|First posted Apr 29, 2011
Last update Sep 25, 2012
September 26-29, 2011
Early Bird arrival - September 25, 2010
It's hard to believe that another year has passed and again, we are making plans for our annual Ameri-Camp Family of Owners Rally, September 26-30, 2011, in Abilene, KS. You will need to make your reservations direct at the Four Seasons RV Acres, 2502 Mink Road, Abilene, KS, 67410, (exit 281 on I-70), 1-800-658-4667 or 785-598-2221. The Rally Rate is $18.00 per night, which includes water and electric but NOT sewer. (There is a dump station available at the campground and I've been told that gray water can be released on the ground.) There are full hookup sites available however, by reserving one, you will not receive the rally rate.
As in the past, not only have our rallies been filled with good friends and fellowship, they have been great learning experiences that educate our owners on the history and current events in and around the area that we are visiting. I know you're thinking "what in the world is in Kansas?" but I'm going to share with you one of the best kept secrets that ever existed!
Abilene began as a stage coach stop in 1857, and was named from a passage in the Bible, meaning "city of the plains". The drive for a transcontinental railroad link across the breadth of the land brought the Kansas Pacific Railroad through Abilene in 1867. It took a businessman from Illinois, Joseph G. McCoy, to see the opportunities presented by the railroad in providing a means of transporting the vast numbers of Texas cattle to huge beef markets back East. Quite by accident he chose Abilene (his luggage was lost there, -really!) and with his brothers, bought the entire town for $2,400. He built a stockyard with a large barn, a three-story hotel and the Chisholm Trail was in business.
The code of the trail hand was strict: No drinking, gambling or cursing during the drive north. After a bath, haircut and whisker trim, a new set of clothes, the town belonged to them. The 'wild west' image of saloons, brothels, gambling and gunfights on a street called Texas Street was born at the terminus of the long, hot drive north. Abilene soon acquired its colorful reputation as the capital of the 'Wild West' type of cow towns. Wild Bill Hickok became Marshall of Abilene in April 1871 for a short time. While standing off a crowd during a street brawl, gambler Phil Coe took two shots at Hickock, who returned fire killing Coe, but then accidentally shot his friend and deputy, Mike Williams, who was coming to his aid. He lost his job two months later in December.
Abilene became home to Dwight D. Eisenhower when his family moved to Abilene from Denison, Texas in 1892. Eisenhower attended elementary school through high school in Abilene, graduating in 1909. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is located in Abilene. It is now the burial site of President Eisenhower, his wife, Mamie, and their first born son Doud Dwight.
RALLY INFO: For those of you who wish to arrive early, Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25, 2011, you will be able to participate in the Annual Fall Abilene Side Walk Sales featuring bargains at numerous shops in the Downtown Abilene Area.
Saturday Evening, September 24, 2011, we are planning an evening Dinner Train Excursion on the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad. Cost is 45.00 per person and there will be an opportunity to place your reservation on the rally registration form as soon as it's available. For our dinner trip we will be pulled by their diesel locomotive which is the normal dinner train makeu.
Early Bird Arrival on Sunday, September 25, 2011 will include our traditional evening Dessert Social and Bingo where you will have the opportunity to meet other current or former Ameri-Camp Owners.
We'll begin our Abilene history education with a guided trolley tour of Abilene. A visit to the President Dwight Eisenhower Museum, Library, Chapel and Boyhood home. The Greyhound Hall of Fame. The Historic Seelye Mansion, voted one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture because of the grandeur of this well-restored three-story Georgian style mansion. A visit to the Russell Stover Candy Factory as well as the Kansas Auto Racing Museum. In addition, lunch at the Kirby House Restaurant, a mansion built in 1885, and later in the week, an evening dinner at the Brookville Hotel, serving family style chicken dinners since 1933. The Brookville Hotel has been named one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine.
Other highlights of the rally will be a tour of the nearby New Horizon RV Factory, rated Five Star tow-able by RV Consumer Group. The Calvary Museum and Custer House at historic Ft Riley, KS, currently home to 18,500 active duty Service Members and honored as an Installation of Excellence, and one of the premier Division-level training installations in the world. Fort Riley is named in honor of Major General Bennett C. Riley who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail. The fort was established in 1853 as a military post to protect the movement of people and trade over the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe trails.
Local talent will include a 3 hour hands on class to learn "painting scenes on rocks" by Jo Vega of Vega's Art Gallery located in Milford, KS. You will be able to take home your finished art project.
For those of you who haven't seen enough by the end of the rally, you can choose to stay an extra day and participate in the Chisholm Trail Festival in Old Abilene Town on Saturday, October 1, 2011. This event includes reenactments of wild west shootouts, can can dancers at the Alamo Saloon, live entertainment, living history demonstrations in blacksmithing, wheat weaving, bread baking, cane squeezing, cider pressing, corn shelling and grinding, molasses cooking, rope making, saw mill operation, chair caning, spinning and weaving and acme telephone building. Additional events include an antique farm show, antique car show and antique tractor pull. I'll be asking our web master to post the registration forms and further information as soon as it's available. Until then, please mark your calendars accordingly. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the rally.