Hodgeman County – If it weren’t for this crumbling site, and a blip the intersection of roads in the Kansas Gazetteer, one wouldn’t know a town was once here. These fragments of failed towns are common in the midwest. Often nothing is left but a pile of stone, the imprint of an old foundation. The building materials either rot away or are picked up and used for other purposes. When I stumble across what’s left I try to grab a photo to include here. It’s cruel lighting, but sometimes it’s enough just to capture a moment at the scene — and Kansas light is often stark like this on a clear mid-afternoon.
I don’t have much history on Orwell. The post office was established in 1879 as Fordham, the named changed to Orwell in 1885, then discontinued 3 year later. But this building looks more recent, the remains of a rural school or church built later on. Is a story hidden in there Ray?
Update: Read this short story by Ray Randolph based on the photograph.