Baxter Springs, Kansas, at Night

We took a brief stroll down the main street of Baxter Springs, Kansas, after visiting the Visitor Information Center during our October 2022 Kansas and Missouri trip. It was fun to see a little bit of the old Route 66 byway, even if it was after dark.

Building in Baxter Springs, Kansas, along Route 66

We took a walk along the sidewalk of Military Avenue, which is the main street through Baxter Springs and also the old path of Route 66. It definitely had that small-town charm to it, even if most businesses were closed at night. The Chamber of Commerce pictured here was just a few steps away from the Visitor Information Center.

Building in Baxter Springs, Kansas, along Route 66

I liked the architecture of this red brick building. The gate at the left went to the stairs to the upper portion of the building. And while you can’t see it in this photo, above the gate was a masonic symbol. In these days of electric lights, we try to minimize windows to keep the sun out. But in the old days, windows were prevalent to let in as much light as possible. You can see that here, where these windows go all the way to the ceiling.

Street in Baxter Springs, Kansas, along Route 66

I liked the light posts along the street. That is what you get from an electrical engineer. But they definitely did have that classic feel to them, as did the buildings up and down the street.

Street in Baxter Springs, Kansas, along Route 66

In this view across the street, you can see that some businesses used neon lighting along their canopies. It would have been nice if more of the signs had been turned on along the street. I understand why they were not, with the businesses being closed for the night and all, but it would have added to the atmosphere just a bit more. And it would have made the photos even better, but who am I as a photographer to complain about that?

Baxter State Bank

Baxter State Bank

One of the buildings near where we parked was the Baxter State Bank. I loved their sign and some of the details of the building. In this photo, you can see a box sticking out of the wall to the right of the sign, and to the left of the masonic symbol I mentioned above. What is that box?

Bank Burglar Alarm

That box just happens to be the burglar alarm. That would seem to be a little low-tech compared to today’s burglar alarms, but I am sure that it could be heard all up and down the street when activated. If you are wondering, the words below “Burglar Alarm” read “Bankers Electrical Protection Co., Minneapolis, Minn.”

Nite-N-Day Depository

Also nearby was the Nite-N-Day Depository. I am guessing you can still make deposits with it. But I did not try, because I did not want to accidentally set off that burglar alarm. Just in case.

Leaving Baxter Springs

Lights on a brick wall

There was probably lots more to see on down the street. We would have kept on walking down the street, but two factors urged us back to our car. First, we were still getting a gentle sprinkle of rain, but we did not know if that might turn into a harder rain, for which we were not prepared. And second, it was late and we were hungry. So we headed back to where we had parked the car. Above our car were these interesting light fixtures on this also interesting brick wall. A nice little touch, I thought. Again, electrical engineer things, I know.

Route 66 sidewalk marker

And speaking of nice touches, I liked these stamped concrete markers in the sidewalk along the street. Just as a reminder of where we were. I am guessing that several people wander through town just because it was on Route 66, as we did. And it was a great way to end our visit along the short stretch of Route 66 in Kansas. Believe it or not, only about 13 miles of Route 66 went through Kansas. And we were happy to see what we could of it. Memories of days gone by.

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, for without it no one will see the Lord. - Hebrews 12:14

About the Photos

All of these photos used the natural light available from the surrounding street lights. I used the same camera settings as in the previous post, which were ISO 640 and f/1.8. With aperture priority mode, I let the camera choose the shutter speed, which was usually 1/10 or 1/20 second. That is a little slow, but I was able to hold the camera steady for that amount of time. Any slower of a shutter speed and I would have needed to increase the ISO setting.

Even with the low lighting levels, I thought these photos turned out well. I sometimes think I should do more nighttime photography because it is a different look than daytime. But out where we live there aren’t enough lights for it. So I enjoy these rare occasions when I can get them.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in GIMP and Raw Therapee. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: October 10, 2022
Location: Baxter Springs, Kansas

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.