View Single Post
Old 01-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #1971
Sod Buster
prairie rider
Sod Buster's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: , Wichita, Kansas
Oddometer: 6,246
Originally Posted by RoadGrime View Post
Am I looking at a 'sodvalanche' ? cool...

I am not sure what caused that sink on the hillside, the pic was taken looking north from the top of Coronado Heights, Ks.

Coronado Heights is a hill northwest of Lindsborg, Kansas. It is alleged to be near the place where Francisco Vasquez de Coronado gave up his search for the seven cities of gold and turned around to return to Mexico.

In 1915 a professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Ks. found chain mail from Spanish armor at an Indian village excavation site a few miles southwest of present Coronado Heights and another Bethany College professor promoted the name of Coronado Heights for the hill.

In 1936, a stone shelter resembling a castle was built on top of the hill as a project of the Works Progress Administration.

Towering more than 300 feet above the Smoky Hill River valley, Coronado Heights is on the southern end of a 4-mile chain of hills known as Smoky Hill Buttes, some refer to them as Spanish Buttes, located just north of Lindsborg, Kansas, in Saline County (Lindsborg is actually in McPherson County).

Capped by hard sandstones of the Dakota Formation that are more resistant to erosion than the softer underlying shales and sandstones, these hills are called erosional remnants--topographic features that remain standing above the landscape after the surrounding area has been reduced by erosion.

(The Dakota Formation was deposited about 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period.) Whether Coronado actually visited this site during his 1541 expedition to Kansas remains a topic of debate among historians.

During the Great Depression the federal government-sponsored Work Projects Administration (WPA) built eating and cooking areas of native sandstone around the top of Coronado Heights in addition to a castle honoring the Spanish explorer.

The castle provides shelter with a large interior room featuring a table and a fireplace. It's topped with an open-air second floor roof, accessible by stairs, providing a spectacular view of the valley and beyond.

The Smoky Valley Historical Association (SVHA) parent organization obtained the land for a park in 1919 from two pioneer Swedish farm families.

The SVHA built the walking trail and auto road to the top along with a shelter house and flag stand in the early 1920's. The park was deeded to Saline County in 1936 for management after the WPA work and reverted back to the SVHA in 1988.

It has been managed by them since that time. In 1988 a special monument for Coronado was designed and built by Lindsborg artist John Whitfield and the Smoky Valley Historical Association and volunteers.

Johan August Udden was an instructor of natural science at Bethany College in Lindsborg. He also was an amateur archeologist, and from 1881 to 1888 he investigated the ruins of an ancient American Indian village southwest of Lindsborg. He left fascinating accounts of his discoveries, describing the bone and stone tools these people used, as well as descriptions of their pottery cooking vessels and the butchered bones of the animals that they ate.

His most unusual find was a two-inch-square piece of rusted iron, which he identified as a section of chain mail armor. Made of interlocking small rings of iron, this armor formed a net-like fabric for protection from arrows, spears, and knives. Chain mail was brought to the New World by early Spanish explorers and Udden recognized its significance. He also was familiar with the Spanish accounts of the 1541 expedition of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado to the land of Quivira, and he was the first to suggest that this particular village site might have been one of the Quiviran villages visited by the Spaniards. This singular find provided the first definite physical evidence relating to the early presence of Spaniards in what is now Kansas. Archeologists and historians identify the Quivirans as part of the Wichita tribe, and the visits by Coronado and later Spaniards are the first historic accounts of this successful hunting and farming group who lived here 450 years ago. Today the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes have an enrolled membership of more than 1,900 people, and their headquarters is in Anadarko, Oklahoma.

The chain mail find disappeared under mysterious circumstances even before Udden published his account in 1900. For many years, archeologists thought that this very important specimen was forever lost. It reappeared in 1974 in an antique store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was promptly obtained by the Kansas Historical Society. The chain mail has since been studied by experts of 16th century armor who verified its authenticity and said that it was most likely horse chain mail. This unique and important relic of the history of Kansas is now on exhibit at the Kansas Museum of History.

Sod Buster screwed with this post 01-25-2013 at 03:54 PM
Sod Buster is online now   Reply With Quote