April 29, 2012

Friend, Kansas is in Finney County, north of the Arkansas River. The town does not show on all maps (nor is it in the Garmin database), but it still exists.


The town of St. John, Kansas was named for Governor John St. John in a rather brazen attempt to win the county seat of Stafford County. It worked.


Larned, Kansas is on the old Santa Fe Trail and is not far from the original fort from which it takes its name.

The Smokey River valley may not be deep, but it certainly is wide.

Wakeeney, Kansas.

Land speculators James Keeney and his partner Albert Warren named their new town (one suspects beer was involved) in 1879.




Horseshoe pits on the courthouse lawn--a nice touch.




US-83 across White Woman Basin.

Shallow Water had a post office in 1913, and lost it in 1957.

Friend, Kansas.

The town was originally called McCue in 1879, but was renamed by the Santa Fe Railroad. Why? I don't know.


The (closed) school is surprisingly large. It appears that somebody miscalculated the number of children that would need a school in the next twenty or thirty years.





Hello; saw the wonderful pictures you took on the way to Friend, Kansas and wanted to give you some info on the school. Friend Elementary was a part of USD 457 who also at one time operated elementary schools in Pierceville, Theoni Elementary between Dighton and Kalvesta as well as Friend Elementary. They still operate rural schools in Plymell and another one called Jeanne Barker few miles north of town.

The building was last used in the years leading up to 2000 as a 5/6th grade center where they had to bus kids all the way up there while new schools were being built! The last nail in the coffin was the lack of kids in the northern Finney County Southern Scott County area (Shallow Water school was still open at the time) and the national guard had to be sent out there once or twice to save the kids/teachers during snow storms.

You might be interested the abandoned Pierceville School (an elementary with a funky addition and the high school gym are still standing) and Thoni (still rusty playground equipment and was last used as a house). Kalvesta also has the ruins of a post office whose sign is falling off and reveals that it was once also the town's cafe. Hope I was of assistance; I love your website!

- Devin [Sept 17, 2012]

I have eaten at the chuck wagon restaurant in Meade, Kansas several times.  Frankly, it isn't the best, but there isn't much choice.


This impressive (now Union Pacific, was Rock Island) railroad cut parallel to US-54 north of Meade has the non-uniform look of being done by shovel and mule.

Bloom, Kansas. I've been by it countless times, but had never stopped until today.



Greensburg, Kansas is still being rebuilt after the devastating EF5 tornado of 2007 (apparently only the first time a tornado was classified at the maximum rating).


last edit: 0/17/2012