“Ghost Towns of Seward County” Exhibit to Open at Landmark Center October 17

Joe Denoyer - October 6, 2020 3:24 pm

 

The Landmark Center in cooperation with the Seward County Historical Society are pleased to announce the opening of their next photographic exhibit “Ghost Towns of Seward County” on Saturday, October 17, 2020, 10:30 am – 1 pm.

 

The free admission exhibit offers a visual journey into early Seward County history with images of mostly-forgotten towns such as Fargo Springs, Springfield, Arkalon, and even the notorious Beer City which was located a few inches into the “Strip” straight south of Liberal. Over its history, Seward County has been home to no less than eleven town sites.

 

It is reported that on some calm fall nights about dusk you can look out across the open land and see the faint outlines of old Fargo Springs, Springfield, Arkalon and even Beer City. People hear the clip-clop, clip-clop of unseen horses and the clatter of wagons on long-gone dusty streets and sometimes hear party music and laughter where Arkalon once stood. In the distance, frantic train whistles and screeching brakes are heard where train wrecks occurred over a century ago. Perhaps our forbearers are reminding us they are keeping an eye on how we are treating the county they founded.

 

Among the 26 images on exhibit are an 1887 image of downtown Fargo Springs, the majestic Windsor Hotel in Springfield, the Stout General Store in Arkalon, images of the Adam Ragland farmstead and the W.H. Feather and Hervey Forbes ranches. The Forbes ranch house of 1881 was the first frame house in the county.  The exhibit, assembled by Landmark Center owner Todd Stanton and historian and author Lidia Hook-Gray, includes images by famed photographer of the era F.M. Steele.

 

Todd Stanton noted that, “each major town was just a bit larger than its predecessor with Fargo Springs’ largest population being 517 in 1889, Springfield growing to just over 800, and Arkalon was over 3,000 people at its zenith.” Surrounding each of these towns were the farmers and ranchers that made them possible. They were the foundation upon which the local economy was built and that has held true to the present day which is why we have included a few wonderful images of local ranches and farms of the era.”

 

The previous exhibit at the Landmark, “Images of Kansas Avenue,” remains on display.

 

Regular exhibit hours commence Monday, October 19 and are M-F 9am to 5pm.

 

 

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