It was lunch time as we headed into Independence. This place looked like an interesting place to stop for lunch. The Bella Vita restaurant in the Booth Hotel.
"The Hotel Booth opened in January of 1912, back when Independence was one of the wealthiest cities in the nation. Sinclair Oil was started here, and until the Great Depression, we had the highest number of millionaires per capita in the United States. Former guests include Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, William Taft, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Gene Autry stayed here when he played the Memorial Hall in the 1940s. It was the first steel-framed concrete building west of the Mississippi, revolutionary at the time. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1983 for its cultural and architectural significance." Many of the rooms have been converted into luxury apartments.
Unfortunately, the restaurant is not open for lunch during the week, only on weekends.
Look at these awesome revolving doors!
We asked around for a spot to eat and were told that this place was a great place that the locals love. The full parking lot confirmed it. We thought it would probably be the place to go. We like to try to local places instead of the chain restaurants.
They had an all-you-can-eat buffet. Fried chicken, baked chicken, mashed potatoes (the real thing) and gravy, cornbread, salad, chocolate cake and southern style tea. We were stuffed with one time through. But it was one price, whether you eat a lot or a little.
There was an interesting historical marker 1 mile out of Independence. It was about the Osage Indians who were "the tallest race of men in North America, either red or white skins; there being few indeed of the men at their full growth, who are less than six feet in stature, and very many of them six and a half, and others seven feet."
During the Civil War, militias from both the Union and Confederate sides were stealing the Osages’ cattle, harassing their villages, and blaming the Indians for raids actually committed by Americans. Osage leader Charles Mongrain cautioned everyone to leave his people alone: “I most earnestly warn all intruders, trespassers, and others not citizens of the Osage nation to leave the nation immediately.”
"In May 1863, a few miles east of here, an Osage hunting party confronted about 20 strangers riding through their territory. A shot was fired, and one of the Osage went down. His comrades chased the trespassers about 15 miles and finally overtook them near Drum Creek, killing all but two (who escaped). The strangers turned out to have been Confederate officers, marching west with orders to recruit volunteers and encourage rebellion in New Mexico & Colorado. The Osage had foiled the plot."
A silo that hasn't been used in a while.
The road to our next site.
Big Brutus! It is BIG!!
Big Brutus was the world's second largest electric mining shovel when it was in operation in from 1962 to 1974. Now it is a tourist attraction. Big Brutus is 160 feet tall and weights 11 million pounds. These giant electric shovels, and the earlier "draglines" that they replaced, were an important part of the Kansas strip mining industry. Big Brutus was put out of business when the economics of the coal mining changed in the 1970s.
Kansas journey finished. On to Missouri, Arkansas and Alabama.