Sharon Springs, Kansas is county seat of Wallace County, and is located at 38.53° North and 101.45° West. The town is close to the border between Kansas and Colorado. Its population is around 800.
The town started when the Kansas Pacific Railroad constructed a station on their right-of-way about nine miles west of the town of Wallace in 1868. As with most prairie towns, settlers began collecting around the station, and soon the village of Eagle Tail developed. The name came from the local tribe's name for the water springs that were nearby, which supplies a constant source of water in the otherwise dry plains.
The village changed it's name to Sharon Springs in 1886. It was named after the town of Sharon Springs, New York, where some of the newer settlers to this part of Kansas had moved from. Sharon also means "the plains" in Hebrew, so the name fit twice as well.
By 1887, the town had grown quite well. There was a bank, several stores, and a newspaper, called the Sharon Springs Leader. It was the center of trade for about 1000 miles of territory in the western plains. The town had also been named the county seat, a position it holds still today.
Swan M. Ferlin and J.M. Ericson of the Swedish Colonization Company came to town, aiming to lure Swedish Lutheran settlers to this part of the country. They established industries (mainly lumber and brick-making), as well as rearranging parts of town (they moved main street two blocks west, thus increasing their personal land value). Their efforts jumped the town population to 400 in 1910.
Today, Sharon Springs is just another small town out on the prairie. There's a movie theater on Main Street, a couple restaurants, and a small park on the south end of the town. The Rattlesnake Roundup
happens each May, with animal handlers demonstrating poisonous
snakes, and a "snake hunt" with prizes.
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