After Lightning Strike, A Kansas Town Fades Away

Jun 30, 2015

The Bristow Cemetery--all that remains of the town of Bristow, in Osborne County.
Credit Amy Bickel / The Hutchinson News

The Hutchinson News reports the story of Esther and Dean Lamm of Bristow, Kansas. If you haven’t heard of Bristow, you’re not alone. Nothing remains of the town but an old cemetery; the rest has been consumed by wheat fields. Esther and Dean were married on July 21, 1957, in the Bristow Methodist Church in Osborne County. Esther, now 87 years old remembers that day fondly—the young couple set off on a honeymoon to Colorado and Idaho.

But on the day of their return, the little church where they had been married was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Attendance had been low enough that the congregation decided not to rebuild, and the little town, which had been anchored by the little Methodist church, vanished into the Kansas prairie over the next few decades.