East Douglas Heritage

From East High to College Hill, East Douglas has a wealth of historic locations to enjoy.

East Douglas Heritage

Wichita, Kansas 67203, United States

Created By: Wichita History Walk

Tour Information

Learn about the building boom of the 1920s and its distinct architecture, as well as the landmark businesses and stately homes of College Hill.

Each stop may have more than one picture. Swipe to the left to see more photos when available, and tap photos to enlarge and zoom. (If you are using an iPhone, disable the "text to speech" option in the app settings.)

Wichita History Walk is a project of Bike Walk Wichita and the Wichita Public Library, funded by the generous support of AARP's Community Challenge grant. Our grateful thanks to the following institutions and individuals for their support of this project:

The Wichita Public Library Foundation

Jim Byrum, who provided narration for many of our stops

The Mid-America All-Indian Center

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum

The Kansas African American Museum

The Kansas State Historical Society

The Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

PLAY AUDIO Howard Darling, a pioneer of the Wichita lumber business, built this home in 1906. He introduced cypress lumber to the Wichita market with his Louisiana Red Cypress Company and also organized the Arkansas River Valley Lumber Comp... Read more
PLAY AUDIO In the summer of 1920, the newly formed St. James Episcopal congregation purchased land at Douglas and Circle. Before construction could begin, an injunction was filed against Reverend Otis E. Gray by area homeowners. Fearing it ... Read more
PLAY AUDIO Although Wichitans initially built their homes in the central part of the city, the College Hill neighborhood became a desired location for prominent homes in the 1880s. Because it was located two miles east of Douglas and Lawren... Read more
PLAY AUDIO The Hillcrest Homes opened to great fanfare in September, 1927. The Wichita Eagle gushed that it was "a marvelous city within a city." It was "the latest, the most modern, the very ultimate in urban housing." The building was org... Read more
PLAY AUDIO In 1910, the only business at Douglas and Hillside was Charley Andrews Drug Store and the neighborhood population was about 500. By 1928, the neighborhood had grown to 5,000 and was very trendy.The Uptown Theater opened to great ... Read more
PLAY AUDIO (Look across the street for this building.) The Cement Stone and Supply Company of Wichita went into business making imitation limestone in the early 1900s. Between 1927 and 1940, they provided a decorative trimming stone, which ... Read more
PLAY AUDIO Among Wichita's history of entrepreneurship stands White Castle, the world's first hamburger chain.  Founded in Wichita in 1916, fry cook Walter Anderson borrowed $80 to open his first hamburger stand at 800 E. Douglas. After ex... Read more
PLAY AUDIO (The building referenced is across the street from you, in the lot where Two Bros. BBQ now stands.) One of Wichitas first florists, Charles Mueller began business in Wichita in 1888. After a dissolved business relationship with t... Read more
PLAY AUDIO (Look across the street for this building.) Newly widowed, Mrs. Annetta Skaer built the apartment block you see across the street in 1928-29. Her home in the middle was built in 1919, and she constructed the Bellaire Apartments a... Read more
PLAY AUDIO According to the Wichita Beacon, it once took half a day to travel to the College Hill area. In 1928, a long-time resident of the area claimed that the first building near College and Hillside was constructed in 1887. The area re... Read more
PLAY AUDIO (Look across the street for this building.) Everett Watkins worked in a blacksmith shop until he was blinded in one eye by a stray ember. He then tried his hand at entrepreneurial ventures such as banking and the aircraft indust... Read more
PLAY AUDIO Originally built in 1923, Wichita High School was built on the same campus as the Roosevelt Intermediate School. The first day of school was October 8, 1923, and the initial enrollment was 1,654 students. It was known as the "mil... Read more


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