Friday, December 14, 2012

A cenutry-old plate makes it back to Amy, Kansas.

Searching an antique shop in a town near her home in Naramata, British Columbia, Wednesday, Elaine Davidson stumbled upon a peculiar plate. 
The plate shows a picture of a boy riding a tom turkey, the feathers tucked. At the bottom in gold lettering is stamped complements of Patten Mercantile, Amy, Kansas.

“I collect vintage kitchen items, which I like to use,” Davidson said. “The plate was high up on a shelf of a store filled with dishes, kitchenalia, vintage Christmas tree ornaments and such.”

The illustration is what caught her attention. The plate was manufactured in Ohio and the child riding a turkey was a popular depiction at the beginning of the century.

 “I like pieces that are whimsical and make me and my guests laugh,” she said. “The shop owner said it was from the turn of the century but didn’t know much more about it.”

Davidson said the first thing she does when she purchases antiques is researches them. It led her to an article written by The News’ Amy Bickel about the ghost town of Amy in Lane County.

According to Vance Ehmke, a local farmer who lives nearby and has an old sign from the Amy store, Guy and Rodney Patten owned the store in the 1920s.
Ehmke has a story about the store on a bulletin board in his shop that was written by area historian Ellen May Stanley for the Dighton Herald.

Stanley, who spells the name “Patton” in her article, wrote that the store was built in 1906 by the Boltz family. A bandstand was located not far from the building.

The store closed in 1955. The local elevator – the only business left in town, burned the store down in 2003 to make way for a new office and scales.

Meanwhile Davidson reported this after a day of emailing Thursday.

“Here is the end of your story,” she wrote. “I’m on my way to the post office to send the plate back to Amy and Vance Ehmke.”

- Amy Bickel

Monday, December 3, 2012

Frizell, Kansas - a dead town in Pawnee County

The Depot that once was at Frizell, Kansas, in Pawnee County. The 1965-1966 school year was the last classes to go through the school, said Katie Kecheisen, education director and archivist for the Santa Fe Trail Center near Larned. Anna Bassford, director of the center, said the L'Dora school and the Frizell depot were moved to the museum grounds in 1970. The school has undergone regular upkeep. The depot, however, was recently renovated using the original blueprints from 1929. It opened to the public for the first time last month. Kecheisen said the depot now includes an exhibit on rail history. The railroad still goes by the site of Frizell, but there is nothing there but a few foundations of the elevator, along with the current farming operation, said Don Deege, who still lives just west of the fort.

The school house. Milburn Stone went to school at Frizell and worked at his parents store there. Established in 1859 along the Santa Fe Trail, Fort Larned was decommissioned in 1883. A year later, the government sold the land, including a section that contained the fort buildings to Frank Sage who represented the Pawnee Valley Stock Breeders Association, according to the Kansas State Historical Society. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad went through in 1886. A siding - which allowed trains to pass on the same line - was constructed at the future town site and designated Sage in honor of Frank Sage. The site had a schoolhouse, which was established in 1889. E.E. Frizell purchased the fort in 1902 and the name of the station changed to Frizell, according to an article in the Dec. 26, 1929 edition of the Larned Chronoscope. Frizell, a state legislator along with being a rancher and entrepreneur, helped build the little station town, according to the Chronoscope article. A post office was established in 1904. Dora Arnold, wife of Lee Arnold, the town merchant, was postmistress, the article stated. The school burned down and was rebuilt in 1906, named L'Dora, after L'Dora Frizell, Redding's great-grandmother. In 1929, according to the article, the town had a depot, siding for freight cars, filling station, feed and grain business, one elevator and "a modern school." The town had a population of 40, with more than half of the residents Mexicans employed by the railroad and area farmers.