Created By: Old Cowtown Museum
The Blood House in the Agricultural District at Old Cowtown Museum represents the entrepreneurial spirit of the early farmers in Sedgwick County who relied on diversity of activities to thrive in the former Great American Desert.
Gillman Blood and his family arrived in Sedgwick County, Kansas from Peoria, Illinois on May 4, 1871. When the Blood family moved to the area, there were few settlers and no market for farmed products. Despite the many challenges, Blood acquired a 160 acre section of land to farm in Waco Township at 63rd and Broadway. In the beginning, he raised pigs and freighted trade goods in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to survive.
To establish their orchard they planted raspberry, blackberry, and boysenberry vines to help protect the saplings by helping to hold in moisture and shading the ground while providing an additional cash crop. Over the years the Blood family planted apple, peach, Kiefer pear, cherry, and plum trees. When selling his apples, Blood became known for his “honest baskets” because the bottom layer was always a little better than the top. His activity diversified the local food options as well as established his reputation in the state.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Old Cowtown Museum Tour