M P Oliver, 2010-10-28 09:33:50
I wanted to ask if anyone can tell me about the galvanized fence along the trail just a little north of Carslyle? I could see an old big debilitated concrete structure through the timber and brush. Just curious about this fence and what used to be there. My husband and I have spent the last two years on the KATY riding most of it and the Frisco highline – and some on the Prairie. The Prairie is the closest and most convenient and it seems to be improving since we were there early spring this year. KATY is wonderful but we have grown tired of this for the year and hope to ride cold weather this fall and winter on the prairie.
kretzmeier, 2010-12-06 23:32:15
I started to answer your inquiry from my iPod. About 12 min. Later I finished and then lost all I had keyed. I will make an effort to answer when I am at a full keyboard.
Jay Kretzmeier. Iola, Ks
kretzmeier, 2010-12-08 13:35:46
The area surrounding Iola was known for it’s plentiful supply of natural gas in the early 1900’s. The name Gas City 2 miles East of Iola comes from the gas boom days. Many companies came to the area for the inexpensive gas and accordingly there were many smelters, brick plants, and cement plants in the area. The building remains you mention come from that era. Three to four miles straight longitudinal east are quarries and similar remains in an area referred to as Concreto. Since there is no quarry in the area of the remains you site, it was most likely was not a cement plant. The fence appears to run about 1/4 mile each direction of the old remains you mention and is likely there to discourage adventurers between Texas and Utah county roads. I have witnessed deer there and observed the fence is not much of an obstacle for them! Best regards and I hope you will return to the Prairie Spirit in the future. There is interesting history like Hi-Point in Colony, old jail in Iola and General Frederick Funston who was raised near Carlyle.
randyR, 2010-12-08 18:10:16
Cool history lesson, Jay. Thanks for sharing!
Timon of Athens, 2010-12-18 17:03:10
Let me second randyR’s thanks to Jay for the cool information. I had always thought that that long stretch of fence was someone concerned that those ‘idiot bikers’ invading their land. Just knowing that isn’t the case makes the trail seem a little friendlier to me.
Timon of Athens, 2010-12-18 17:07:58
Also, I will take the bait and let you know that I am interested in “Hi-Point in Colony, old jail in Iola and General Frederick Funston who was raised near Carlyle.” Are the first two worth a side trip from the trail?
kretzmeier, 2011-01-08 22:25:24
Further information – Allen County Historians advise me that the remains north of Carlyle would be from the “Lumbermen’s Cement Company” which operated in the early 1900’s but ran into early financial difficulty and had a short life. It was close to the rail so as to ship and receive goods. I have spoken to a 62 year old local who was given a tour inside the remains when he was younger. A google map search does reflect a body of water approximately 400 yards south and east which appears may to have been a limestone quarry for the facility.

Another Allen County landmark is the Iola Jail Museum. The Allen County Jail was built in 1869 and was the oldest jail in use in the state when it was replaced in 1958. A native stone structure located on North Jefferson street, one of the museum stories is that when the jail had only been open one year, in 1870 a mob overpowered the sheriff, removed a prisoner and proceeded to a barn where the inmate was hung.

I would like to think we are more civil and friendly in Iola now than they were back then! Best Regards.

Timon of Athens, 2011-01-12 08:19:45
A little searching has turned up pictures of both of these.

Here’s the cement company:
http://www.kansastowns.us/iola/carlyle.html

Here’s the old jail:
http://www.kansastravel.org/allencountyjailmuseum.htm

I am considering adding “point of interest” pages for each of these. If anybody has any other sites with interesting stories, keep’em coming.

Sam

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