Backroads always turn up something you don't expect. Woodson County's roads didn't disappoint.

Let's say you just happened to be driving one mile east and 1 1/2 miles south of Yates Center.  All of a sudden you saw the following...

Wow!  Looks like a stone entrance just off the road.

Another entrance.  Maybe a place to tie the horses.  And what about that white picket fence.

Is this a castle?

Look at all the intricate stone work!

Wooden buildings, too.

Here's what we know.  Kalida was originally founded in 1860 by Hale Chellis and named Chellis.  In 1870, Mr. Chellis sold the townsite to Thomas Davidson who renamed the town Kalida, which is Greek for "Beautiful."  In 1873, Kalida became the county seat.  About a year later the seat was moved to Defiance and the town of Kalida was moved to Yates Center.

Mr. James Davidson built the stone structures on the property in 1893. 
(Thanks to for this information).

James Davidson had gone to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and was inspired by some of the architecture he had seen.  The "castle" was actually built as a storage cellar. 

Join us on Saturday, September 22 for a "Bring your own lawn chair" event in Piqua.  After lunch we'll all go out to Kalida!

The Kalida Cemetery is found one mile east of Yates Center, 1 mile south on Osage Road, then 1/2 mile west.

This burial plot was for the Davidson family who had migrated from Pittsburg and founded the town of Kalida in 1870.

This plot was for the Rhea family.

At the Allen/Woodson County line we found this cemetery.  The plaque states:  Kansas Federal Project No. 85, 1921.  Was this cemetery created for those who couldn't afford a burial?

Had we seen any cattle out of place, we would have called.  

We came upon the world's largest fishing pole!  Erika, what do you think?

We got out to admire this rare Pony Truss bridge.  A pony truss is a truss bridge which allows traffic through the truss, but the top of the bridge is not joined together with cross braces.

Owl Creek Cemetery was the cemetery for the first Catholic Church in Woodson County.  St. Mary's Owl Creek Church opened in 1868.  The church is no longer standing.

Don't forget the Lutherans on Owl Creek. Their cemetery was just down the road from the Catholics.

One of the last things we did on our trip was drive on a strip of old, old U.S. 54.  Only one person in the van was willing to lay down on the road -- though it must have been a bit toasty on this 104 degree day.  But someone had to show the narrow width of the road.

It's amazing what you'll find on the backroads if you just "dare to do dirt" -- and narrow roads.