Cow TownSubmitted by John Pappan on Thu, 04/27/2017 - 12:04pm
This week, a group of writers and myself got to explore the original town of Wichita better known as "Cow Town." We all loaded up on the bus and headed there. I didn't know what to expect because no one really told me what Cow Town was. I thought it was just a town that had loads of cows walking around it. When we got there, there were no cows in sight. We went into the visitors building. It was an old building just like every other building in Cow Town. Our guide name Greg came in and told us that we would be walking over to the newspaper building.
The newspaper was own by a man named Murdock. He came to the small town of Wichita because some of the residents and business owners wanted him to come and start a newspaper. In those days, if a town had a newspaper up and running, then that meant that they were prospering. The settlers would see that and come. Inside we got to see a bunch of the old printing presses. What they would do it fill a sheet out with individual lead letters onto a sheet. Then they would put it into the press and start peddling it like a bicycle to make the inc press against the page. They would remove the page and add another, all without stopping. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about how they made newspapers back in the day.
Then we went over to Murdock's house. His house was the nicest house in town because he was the richest man in town. He had a mutton chop mustache and always wore a suit, so you know that this guy was the boss. The first two phone wires in town went to his newspaper company and his house. Inside the house, Greg told us about his daughter named Love In Tangle. She died at a young age from a spine disease. But the cool part is that one day when Greg was doing a tour, a man asked, "Who is the little girl upstairs in the window?" There was no way there could have been anyone upstairs because they have it locked all the time and no one is allowed to tour that part of the house. Is Love In Tangle the only one that didn't leave Cow Town? You'll have to go and take a tour if you want to try and see her.
Then we went to the drug store. We got to see all of the old bottles of booze, medicine, and Toilet Water. Toilet Water was a brand of cologne that actually smells pretty good so I doubt that it is made with real toilet water. Then we went to the saloon. It was just like any other classic looking saloon except for the swinging doors at the front; there were none. We learned that if a saloon had a painting of a tiger or a lion hanging on the wall, then they had illegal things such as prostitutes, gambling, etc. This particular saloon had a tiger painting. Greg showed us a few of the old ways people would have gambled. There was this one that had dice in an hourglass shaped cage. You would place a chip on this mat that had 1-6 on it. Then the dealer would flip the hourglass and if you got the number right, you would win.
The last building we got to tour was the general store. Inside was a little of everything. Tools, books, food, drinks, clothes, etc. It was cool to see all the old things on the shelf as well as the nickelodeon piano. Greg cracked the nickelodeon, which was out of tune, and let it play. It sounded like something out of a horror movie which was awesome!
Then we were free to walk around the town and write before we finally had to leave. All in all, Cow Town was an awesome place to visit. The stories were the best part of the tour. Greg told us about six or seven stories in every building that we went in. If you have a chance to go to Cow Town, GO!