Medicine Lodge, Kansas
History and Demographics for Medicine Lodge, Kansas:
Medicine Lodge is the county seat of Barber County, Kansas along the southern border of the state. The population of Medicine Lodge is about 2,000 citizens. It was named for the sacred tabernacle or medicine lodge of the Kiowa people who built the structure along the Medicine Lodge River to perform the annual sun dance.
John Hutchinson founded the town of Medicine Lodge in 1873 north of the confluence of the Medicine Lodge River and the Elm Creek. Medicine Lodge was officially incorporated in 1879.
In 1874, a group of Osage Indians succeeded in killing three of the settlers to the Medicine Lodge region.
Ghosts and Hauntings of Flowerpot Mountain in Medicine Lodge, Kansas:
A fascinating account of the diabolical events at Flowerpot Mountain regarding the “hill that no cow could climb” is listed at the Shadowland’s Haunted Places Index (see link below). Although bits and pieces of this twisted tale is consistent with actual local lore, some of the essential elements are missing.
Flowerpot Mountain is a big butte made of gypsum that looks like an upside down flowerpot from the right angle.
In 1871, a man named Orange Scott Cummins wrote the tale that has become legend in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. He claims that one night he was sleeping on top of Flowerpot Mountain. Suddenly, he was awakened by a strange sound. He described it an an “unearthly cry”. Orange claimed that he saw the vision of Indians dancing around fire, while a man and a woman were being burnt at the stake.
Orange Cummin then said that a voice led him to a small flat rock. He lifted it up and underneath found a tin box. Inside the tin box was a diary, some corn, some wheat and a marriage certificate for Evan Day and Lenora Blackwood. The diary held the account of Lenora and her pioneer group’s adventures from the beginning of their conquest until the hour before her death. In the diary, she foretold, according to Orange, that she and her group would die in the flames.
Orange was a writer and poet. He explored the above tale in his writings. Whether they are true or not is hard to say. Medicine Lodge locals straddle the fence on the issue.
To visit Flowerpot Mountain, travel west on US 160. Then turn south on Gypsum Hill Road. Finally, turn west onto Scenic Drive. Flowerpot Mountain is to the north of Scenic Drive. Visit www.barbercounty.net/medicinelodgehistoricalhappenings.html to read some of Orange Cummin’s writings.
Bickel, A. (2010). The Hutchinson News: Pioneer story has etched Flowerpot into area’s lore.Retrieved January 19, 2011 from http://www.hutchnews.com/Todaystop/Flowerpot-mountain–2
The Shadowlord (1998). Shadowlands Haunted Places Index. Retrieved January 19, 2011 from http://theshadowlands.net/places/kansas.htm
Wikipedia (2011). Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Retrieved January 19, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_Lodge,_Kansas