Since becoming a state in 1861, Kansas has seen its fair share of towns come and go. T0day, in fact, Kansas is home to hundreds of vacant, yet still standing ghost towns. The remains of some of these towns are truly incredible, beautiful, or sometimes even grim, as told by these 11 stories:
1. Iowa Point
Located along the Kansas/Missouri border is the once important shipping hub of Iowa Point. Today the town, which at one time nearly destroyed itself over disagreements on slavery, only has a few remaining homes.
Standing proudly in the location of the former post office, this stone Irving marker is essentially all that is left of the town, which struggled over the years due to severe weather and recurring drought.
Established in 1870 by utopian socialist Ernest de Boissière, Silkville once served as a commune that produced silk. Unfortunately for commune members, the town quickly collapsed due to high production costs and competition from cheaper Asian importers. All that remains today from Silkville are a few barns and old one-room schoolhouse (pictured).
Named for St. Louis Browns catcher Albert J. "Doc" Bushong, the town once served as the home of a Cold War nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile. Though most of the historic buildings have been abandoned, Bushong is still home to more than 30 residents.
Sadly, there is no longer a place to stop and eat in Coolidge. In fact, the town, which sits along the historic Santa Fe Trail, is home to just under 100 residents.
6. Lone Star
How did the town, located just south of Lawrence, come to get its name? Legend has it that one of the founders spotted a "lone star" in the sky while discussing potential names.
Does the sight of this cemetery give you the willies? If it does, you're not alone. In fact, rumors have been swirling for years now that the small Douglas County cemetery is home to one of the terrifying "Gates of Hell." (Word to the wise: Don't go searching for the gate, as you may be arrested for trespassing and jailed for up to six months.)
The unincorporated community may no longer have any stores or a post office (which closed in 1888), but it does have a gorgeous stone Methodist church that still holds a weekly service.
9. Prairie City
Much like Stull, one of the only remaining sites left in the 1855 Prairie City is the cemetery (in addition to a church foundation and a few homes)... but don't worry; no sightings of a stairway to hell have been reported.
10. Twin Mound
Named for two mounds in the nearby landscape, Twin Mound was established in the late 1850s as a farming community. Today, many farms thrive around the deserted town, but the only remaining evidence of Twin Mound are the deserted schoolhouse (pictured) and cemetery.
What was at one time a Munsee Indian settlement is now a historic Kansas City neighborhood that houses the historic Grinter Place State Historic Site (pictured).