Ghost Towns of Kansas

Ghost Towns of Kansas : A Traveller's Guide

4.23 (31 ratings by Goodreads)
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As soon as the Kansas Territory was opened for settlement in 1854, towns sprang up like mushrooms--first along the Missouri border, then steadily westward along trail routes, rivers, and railroad lines. Many of them barely got beyond the drawing board and hundreds of them flowered briefly and died, victims of the boom or bust economy of the frontier and the vagaries of weather, finance, mining, agriculture, railroad construction, and politics. Ghost Towns of Kansas is a practical guide to these forsaken settlements and a chronicle of their role in the history of Kansas. It focuses on 100 towns that have either disappeared without a trace or are only a shadowy remnant of what they once were, telling the story of each town's settlement, politics, colorful figures and legends, and eventual abandonment or decline. The culmination of more than ten years of research, this new book is a distillation of the author's immensely popular three-volume work on the state's ghost towns, now out of print. Condensed and redesigned as a traveler's guide, it is organized by region and features ten maps and detailed instructions for finding each site. Twenty of the towns included are discussed for the first time in this volume. The book also contains more than 100 black-and-white photographs of town scenes. With this new guide in hand, travelers and armchair adventurers alike can journey back to the Kansas frontier--to places like Octagon City, where settlers signed a pledge not to consume liquor, tobacco, or the flesh of animals in order to purchase land at $1.25 per acre from the Vegetarian Settlement Company. Or to Sheridan, a tough, end-of-the-line railroad town where, according to the Kansas Commonwealth, the scum of creation have congregated and assumed control of municipal and social affairs. At least thirty men were hanged and a hundred killed either in gunfights or by Indians during Sheridan's tumultuous two-year life span. Today the only remainder of Octagon City is a stream named Vegetarian Creek, and wild and woolly Sheridan is again a pasture.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 154.43 x 229.11 x 20.07mm | 498.95g
  • Kansas, United States
  • English
  • 0700603689
  • 9780700603688

Back cover copy

This illustrated guide to Kansas ghost towns will delight travelers and armchair tourists alike. Organized by region, it tells the story of 100 towns that have either disappeared without a trace or are only 'a shadowy remnant of what they once were.'
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Review quote

A day-trippers delight.---Wichita Eagle

While all the towns contained here are in Kansas, the historical significance of the stories as case studies far transcend that state.--Kansas History

Fitzgerald breathes life into these forgotten settlements, finding in each community a unique personality.--Annals of Iowa

This is a must resource for either the traveler or the armchair adventurer interested in Kansas and its widely diversified past.--Great Plains Newsletter
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Rating details

31 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 39% (12)
4 48% (15)
3 10% (3)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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