About ParsonsParsons' history is closely intertwined with that of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, also known as the KATY or MKT. It was home of the diesel shops for the line until it was sold to the Union Pacific in the 1980s.
Buildings of architectural note include the 1920s Carnegie Arts Center, formerly the town's library, and the Parsons Municipal Auditorium, which hosts concerts, theater productions and civic gatherings. The First Presbyterian Church's turrets and stained-glass windows make it a much-photographed structure. Hundreds of Civil War veterans are buried at Oakwood Cemetery, known for its wartime monuments and memorials.
The Parsons Arboretum, S. 21st Street and Briggs Avenue adjacent to Glenwood Park, includes a visitor center, wetlands area, observation deck and an 18-hole disc golf course; phone (620) 421-7088. Nearby, both Pearson-Skubitz Big Hill Lake and Neosho State Fishing Lake offer camping and fishing facilities.
Visitor Centers Parsons Chamber of Commerce and Labette County Tourism 506 E. Main St. Parsons, KS 67357. Phone:(620)421-6500 or (800)280-6401
In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.