Father Padilla’s Cross
The cross was erected in memory of Franciscan missionary Father Padilla. Father Padilla stood with Coronado at the erection of the first Christian cross on Kansas prairies. He devoted his life to God and to the Native Americans of Quivira. He died a martyr’s death in 1542. A symbol on the cross is inscribed, saying “Jesus Christ, Victor.” The square, quartered by the cross, denotes the four corners of the world brought into Christian unity when Father Padilla carried the cross of Christianity to the center of the new world. The monument was erected in 1950 by the Kansas Knights of Columbus.
Buffalo Bill’s Well and Cow Creek Crossing
Buffalo Bill Mathewson ran a trading post at the crossing, found four miles west of Lyons and one miles south. Trail travelers used this 1860’s well.
This marker notes the location of the death of a wealthy Mexican merchant. His death caused an international incident. Detailed directions to get to the old Santa Fe Trail location are available at the Coronado Quivira Museum, 105 W. Lyon, Lyons, 620-267-3941.
The Coronado Quivira Museum
The museum is known to be one of the best small museums in Kansas. Different displays highlight Native Americans, Spanish explorers, the Santa Fe Trail and the coming of homesteaders and permanent settlers. Traveling exhibits tell of specific areas of interest in central Kansas history.
The Rice County Courthouse was built in 1911 and features a four-directional clock tower. This historic site is surrounded by grass, trees and flowers.
Rice County Veterans Memorial and Eternal Flame
Located on the ground of the Rice County Courthouse in Lyons. The memorial was donated to Rice County in 1962.
Little Arkansas Crossing and Cottonwood Cemetery
The lower river crossing is located between a cemetery and rifle ruts created by Buffalo soldiers.
These are some of the most prominent trail ruts to be found in the Lyons area.
Stone Corral Site
A 300 foot corral once stood in this area as a trading post and overnight stop.
Union Soldiers Memorial
This memorial honors the service of Union soldiers during the American Civil War. It stands on the northeast corner of Lyons Town Square and was erected in 1918.
This mural, created by artist Stan Herd, depicts different era of Rice County history. The mural can be found on the side of the Hearts and Hands building across the street from the Rice County Courthouse in Lyons in a small park area. The panels depict the Wichita Native Americans, the first farmers in the area, Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and Father Padilla visiting the area in 1541, the birth of the Santa Fe Trial in 1821, settlers arriving in 1871, and wheat fields and salt mining in the 1950’s.
Alden Train Depot
This historic Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Depot was built in 1872 in Alden. During the 1930’s, it served more than a dozen passengers a day, and continued to serve passengers until 1965. It is preserved today as a museum.
Alden City Hall
This historic building was renovated in the 1970’s by an all-volunteer effort. The hall now serves as the township and city hall.
Parks and Recreation
The Lake is two blocks east of Highway 96 on East Van Buren Street in Sterling. The grounds are home to a swimming pool, open during the summer months, a beach volleyball court, horseshoe pits, tennis courts, a walking path, several children’s play areas and an RV Park.
Lyons Aquatic Center
Opened in May, 2010, this pool, in Tobias Park, was built to replace an aged swimming pool. The season runs from early May to early September. Admission is free for Lyons residents and $2.50 for out of towners.
A community center built by grant funds and donations is on the east edge of Lyons. The facilities include a concrete walking trail adorned with bronze statues, the community center for meetings and events and a multi-purpose indoor arena used for many equestrian and other events.
Rice County offers a number of specialty shops including men’s and women’s fashion, women’s accessories, boutiques, collectibles, antiques, flowers, fabric and crafts and discount stores.
There are restaurants in Lyons, Sterling, Little River, Chase, Geneseo and Alden. Lodging facilities are available in the county.
Three golf courses offer recreation, along with many parks.
For more information, feel free to call 620-257-5166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.