Tag Archives: Ghost Towns

Nicodemus, KS

Nicodemus is located in Graham County, KS named for the Biblical figure Nicodemus.  A National Historical Site Nicodemus is the only remaining western town established by African-American following the Civil War.  Founded in 1877 by a group of former slaves from Kentucky,  the town prospered and supported a hotel, two stores, school, and three churches.

The town made an effort to attract a railroad route thru Nicodemus, but none of the railroads brought their tracts to the town.  The failed attempt to attract a railroad marked the end of growth for the small town.

After being named a National Historical Landmark the community has seen some improvements, a water tower, paved streets and some housing units.

The Emancipation Celebration, has been renamed Homecoming and it is celebrated annually as a gathering of old residents to celebrate their roots and community.  Current population is approximately 20.

First Baptist Church – 1907

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District 1 Nicodemus School – 1918

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Just south of the school  is the home of:

Ola Wilson Home – School Teacher

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African Methodist Episcopal Church – 1885

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St. Francis Hotel

Two story stuccoed portion the hotel was built in 1881.  Originally was cut limestone.  Also served as the post office, the first school and a stage coach stop.

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Township Hall – 1939

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Main Street Nicodemus

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Republic County, KS

A beautiful day to be on the backroads of Kansas.  It was a busy day, as farmers are harvesting their fall crops.  Please drive carefully and be sure to give the combines, grain carts and trucks plenty of room.

Corn

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Sorghum also called Milo is a feed grain for cattle.  There are twenty-five species of sorghum.  Some species are grown for its grain other species are grown for fodder.

Sweet Sorghum/Cane grows 10′ tall and is harvested and chopped up or baled for feed.

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Cane is made into ensilage and was stored in a silo.  Most silos are abandoned, now the ensilage is stored in a trench silo.

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Milo is harvested for its grain.

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Last cutting of alfalfa.

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We’re in NORWAY!!

Norway, Kansas

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Kackley, KS

When the railroad was built thru Kackley in 1887, it was a trade center, home to 200 people, now it has a population of 13.

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Remains of the General Store

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White Rock, KS

Settled in 1871 along the west bank of the Republican river.  The town at one time had 3 general stores, saw mill, corn mill and a hotel.  Only a couple of houses remain.

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Pawnee Indian Village in the late 1700’s this was a site of a village.  There is a museum located on this land.  Here is a link to that information  Pawnee Indian Museum

 

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Wells, Miltonvale, and Aurora, KS

August on the prairie is known for its sweltering heat and little to no rain. The grasslands are brown and dry, with the threat of large grass fires…….this year August has been cooler and with plentiful rain, the grassland is green and lush.

We have a dry creek in our back yard that handles the run off from the pasture, know by the locals (me) as Farmer Creek.  This past week it has rained daily. One twenty-four hour period we received over 5″ of rain.

Farmer Creek  was out of its banks.

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Finally the sun came out and Wylie and I took off on an adventure.

Wells is a small unincorporated town in Ottawa County.

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Along the blacktop road between Wells and Miltonvale.

Silo Art

Since farmers are no longer using the silos you will see a lot of them with trees inside.

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Windmills are becoming a thing of the past.  I’ve seen the blades of the windmills re-purposed as ceiling fans and wall decor.

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Miltonvale, a city in Cloud County, KS, was founded in 1881.  Home to Miltonvale Wesleyan College 1909 – 1972.  Current population around 500.

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Goats are keeping the grounds of the old college clear of weeds.

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Aurora is located in Cloud County, KS  with a population of around 60.  The post office was established in 1886, it was called St. Peter for a couple of year.

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Depot

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Old Jail

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Wild sunflowers along the ditch and a beautiful Kansas sky

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Bodarc, KS

Named after the Osage Orange Tree which is common on the Plains, Bodarc or Bois d’ Arc, KS was an unofficial community founded in 1875.  The community had a mill, general store, school house, church and cemetery.

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General Store

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Rock Fence

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Covert, KS

Founded in 1880 Covert is now known as a Ghost Town.  Located in Osborne County, it was named after John Covert, who was on a buffalo hunt and was killed at his camp along the creek.   During its prosperous years the population was 150, supporting a high school, bank, two general stores, churches, blacksmith and a hotel.  Covert is know for having a winning high school coach,  John Locke, who when the school couldn’t afford a basketball coach, the senior asked if he could coach and play.  He took them to the state playoffs in 1926.  The School burnt in 1951 and never re-opened.   The Covert Meteorite was found in 1923.  The unsolved murders of the Kaser family in 1928 are also part of Covert’s past.

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The Albert Kaser family is laid to rest in the Covert Cemetery.

Albert, his wife, Nellie and their six children were found in the ruins of their burnt home.  It was later determined that the family had been murdered, and the person who was the suspect, Albert Kaser’s brother Fred, killed himself.

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Neosho Falls, KS

Neosho Falls, Woodson County, KS is located along the Neosho River in the southeast part of the State.  Settlers arrived in the early 1850’s settling on land that was part of the New York Indian Reserve.  It was never occupied by the Indians and in 1860 the US Government put it up for homesteading.

Neosho Falls was a transportation center being located at the junction of 2 railroads and the Neosho River.  Retail business at one time were banks, motels, flour mill, saw mill and sorghum mill.  The city suffered numerous set backs as electricity replaced water power, disastrous flooding, and the Depression.

 

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Prosperity returned when oil was discovered in 1937.  Anticipating new growth a large elementary and high school was built.  But another flood destroyed much of the town in 1957.

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This looks like a quiet street, but I was amazed at the traffic that was in town.  They were mostly headed to the river, where they would drive out to the gravel bars, park and then float around or fish.  I saw a fisherman out standing in the river in water up to his neck, only his head and arms holding his pole were visible, one way to keep cool!  The residents do not need a big pool or spray parks, they have the beautiful river!

Current population is 141.  One resident is quoted as saying “Neosho Falls may not be the boom town that is once was, but, we like it just the way it is”.  I can understand why they like their town!

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Weekend in the Flint Hills

We spent a couple of days in the Flint Hills around Cottonwood Falls, one of my favorite places to be.  It was a very cool rainy weekend.

Most of the pastures have been burnt,  the grass is so beautiful and green.  The tallgrass prairies of the Flint Hills are so beautiful any season.

Cattle of the Flint Hills

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Mr. Farmer, we should get some Longhorns!

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Clements, KS

In 1862 a post office was established at Silver Creek (not a ghost town, it’s considered an extinct town).  The rail road came thru the area in 1871 and in 1881 the post office was moved to Crawfordsville, which was renamed to Clements in 1884.

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Double Arch Stone Bridge built in 1887

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Abandoned beautiful majestic home.  South of Cottonwood Falls

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Bushong, Lyon County,  KS.  In 1880 the railroad constructed a depot in a pasture, a town developed beside the track.  Originally called Weeks – it was changed by the railroad crew to Bushong, in honor of a baseball payer, Al “Doc” Bushong.  They also named another town in Lyon County after a baseball player, Comiskey.  At one time there was over 150 residents calling Bushong home, now there are less than 40.  A fire in the 1920’s destroyed a large portion of the town, buildings were never rebuilt.  The railroad has abandoned the track and the railbed is now a nature trail.

This building served as a gas station and tavern.

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This guy calls Bushong home.  He was so beautiful, but noisy!!  He didn’t want me getting too close!

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