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Don’t You Dare…Be a Square - September 6, 2013

Q: This community claims to have the only ROUND “town square” in all of Kansas. Can you name it?Blue-Rapids Round-Town-Square Tom-ParkerBlue Rapids' town square is actually a circle. (Photo by Tom Parker)


A: Blue Rapids


Blue-Rapids Squircle_Tom-ParkerIn the early 1870s, Taylor Holbrook, designed the round Fountain Park to be the hub of Blue Rapids. By 1876 a fountain was placed in the center and cottonwood trees planted around the edge of the circle. (Photo by Tom Parker)

Located in lovely Marshall County, Blue Rapids is a town of roughly 1,000 people. Incorporated in 1872, it’s believed to be the only town in America named Blue Rapids and is the only community in Kansas with a round “town square.” Nestled at the junction of the Little Blue River and the Big Blue River, the town is situated about 45 miles north of Manhattan.


Blue-Rapids-KansasAmong other things, the town is one of the smallest (maybe even THE smallest) in the country to have hosted a big league baseball game. On October 24, 1913, fans watched the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants play a world tour exhibition game on the local ball field.


Blue-Rapids Ice-Age-Monument_Tom-ParkerThe Ice Age Monument, dedicated in May 2012, is located in the town's round town square. (Photo by Tom Parker)One of the town’s newest tourist attractions is the so-called “Monument to the Ice Age.” In May of 2012, the rock monument was dedicated in the “round” town square. It features descriptions of Ice Age times and continental glaciers. The monument is a tribute to the area’s rich geologic history. This part of northeast Kansas has abundant natural resources which were brought - or created by - glaciers during the Ice Age more than 10,000 years ago.


(Thanks to KPR Commentator Rex Buchanan, of the Kansas Geological Survey, for suggesting this week’s question and to photographer Tom Parker for sharing images of Blue Rapids!)

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