"Nicodemus, Kansas" Nicodemus by basstbn
Nicodemus Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 28 photos
As you approach Nicodemus, Kansas, it appears to be pretty much like any of the hundreds of decaying little towns dotting the prairies of America's heartland. What sets it apart is its history, its spirit, and the people who settled Nicodemus in the 1870s.
Lured by promises of fertile soil and a temperate climate, more than 300 emancipated slaves from Kentucky headed for the promised land of Kansas. What they found was a harsh climate and a difficult life particularly in their first winter in this wild place. Only the generous gifts of firewood and food from a local band of Osage Indians allowed the settlers to survive. The former slaves, no doubt accustomed to hardship, stayed put and built a thriving little city on the plains.
The years of change have taken a toll, and the population has now dwindled to 23, with an average age of 69. Nicodemus, however, is a survivor, just like its people have been. In 1975, Nicodemus was designated a National Historic Landmark, symbolic of the pioneer spirit of those brave black families who dared to leave their familiar Kentucky to establish new lives and new freedoms on the frontier.
The annual highlight of life in Nicodemus is the Emancipation Day Reunion, featuring a parade, fashion show, food and drink, and gatherings of families.
- Pros:Of historical interest - even more so for black Americans.
- Cons:It's off the beaten track, and much renovation needs to take place.
- In a nutshell:You can't help but be stirred by the determination and spirit of its people.
This school house for the children of the Nicodemus area was built in 1918 following destruction of the previous school... more travel advice
Continuing west on Washington Street to Fourth Street, you will find this 1907 church which replaced the original... more travel advice
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