Rededication set for Kansas cabin where lyrics for 'Home on the Range' were written

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ATHOL, Kansas — After three years of fundraising and labor, the cabin in northern Kansas where the lyrics for "Home on the Range" were written will be rededicated this weekend.

The cabin in Smith County was the home of Brewster Higley in the 1870s. While living there, he wrote a poem called "My Western Home," which became the lyrics for "Home on the Range."

The cabin was crumbling three years ago, when Kansas was celebrating its 150th anniversary, but a grassroots effort raised $133,000 in donations to restore the cabin. The money also paid for the construction of nature walks, footbridges and handicapped-accessible efforts, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1v0lQkx ).

El Dean Holthus, whose aunt and uncle owned the property for nearly 75 years, is one of the coordinators for this weekend's events.

"This whole area is being showcased this weekend," Holthus said. "We have Higleys coming from California, Arizona, Oklahoma and Missouri. "The response from across the nation is really good. If we have nice weather, we could get a nice crowd."

The cabin was built in 1872 after Higley, a pioneer doctor from Indiana, originally built a dugout on the site when he homesteaded in 1871. The "Home on the Range" lyrics were first published in 1873 and the song became Kansas' state song in 1947. The cabin was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

The cabin is on the Kansas-Nebraska border about 8 miles north of Athol in Smith County.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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