Home of Early YL is Kansas Museum
The Ensor Farm, in Johnson County, Kansas, is known for its historic association with Loretta Ensor (1904-1991) and her brother, Marshall Hamilton Ensor (1899-1970), two of the most prominent radio amateurs who established one of the most complete amateur radio transmitting stations in America on their property during the early history of radio.
The Kansas City Journal Post, on January 24, 1926, under the headline Kansas Has Lone Woman Radio Amateur in West, stated "Kansas boasts the only woman Amateur radio operator in the Middle West. Her name is Miss Loretta Ensor in the Olathe city directory, but to virtually every amateur within hearing distance-and these days that means clear around on the other side of the world-she is 9UA."
The Elsnors teach
Loretta and Marshal in their shack.The ARRL called for volunteers to teach CW to aspiring hams and Marshall Ensor was one of the first to respond to this request and in 1929 started "lessons" in Code over station 9BSP to anyone who signed up for the 60 lesson course. Both Marshall and Loretta gave lessons for 10 years-it was estimated that more than 10, 000 persons were trained in CW during the period over Stations 9BSP and W9BSP.
In 1913 Marshall Ensor built his first wireless or crystal radio set and followed that with a set using a spark gap transmitter in 1917. He received his ticket in 1917 and was issued call letters 9BSP. In 1923 Loretta received her license and received 9UA as her call sign.
Loretta became known during the 1920s as the first woman radio amateur whose voice crossed the Pacific Ocean.
The Elsnor StationIn 1940 Marshall Ensor received the William S. Paley Award for his efforts in support of national defense. Each year, William S. Paley, the president of CBS radio, would honor one ham radio operator.
At the onset of World War II in 1941 Ensor applied for a commission in the United States Navy and was accepted, obtaining the rank of Lt. Commander. He was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington, where he was assigned to radio operations.
The radio station the Ensors founded remained in operation after Ensor retired from teaching in 1964. After Marshall died in 1970, Loretta operated the radio station. The Young Ladies Radio league (YLRL) presented her with a 50-year member award in 1974.
The Elsnor HouseThe Ensor House in Olathe, Kansas today is a museum on the
National Historic Registry.
The Ensor Farm includes the original pioneer cabin built around 1875, the north peg barn (which now houses the Ensor Museum), the 1896/1900 cow barn, second one-room cabin brought to the property, meathouse, chicken coop and brooder house, machine shed, concrete silo and two 80 foot radio towers.
The survival of Ensor Farm and its radio history was ultimately in Loretta's hands, who established the Ensor Farm site & Museum so that others might see how things used to be on a working farm. Both Marshall and Loretta Ensor were licensed radio amateurs and operated a station from the farmhouse for 56 years (1917-1973).
YL team shows that DXpeditions aren't just for men.
Many YL's have participated on DXpedition teams over the years, often to some desolate location of the world. These Dxpeditions are usually carried out under the harshest of conditions. Here is a team made up entirely of YL's that went on a Dxpedition to the Island of Curacao.
Curacao, is an island of 171 square miles located in the Leeward (Lesser) Antilles. It is the largest and most populated (141, 766) of the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. On October 10, 2010 the Netherland Antilles were dissolved. Curacao became a new country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and instantly became one of four new DX entities
The Dxpedition girls were active on Curacao from March 18-21, 2011. They wanted a location with minimal station set-up, warm weather, and "adult beverages" they found all of this in the turn key station PJ2T. PJ2T is owned and operated by the Caribbean Contesting Consortium which rents out the super well equipped facility on the south side of the island.
Here are the bios of the team.
Gayle-K6GO "The leader of the Pack"
My station is very modest; Yaesu FT-1000MP, Alpha 374A amp, Hy-Gain Explorer 14 for 10, 15 & 20, Hy-Power 40/80M dipole, 160M is a home brew based on the K6MM helically wound vertical design, and an R7.
I am active in the San Diego DX Club Two of the most fabulous experiences of my entire life involve amateur radio. First I was part of a YL DXpedition to Montserrat, before the volcano erupted, July 25-30, 1993. Then my students talked to the astronaut on space shuttle STS 70 on July 18, 1995, 15:01:10 UTC.
I have been licensed as KC6SQC. Then I was KC6YDQ, then Extra Class as, KM6WF, and now and lastly I am K6GO. I am truly looking forward to our YLDXpedition to Curacao.
Rosemary "Rusty" Kalkofen
In my first life I retired as Quality Control Inspector, then with the IRS for few years. A few more odd jobs and now fully retired. Got my Tech as KI6AMT, then General, and finally Extra as AF6WF.
I became mildly interested in contesting, and now am learning the techniques to become a real contester with N6KI as Elmer. Look for me on YouTube as operator for the NX6T contest station operating from W6HCD shack in Bonsall Ca. In 2010 I had the chance to work the San Diego 100 in the control trailer with WB6BFG and N6UWW.
Station: Yaesu FT-2000, Yaesu FL-7000 amp, G5RV @ 10 Meters. ARRL VE, SANDAC VE, and a member of Palomar Club, Ears Club, and San Diego DX Clubs.