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13 Ghost Towns In Kansas [MAP]

    ghost towns in Kansas

    If you’re searching for ghost towns in Kansas, we’ve got you covered! Below are 12 different ghost towns you can explore across Kansas along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.

    We rate ghost towns in Kansas based on their status. Here’s how our system works:

    • Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
    • Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
    • Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
    • Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
    • Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
    • Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.


    1. Le Hunt

    37.269167, -95.751944
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Le Hunt was home to several notable figures, including cowboy movie star Tom Mix. As town marshal, his job was to keep law and order in the area. LeHunt, Kansas never had more than 150 residents, though it did have two hotels, a store, a church, and a livery. The fate of the town was tied to the cement industry, which took place in nearby Kansas.

    What’s Left?

    Today there are numerous ruins left behind for urban explorers to check out for themselves. Most notably, the old remnants of the cement factory can be found just off the coast of Elk City Lake. Of all the ghost towns in Kansas, Le Hunt is one of my top favorites to visit, especially in summer.


    2. Dunlap

    38.576163, -96.366639
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Dunlap was first established in 1974 when the first post office was erected. The area was settled by Joseph Dunlap, who represented Native American tribes in the region. The town became a notable safe place for freed and escaping slaves during the late 1800s when African American activist Benjamin “Pap” Singleton came into town.

    Pap established Dunlap as a promise land and moved over 200 black families from the south to Dunlap. During the 1930s Dunlap was hit particularly hard during the dustbowl, forcing many families to move elsewhere for food and opportunity. By 1988 the population was so low that the post office officially closed.

    What’s Left?

    Today Dunlap is home to about 30 full-time residents. Explorers can photograph many of the old homes left abandoned as well as the historic Dunlap cemetery. Dunlap is one of the most unique ghost towns in Kansas given its deeply rooted history.


    3. Castleton

    37.867950, -97.969200
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: kansasghosttowns.blogspot.com

    History:

    In the 1950s, Castleton, Kansas, was a thriving community based around slate mining. It was populated by Irish, Italian, and Russian immigrants and prospered for about 50 years, around 1850. After the Depression hit in 1929, however, the town went into decline. Slate became less popular, and the community was virtually abandoned. 

    What’s Left?

    Today very little is left of Castleton. Explorers can stop by and see a few abandoned homes that have survived over the years. While Castleton isn’t the most exciting of ghost towns in Kansas, its worth checking out if you’re passing through the area.


    4. Pfeifer

    38.708226, -99.165621
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: kansassampler.org

    History:

    The town of Pfeifer is like many of the other ghost towns in Kansas, but what makes this town stand out is its church. In 1879, the Pfeifer people built a beautiful church and dedicated it to the town and its people. In 1891, a stone church was built nearby.

    In 1911, plans were made to build a bigger church, and the building was finished in May 1918. It’s shaped like a cross, and is 165 feet long and 50 feet wide in the nave. The church’s steeple is 165 feet high, while two others reach 100 feet in height.

    What’s Left?

    Pfeifer isn’t completely abandoned, but it’s still one of the most fascinating ghost towns in Kansas. With a dwindling population more structures being reclaimed by nature. Of course, the most unique structure to see here is the Holy Cross Church, making this ghost town worth the trip.


    5. Franklin

    37.513440, -94.707159
    Status:
    Abandoned

    History:

    Franklin was established in 1853 and was one of the few strong pro-slavery outposts in the region. During its operation, the town acted as an Indian trading post and attracted other like-minded people to the area. Franklin grew steadily until the Civil War when the population declined.

    What’s Left?

    Franklin is one of the lesser-known ghost towns in Kansas, with very little left behind. A few original homesteads have been fixed up and urban explorers can still see where the old original sidewalk was.


    6. Diamond Springs

    38.554773, -96.741081
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Diamond Springs was once a thriving town on the Santa Fe Trail, but today you’ll find it’s mostly dilapidated buildings and haunting memories. The town was first surveyed in 1825, and was nicknamed the “Diamond of the Plains” by early traders. As early as 1821, it was a popular stop on the Santa Fe Trail, a line of commerce between the United States and Santa Fe, New Mexico, which was then controlled by Mexico. The town’s post office opened in 1868 and was abandoned in 1930.

    What’s Left?

    Explorers can still find the town’s cemetery as well as a few overgrown buildings and the abandoned railroad that cuts through the area.


    7. Elmdale

    38.373462, -96.644753
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    History:

    In the year 2000, there were only fifty people living in Elmdale, KS. Most of these buildings are long abandoned, including a bank, a town hall, a couple of stores, a work garage, and a few homes. Elmdale used to be a bustling community, with a brick school and gymnium next to it. Today, it’s a quaint, ghost town, where the past can be seen.

    What’s Left?

    There are still several buildings in town that were abandoned long ago, including a post office and a telephone building. If you want to visit, take a look inside the Burdick United Methodist Church and the Elmdale cemetery. Both buildings sit on a low hill, and there’s little to distinguish one from the next.


    8. Huron

    39.638304, -95.350785
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    History:

    .Established in 1882, this railroad town is now practically a ghost town. Despite the small population, there are no open businesses, and you won’t be able to find anything to do in town. The town used to be an important trading post for several years.

    The Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma recently tried to sell off the Huron Indian Cemetery to real estate speculators. Local descendants of Wyandots protested the sale, and the effort failed. A few years later, the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma chartered a society to manage the cemetery. The directors of the group were Wyandot-related, and the resulting organization has since installed new grave markers.

    What’s Left?

    Today, you’ll find little abandoned homes scattered among the property of remaining residents.


    9. Neuchatel

    39.568093, -96.201957
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: freepages.rootsweb.com

    History:

    Neuchatel was settled during the mid-1800s by hunters and trappers who moved in after the Native Americans. Early settlers had to cut wheat with a scythe and use primitive tools during the early years, but the rich soil and abundant groundwater made the land ideal for living.

    The town declined primarily due to the failure of the local mill and the construction of the railway, enticing many families to move closer to the railing.

    What’s Left?

    Today, urban explorers can still find hints of the past in the cemetery and a few scattered ruins throughout the area.


    10. Cairo

    37.00525, -89.17543
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Marcus O. Bst – flickr.com

    History:

    Trading Post, Kansas, is the only remaining town from the first permanent settlement in Linn County. The trading post was established on the banks of the Missouri River by Missouri trader Cyprian Chouteau. Pack horses were used to move goods from the Missouri River to Kansas. 

    What’s Left?

    Today, the site is a ghost town, and visitors can visit the cemetery and learn more about the history of the town. It is also possible to visit the Trading Post Cemetery, which is the site of a horrific shooting. There is also a small museum where you can learn even more about the surrounding area.


    11. Black Jack

    38.762974, -95.133087
    Status: Historic

    History:

    This ghost town is about half a mile east of Black Jack Park, just south of Highway 56. All that’s left of the town now is a cemetery. The gravestones are untouched, but the ghost town is well worth the trip. The cemetery dates back to the 1870s, when the town was still thriving.

    The town is part of the Bleeding Kansas history. In August 1862, Bill Anderson attacked the town. Later that year, Dick Yeager visited the town. Similarly, the Battle of Black Jack took place west of town. Located near the Kansas border, it is the site of several infamous battles. In fact, there are several ghost towns in Kansas related to this battle. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Black Jack was designated a National Historic Site in 2007.

    What’s Left?

    Black Jack is one of the more historic ghost towns in Kansas, with plenty of history. While there aren’t many homes left, the battlefield is quite eerie and cool to experience.


    12. Pawnee

    39.085, -96.761667
    Status: Historic

    History:

    The first meeting of the Territorial Legislature took place in Pawnee, Kansas, in 1855. However, the city’s location was not ideal. Missouri residents fraudulently elected pro-slavery delegates, overrun polling places, and intimidated legitimate voters.

    In addition, many Kansas Territory residents were not happy with Reeder’s location. This location favored pro-free-state advocates in the Kansas Territory, such as the Emigrant Aid Company. As a result, the legislature moved the state capital from Pawnee to Shawnee Mission.

    The state capital was briefly located here, but it was moved to the border town of Shawnee Mission, Missouri, shortly after the town fell into ruins. The army destroyed most of the town, but the old capitol building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    What’s Left?

    For more information about the history of the abandoned town of Pawnee, Kansas, visit the Fort Riley Museum, which is located on the town’s grounds.


    Go out and explore!

    That concludes our list of ghost towns in Kansas but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

    If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places, or explore other ghost towns across the country.

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