Monday, November 15, 2010

Where is Corona Kansas??

Where in the heck is Corona Kansas!? Well, we love the back roads of America. So, if you take US 69 south from Kansas City KS until you come to US 400 west...and then you follow that road to KS Rte. 7 south...and then you turn right on KS Rte. 102 west for 2 miles...and then you turn left at the large blue building and cross the've arrived!

This is the Corona KS railroad depot. It was built in the 1940's and was used for passenger service until the early 1960's. It's now one of three buildings comprising the Heart of the Heartlands, Inc. Corona Depot Museum.

This classic depot, relocated from Boston Missouri, was built in 1882 by the Missouri-Pacific and was taken out of service in 1932.

A third building houses the indoor portion of the museum but it's only open on the 1st and 3rd weekends from June through Labor Day, from 1 to 5 pm. The grounds are open year around.

The Diesel Locomotive is part of the collection and it last served on the now defunct South East Kansas Railroad. (1987 - 1999) The outdoor collection also includes boxcars, a couple of cabooses and a selection of railroad signaling devices. Railway excursion trains are operated on a published schedule as are railroad motor car/work car trips.

If you're over 50 years old, you may remember the Railway Express Agency Delivery Trucks. I can't remember the last time I saw one of these in use...

The Heart of the Heartlands organization is a non-profit group that has even managed to obtain a 60/40 grant from the Kansas Department of Tourism...

This little gem is a 1932 Plymouth 0-6-0 Switch Engine. (I didn't know that Chrysler dabbled in the railroad business) In any case, this former Missouri-Pacific RR locomotive ushered in a new form of motive power that was to eventually replace the steam engine. The locomotive is mechanically driven through a transmission and has drive chains to the wheels. It was used by a mining company into the 1970's.
For more information on the Corona Depot Museum and on The Heart of the Heartlands organization, just go to


  1. Man - You guys were in the mibble of nowhere and it's neat to find such classic buildings in excellent condition.

  2. I have never heard of Corona, Ks., but I do live in Carona, Ks & stay away from that mexican beer. I think they first tried to name it Fulton, Ks...but, oops, there already was a Fulton (for an early Kansas governor). So, the mostly recent immigrant population tried to name it Carbona, for the local coal industry. But..oops again! Somehow, in the paperwork, the "b" went missing & fortunately it became "Carona"!
    The big blue building on the corner was built in 1934 as the "Gay Parita Ballroom", & was the area's wildest night spot for 40 years. Everybody that was anybody, played the Parita, which was built by the Ferraro family which also owned the local grocery. During prohibition, the tiny grocery moved more sugar than any supermarket in Kansas. All the liquor produced in the "Little Balkans" (Cherokee & Crawford counties) was called "deep shaft" from production in coal mine shafts & was shipped as far north as Canada & south to Mexico City. If you wanted the best whiskey in Capone's Chicago, you asked for "Cherokee Red" or "Carona Rye".

  3. I grew up in Columbus Ks and visited the "Parita" as we called it, from time to time, listening to the rock bands playing there, circa 1969-1971.