joined: over 4 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 1
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters
  • 360 photographs of arched cave root cellars, cold storages, storm shelters and other subterranean shelters located around the Flint Hills of Kansas
  • Tags: Kansas Flint Hills Prairie tall grass root cellars cave caves subterra
  • Published: over 4 years ago

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