"African American Pioneers" Nicodemus by Toughluck

Nicodemus Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 28 photos

We arrived on a July afternoon. The sky was clear and the sun was hot. The main road, passes the town just to the north. The large stone sign 'Nicodemus' is along the highway, and just a block north of Main Street. There's not much to the town. But, each July, the 4th weekend, there is a homecoming for all the descendents of the town. This is a very special place and it can be felt even in the quiet days.

You've got to remember that this town retains the memory and spirit of dozens of other towns settled by migrants from the east looking for a better life. Many towns have not survived into the 21st century. Nicodemus has gathered all those hopes, fears, and excitement into one place.

'An all Black Town settled by former slaves fleeing the south in 1877 after the Reconstruction Period had ended following the Civil war is located in the Northwest corner of Kansas. This living community is the only remaining all Black Town west of the Mississippi River that was settled in the 1800’s on the western plains by former slaves. The families of the original settlers continue to carry on their sense of hard work.'

Nicodemus was a thriving town through the late 1800's and into the early 20th Century. Like many towns on the high plains, ultimate survival depended on access to the railroad. When the railroad was built 30 miles to the south, all the town of northern Kansas began a slow down in growth and with improved roads and vehicles, the business of supporting the farms throughout the region shifted to the towns along the tracks. The advent of the Interstate system only sped up the process.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The spirit of hope and freedom pervades the building and the community.
  • Cons:Like most dreams, it's a long way from the crowded world.
  • Last visit to Nicodemus: Jul 2007
  • Intro Updated Aug 10, 2007
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  • Nov 22, 2007 at 10:31 AM

    Glad to finally see a page on Nicodemus on VT. I'm actually planning on being in Kansas/Missouri this spring. Hope I'm able to re-visit Nicodemus.

Toughluck

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