Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking in the 12th annual Highway 36 “Treasure Hunt”, a three-day flea market which stretches across the northernmost tier of Kansas counties.  While I didn’t traverse the entire state, I did tackle much of the western half, and stopped to take a few  photos along the way…


A thoughtfully restored building exterior which has survived with few alterations since built in 1907. The building is currently for sale and its interior has been recently renovated.  More photos can be seen on the always interesting Old House Dreams.  Atwood, Kansas.


Less common than examples in brick, stone or stucco, this wood-clad interpretation of the Tudor Revival style dates to the 1920’s. Note that the pair of windows on a staircase landing (between floors) has beefier casings than the other windows – yet smaller muntins.  This is because the windows are vinyl replacement units with fake muntins.  The replacement windows are slightly smaller in scale than the originals; they required new metal-clad casings to help hide the alteration.  St. Francis, Kansas.


An old postcard image of the Rawlins County Courthouse as it looked when young. The photo below shows changes made to it in the late 20th century. Atwood, Kansas.


Today the bell tower has been enclosed with vinyl siding, windows have been replaced with shorter units, and the entry has been replaced with an aluminum version with a distinct mid-century feel.


A former Craftsman style bungalow was “updated” c. 1960 with a minimalist porch (partially supported by a whimsical triangular bracket featuring circular cut-outs), wide replacement siding (complete with printed-on shadow lines) and a curiously-shaped window in an asymmetrical attic expansion. St. Francis, Kansas.


An early example of concrete block used for house construction, c. 1910. Note that even the chamfered porch supports are made of concrete. Corner quoins are smooth-faced while the walls themselves feature rough-faced block. St. Francis, Kansas.


According to, “This theatre in northwest Kansas was designed by the Boller Brothers firm of Kansas City in 1906. It was remodeled by the firm in 1947. It has been renovated and is currently run by volunteers.” Note the older, mansard-roofed, structure at the rear… was it a part of the theater?  The photo below shows the building as it appears today.   Norton, Kansas.  Image source:


The Norton Theater today. Looks like it lost some height.  Some additional changes have been made since the 1940’s makeover.


Detail of neon marquee extension.


A glimpse through the glass doors of the lobby… who doesn’t love a padded door?! The painted wall decor above the doors appears to be original to the remodeling.


Former hotel building. McDonald, Kansas.


Facade of a former bank building with nice terra cotta details. While not especially noteworthy in many locales, this kind of ornament is somewhat scarce in northwestern Kansas.  St. Francis, Kansas.


Detail of pilaster sections and ironspot brick.


Looking up to the entablature. Triglyphs and guttae and acroteria – oh, my!


An early 20th-century bank building with a “cut corner” which was later “normalized” and then given a “stone” veneer. Cut corner entries for banks were quite common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  St. Francis, Kansas.


Another early 20th-century building which once had a cut corner entry. This one appears to have been squared off in the 1960’s. The infill was clad in ceramic tile; I love the fact that the architect who designed the update carried the crenelation of the original building into the new work. McDonald, Kansas.


Detail of squared entry renovation as it meshes with the original building. Tiles are beginning to pop off at the joint, but the work has held up well for nearly six decades.


Entry detail with sleek aluminum door pull, glass block and receptacle with stylish tag stating manufacture by the Chicago Bullet Proof Equipment Company (extant today!).


I’ve seen plenty of houses with two front doors before, but never one with a blind and mirrored sidelight between them! It appears to be original. St. Francis, Kansas.


The setting sun casts shadows of the limestone grilles which grace a mid-century ranch house in Norton, Kansas.


A former Masonic temple built of poured concrete now houses a senior center. McDonald, Kansas.


This table caught my eye at one of the many sales along the route. Unfortunately, the chairs had replacement seats and backs, and the legs weren’t all that exciting, but the laminate was fantastic!


I need another MCM dinette table like I need a hole in the head, so I settled for a photograph of its best feature!


Driving long distances for me requires coffee, and lots of it. The McDonald grocery not only has good coffee, but a time-capsule atmosphere which is not very common these days. Photos of the interior follow! McDonald, Kansas.


The original oak floors are still performing beautifully!


If it’s not in one of these two aisles, you might want it, but you probably don’t need it.


Both the mid-century refrigerated display case and the early twentieth-century refrigerated meat locker are still operational!


They even serve lunch!


No worries about which check-out lane to pick; there is only one. The antique wall phone at far left is said to be original to the building.


It was a fun-filled weekend and I even found a few “treasures” I didn’t know I needed.  My favorite find?  It was a tie between a c. 1970 “Plug N Talk” 3-piece intercom system by Realistic and a bunch of heavy glass ashtrays of the sort used by Bruce Goff in many of his house designs.  Looking forward to next year!

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