Today the road has brought me to Atchison, KS.
Labor Day weekend had arrived and I felt the need to get away to someplace quiet and restful. A look through my trusty spreadsheet and I realized it was the perfect time to visit Atchison and Tuck U Inn at Glick Mansion owned and operated by Chris and Loman Wildy.
I had been meaning to visit Atchison for quite a while, not only because of Glick Mansion, but because the town also contains a community theatre, Theatre Atchison, where I plan to one day review one of their shows. However, with the pandemic currently throwing a wrench into the world of the arts, I decided to at least visit the town and inn. (I would later learn that Theatre Atchison is mounting a 20-21 season.)
It was the type of drive I like the best: no interstate. Nothing but highways and going through a small town or two before I arrived in Atchison.
Atchison is actually notable for a number of items. It has a deep history, once had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the country, was the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, and is considered the most haunted town in Kansas. In fact, across the street from Glick Mansion is Sallie House, the most haunted house in Kansas which has been featured on many shows. It is available for self-guided tours and overnights, but one must sign a waiver to enter the house as there is a chance for injury in the abandoned domicile, though one hasn’t happened since the last tenants in 1993.
I entered the town around 4pm and made my way to Glick Mansion which is located in Atchison’s historical district.
When I think of a classic B & B, Glick Mansion is the vision that pops into my mind. This Victorian mansion was built by George Glick in 1873. Glick had been a successful attorney and farmer and was also active in state politics as he was elected to the Kansas legislature in 1862 and served in that capacity in 14 of the next 18 years. He also served one term as governor starting in 1882.
When I arrived at the mansion, I was let in by Chris and led into the entry room/den where I filled out some paperwork and selected a breakfast time in order to be socially distanced from other guests. But when Chris opened the door to the living room, I felt as if I had stepped back in time.
Period correct furniture and property fill the massive living room whose centerpiece includes a baby grand (I think) piano. Chris showed me around the abode and enlightened me on some of the history of the house and town as I gazed on the historical beauty of the inn. Eventually, Chris led me to my room, the First Lady’s Room.
This had been the governor’s bedroom and it is a beaut. From its elegant Victorian furniture to its queen sized canopy bed, this room practically shouts comfort. The bathroom is especially impressive as it was once the sleeping porch of the Glicks. Yes, you read that right. The Glicks believed sleeping outside was healthier. Not only does the bathroom contain a fireplace, but it also holds a jetted tub.
After getting settled, I took a little walk around the town. I could definitely see the extreme wealth for which the town had once been famed as there are a lot of old money houses in the area. As I later learned from Loman (who is a fount of knowledge on Atchison’s history), the town once had 57 millionaires and 11 women who were worth half a million. That latter fact was the most interesting because this was during a period when women were not encouraged to work nor were allowed to inherit, so how did they accrue their wealth? They either had to be working covertly or illicitly.
The truth was that they were doing a bit of both. A restaurant near the riverfront was a brothel back in the day and that is where these women worked. Atchison had been a big port town that often had 3 steamboats in dock to get supplies. So the women would hit up the steamboat personnel when they docked and the money rolled in.
I needed some dinner, so I made my way to Paolucci, a bar/restaurant/deli. I decided to go with their house special, a chicken romano sandwich which was grilled chicken seasoned with Romano cheese and topped with bacon. As I wanted some vegetables, I also had the tossed salad with Paolucci’s homemade ranch dressing.
This meal was a jackpot. The vegetables were fresh and crisp and the homemade dressing was out of this world. The sandwich was perfection on a bun. The chicken was so juicy and the seasoning made each bit a little bite of Heaven. With a satisfying meal tucked in, I returned to Glick where I had a long conversation with Loman before retiring for the evening.
In the morning, I drew a bath and the water gets very hot very fast, so it was a case of actually bringing the water down to my preferred temperature. The jets were just what I needed as I’ve been using a new tabata workout regimen and my lower extremities were aching and the jets massaged the soreness out of them.
I enjoyed breakfast in the sun room where a small dish of honeydew and strawberries awaited me with goblets of orange juice and milk. The main entrée was a sterling plate of Eggs Benedict with a side of seasoned asparagus. It was an incredible meal with presentation that was a work of art.
Afterwards I began my explorations of the town and started with a visit to Benedictine College. This small Catholic university only contains about 2,000 students and has a lot of elegant buildings including St Benedict church. I halted my campus amblings prematurely as I saw a sign saying that through Sept 15 on-campus students were to remain on-campus except for necessities and off-campus students were to remain off-campus to help insulate against COVID, so I thought I should abide by the decree and drove around the campus instead.
From there I wandered about the town. The town is still slowly reopening from COVID so certain venues only have limited availability. This meant I was unable to make visits to the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum and the Evah Cray Historical House as they are only operating a few days out of the week. However, I will visit these places when I make my inevitable return to the town.
So I spent an afternoon reading Sherlock Holmes, writing, and watching Ratatouille which I selected from the inn’s movie library.
About 6pm, I felt ready for dinner so I went downtown to Maria’s Mexican Restaurant. Again, I found another winner of a meal. I tried the Burrito Fajita and it was delicious especially when enhanced with a side of properly seasoned rice and refried beans mixed with a bit of queso.
With a nice dinner digesting, I returned to Glick Mansion where I watched The Mask of Zorro, took another bath, and read Sherlock Holmes until oblivion claimed me.
I had a feast waiting for me in the sun room the next morning. Chris had prepared a bacon, egg, and cheese quiche along with some kiwi, strawberries, and what looked like a miniature orange with a side of fried potatoes. There was even a bit of dessert with a strawberry turnover.
Thirty minutes later I had another leisurely meal under my belt and I returned to my room to put the finishing touches on this article.
This has been one of the best inns I’ve visited since I founded the Corner and it gets my highest recommendation for a visit. It’s a classic B & B where you’ll be surrounded by vintage comfort, enjoy some fine meals, and have some wonderful hosts in Chris and Loman. You truly will leave this inn as a friend and can enjoy some of this town’s history or even do a little ghost hunting if that’s your forte.
Until the next time. . .happy travels.