Photography Courtesy of Ben Marshall
Sterling USD 376
Sterling students attend school in the Sterling Unified School District 376. Total enrollment for USD 376 is 562 (2015). Students can participate in activities including Scholar’s Bowl, band and FCCLA.
Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. Founded in 1887 as Cooper Memorial College, Sterling embraces an emerging vision to serve God's world through training servant leaders and the development of future leaders through strategic partnerships.
(Source- Sterling College-www.sterling.edu)
Sterling is a community that is small enough to know your name and to care about each other, but large enough to offer a wide variety of interests and talents for the betterment of the citizens. Sterling is progressive and looks to the future while preserving the best of a rich heritage. Come visit Sterling where the "Quality of Life Shines!"
(Source- City of Sterling-www.sterling-kansas.com)
Highway KS-14 runs through Sterling. Hutchinson is under 30 minutes away and McPherson is under 45 minutes from Sterling.
Sterling Local Attractions/Activities
Sterling offers several local restaurants including Jethro’s Steakhouse, Sterling Café and Paddy’s Restaurant. Sterling is home to several churches including the United Presbyterian Church, Assembly of God Church and Calvary Baptist Church. The surrounding towns offer many other attractions.
Kansas Cosmosphere Space Center
What is now one of the world’s premier space museums was once the dream of a Hutchinson civic leader, Patricia Brooks Carey. Her vision to create one of the first public planetariums in the central United States had humble beginnings. In 1962, the Hutchinson Planetarium opened inside the Poultry Building on the Kansas State Fairgrounds with a used star projector and rented folding chairs.
Four years later, the Hutchinson Planetarium relocated to the campus of Hutchinson Community College, in what today houses Dr. Goddard’s Lab.
In 1976, Carey and the Hutchinson Planetarium’s board of directors began planning to significantly expand the facility. They sought the advice of former employee Max Ary, who had worked for the planetarium while going to college. Ary was the director of Ft. Worth’s Noble Planetarium at the time and happened to be serving on a Smithsonian committee that placed tens of thousands of space artifacts in museums after the Apollo program concluded.
So the Cosmosphere was in the right place at the right time.
Launched as the Kansas Cosmosphere and Discover Center in 1980, the new facility featured permanent exhibit galleries in the Hall of Space Museum, one of the first OMNIMAX theaters in the world and the planetarium that started it all.
In 1997, the facility was further renovated and expanded to its present size, 105,000 square feet, nearly tripling the area devoted to the Hall of Space Museum. Today the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is one of the most comprehensive space museums in the world and one of the leading educational tourist attractions in the United States.
(Source- Kansas Cosmosphere Space Center-www.cosmo.org)
McPherson Water Park
You can select from an assortment of activities; cruise the 500 foot lazy river, a giant water slide, deep diving area, 8 lane 50 meter pool and a children’s spray recreation area. The McPherson Water Park offers fun for all ages!
(Source- McPherson Water Park-www.mcphersonwaterpark.com)
Once the largest towns in Rice County, Sterling is located in the southern portion of the county on the Arkansas River eight miles south of Lyons, the county seat. The settlement was first established in 1871 and called Peace. One of the earliest settlers was A.G. Landis who built a store in the settlement which consisted of only about seven families. When the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad built their tracks through the town site in 1872, the town began to grow.
In 1876 the city was incorporated and its name was changed to Sterling, in honor of Sterling Rosan, one of the early settlers. A large business was established in May, 1876 called Landis & Holllinger, which carried all manner of goods including groceries, boots & shoes, dry goods, hardware, lumber, grain, furniture, farm implements, drugs, buffalo hides and buffalo meat. The business was located on the northwest corner of Broadway and Monroe.
By 1883, its population had grown to about 1,500, at which time the town sported three banks, two architects and builders, six grocery stores, three hardware stores, three jewelry and music stores, four dry goods stores, a furniture store, three hotels, a druggist and two shoemakers.
In 1886 the Sterling Land and Investment Company was organized and platted the "College Addition" to Sterling. Ten acres of land was donated by an early settler named Pliny F. Axtell and the first building was erected in October, 1886. The site was then offered to the United Presbyterian Church Council of Kansas, with the condition that they endow, operate and maintain the school. The offer was accepted and a charter was prepared in the name "Cooper Memorial," in honor of Reverend Joseph Cooper, a revered former leader of the Presbyterian denomination which founded the College. The original curriculum offered four majors, and a preparatory department offering high school courses for those students unable to attend such institutions in their home communities. The majors available included a “Classical Course”, a general liberal arts emphasis, a “Normal Course” for prospective teachers, an “English Course” for future school administrators and a business course.
Cooper Memorial College was opened on November 1, 1887. Over the next few years, additional buildings were built and departments added. By the early 1900's the school had an enrollment of about 180 students.
By that time, the town had grown to include more manufacturing facilities including two broom factories, a salt works, machine shops, washing machine factory, flour mill, marble works, feed mill and a seed cleaner factory. The city also boasted an opera house, three banks, two weekly newspapers (the Bulletin and the Journal) and numerous churches and lodges. By 1910, the population was 2,133.
Cooper College was renamed Sterling College in 1920, but continued to retain their original focus as a Christian college.
(Source- Legends of Kansas-www.legendsofkansas.com)