Most Kansans think of our state as the center of America, and the heart of the heartland. However, is that even remotely true? For years, we’ve assumed that this tourist trap, the geographic center of the contiguous United States has been northwest of Lebanon, Kansas, where the marker sits. The survey that decided this location was done in 1918, but is it really the truth?

This spot in Lebanon has been a center of tourism for decades, but what really lies behind the monument?

As for the monument itself, there’s plenty around to lead you to the spot.

So, the original location of the 1918 survey is half a mile away and unknown by most, but that’s just to keep trespassers off of private land. The real lie starts in how they found the location in the first place. Get this: they cut out a piece of cardboard shaped like the U.S., and balanced it on a point to find the location of the center. To be fair, it’s accurate within about 20 miles, but that’s a lot of room for error. We might as well mark the whole area as the center! The group that originally did the survey no longer endorses any location as the center, however. Most likely that is due to eroding shores and small shifts that continue to slowly change our country.

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