A Flyover of Harlan, Kansas

Harlan, Kansas

No Country For Old Towns

As towns that sprung up purely for farming fade away, is there a place for small rural towns in America’s heartland?

 

Fetrow’s General Store, Harlan, Kansas. 

Harlan, Kansas was like many small towns that popped up on the plains as America spread west when farming took a lot of labor and trains were the only way a person got farther than the next town over. Yet towns like Harlan still dot the landscape from the Appalachians, to the Pacific Coast, sitting there miles from any town of sizable population. Holding on to their schools, post offices, churches, gas stations, and bars, till even the latter is gone.

Harlan managed to keep its post office till 1995, but the school consolidated years before, and with that I’m sure its hopes of attracting any young families. At best count there were maybe three homes in the few blocks of the town that still looked occupied, all else including their main street (Commercial Street), long since vacated. And many more I’m sure plowed over for farm land.

Check out the photos and aerial video of Harlan I took in April of 2018.

Do you know anything about Harlan? You should add it here, the Wikipedia page is probably less populated than the town itself.

Commercial Street, Harlan, Kansas. 
One of many homes that have been empty for some time.
Take only photos | Leave only footprints | And maybe a finger print here and there. Drawn on a storefront window in Harlan, Kansas.

Do you think small towns like Harlan, Kansas can make a comeback, or survive through the Twenty-first Century? Tell us about it on social me.

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