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Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters - Final Edition

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Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters - Final Edition - Page Text Content

S: Take Shelter - Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters Photos by Tom Parish

BC: Ext. of John Olson - Dugout, Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

FC: TAKE SHELTER - Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters Photos by Tom Parish

1: T. Candon -Root Cellar (Alternate View), Liberty Township, Geary County, KS | TAKE SHELTER - Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters Photos by Tom Parish All images copyright: Tom Parish www.tomparishphotography.com and www.flinthillshelters.com Prints available thru Strecker-Nelson Gallery, 406 Poyntz Ave. Manhattan, Ks Published January 2013 - Updated January 2016

2: Map of expanded quad-county area in Kansas where caves were found (mostly Pottawatomie, Riley, Geary and Wabaunsee)

3: The images presented in this book are part of an exploration of native stone cold storages, storm shelters, and root cellars (basically places of last resort) located in the Flint Hills of Central Kansas, USA. These arched roof, man-made caves (often built as safe havens by early prairie settlers before any other structures, e.g., homes, barns, outbuildings, were erected) dot the landscape in this region of Kansas that I called home for most my life. Notably, these native stone constructions are often all that remain of early homesteads and represent the last traces of the people who built them. These native stone structures follow a common archetype and exude a spirit or soul, possibly due to their resemblance to ancient crypts or to some early religions’ holy places. 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. I have come not only to regard these structures for their hidden beauty, but also to understand just how indicative of and important to the lives of the early homesteaders they were. I 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 of these structures I hope to preserve and present these structures in a new and visually stimulating way, using technologically advanced photographic techniques, creating 360 degree digital impressions of their interiors in order to help contrast their similarities and differences. My intention is to photograph these structures in a standardized way exposing their subtle, yet unique characteristics, documenting what was left behind, and showing the fingerprint-like quality left by the people who built them. Through my treatment of these hidden cavities they become more like split open geodes revealing the beauty hidden inside. Like a geode that can be held in one's hand to study the crystalline structure inside, I photographed these structures in such a way that allows me to print the images in such large sizes and high definition that the viewer can study the very finest detail. 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 viewers will take the opportunity to reflect on their own role in the world, what they themselves have created or helped to create, and what legacies they will leave behind. Life is fragile and tenuous. We have lessons to learn by examining these humble structures. Learn more about the project, the research as well as see additional images of these structures and many more by visiting the website www.flinthillshelters.com.

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

5: A. Carpenter - Root Cellar Sherman Township, Riley County

6: J. Beck - Root Cellar Wildcat Township, Riley County

7: D. Hall - Root Cellar Spring Creek Township, Pottawatomie County

8: A.A. Carlson / Days Ride Hotel - Root Cellar (West) Shannon Township, Pottawatomie County

9: A.A.Carlson / Days Ride Hotel - Root Cellar (East) Shannon Township, Pottawatomie County

10: Joseph Zabokrtsky - Root Cellar Little Blue Township, Washington County

11: Matej Knedlik - Root Cellar Little Blue Township, Washington County

12: Joseph Heptig - Root Cellar Pottawatomie Township, Pottawatomie County

13: George Atkinson - Root Cellar Pottawatomie Township, Pottawatomie County

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

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

16: J. Murphy - Root Cellar Wildcat Township, Riley County

17: J.T. Pritier - Root Cellar Wildcat Township, Riley County

18: R. Peterson - Root Cellar Liberty Township, Geary County

19: Chas Borene - Root Cellar Jackson Township, Riley County

20: John Melgren - Dugout Blue Valley Township, Pottawatomie County

21: Sven Olson - Root Cellar Blue Valley Township, Pottawatomie County

22: H.M. Maffett - Root Cellar Ashland Township, Riley County

23: George Sommers - Root Cellar Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

24: Cloud Heath - Root Cellar Spring Creek Township, Pottawatomie County

25: W. Bandel - Root Cellar Alma Township, Wabaunsee County

26: Louis Svacha - Root Cellar Swede Creek Township, Riley County

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

28: Mary Condroy - Root Cellar Grant Township, Riley County

29: C.F. Hassell - Root Cellar Clear Fork Township, Marshall County

30: Frederick Zeckser - Root Cellar Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County

31: Charles Warner - Root Cellar Wingfield Township, Geary County

32: John Olson - Dugout Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

33: William Spillman - Root Cellar Bala Township, Riley County

34: John Wright - Root Cellar Sherman Township, Pottawatomie County

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

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

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

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

39: Charles Fink / Old Stone Fort - Root Cellar Washington Township, Wabaunsee County

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

41: L. Noller - Root Cellar Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

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

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

44: Jacob Nye - Dugout Zeandale Township, Riley County

45: Charles Schiller - Root Cellar Jefferson Township, Geary County

46: Christian Kuenzli - Cheese Cellar (Small Chamber) Newbury Township, Wabaunsee County

47: Christian Kuenzli - Cheese Cellar (Large Chamber) Newbury Township, Wabaunsee County

48: G.H. Mayer - Dugout (Front Room) Wildcat Township, Riley County

49: G.H. Mayer - Dugout (Back Room) Wildcat Township, Riley County

50: John Johnson - Root Cellar (Bachelors Hollow East) Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

51: John Siegrist - Root Cellar (Bachelors Hollow West) Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County

52: C.R. Tolzman - Root Cellar Pottawatomie Township, Pottawatomie County

53: Theopholis Dekat - Wine Cellar Pottawatomie Township, Pottawatomie County

54: W. Wenzel - Dugout Washington Township, Wabaunsee County

55: August Brasche - Root Cellar Washington Township, Wabaunsee County

56: E.E. Ijams- Root Cellar FairviewTownship, Jefferson County

57: Prosser Family - Root Cellar Barton County

58: Whiskey Lake - Root Cellar Jefferson Township, Geary County

59: O.M. Stewart - Root Cellar Bala Township, Riley County

60: Jacob Shreiber - Root Cellar Alma Township, Wabaunsee County

61: Clara Smith - Root Cellar Manhattan Township, Riley County

62: Why are there so many of these native stone structures in the Flint Hills? | An unusually high concentration of stone cellars are found in the northern Flint Hills. Euro-American setters built these structures between 1850 and 1910 and they would have found use well into the 1950's (a rare few continue to be used). The versatile underground spaces served many functions necessary for settlers' survival in a harsh climate, acting as root cellars, spring houses, | storm shelters, meet lockers, bee yards, smokehouses and more. Some pioneers even made these spaces their homes. In other parts of the great plains where the soil is deep, pioneers likely built sod dugouts as their first homes. For settlers in this area, rock was the most readily available building material. As with most of Kansas, the Flint Hills had very few trees, but the European immigrants from Sweden, Germany, and Russia used the abundant, exposed or shallowly buried limestone in the area to build arched-roof dugouts. Whether this was their first purpose is still debatable. Regardless the structures would have served multiple roles and were essential to the survival of the settlers and those who followed.

63: Michael Repp - Dugout, Pottawatomie Township, Pottawatomie County (top) | The pictures on the previous page show two views which demonstrate the lack of wood and abundance of rock in the northern Flint Hills during the period of settlement and for many years beyond (top is from the area of Hinerville, KS; bottom shows Manhattan, KS in 1870). The picture on the left is the only image found that seems to show this type of structure being used as a home (noted as being located between Manhattan and Wabaunsee, circa 1870). The pictures above show a few sites that were described by the settlers descendent's as being the original family dugout. The two on the right show an outside view of an isolated structure that upon further inspection (bottom) showed clear signs of habitation. | J.O. Easterberg - Dugout, Center Township, Riley County (Ext -above, Int - below) | John Melgren - Dugout, Blue Valley Township, Pottawatomie County (below)

64: Ext. Charles Schiller - Root Cellar, Jefferson Township, Geary County | Ext. G. Sommers - Root Cellar, Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County | Ext. J.W. Alexander - Root Cellar, Liberty Township, Geary County | Ext. Joseph Gentine - Homestead, Sherman Township, Pottawatomie County

65: Ext. Louis Svacha - Root Cellar, Swede Creek Township, Riley County | Ext. J. Zabokrtsky - Root Cellar, Little Blue Township, Washington County | Ext. N.T. Dameron - Root Cellar, Newbury Township, Wabaunsee County | Ext. Mary Condroy - Root Cellar, Grant Township, Riley County

66: Ext. C.F. Hassell - Root Cellar, Clear Fork Township, Marshall County | Ext. G.W. Engstrom - Root Cellar, Liberty Township, Geary County | Ext. C. Kuenzli, Cheese Cellar (orig), Newbury Township, Wabaunsee County | Ext. G. Redenske - Dugout, Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County

67: Ext. Conrad Winkler - Homestead, Lone Star Township, Pottawatomie County | Ext. G.A. Westling - Root Cellar, Bala Township, Riley County | Ext.(s) Sarah Stocks - Cistern; Jacob Nye - Dugout; A. Carpenter - Root Cellar; G.H. Mayer - Dugout

68: Ext. John Seigrist - Root Cellar, Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County | Ext. John Johnson - Root Cellar, Mill Creek Township, Wabaunsee County | Ext. C. Kobiskie - Root Cellar, Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County | Ext. Whiskey Lake - Root Cellar, JeffersonTownship, Geary County

69: Tom Parish inside D.H. Hall - Root Cellar, Photo Courtesy Kansas State University (shot by David Mayes)

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  • By: Thomas P.
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Flint Hills Native Stone Subterranean Shelters - Final Edition
  • 360 photographs of arched cave root cellars, cold storages, storm shelters and other subterranean shelters located around the Flint Hills of Kansas
  • Tags: None
  • Started: almost 4 years ago
  • Updated: 10 months ago

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