Rooks County Attractions
Webster Reservoir and State Park is located 7 miles west of Stockton on Highway 24 or10 miles north of Zurich on Highway 258 from K-18. The 3,780 acre lake has campgrounds, picnic areas, swimming, volleyball courts, shower houses, shelters, hiking trails, boat ramps, fish cleaning station, electric hookups, and much more. Click on the link above for more information.
Also, Rooks County is located in the middle of some other great lakes besides Webster. Lake Wilson in Russell County, Kirwin Lake in Phillips County, Cedar Bluff Lake in Trego County, and Glen Elder Lake in Mitchell are all just a short drive away from Rooks County. Get the latest fishing reports from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
The Rooks County Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. This stately Neo-Classical Revival structure dominates its surroundings in the county seat of Stockton. Construction of the Bedford stone courthouse began in 1921 and was completed in 1923. At the time, the courthouse cost over $300,000 to build. The beautiful imported marble located throughout the courthouse is just one of the unique features, as is the ceramic tile floors. The building is located at 115 N. Walnut in Stockton and is open from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Rooks County Historical Museum located at 921 S. Cedar in Stockton, contains numerous exhibits from the history of Rooks County. The museum is an excellent source for genealogy information. Museum hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Arrange for tours by calling (785) 425-7217.
Rooks County State Lake is located 3 miles south and 3 miles west of Stockton and provides excellent fishing opportunities. A shelter house is also available for picnics.
St. Joseph’s Church in Damar is a beautiful example of classic Romanesque design and is a glowing example of the importance that early settlers to Rooks County placed on religion. The church had it’s first mass celebrated in 1917. The church was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. In 2008, the church was selected as one of the 24 finalist for 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture. Also, go to the Damar Community Historical Foundation website to learn more about the church, and the community of Damar.
Plainville Township Lake is located 1 mile south and 1 mile west of Plainville. During normal years, the lake has plenty of water and provides an excellent location for fishing and picnics. Each year the lake is the site of an annual July 4 fireworks show. Camping spaces are available with electrical hookups. Call 785-688-4064 to reserve a space. If no answer, call 785-737-3087.
Waller-Coolbaugh 20th Century House located at 421 N. Walnut in Stockton offers visitors a High Classical Revival residence built around 1905 by a local businessman. For many years this was the most elegant home in town and is now preserved as a local landmark.
Nova Theater in Stockton is a classic example of what can happen when community vision is teamed with community effort and financial giving. The Nova Theater, built in1932, has been restored and is now home to weekend movies and numerous other special events. The 200 seat multi-purpose theater is available throughout the year for meetings and events.
The Old Log Cabin on the west side of Stockton is a replica of the towns first motel.
Ash Rock Church built in 1882, is located 5 miles north and 1 mile east of Woodston. Sometimes called the “Stone Church” because of its thick, limestone walls, the church stands as a memorial to the spirit and hard work of those who settled the land, survived its hard times, and enjoyed its good times. The church was renovated in 1976 to its present condition.
The Rooks County Fairgrounds, located at the south end of Stockton, features several buildings that were part of the WPA building programs of the Great Depression. The grandstands and Ostmeyer building are both constructed of native limestone and reflect the grandeur and history of the Rooks County Free Fair, which has been in a continuously-running annual event for over 140 years.
Rooks County’s newest attraction is the Tornado Sculpture located in the unincorporated community of Codell in SE Rooks County along Kansas Highway 18. The sculpture was dedicated on May 20, 2018 in remembrance of the three tornadoes that struck the small community on three successive years on the same day–May 20, 1916,1917, and 1918. This rare occurrence resulted in a listing in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and notoriety from meteorologist from all over the United States.