1. Home on the Range Cabin, Athol, Kansas

1404 20 miles from the Center of the USA
A small preserved wood and stone structure (now next to a private house near the town of Athol), is where Dr. Brewster Higley homesteaded and lived in 1871, when he wrote a poem called My Western Home. The poem was put to music by a neighbor, a civil war bugler named Dan Kelly, and a refrain was added when the song was first performed, by a local judge. The refrain evolved into “Home, home on the range,” and once Franklin D. Roosevelt called it his favorite song, it became popular nationwide. It is now one of the most well known songs in the world, though it is an expression of the simple life long ago, here, at this exact spot. The cabin is owned by a trust created by the land owners, the Rust family, who lived at the site for 75 years, and who refused all offers to buy and move the cabin, powerful offers from the likes of Walter Knott, of Knott’s Berry Farm, in Southern California, and Harold Warp, who apparently gave them a blank check, which they returned, blank. The unattended cabin, still in its original home on the range, is open to the public all the time, and a guest book awaits any visitors.