Kansas December 16, 2016
21 Then And Now Photos That Will Forever Change The Way You See Kansas
You know the saying, “What a difference a day makes,” but what about a week? A year? 25 years? 100? Any amount of time can make a HUGE difference, as demonstrated by these 21 then and now photos of Kansas that will forever change the way you see these iconic places:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Then: Kansas State Capitol in Topeka (c. 1889)
2. Kansas State Capitol in Topeka Now
Started in 1866, the Kansas State Capitol took an unprecedented 37 years to complete, with its iconic dome not being approved until 1988. It is the second building to serve as the state's Capitol.
3. Then: Mushroom Rock State Park (1916)
4. Mushroom Rock State Park Now
While these fascinating Dakota sandstone concretions haven't changed too much over the last 100 years, the tourists attire (and camera quality) certainly have!
5. Then: Whacky Shack at Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita (1997)
6. Whacky Shack at Joyland Amusement Park Now
Delighting families from 1949 through 2004 was Wichita's colorful Joyland Amusement Park, which featured childhood favorites like Louie the Clown, a wooden roller coaster, and Whacky Shack (pictured). Joyland Amusement Park still stands today, but is in poor condition.
7. Then: Farming in Kansas (1930)
8. Farming in Kansas Now
Farming has always been a vital part of the Kansas economy, but can you imagine having to harvest with a small, open-air tractor?
9. Then: Kansas Border (1954)
10. Kansas Border Now
Not only have the Kansas border signs changed over the last several decades, so have the roads themselves!
11. Then: University of Kansas in Lawrence (1873)
12. Then: University of Kansas in Lawrence (1908)
13. University of Kansas in Lawrence Now
Originally opened in 1866, the University of Kansas was one of the state institutions in the newly created state that has since produced a number of famous alumni, the sport of basketball, and even a catchy chant (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!).
14. Then: WaKeeney (c. 1960)
15. WaKeeney Now
The iconic "Christmas City of the High Plains" was first dreamed up by local businessmen in 1950, and has since grown to the 4-block holiday phenomenon we all know and love.
16. Then: Midway USA in Kinsley (Date unknown)
17. Midway USA Now
Welcome to Midway USA: The only spot in the country that is the same distance from New York City as it is to San Francisco!
18. Then: Dalton Gang Hideout in Meade (c.1940)
19. Dalton Gang Hideout Now
When the notorious Dalton Gang was on the run during the late-1800s, they took up residence in their sister's Meade home, which later uncovered an elaborate underground tunnel connecting the home and barn. In 1941, the town purchased the home and turned it into a museum, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places just last year.
20. Then: Hesston College in Hesston (1947)
21. Hesston College Now
Founded in 1909, this small private college was originally created by surrounding Mennonite families and currently boasts an enrollment of just more than 400.
For even more historic fun, check out
These 14 Vintage Kansas Tourism Ads Will Have You Longing For The Good Ol’ Days!