by Kristine Schmucker, HCHM Curator
Sometimes all that is left is a photograph of a group of children or an obscure mention in a history book, but Harvey County can count at least 17 lost towns since 1871. Some were only on the map for a year or two, boasting a post office and maybe a blacksmith shop. Others, like Annelly, were the site of a school long after the post office and other services had disappeared. Several, like Alta Mill and Zimmerdale, were once thriving, if small, communities. The reasons for their disappearance vary.
This post is simply a listing of the communities that we know about at this time with the dates of the post office, if available. Along with the listing are the photos that we have in our collection that have been identified as from that community.
We would welcome any information or photographs on any of these, or other, Harvey County communities. We have the capability to scan documents and photographs, so a person can keep the original if they want. Watch for future blog posts as information becomes available.
Alta Mills/Valentine, Alta Township
- Post Office: January 1877 – July 1901
There are actually several articles and a web page focused on the history of the Alta Mill area.
For the story behind the name “Alta,” visit the Mystery of Alta Muse
Annelly, Richland Township
- Post Office: August 1885 – December 1921
Braddock, Walton Township
Doyle, Walton Township
Darlington, unknown Harvey County location – likely Darlington Township
- Post Office : April 1878-October 1873.
Egypt, unknown Harvey County location
- Post Office: July 1884 – January 1885
- One early map has Egypt located in Lake Township, to the south east and slightly below Patterson, with railroad tracks.
Eleanor, Highland Township
- Post Office: June 1883 – August 1898
Garden City, Garden Township
- Post Office: August 1872-August 1878
Goldschaar, Newton Township
- Community established in 1877 by Prussian Mennonites, no Post Office.
- Goldschaar means “Golden Plowshare.”
Goldschaar also has a well documented history in connection to the three families that initially settled the small village.
Hillside Farm, Halstead Township
- Post Office: September 1872 – August 1876
- Post Office: April 1886 – May 1906
Mission, Macon Township
Patterson, Lake Township
- Post Office: May 1888-January 1927
Putnam, Sedgwick Township
- Post Office: May 1891 – June 1907
Sheldon, Pleasant Township
- Post Office: July 1871 – October 1885 or 1888. David E. Sheldon postmaster.
Trousdale/Zimmerdale, Emma Township
- Post Office: November 1893 – September 1906
Zimmerdale was first known as “Trousdale” after the early settler W.J. Trousdale. The name was changed to Zimmerdale, a combination of another family in the area, Zimmerman, and Dale for the Trousdale family.
- Baughman, Robert. “Kansas Post Offices” in Lost Harvey County File, Curator’s Office, HCHM.
- “Lost Harvey County” File, Curator’s Office. Contains notes from research by Jeanine Stultz in the early 2000s.
- HCHM Photo Archives.