Sunday Snapshot: Stone House in Lane

Baker House in Lane, Kansas

According the the Franklin County Historical Society, the Bakers settled in Pottawatomie Township in 1855 and built this stone house on the edge of Lane, Kansas.

This old stone house sits on the edge of the old town of Lane, Kansas, in a triangle of land outlined by Virgina Road (which turns into Kansas Avenue, the main road in Lane), First Street (which turns into Fourth Street in Lane) and the railroad tracks. The house is mentioned in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894. She and her husband, Almanzo, and their daughter, Rose, reached the town of Lane 118 years ago this month.

We reached Lane at 4 o’clock and had old Pet shod.The blacksmith came from Kentucky two years ago and looks just like the pictures of a Kentucky man. He has 130 acres of bottom land running down to Pottawatomie River, and a stone house as lage as any house in De Smet [South Dakota]. It is very handsome and perfectly finished. The house stands on Main Street in Lane and the land lies northwest from it. He is going back to Kentucky and wants to sell. Asks $4300 for shop, house and land. — August 17, 1894.

Originally called Shermanville for the pro-slavery brothers who founded the town, the settlement was renamed for the abolitionist James Lane after the Pottawatomie Massacre on May 24, 1856, during which several pro-slavery men were killed by John Brown‘s posse.

16 thoughts on “Sunday Snapshot: Stone House in Lane

    1. Diana Staresinic-Deane Post author

      I wonder what kind of shape it’s in. If you open the front door, would you find a giant hollowed out house full of mice? I was reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of traveling from Ottawa to Fort Scott and just amazed at how long the trip took (days) and how rustic the process was. She talks about camping by creeks and near schools with water pumps. It’s fascinating!

      1. Heather Davis

        My brothr- in- law owns that house as well as a few other buildings in down town Lane. Unfortunately, he bought it thinking he would fix it up but never did. I agree … what a waste … I still think it’s absolutely beautiful inside but obviously needs a LOT of work.

      2. Nadine Baker

        Hi! My sister stumbled onto this blog while working on our genealogy & had to comment. Joshua & Elizabeth are our 3x great grandparents and are so excited & saddened by your pictures. We would love to set foot in their home before it disappears, but unfortunately we live in western Canada 😦 Thanks for sharing!

  1. Valerie Custer.

    I would love to go in on a historic house with some friends and restore it with our own sweat and blood to it’s shining glory. That’s something I want to do before I die; resuce and refurbish a “giant hollowed house full of mice.”

    1. Diana Staresinic-Deane Post author

      A facebook friend mentioned that she and her significant other considered buying it, but it would need tens of thousands of dollars of rehab work, which is a real shame, because it’s a landmark.

  2. Laurie Coppola

    It must be quite a place to have demanded that price 118 years ago. There is a 1950s book on building your dream house for $5000. I’m not surprised a Kentucky man would have wanted to back. Radically different environments. I hope he got his price, and got home to Kentucky safely. I’d love to see that house, renovated and returned to it’s period glory

  3. taelor

    it’s a beautiful house. but hell would freeze over before i would step one foot on that property. there’s too much paranormal stuff going on in that house.

  4. Pat Mullins

    Unfortunately the house will soon have to be torn down. I’ve lived in Lane area for the past 40+ years and have been sick to see it go to ruin. Lots of wonderful memories of the people who lived there years ago. Pat

    1. Nadine Baker, Regina, SK CANADA

      Oh no! We had been hoping to make a trip there to visit this family relic before it was gone. Is there any reference to when it might be torn down?

  5. Sam Burchfield

    In 1948 am old couple lived in that house. Mom dad and I lived upstairs until dad found a house. They were very nice people.


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