Marshall County Historical Tour
In March of 2006, I officially began what is now called the “Marshall County Historical Tour,” or MCHT. I persuaded a few of my friends to come with me to visit past and present townsites located in our county that I have found. We put in countless hours of research interviewing people and looking in numerous reference materials, be they books or something on the internet. After our last interview with Oretha Ruetti, our number of townsites eclipsed 70! Obviously, visiting such a number of places spread out across an area that is much larger than it looks on a map takes time, and we have yet to finish, although that should be done fairly soon. As soon as we have completed our journey, we can finish writing our book, the proceeds of which will go to the Marshall Co. Historical Society for the upkeep of their museum in the old county courthouse. I have put more time and effort into this than I have anything else outside of school, and I am very proud of the results and support from people to date.
My great-grandma’s front gate at the former town of Barrett. This is the only structure left along the road at Barrett.
We were told was a Civil War temporary post office that had been gone for over 140 years, the rubble in Leavitt contained P.O. boxes fashioned from stone.
Blue Rapids. We have fun on our trips.
Irving, the largest town destroyed for Tuttle Creek Dam. It had over 1,000 residents, and we have been approached by more people from here than any other former town.
Pointing across the road from Florena to Riley County. We have taken back roads from here to Nebraska and logged over 300 miles in an area that is 36 miles by 36 miles ... despite the fact we’re not done yet!
Thomas. There are still homes at this town on US 77, but no post office and no real organization to the homes.
Waterville, in front of the Weaver Hotel, on the National Register of Historic Places.
Reedsville, founded by Canadian Allen Reed in the center of the county to settle the county seat dispute between Frankfort and Marysville. When residents of the community became mysteriously ill and died, the town was given up on.
The Bremen Community Well, still at the town square. The bell tower is traditionally climbed by newlyweds on their day of marriage in Bremen.
The northern half of Marysville was originally the town of Palmetto, which was annexed to Marysville. The short blocks that run along the south side of US 36 were originally the space that separated the two towns.
Us at the Oketo City Jail. It’s no longer in use.
The town of Marietta is just a few houses and a CO-OP; but it is less than a mile south of Oketo, and I think it’s holding its own.
We got our vehicle stuck here, looked at our map, and realized that we had made it into what was Mina. Getting out wasn’t as easy, but we were there. This is from our first outing March 24, 2006.
Vermillion Dog Walk. The view from the top of this hill was incredible. The first day, it was just the four of us boys without a photographer, so we rotated turns with who was taking pictures.
It’s pretty obvious from these pictures that we’ve had a ton of fun with this project. What isn’t quite as obvious is the vast amount of knowledge that I know I have gained about my home and the space surrounding it. I am an Eagle Scout and our StuCo and FFA President at school, but when people ask what I am most proud of this is always what I say, mostly because of the countless hours of research I have done and the organizing that I have had to do with this project. Our point is to educate not just ourselves, but others around us to what is happening in rural areas, and what can happen to their home if something isn’t done about it. I know I plan on moving back after college, and I know I’m not the only one out of us four. This project has been a great thing in my life.