Catch up with the past at Arvonia

By Susan Atchison

This year has been eventful and much progress has been made at Arvonia by the Arvonia Historic Preservation Society.

January and February began with reflecting on memories of the Christmas tour and Christmas Tea, and planning for 2018 events. March started off strong with the St. David’s Tea in Lebo. Arvonia hosted Eluned Jones, director of the St. David’ Society of Kansas annual concert in Emporia.

On the cold first weekend in April, AHPS hosted several events. On Friday, a PEO chapter from Emporia toured the buildings and held their meeting. Saturday, a group of eight came for a progressive dinner bought at a silent auction benefitting the AHPS last fall. The group progressed from appetizers at the school, soup at the church, followed by the main course at the Humphreys/Atchison house, and dessert at the town hall. All food courses contained food with a Welsh flair. The brave group walked the entire route despite the weather. On Sunday, we hosted a private group tour.

Students enjoy an old-fashioned game of marbles while visiting Arvonia.

May brought a field trip for grades 1 to 3 from Lebo Elementary School. At the school, the students were given a history lesson, participated in a spelling bee, plus other activities led by Susan Atchison, who was dressed in period teacher attire. Old fashioned games were played outside. The students acted out nursery rhymes on the stage at the town hall, and colored on big paper rolled out on each long table. After rotating through these activities, students ate sack lunches outside of the school and played games.

The AHPS invited those who had helped with the Christmas tour to attend a cookout Memorial Day weekend. It was a fun and relaxing evening to thank our volunteers.

AHPS had a float in the Lebo Stars and Stripes Celebration parade, held July 1, 2018. The theme was “World War 100th Commemoration: Honoring American Strength and Courage”. The float had a newspaper headline from the end of the war. The float had mailboxes and signs on picket fences with names of Arvonia boys that had fought in the war, and yellow ribbons and Welsh daffodils to welcome them home. We were pleased and honored to receive first prize. On July 4, the AHPS hosted an ice cream social for the surrounding communities. After families ate their picnics, AHPS provided homemade ice cream, historic building tours, kids games and fireworks. It was a traditional and fun event.

Work continues on the restoration of the Arvonia Township Hall.

Watch for these for these activities and more this fall: AHPS will join forces with the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project, Wymore, Neb., at the North American Welsh Festival in Arlington, Va., to provide information on our organizations. The NAFOW is held Labor Day weekend in different locations each year. We are proud to share our little piece of Welsh history from Kansas. This October, AHPS has two tours planned. The St. David’s Society of Greater Kansas City and the board from the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project have scheduled times to visit. The Annual Arvonia Fall Festival will also be held in October. The weekend of Nov. 11 will be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Monday, Nov. 12, we have been selected to participate in Match Day for the fourth year. This event is sponsored by the Emporia Community Foundation. Several donors contribute to the match, including the Clint Bowyer 79 Fund, E.L and Irene Hopkins Foundation, Jane and Bernard Reeble Foudation, Trusler Foundation, and the WS&EC Jones Testamentary Trust. Plans are underway to have another Christmas Tour in December.

You can see that we keep busy in our quiet little Welsh village on the hill by the river (now lake).

AHPS welcomes individuals and organizations for tours and field trips. If we happen catch you in Arvonia, you may be subjected to an impromptu tour. Tours may be arranged by calling Atchison at 620-256-6695 or email [email protected]

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