Bel Aire is community of approximately 7,000 residents. There are nine separate neighborhoods that make up the community of Bel Aire along with seven parks and two lakes.
Wichita is located at the confluence of two rivers, which was used for 11,000 years as a major trading post for nomadic people in the area. Wichita was incorporated in 1870 and functioned as a major cattle drive destination from Texas. It was located along the Chrisholm Trail. Wichita’s economic beginnings as an important cattle drive destination is where it’s nickname “Cowtown” is derived.
Wyatt Earp spent time in Wichita, Kansas doing law enforcement activities as the cowboys passing through the area could get a little rough at times.
In 1900, Carrie Nation, with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union led a crusade in Wichita against alcohol, drawing national attention.
Interestingly, Coleman, Pizza Hut, Mentholatum, White Castle, Taco Tico, and Koch Industries all get their start in Wichita, Kansas. This is an area that has been the center of some fairly strong political struggles including those involving race and alcohol.
According to one report at the Shadowlands Haunted Places Index online, a man fell from the water tower while it was being built. According to this story, workers would have had to take the water tower apart in order to retrieve the man’s body. Thus, they decided to just build over the top of him.
Interesting story. Sounds similar to the mythology of London Bridge set forth in the nursery rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down. In this nursery rhyme, human bodies are “buried alive” in the structure of the London Bridge. Some primitive cultures believed that a bridge would fall down if a human body in the form of “sacrifice” was not built into the structure of the bridge itself.
The parallel between London Bridge (built over water) and the Bel Aire Water Tower are worth considering…
People claim to hear the disembodied sounds of the man, buried inside the structure of the Bel Aire water tower, tapping on the walls.
Bel Aire Kansas (2008). City of Bel Aire: Our Community. Retrieved December 24, 2009 from http://www.belaireks.org/ourcommunity.cfm
Shadowlord (1998). The Shadowlands Haunted Places Index. Retrieved February 16, 2008 from http://theshadowlands.net/places/kansas.htm
Wikipedia (2009). Wichita, Kansas. Retrieved December 24, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wichita,_Kansas