The route Atchison to Frankfort

You are actually starting at Parallel Street to Parallel Rd to old Hwy 9 to present-day Hwy 73 to Lancaster. Check out the Pony Express Station Marker in Lancaster. Be on the look out for Monrovia, a ghost town (1857-1955); there are only a few houses left. It was on the Overland Stage route.

Go on to Effingham. If you want to make a postmaster happy, stop in and see Elaine Montgomery and buy some stamps. Elaine said she would be waiting to welcome you. To check if they are open Saturday afternoon call 913-833-5825. Check out the the green-roofed water tower. The Atchison County fair is held in Effingham. (I need the date of the fair.)

You are off to Muscotah. If you have time find the gargoyles on the front step of the high school. It looks like someone is living there. Check out the calaboose. When doing the research for this run, we found a lot of old jails. We must have had some rowdy ancesters! I would be interested in a count of how many you find. Also be on the look out for all the old gas stations. If you are into sports check out Joe Tinker’s stone. He was the shortstop of the Chicago Cubs in 1912. Check out that water tower. And how about those WPA outhouses?

Your next town will be Whiting. If you are getting hungry stop in and see Rosa at the Whiting Cafe or buy some of her homemade candy. The old school is the community center. They have an old corner gas station. Did you see the train engines? They’re hard to find and not where you’d expect to see them, but if you find them I’d like to hear about it.

Get your camera ready because you are off to Netawaka. The Central Branch Railroad divides the town. You might want to get a picture of your car on Whiteway Street. They have a nice city park; again, check out those water towers. You have been through two counties so far.

Wetmore is your next town. They have an old calaboose across from the city park. Be on the look out for one or two of those corner gas stations. For those who celebrate how long the Pony Express has been out of business you might like to pay respects to Don Clarence Rising, who is buried on the south end of the cemetery about eight stones north on the first row on the east side. Rising was a Pony Express rider.

In Goff check out the old drinking fountain on the main drag. There are more corner gas stations here. Alvin Gleason will have stories to tell when we meet him in Frankfort, but this is where the original Whiteway Chevrolet Garage was. I hope he tells the story about showday.

In Corning they have a place I want to call the Corning Mall. They have everything! If they don’t have it, you don’t need it. You can get out and stretch your legs at the city museum, open from 10-4. Check out the watertower and that corner gas station.

Centralia is next and they just restored their fire truck and it might join you on your way to Frankfort. Oh, did I mention to be on the lookout for other cars to join. In Goff there will be some participants honoring the Whiteway Chevrolet.

Take the road into Vermillion. There’s a treat waiting in town. The town is quiet now but they have murals and have put some personality into the old buildings. The city hall and library are in the old hotel. Vermillion has several points of interest: The Historic Depot, the first depot in Marshall County; the Curtis House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places; the Vermillion City – Library building; murals painted on several buildings in the downtown area; and the Vermillion City Park, which lies on the original route of Highway 9.

The old Hwy 9 still runs between Vermillion Frankfort but don’t even consider taking it when the road is wet. If necessary, go one mile north to the present-day Hwy 9, which is paved. If you take the dirt road, there is an old bridge that will give you a thrill and an old cemetery that needs a story to be told about it. Take it at your own risk–of course this whole adventure is at your own risk. Check out the water tower. They have the Tim Lee Cafe, open from 5 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Vliets is the last stop before Frankfort. There is a beauty shop there. Get your party flags going!

Frankfort has planned for you to come and celebrate. If you come early or arrive late they want to celebrate. There will be a meeting (that’s what they called it in 1914) at 2 p.m. at the city park. The mayor wants to welcome you and of course Mr. Whiteway himself, Alvin Gleason, has a few words to say. There will be time for those who want to add a few words. If your group wants to participate feel free to e-mail me. Doing some research we have come across some descendants; we would love to hear their stories.

I would like to thank all the people who put their heart into this Great White Way. This is just one more thing that we have to be proud of. We have come by this wonderful place and the stories need to be kept alive. Be on the look-out for white flags. They will be at places in various communities that know of the run and want to welcome you.

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