Farms and Ranches
From the mid 1860s to the beginning of World War II, Kansas' economic focus was on agriculture and livestock. Archeological artifacts from ranches and farms try to address such questions as where did these people come from, where did they settle, what were their buildings like, and how did they make their living. Archeological artifacts typical of this period that are available for research include large collections from the Hudson farmstead (14GR346), the Simair farmstead (14GR354), the Johnson/Williams dugout (14GH102), the Mahaffie house (14JO356), the Martin farmstead (14RP322), the Cottonwood Ranch (14SD327), and a dairy (14WN362). Many smaller collections are also available.
This sewing machine was recovered during the excavation of the Johnson/Williams dugout in Graham County. The pedal still works and the wheel can turn.
Flies...they can be such a pest. The folks who lived at the Cottonwood Ranch in Sheridan County used a Daisy Fly Killer trap to help combat the constant problem. As the label tells us, its active ingredient was arsenic so surely it must have packed a deadly dose.
There was time for children to play on the early farms and ranches. This collection of marbles and doll parts was recovered from the Simiar farmstead in Greenwood County.
Farming and ranching were often a gamble so perhaps some help from a good luck charm was needed. One side of this charm proclaims it to be a "BENJAMIN FRANKLIN GOOD LUCK CHARM." The other side advises "A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED." The charm was recovered from a dairy in Wilson County.
Foundations are often the only trace left by a farm house or building. These foundations were exposed during the 1994 excavations at the Hudson farmstead (14GR346).
Archeologists reveal the storm cellar and its construction methods during an excavation at the Simair farmstead in 1994.
Resources - Johnson/Williams dugout (14GH102)
Entry: Farms and Ranches
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: June 2014
Date Modified: February 2016
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.