Saturday, April 12, 2014


Magen attended an elementary school not far from Wakarusa. She remembers sleeping over at a friend's house there. It sticks out in her memory because the friend's family kept a pet pig in the house. Regrettably, that is the most interesting thing I can say about this tiny town.

According to this article, it seems like Wakarusa would have been a good place to visit about a hundred years ago.*

Today, though, the grain elevator and cider mill are hollow skeletons, and the stores and other commercial endeavors are a distant and (one imagines) fond memory. The houses are old, and some of the yards are unkempt.**

The whole town felt worn out, much as we were at the end of our day of exploration. So perhaps it was a fitting end to this week's Kansas Adventures.

Total distance today: 77.5 miles.

* In case of stale links, here is an excerpt of the article:
Wakarusa, a little town in Shawnee county, is located in Williamsport township on the Wakarusa river and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R., 12 miles south of Topeka, the county seat. It has a grain elevator, a cider mill, a number of stores, telegraph and express offices, and a money order postoffice with two rural routes. It is a popular summer camping place for Topeka people, and a large camp is maintained throughout the season by the Young Women's Christian Association. This is a receiving and shipping point for a large and prosperous farming district. The population in 1910 was 150. The town was founded in 1858 by two men named Mills and Smith, and was at first named Kingston in honor of Zenas King, one of the parties interested. The postoffice had already been established under the name of Wakarusa and the name of the town was changed to correspond.
Page 854 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.

** Full disclosure: our yard is 100% unkempt, so this is really just a case of me having a log in my own eye.

No comments:

Post a Comment