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NE Kansas
Blue Rapids Explorations
Learn more about Blue Rapids by following the links below:

Holm Cabin

Address: SW Main & Round Square
Blue Rapids, KS 66411
Telephone Number: 785.363.7949
Second Telephone Number: 785.713.2572

About this Exploration:

There are now several generations of unrelated people involved in the preservation of this log cabin that was originally built about ten miles south of Blue Rapids by Swedish immigrants in the 1860s. 

Augusta Holm became a widow when the youngest of their eight children was only 3 years old.
She made her living on the land with the help of her children.  She also helped many local families during the birth of their babies, serving as a local midwife.
The cabin was remodeled with a kitchen addition over the years and hidden from view in plain site by being recovered with clapboard siding.  The inside logs were hidden with a plaster coating and wallpaper.  
In 1979, seventeen years after anyone had last lived in the house, a nurse that had recently moved back to Kansas from working for Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachian Mountains was in the area visiting friends.  They took her on a hike and showed her the house.  A small patch of plaster was missing on the inside revealing the logs.
Since she was looking for a reasonably priced place to live as she traveled around the country to get her education and credentials in health promotion, she traced the owner to Manhattan, KS.
Dr. Harold Munger, engineering professor emeritus, owned the land and had a caretaker that lived on the adjoining farm.  He finally agreed to rent the cabin place to the nurse for $5/month and wager a bet that she would not last a month.  They became good friends as her project stretched on for a year.  
She bartered with Floyd Stryker, the owner of the Blue Rapids Sand Company, for two loads of sand for her multi-purpose sandbox that was 20'x20' in exchange for providing blood pressure checks for employees and addressing their health promotion questions.  The sand box was used for exercise, as a beach for relaxation...when you close your eyes in the bright sun of Kansas and listen to the wind, you can hear the ocean of ancient times.  The sandbox also served as a part of her food dehydration system. Two family-centered holistic health workshop retreats were held there.  
White Goose flour sacks were discovered to have been used to size the tongue and groove ceiling to make it smooth before it had been wallpapered.  The best of those flour sacks were pieced and turned into several pieces of art.  The best one was sold for $250 to fund the entrance fee for the "Olde McDonald's health edutainment food booth" for the Smoky Hills River Festival 1979-81.  By 1982, the nurse was married with two young children and found it too difficult to live in Marshall County and operate in Salina so she gave the booth to the Prairieland Food Cooperative that continued the food aspects of the project for quite a few more years at the Smoky Hill River Festival.  An example of one of the second best wall hanging was donated to the Blue Rapids Historical Society Museum and is on display over there.
Today that nurse is continuing her holistic health promotions, renovation and art projects in  her home place "urban farm" in Waterville.  For more information check

In 1997 (pending facts check) the current owner, Ronnie Merrill, donated the cabin to the Blue Rapids Historical Society under the conditions that they could raise funds to have it moved to town before he sold his farm land.   A group of local citizens, including Marc Lamoreaux and Kenny Winkenwader, took on the project and the cabin was brought to town and placed where you see it today.

contact info
Lori Parker

Blue Rapids, KS 66411
Phone: 785.713.9733
Kansas Sampler Foundation   Kansas Department of Commerce - Travel Kansas   Get Rural Kansas