In the mid 1800’s, western Kansas was home to Native American Indians, buffalo, and a few settlers living in dugouts. When the Kansas Pacific Railroad tracks went through, a group of Germans from Pennsylvania arrived and formed a community which later became Gorham around 1878.
In 1894, the cornerstone was laid for St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and the first mass was said on Christmas 1898.
Gorham, like many of the other small towns in western Kansas, experienced the thrill of an oil boom in the 1920’s, and it lasted for several years. Once the oil boom died down, it returned to its earlier small town roots.
My husband was born in Gorham and, along with his parents and nine siblings, called Gorham ‘home’ for many happy years with St. Mary’s church playing a vital role in their Catholic family.
When we were back in 2012, many of us were able to attend mass together and visit the cemetery where loved ones are buried.
St. Mary’s Church, as well as the town of Gorham itself, may be considered relics; but the current 300+ residents have joined together to maintain a vibrant small-town community that they are proud to call ‘home.’
– – –
To see other interpretations of Relic, click here.