Emporia Live Cam

Exit 131/Burlingame Road/S in Emporia, Kansas


Emporia, Kansas, has a rich history that dates back to the mid-19th century. Here are some key points in the history of Emporia:

  • Founding and Early Years (1857): Emporia was founded in 1857 by a group of pro-slavery activists led by Samuel Wood. The town was initially named after Wood's home in Maine, but due to the town's anti-slavery stance, it was suggested that the name be changed to Emporia, inspired by the Greek word meaning "home."
  • Anti-Slavery Stance and the Emporia Constitution (1858): Emporia gained prominence as a Free-State stronghold in the Kansas Territory during the turbulent years leading up to the Civil War. In 1858, the town hosted the first Kansas State Teachers Association meeting and also saw the drafting of the famous "Emporia Constitution," which advocated for the exclusion of slavery from the state.
  • William Allen White and the Emporia Gazette: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Emporia became known for the influential Emporia Gazette newspaper, edited and published by William Allen White. White was a prominent figure in American journalism and politics, and his home in Emporia, known as the Red Rocks State Historic Site, is a National Historic Landmark.
  • Economic Development and Agriculture: Emporia's economy grew with the development of agriculture and the arrival of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. The city became a regional trade and transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural communities.
  • Hornet Nation (1863): Emporia is home to Emporia State University, founded in 1863 as the Kansas State Normal School. The university has played a significant role in the education and cultural development of the region.
  • Flint Hills Region: Emporia is located in the Flint Hills, a unique ecosystem of tallgrass prairie. The region is known for its scenic beauty and has become a destination for nature enthusiasts and those interested in the history of the American West.
  • National Teacher Hall of Fame: Emporia is also known as the founding city of the National Teacher Hall of Fame, established in 1989. The Hall of Fame honors outstanding educators from across the United States.

Today, Emporia continues to be a vibrant community with a mix of historical significance, educational institutions, and economic activities. The city's commitment to education and its historical role in the anti-slavery movement contribute to its unique character in Kansas history.

Top Tourist Attractions

The City offers a variety of attractions for visitors to explore. While it may not be as widely known as some larger cities, Emporia has its own charm and unique features. Here are some top tourist attractions in and around Emporia:

  • Flint Hills: Explore the scenic beauty of the Flint Hills, a unique tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The rolling hills and expansive grasslands make for a picturesque landscape. There are opportunities for hiking, bird watching, and enjoying the natural beauty of the region.
  • William Allen White House: Visit the home of William Allen White, a prominent newspaper editor and political figure. The William Allen White House, also known as the Red Rocks State Historic Site, is a National Historic Landmark. Tours of the house provide insights into White's life and contributions to journalism.
  • Emporia State University: Take a stroll around the campus of Emporia State University. The university, founded in 1863, has a historic and beautiful campus. Check out events, performances, or visit the university's art galleries.
  • Soden's Grove Park: Enjoy the outdoors at Soden's Grove Park, a historic park with walking trails, playgrounds, and green spaces. The park has a rich history and is a great place for picnics and relaxation.
  • David Traylor Zoo of Emporia: Explore the David Traylor Zoo, which features a variety of animals, including big cats, primates, and reptiles. The zoo is family-friendly and provides educational opportunities for visitors.
  • National Teacher Hall of Fame: Learn about the contributions of outstanding educators at the National Teacher Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors teachers from across the country and is located on the campus of Emporia State University.
  • Veterans Memorial Park: Pay tribute to the military at Veterans Memorial Park. The park features monuments and memorials dedicated to honoring the service of veterans.
  • Emporia Arts Center: Experience the local arts scene at the Emporia Arts Center. The center hosts art exhibitions, performances, and workshops, showcasing the creative talents of the community.
  • Emporia Farmers Market: If you're visiting on a weekend, check out the Emporia Farmers Market. You can explore local produce, handmade crafts, and other products while experiencing the community atmosphere.
  • Granada Theatre: Catch a performance or event at the Granada Theatre, a historic venue that has been restored to its former glory. The theater hosts a variety of live performances, including concerts and theatrical productions.

These attractions offer a mix of history, culture, and outdoor experiences, making Emporia an interesting destination for travelers looking to explore the heart of Kansas.


The City experiences a humid continental climate with distinct seasons. Here's an overview of the climate in Emporia:

  • Summers (June to August): Summers in Emporia are typically warm to hot. Average high temperatures range from the 80s to the low 90s Fahrenheit (around 27-35°C). July tends to be the warmest month. While humidity levels can be moderate, it's not as extreme as in some more southern parts of the United States.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn brings cooler temperatures, and the weather becomes more comfortable. Highs range from the 60s to the 70s Fahrenheit (around 15-25°C). Fall foliage can be quite beautiful in the surrounding areas, especially in the Flint Hills.
  • Winters (December to February): Winters in Emporia are cold, with average high temperatures ranging from the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (around 1-9°C). Snowfall is possible, and temperatures can drop below freezing, especially at night. Winter weather can vary, with some milder days and occasional cold snaps.
  • Spring (March to May): Spring sees a gradual warming of temperatures. Highs range from the 50s to the 70s Fahrenheit (around 10-25°C). Spring is a transitional season, and rainfall is spread relatively evenly throughout the year.
  • Emporia can experience occasional severe weather, including thunderstorms and tornadoes, especially during the spring and early summer months. It's advisable to stay informed about weather conditions, especially if you plan to visit during the peak of the severe weather season.

Overall, Emporia's climate offers a mix of seasonal variations, making it an attractive destination for those who enjoy experiencing different weather patterns throughout the year.


The City is located in the central part of the state and is the seat of Lyon County. Here are some key aspects of the geography of Emporia:

  • Location: Emporia is situated in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, which is known for its rolling hills covered with tallgrass prairie. The city is approximately 110 miles southwest of Kansas City and about 90 miles northeast of Wichita.
  • Flint Hills: The Flint Hills, characterized by its rocky terrain and unique ecosystem, extends into the eastern part of Lyon County. This region is one of the last preserves of tallgrass prairie in North America and offers scenic landscapes.
  • Waterways: The Cottonwood River, a tributary of the Neosho River, flows near Emporia. The city has been historically influenced by the presence of rivers and water sources, impacting its development and economy.
  • Transportation: Emporia is intersected by major transportation routes. Interstate 35 runs to the east of the city, connecting it to major cities like Wichita and Kansas City. U.S. Route 50 also passes through Emporia, providing additional east-west connectivity.
  • Railroads: The city's development was closely tied to the expansion of railroads in the late 19th century. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway played a significant role in facilitating trade and transportation in and out of Emporia.
  • Prairie Ecosystem: The surrounding area features the characteristic tallgrass prairie of the Flint Hills. This ecosystem is unique for its native grasses, wildflowers, and diverse wildlife. The tallgrass prairie is an important part of the region's natural heritage.
  • City Layout: Emporia is laid out in a grid pattern typical of many Midwestern towns. The downtown area is the heart of the city, featuring historic buildings, shops, and cultural attractions.
  • Educational Institutions: Emporia is home to Emporia State University, which occupies a notable portion of the city. The university's campus contributes to the city's educational and cultural vibrancy.

Overall, the geography of Emporia is shaped by its location in the Flint Hills, its proximity to waterways, and its historical ties to transportation routes, particularly railroads. The surrounding natural beauty and the city's strategic location have played a role in its historical and economic development.