Kansas City MO
September 30 to October 2, 2016

Click here to view the Registration Form
Click here to view the Attendee List

The Heart of America Chapter of NARPI will host the National and Mid-America Region Reunion in Kansas City from Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2, 2016. Our reunion hotel is the Holiday Inn – Country Club Plaza, 1 E. 45th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111, which is within walking distance to the Country Club Plaza, with more than 150 shops and restaurants, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Room reservations must be made directly with the hotel by August 30, 2016, by calling 816-753-7400. Callers must ask for rooms for the National Association of Retired Postal Inspectors – NARPI group code "ARP". The NARPI room rate is available from Tuesday, September 27 through Wednesday, October 5 for those who want to arrive early or stay longer to visit other Kansas City sites.

The reunion rate for the hotel is $124 per night ($145.38 with tax) for a king bed room or a room with two queen beds. Included in this rate is breakfast for up to four guests in a room. The hotel offers complimentary WiFi and parking. They also have a complimentary shuttle that will take guests around the Country Club Plaza, Crown Center, the WWI Museum, the Power & Light District, the Convention Center and the Sprint Arena. The shuttle operates within a 3 mile radius of the hotel.

The Kansas City International Airport is located 24 miles from the hotel, so attendees will need to make plans to rent a car, take a taxi or airport shuttle. The SuperShuttle fare for one person is $22 one way or $39 round-trip if booked by telephone (800-258-3826). If booked online at SuperShuttle.com the one way fare is $19 and $36 round-trip. Another airport shuttle recommended by the hotel staff is 5 Guys Transportation which will transport up to 6 people in a van from the airport direct to the Holiday Inn for $50. There are no other stops with this company, and that is total rate for the van regardless of the number of people riding. Reservations can be made at 816-891-9999 or online at www.5GuysTransportation.com.

Kansas City's Country Club Plaza was built in 1922 by J.C. Nichols who envisioned the nation's first outdoor shopping center that would accommodate those with automobiles. Nichols based the Plaza's architecture on his previous visits to Europe and it mirrors much of the Moorish influence of Seville, Spain. Nichols adorned the Plaza with beautiful courtyards, sculptures, murals and artwork. The Plaza is also home to hundreds of fountains both large and small in what is known as “the City of Fountains.” Kansas City has more fountains than any city in the world except for Rome.

The Country Club Plaza (or “The Plaza” as locals call it) now houses a 15 blocks district of over 150 fabulous shops, great restaurants, bars, and entertainment. From local favorites to high fashion retailers and home decor, the Plaza is Kansas City's favorite place to shop and dine.

For those who plan to arrive early, on Thursday, September 29, the Kansas City Royals will be at home at Kauffman Stadium (nine miles east of hotel) playing the Minnesota Twins at 7:15 pm. If interested in attending the game, please indicate on the registration form so tickets and transportation can be arranged.

Friday, September 30: Registration in the hotel lobby will open at 2 pm and the hospitality room will open 3 – 10 pm. Hors d’oeuvres, snacks, and your favorite beverages will be available. For those wanting dinner, there are over 30 restaurants in the Country Club Plaza area, and the hotel has a complimentary shuttle to the Plaza.

Saturday, October 1 (8:20 am – 4:30 pm): Our deluxe motor coaches will load at the hotel at 8:20 am and we will travel to Independence, MO to tour the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library from 9:15 until 11:30. The coach will then take us a short distance to the Rheinland German Restaurant, also located in Independence. Our pre-ordered lunches will be served to us so that we will be ready to board the buses at 12:45 to go to the National World War I Museum in Kansas City. We will be able to tour the museum from 1:15 until 4 pm when we will return to the hotel. This museum is designated as America’s official museum dedicated to to World War I, and tells the story of the Great War from 1914 through the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The hospitality room will open shortly after our arrival at the hotel and will be open until 10:30 pm.

Sunday, October 2 (10:45 am – 4 pm): Our motor coaches will load at the hotel at 10:45 am and transport us to the City Market area. There you will find several restaurants where you can dine on your own. This area includes a farmer’s market and other permanent shops. The Steamboat Arabia Museum is located in the City Market and we will meet there at 1:00 pm to tour the museum.

The Arabia was built in 1853 around the Monongahela River in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Its paddle wheels were 28 feet (8.5 m) across, and its steam boilers consumed approximately thirty cords of wood per day. It averaged five miles (8 km) an hour going upstream. It traveled the Ohio and Mississippi rivers before it was bought by Captain John Shaw, who operated it on the Missouri River. In March of 1856, the Arabia was sold to Captain William Terrill and William Boyd, and it made fourteen trips up and down the Missouri during their ownership.

On September 5, 1856, the Arabia set out for a routine trip. At Quindaro Bend, near the town of Parkville, Missouri, it hit a submerged walnut tree snag. The snag ripped open the hull, which rapidly filled with water. The upper decks stayed above water, and the only casualty was a mule that was tied to sawmill equipment and forgotten. It sank so rapidly into the mud that by the next morning, only the smokestacks and pilot house remained visible. Within a few days, these traces were also swept away. Numerous salvage attempts failed, and eventually the Arabia was completely covered by water. Over time, the river shifted a half a mile to the east. The site of the sinking is in a field in the area of present-day Kansas City, Kansas.

In the 1860s, Elisha Sortor purchased the property where the Arabia lay. Over the years, legends were passed through the family that it was located somewhere under the land. In the surrounding town, stories were also told of it, but the exact location of it was lost over time. In 1987, Bob Hawley and his sons, Greg and David, set out to find the Arabia. They used old maps and a proton magnetometer to figure out the probable location, and finally discovered it about half a mile from the modern location of the river under 45 feet of silt and topsoil.

The owners of the farm gave permission for excavation, with the condition that the work be completed before the spring planting. The Hawleys, along with family friends Jerry Mackey and David Luttrell, set out to excavate the Arabia during the winter months while the water table was at its lowest point. They performed a series of drilling tests to determine the exact location of the hull, then marked the perimeter with powdered chalk. Heavy equipment, including a 100- ton crane, was brought in by both river and road transport during the summer and fall. Twenty irrigation pumps were installed around the site to lower the water level and to keep the site from flooding. The 65-foot deep wells removed 20,000 US gallons per minute from the ground. On November 26, 1988, the Arabia was exposed. Four days later, artifacts from it began to appear, beginning with a Goodyear rubber overshoe. On December 5, a wooden crate filled with elegant china was unearthed. The mud was such an effective preserver that the yellow packing straw was still visible. Thousands of artifacts were recovered intact, including jars of preserved food that are still edible. The worked ceased at the site on February 11, 1989. The artifacts are housed in the Arabia Steamboat Museum.

We will board the buses at 3:15 pm to return to the hotel for the meetings which will start at 4 pm.

The reunion banquet will start at 6 pm beginning with a hospitality reception and cash bar. The banquet will begin at 7 pm.

Additional information and sites

Among other sites and museums to see in Kansas City are the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Baseball Leagues Museum which share space in the Lincoln Building in the historic 18th and Vine neighborhood. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art features a diverse collection of modern, ancient, Native American, and international art spanning 5000 years. “The College Basketball Experience” is in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame located inside the Sprint Center. Other places to see are the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the old Power & Light District downtown with its architecturally significant buildings, Crown Center, and Union Station which has been restored. Kansas City is also home to five casinos.

In 1996, a public/private partnership began funding Union Station's $250 million restoration. In 2002, Union Station saw its return as a train station when Amtrak began providing public transportation services and has since become Missouri's second-busiest train station. As of 2010, the refurbished station boasts theaters, ongoing museum exhibits, and attractions such as the Science City at Union Station, the Irish Museum and Cultural Center, and the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.

Opening in May, 2016, is the new Kansas City streetcar system which has a 2.2 miles route that goes from Union Station to the City Market. It is free and is scheduled to operate until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. It makes 16 stops along the route, including near the Kaufman Performing Arts Center, the Power & Light District, and the Crossroads Arts District. The hotel is located 2.5 miles from Union Station so the hotel shuttle can transport guests there to catch the new streetcars.

Kansas City is a beautiful city with many things to see and visit, and the chapter looks forward

Click here to view the Registration Form
Click here to view the Attendee List

If you have made a hotel reservation and your name is not listed above, please send an email to narpi.net@narpi.org and let us know. We are trying to keep the Attendee List up-to-date.