Home on the Range Sesquicentennial By Sharon Black

Home on the Range program photo by Sharon Black
Home on the Range program photo by Sharon Black

The Home on the Range cabin is 150 years old. It was built in the banks of Beaver Creek north of Athol, Kansas on July 4th, 1872. Through the years it has gone through transformations.

The weekend was centered around military salutes and performances by MSG (ret) Marti Mace Armed Forces Master Bagpiper, a re-enactment of frontier military wives by Marla Matkin , and a military band from Fort Riley. Also speaking was CSM Brian Narducci, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Riley Kansas. He said the real hero in his family was his wife and taking care of the home front, and realizing he could never come home alive.

Take a tour

There were tours of the Home on the Range property, and family reunions of ancestor Dr. Higley and the Rust family. Dr. Higley wrote the poem that became the Home on the Range song, and Pete and Ellen Rust lived on the property and refused to sell the cabin. The movie Home on the Range was shown twice at Center Theater.

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

Sharon 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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