Monday, October 29, 2012

Feterita, Kansas - a dead town

Feterita, Kansas. I'm looking for anyone who can help me with this dead town. I took this pictures in the summer of 2012 on my way to Elkhart for a June wheat harvest story. Elkhart Co-op Equity Exchange does have bins there, as well.

Feterita sign still by the tracks!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ash Valley, Pawnee County, an old gravestone

I wrote about Ash Valley  a while back, but here is information on an old gravestone, maybe one of the oldest gravestones in the state! Click here for the story of Ash Valley and its birth and death. Here's a photo I stumbled across in an email I received a while back from a reader.

From The News
Another remnant is about a mile east of town, a limestone marker honoring a man who died before Kansas was a state. Cliff Line, a former resident of Ash Valley, was digging a post hole in 1916 when he hit a rock. When he unearthed it, he found lettering on it and realized it was a grave from 75 years earlier. The stone said: A.D. 1841 June W.D Silver Shot with (below shows the carving of an arrow). Speculation is he died from an Indian attack. The site, according to an article from the time in the The News, is 30 miles from the Santa Fe Trail and the man could have been hunting before he was attacked. The railroad erected a monument that still stands today along the former railroad line.

Thanks for the photo Adrian!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rydal, Kansas - a dead town in Republic County

Building the overpass at Rydal in the early 1950s.

Then, in 1950, U.S. 36 highway was built through Scandia township and a new overpass was constructed over the railroad tracks at Rydal. A large park was built for tourists just east of Rydal on the highway.
But the hustle and bustle of the little town would soon come to an end. According to the June 5, 1952 edition of the Telescope, a fire broke out that year at the elevator.

Mrs. Amos J. Dickerman, Rydal, postmistress, gave the first alarm. "I was wakened by a crash like "thunder, and looked out the window. When I saw the sky was clear, I looked to see if a car had wrecked on the highway. Then I saw the glare of the fire ... It was burning all over, with the flames swirling and sparks flying everywhere."
But as crews put one fire out, the hot ashes landed on the roof of the Presbyterian Church, Dooley said. 

1951 aerial of Rydal
Rydal, Kansas, was as ordinary as any town planted in Kansas in the late 1800s.

The Rydal Giants played their regular weekly game of baseball for practice on the home diamond in the pasture near Rydal Saturday afternoon and under their able manager and captain it is safe to say it will soon be in the shape to play any team in the county. - May 31, 1907 
William Johnson, of near Rydal, shipped a carload of hogs of his he was raising to Kansas City, loading them at Rydal Thursday morning. - Dec. 2, 1920
 About 30 from the Rydal community enjoyed a basket dinner at the Rydal church basement. - June 13, 1946

But those taking a trip by the town that seemed to come to life from the pages of the Belleville Telescope will find little left.

Trucks line up for harvest at Rydal, Kansas

Read more of this story by clicking here

1935 photo of grocery store owned by William West. Rydal is a dead town in Republic County. These photos are courtesy of the Republic County historical society

My Dear Santa: - I am a little boy 8 years old. I live at Rydal, Kansas. I go to No. 9 school. We are going to have a program at our school. Will you please bring me a desk with pigeonholes in it and a chair and a storybook? I am in the third grade. I have one brother and one sister. Please give lots of toys and candy and things to the poor children that have no parents. Santa, you are a jolly fellow. The 25th of Dec. is Christmas.Yours Truly -Charles B. Beymer Jr.- Belleville Telescope, Dec. 16, 1910

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Covert Kansas project has kids learning with eagerness

INMAN - Ghost towns don't have real ghosts, these fourth-graders have learned.

"A town is a ghost town because there is nobody there," said Inman Elementary student Dantlie Raney. "Everybody left it."

It's part of teacher Bentley Richert's Kansas history lesson. Most of his students didn't know the definition of a ghost town, or that Kansas has more than 6,000 of them - towns that expanded with dreams of a future before disappearing from most maps.

However, armed with their iPads, these fourth-graders have a quest to memorialize the ghost town of Covert in Osborne County, which has been dead since the last postmark was stamped in 1966.

"We are going to put the flesh on the bones of Covert," said Kaia Wiggins, 9. "We are trying to find out what happened to the town."

The project started after Kevin Honeycutt, ESSDACK's technology integration specialist, read about Covert's story in the Sept. 30 edition of The Hutchinson News. Honeycutt, on his way to Nebraska to train teachers about using technology in the classroom as part of his job through the educational service center, made a stop at Covert.

To read more of the story, click here

Monday, October 8, 2012

Galt, Kansas - a dead town in Rice County

On my way back from a trip to Covert, Kansas, I decided to stop by Galt - or what is left of the former Rice County town.

A reader has suggested the project a few years ago, and I was only about eight or so miles from the site as I traveled back to Hutchinson. Thus, I took the dirt roads and found a farmhouse with a sign displayed on the mailbox.

This is Delbert Hayes, who happened to be home and knows all the history of the little town. He wrote a paper while attending McPherson College in 1955 on the town's birth and its death. To read my latest ghost town story, click here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Covert Kansas - an Osborne County ghost town

 Here are some photos of Covert, Kansas, a dead town in Osborne County. Covert's history includes an unsolved murder, a legendary high school basketball coach and a meteorite. Mona Winder Kennedy has a new book on Covert's history. To order it, visit or call (785) 525-7784.
This is a photo of the town's first post office. It was actually established before the town in 1873. Osborne County officials have done some work to restore the log cabin structure but more work and funding is needed.

The former elementary school.

Von walks up the stairs of this once elementary school. He was a great tour guide!

Mona Kennedy and Von walk the weedy streets of Covert. Mona wrote the book "Covert, Kansas: an evolution of a ghost town."

A sign at Covert High School talks of its famous son, winningest Kansas boys basketball coach John Locke.

This was the school's water tower. It was the only water source in Covert.

Here are the old fuel pumps. See where the glass was?

Inside the post office. Osborne leaders hope to someday restore this old structure and make Covert a walking historic site.

An old home still stands.

An old photo of the high school.


The day the last postage stamp was issued at the post office.

Winning basketball coach John Locke. In the 1925-26 season, the school couldn't afford a basketball coach. Locke, a senior, asked if he could coach and play. They let him and he lead the team to its only state basketball tournament appearance.

A look at what the town once looked like.

Covert, Kansas - video of dead town in Osborne County

Here's a video of Covert Kansas. This ghost town's last post mark was in 1966. The town was founded in 1880 by James Bradshaw. It was named after Covert creek, which was named after James Covert who died in the area from an Indian attack. For more on Covert, visit other entries in this blog.