Top 10 Kansas Towns

Top 10 Kansas Towns

Many Kansas towns have charm. However, a few stand out as delightful places to visit and explore. Allow us to share 10 towns that we feel are must-sees.   10.  McPherson A larger town with a busy but inviting feel, named for Union General James McPherson of the Civil War. Enjoy the attractive architecture, particularly the stunning, castle-like county courthouse. Keep your eyes open for … Continue reading Top 10 Kansas Towns

8 Utopian Experiments in Kansas

8 Utopian Experiments in Kansas

The fresh, unsettled land of Kansas attracted many idealists in the early part of the state’s history.  Agricultural land was readily available, either for free under the Homestead Act or for a low price from railroad companies. A surprising number of utopian colonies were established throughout Kansas history, representing a wide range of theories.  The following is a list of some of these experiments: Octagon … Continue reading 8 Utopian Experiments in Kansas

Historical Atlas of Kansas

Historical Atlas of Kansas

If you like maps and you love Kansas history, have we found the book for you!  The Historical Atlas of Kansas by Homer E. Socolofsky and Huber Self contains over 70 maps presenting different aspects of life in Kansas, past and present. Maps include: Landforms. Precipitation. Native flora. Spanish and French claims. Early Indian tribes. Forts and military roads. Territorial locations and capitals. Federal land offices. … Continue reading Historical Atlas of Kansas

Silkville: A Utopian Experiment

Silkville: A Utopian Experiment

More than one utopian dreamer has chosen Kansas as the place to found his grand experiment. A list of state ghost towns would be full of communities founded on some form of idealism—Victoria, the Vegetarian Colony, Silkville…. Silkville? Yes. One of those little towns started out with silk farming as its principal industry. This experiment began around 1869 along Old Highway 50, about 3 miles … Continue reading Silkville: A Utopian Experiment

Carneiro: The Sheep Town

Carneiro: The Sheep Town

One of the little dead towns of Kansas, just 12 miles east of Ellsworth, bears the name Carneiro (pronounced, “kahr-NAIR-oh”).  Interestingly, the name is Portuguese, not a very common language for place-names in this state, and it means, “sheep” or “mutton.” Now if there is one type of livestock Kansas is typically associated with, it is undoubtedly cattle, not sheep.  Nevertheless, Carneiro reminds us of … Continue reading Carneiro: The Sheep Town

WaKeeney: Christmas City of the High Plains

WaKeeney: Christmas City of the High Plains

WaKeeney, Kansas, did not start out as the “Christmas City of the High Plains.”  Its founders, Albert Warren and James Keeney, called it the “Queen City of the Great Plains.”  It was located conveniently along the Kansas Pacific railway, nearly halfway between Kansas City and Denver, and (if Warren and Keeney are to be believed) boasted “the most fertile agricultural land in the world.” The … Continue reading WaKeeney: Christmas City of the High Plains

George Grant and the Victoria Colony

George Grant and the Victoria Colony

At the beginning of the 1870s, Scottish nobleman George Grant’s only idea was to retire to a country estate in England.  Nothing quite suited him, however, so he traveled to America in 1872, still searching.  The vast prairies of Kansas soon fascinated Grant.  Clearly the plains were ideal for livestock, and slowly his plans for retirement were absorbed into a new vision. Grant bought nearly … Continue reading George Grant and the Victoria Colony