We are pleased to announce that ElDean Holthus was recognized in the Winter 2016 edition of Kansas! Magazine as one of five Kansas! Finest advocates for state tourism. Holthus traveled to Olathe, KS in October to receive his award at the annual Kansas Tourism conference.
He was chosen for his years of service to maintain and promote the Home on the Range Cabin site. Holthus is the nephew of Pete and Ellen Rust, who owned the land where the Cabin is located. The Rusts established a Living Trust and named ElDean as one of the trustees. ElDean assisted with the transfer of this historical icon to the Peoples Heartland Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Holthus spearheaded grant writing and fundraising efforts to restore the aging cabin and keep it standing for generations to come. Historical reconstruction was completed in 2014, along with footbridges and a nature trail. ElDean organized a two-day Re-Dedication Event at the Cabin Site that included musicians, re-enactors and 10th Kansas Calvary Buffalo Soldiers.
ElDean worked with Kansas State Senator Elaine Bowers to name a 16 mile stretch of KS Highway 8 as "The Home on the Range Highway". He led efforts to raise funds for highway naming signs and coordinated a signage dedication event attended by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Senator Bowers.
Following a flood in 2015 that washed out the nature trail and some of the footbridges, Holthus wrote a grant to fund a site plan and gain input from others to build a shared vision for further expansion of the Cabin site.
Holthus has cooperated with Ken Spurgeon of Lone Chimney Films in the fundraising for and production of the "Home on the Range" film that will premiere in January.
Whether it's meeting with various groups visiting the Cabin or pulling the model cabin behind his pickup in an area parade, Holthus' enthusiasm for this special piece of Kansas history comes shining through.
Thank you ElDean for your tireless dedication to make the Home on the Range site a lasting part of Kansas history.
The Winter 2016 edition of Kansas! Magazine included an article about ElDean's award. Thank you Andrea Etzel, Editor, Kansas! Magazine for your permission to share the article.