In 2017, the Lander's Wagon and Carriage Shop in Humboldt, Kansas was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's a two-story building made of limestone blocks. In 1910, a one-story extension was added for a woodworking shop. This has also been referred to as Elliot Property.
The shop was constructed in 1876. The carriage and blacksmithing business was developed by Charles Lander. In 1946, the business was sold.
Humboldt is one of the oldest towns in Allen County. In early 1857, Humbold was organized and the settlers began arriving.
Charles Lander was born in Sweden on September 3, 1844. He immigrated to Chicago in 1867 when he was almost 23. He learned the skill of blacksmithing when he was in Sweden and used this trade when employed by the Illinois Central Railroad Company.
According to his son, Ed, he arrived at Humboldt around 1870. Humboldt, Kansas is between Iola and Chanute in southwestern Allen County. From 1873 to 1876, Lander established a general blacksmith and repair business in a building made of stone and brick. He was able to expand his services by including manufacturing carriages and wagons. This meant he needed a larger building. That's when he built the two-story building. By the early 1880s, Lander was one of six blacksmiths in Humboldt. His business did so well, he had people in his employ. His son began working with him and they named their business Lander & Son, Lander's Carriage Shop, or Lander's Wagon & Carriage Shop.
As the population in Humboldt grew, the needs of people changed and the Landers worked to accommodate those changes. In 1914, Charles died and his son continued with the business.
By 1921, and as the years rolled on, Ed started focusing on the needs of automobile owners. He was running an automobile repair shop and still a blacksmith shop by 1927. In 1946, Ed retired selling everything including the buildings to another local blacksmith.
This closed the curtains on the Lander's involvement with the property which lasted over 70 years. But Humboldt is in the local news in Kansas City. Recently, The Kansas City Star ran a story entitled, Small Kansas town became a top travel destination after years of decline. Here’s how. The reflections of the city administrator, Cole Herder, are shared.
Earlier this year, The New York Times published its “52 Places for a Changed World." Humboldt made the list.
The Times credited the local group A Bolder Humboldt with a revitalized vision for rural living that could inspire a future for similar small towns throughout the country. The group has opened up businesses and started new community initiatives in Humboldt over the past few years, with even more coming to town soon. (Source.)
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