Sycamore Springs owners to cease operations, effective this year
After owning and running Sycamore Springs since 2001, Dale and Betty Aue are hanging up their hats. Effective immediately, Sycamore Springs will cease all operations.
“We are 87 and 89 years old, and we just cannot keep it up any longer,” B. Aue said. “It is too much stress for us at our ages.”
While the Aues have employed numerous family members throughout their 18-year ownership, that cycle cannot continue, B. Aue said.
“We provided employment for all of our grandchildren, but now they are out of college and got good jobs,” she said. “We employed several neighbor kids through the years also and have employed part-time neighbor ladies as their schedules allowed.”
The historic resort has been actively for sale since 2014, when the Aues attempted to sell it with a public auction. Unfortunately, no bidders came forward with an acceptable bid for the property.
“We are constantly looking for a buyer. There is so much potential here with the history and buildings,” B. Aue said. “We are hoping to find someone that is interested in preserving the history here and continuing the operation for the future for the community and neighboring states.”
If no buyer if found within the next year, B. Aue said, they have no private plans for the property at this time.
Sycamore Springs was developed commercially in 1886. Over the ensuing years, succeeding owners fostered considerable development of health and recreational facilities and activities.
The past 50 years has seen ownership transfer from Noah Edelman, to Chuck and Mary Dornes, to Terry and Jerry Tietjens, to Thousand Adventures, and finally to the Aues.
The property has a house and hotel; cabins and mobile campground; and numerous other shelters and buildings, such as a historic chapel with 132-year-old pipe organ.
B. Aue said there have been 153 weddings in the historic Rock Creek Church of the Brethren or on the shady grounds, with receptions held in the Club House or Barn.
Visiting local churches within a 40-mile radius have offered church services on Sundays from May through September at the church, with potluck dinners afterwards so they could enjoy activities available at the resort.
A swimming pool was built in 1926, and the pool stayed open until the late 1980s.
It has been closed since that time due to the high cost to repair it, as well as the building of a city pool and more recently a city aquatic center.
While the pool has been closed for years, the property’s skating rink, miniature golf course, nature trails, camping areas and picnic areas have continued to be used for group youth parties and events and numerous family events.
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Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.