Letter to the Editor: Information sought on pieces of local history
I am writing in regards to the Most House at Albany, Kan. As we discovered in the past year, the Most House has an influential start to its history – the original structure that burned down in 1889 was an Underground Railroad Station. For those who might not know, the Underground Railroad was a trail that those who escaped slavery during America’s slavery days traveled on their way to freedom across the USA. The Kansas Nebraska territory is rarely mentioned. Recently, though, in Falls City, Neb., a Dorrington Family ancestor, Robert Nelson (an author and journalist), submitted to the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, his family’s participation in the Underground Railroad. The ancestor was a David Dorrington that had an USPO mail contract that he and his sons traveled from Falls City, Neb. to Topeka, Kan. He was probably very familiar with our area and those who used it as a freedom trail, as well as the ones that the family helped travel on up to Iowa.
Side note: It is mentioned that the Lane’s Chimneys that were built (circular landmarks made of stone) were used as landmarks in that journey. Recently, I was told of a potential location of one of those chimney’s being north of Sycamore Springs in a pasture rented by a local cattleman. He allowed us to walk out and see it this summer. There is still enough of it that definitely hints of it being one of those chimneys. That land that this is sitting on will go up for sale in about a month. I can only hope that we will be able to preserve it if it proves to be true.
Anyway, Albany’s board made a decision this past summer to submit the Most Home to the Kansas Historical Society grant program in efforts to preserve it and its history. We were recently notified that the application passed the initial preliminary site review! We are really excited to be able to pursue this designation for the Albany Museum’s Most Home.
The paperwork with this grant request is significant. What we are asking for from the community is any information on the Most Family that lived here, the original Waggoner family or any family members that might still be around the area. The Sabetha Herald’s archive did supply dates of when the home became a piece of the museum property in 1970. Any information that would help supply some of the missing data of the history of the family and the home would be such a benefit.
If anyone, who might have information or stories of the family, could let us know, we would greatly appreciate it. Any information on the Underground Railroad station, Lane’s Chimney, or Albany itself would also be deeply appreciated!
If you have time, I would advise a visit to Falls City’s 1601 Stone St, the original location of the Dorrington House. The placards sit in the window and tell of the story of freedom, something we all take little notice of until we lose it.