Gone, But Not Forgotten
"I love this area. I was raised here. It taught me the facts of life. It taught us how to love one another. I try not to let it bother me, but down deep it does...all I have are memories, I'll take them wherever I go."
Bill Blunk, last mayor of Treece, Kansas, 2009
Treece, Kansas, is now a ghost town. After being declared unfit for human habitation due to lead contamination, a government buyout and resident relocation program removed any trace of the once-thriving lead mining community. Now, only memories remain.
Two KHC grant projects are working to ensure that Treece is not lost to history. The Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum is working with photographer Dina Kantor to produce an exhibition of photos documenting the final months of Treece's existence. The exhibition will preserve the history of Treece and examine what the future holds for its former residents.
The Leonard H. Axe Library at Pittsburg State University is working with radio producers Nina Porzucki and Chaela Herridge-Meyer to produce the radio documentary "Treece, KS: A Ghost Town in the Making." The documentary explores the concept of home and community and what it means to love the place you call home, in spite of the potential risks.
Both projects are currently in development; follow KHC on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates. More information about Treece can be found in recent articles in The New York Times
and the Wichita Eagle
for exhibitions, oral histories, and radio documentary projects are available. Contact Murl Riedel
, director of grants and programs, for more information.Banner photo: The Mayor at City Hall, Treece, 2010. Photo by Dina Kantor.