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Coronado Heights Campaign Begins

KSAL Staff - June 25, 2014 9:56 am

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The Smoky Valley Historical Association is launching a capital campaign in an effort to fund repairs at Coronado Heights.

The SVHA solely owns and maintains Coronado Heights Park. Other than an occasional grant or donation for specific projects, the association receives no county, state, or government funding for the day-to-day expenses incurred in operation of a public park which is open to the public every day of the year. It’s all paid through member contributions and by dipping into the association’s savings

According to the organization, as many as 1,200 visitors ascend the winding 3/4-mile road up Coronado Heights each week. People come from all parts of Kansas as well as other states and nations to experience the quiet beauty of the place with its iconic 1936 WPA-built Spanish style castle, its breath-taking vistas of the Smoky Hill River Valley 300 feet below, and the rolling hills to the north and west and the many private cooking and picnic areas for families to enjoy.

Over 75 years’ exposure to Kansas weather, use by thousands of visitors each year, and abuse by some have left the hill, structures, road and drainage system in urgent need of repair. Coupled with a $90,000 Kansas Heritage Trust Fund grant for building repairs, the association’s share of that work plus major improvements to the road, restoring the drainage system to curb erosion protecting the road from water damage, the group is in need of an additional $122,000. That would total $212,000 for a complete Coronado Heights Park “makeover”.

Since the SVHA is a 501(c) (3) non-profit gifts are 100% tax deductable.

More information and an easy way to make your contribution with a credit or debit card go to www.lindsborghistory.org. Checks may be sent to the SVHA, P. O. Box 255, Lindsborg, KS 67456. Please indicate the gift is to be used for Coronado Heights.

Pledge cards and informational sheets are available at a number of locations in Lindsborg including the Old Mill Museum on Mill Street in Lindborg, just west of the First Street Bridge.

The Smoky Valley Historical Association of Lindsborg is a small, non-profit organization established in 1919 for the development and improvement of Coronado Heights for the benefit of the general public.

Coronado Heights Park is a scenic overlook and park on a 300′ promontory a few miles northwest of Lindsborg. In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration built a picnic area and castle like building out of Dakota limestone. The winding drive up to the heights is lines with many trees, yucca, and sumac.

The park has grills and fireplaces, including a fireplace in the “castle,” which is otherwise unlighted except for the windows.

Coronado Heights receives its name from Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who visited central Kansas in 1541, looking for the Native American community of Quivira, where he was told “trees hung with golden bells and … pots and pans were beaten gold.”

Coronado didn’t find his gold, and it is unknown if he actually ascended the heights now named after him near Lindsborg.

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