The semester always ends in Lost Communities class with a field trip to the old Broughton townsite. It was a COLD but sunny Tuesday, December 10!
Despite the cold temperatures, students walked most of the town on a snow-packed Tompkins (Main) Street, using old plat maps to locate businesses, the site of the grain elevator, and the railway lines that once defined the town. They enjoyed looking WAY up to the top of the two remaining cottonwoods, the last of the nine planted in 1890.
We also went to Broughton Cemetery. Here, history major Griffin Page tries to decipher a gravestone to the wife of one of the first Broughton settlers and Union war veteran, Thomas Ingersoll. Anna Ingersoll died within the first year of arrival, in 1870.
It never fails that the students find something of interest in such a historic place, even if it’s just the fact that the students know how long this once-inhabited place has been left alone.
Yet while some aspects of Broughton townsite seem to be lasting memories, seemingly eternal without the traffic and changes in Manhattan or another bustling town, no matter how many times we take this field trip to old Broughton, there always seems to be something new to find!