Old Runnymede

Two miles northeast of here , in 1890, stood a typical English village. Curving driveways led to English-style houses set among rows of clipped hedges. Nearby were polo grounds, a steeplechase course, a race track, tennis courts, and a football field. Red-coated hunters rode to hounds across the buffalo grass prairie. Farms and orchards were modeled after English estates and on the townsite a three story hotel and other businesses were established. The promoter of all this British activity was an Irishman who persuaded wealthy families to send sons to the colony to learn American farming methods. In practice, Runnymede strongly resembled a modern dude ranch. Although at one time, a hundred young Englishmen lived in the settlement, a number of whom owned estates, it was a failure as a colony. When hard times came old Runnymede collapsed and most of its remittance men returned to England. Today wheat fields cover the townsite.

Erected by the Kansas Historical Society & State Highway Commission
Marker beside highway K-2
Harper County
Harper County

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May 20, 1998 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas / history@kslib.info

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