For a fleeting moment, this little town was touched by the silver screen.
It was 1951, Francie White Grilliot recalls. She and her grade-school friends were excited to be part of the background in a Hollywood motion picture being shot on location in their hometown of Castleton - a film to be called "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie." A wardrobe of old-time clothing was kept at the high school, and her mother, a seamstress, was charged to make it fit the extras.
The film crew transformed little Castleton into Sevillinois, Ill., a town set in 1905. They built a fire station, barber shop, livery stable and other period pieces that were situated around the already existing post office and Santa Fe depot. And for about two weeks, Castleton boomed with activity.
But then the crew packed up and headed west, and the tiny town of Castleton, already well amid rural decline, continued its downward spiral.
The post office closed in 1957, and the red brick depot, which had attracted the eye of the Hollywood producer, was razed in the early 1960s.
"There's not much left," Francie said from the kitchen table in the farmhouse where she grew up.
|A view of the elevators, which are owned by Mid Kansas Cooperative|
|Much of what is left can be seen from Tom Grilliot's lane: the tall bins of the cooperative elevator, a few dozen houses and a community church. There's a dozen or two homes, as well|
|,A memorial was erected in the 1950s to those who served their country.|
The post office closed in June 1957, and in the early 1970s moved to Great Bend. It's still on display at a museum.