Everything Old is New Again By Sharon Black

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Smith Center has been a busy place the last couple of weeks. The North Central Kansas town, which claims to be the center of the United States, plus the home of Home on the Range.

Two highways intersect on the north end of Smith Center. Highway 281 runs north and south and it was resurfaced with new asphalt from Highway 36 down to the railroad tracks two blocks from Main Street. Underneath the asphalt is the original brick street. 281 Highway hits 36 Highway (East and West directions), and traveling east joins Highway 281 again.{{more}}

A new swimming pool is being constructed where the old one was torn out. There was a pool committee formed a couple years ago and they have been fundraising. The committee had dances, bake sales, concessions, and movies to raise money. So much money had to be raised to get a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city of Smith Center raised a little over $700,000 and the Kansas Department of Commerce granted one million dollars.

Downtown in the old Opera House district, a building is being gutted and will be remodeled. CBD construction is doing the work. It will be apartments when it is all finished.

The old Clark Photography building is being held in surprise for us as something exciting will be going there.

Almost ready to open is a new manufacturer where the old Peterson Excel camper factory was. This is on Highway 36.

Almost all the Smith Center downtown buildings now have a business in them. Soon it will be the annual Old Settlers Day parade and barbecue. The old settlers would be very proud of the people in Smith Center today.

Sign on the poolPool with equipmentOld Opera HouseAntique Car

Sharon Black is from Smith Center, Kansas. We welcome her to our team of volunteers.

Smith Center KansasSharon Black has been writing for many years including newspapers, short stories, and as a publisher. She was born in Nebraska and has lived in Kansas most of her life. In her hometown of Smith Center, Kansas, Willa Cather’s hometown is to the north and Bob Dole’s hometown is to the south. Sharon is a press release writer for the National Parks Arts Foundation and writes for b U n e k e magazine. The biggest project she has accomplished is the co-writer of the TV movie Home on the Range. The movie is about the song, which is the state song of Kansas and the lawsuit surrounding it in the 1930s and finding the rightful author of the song. Sharon is distantly related to the Mississippi writer Eudora Welty.

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