The Kansas Cities, or: How a River Ran Along It.

Kansas Cities

The Kansas Cities have been weighing on my mind ever since we spent some time juggling there earlier this month. Growing up I always assumed the MO and KS versions sat across the Missouri River. That's decidedly incorrect [see map], but I don't feel bad about the misperception. KCMO is on the Missouri after all, and the Missouri is the border between the two states for a significant distance. It's just not the border between the two cities. Neither is the Kansas River. Instead, the border between KCKS and KCMO is delineated by the old 1820 Missouri constitution which set the state's western boundary as  "the meridian line passing through the middle of the mouth of the Kansas River, where the same empties into the Missouri River". It doesn't help that the mouth of the Kansas River moved westward sometime after 1836 when Missouri convinced the Federal Government to give it the land from the Platte Purchase. Conveniently, the Geology Library is just down the street, so I spent some time there this afternoon researching the meanderings of the Kansas River. 

Notably, that little nubbin of land on the east side of the Kansas River is called the West Bottoms and it used to house the Kansas City Stockyards. Now it just houses Whitney photo shoots.

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