Wild West Delano

Delano: a rowdy wild west town and home to artists and innovators.

Wild West Delano

Wichita, Kansas 67203, United States

Created By: Wichita History Walk

Tour Information

Meet the rowdy characters of the old West and the Chisholm Trail, as well as the engineers and artists that have called Delano home over the years. Originally its own town west of the Arkansas River, Delano was incorporated as part of Wichita in 1880 and has continued to thrive.

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.

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

1
Shamrock Lounge

PLAY AUDIO The Shamrock Lounge is one of Wichita's oldest bars. The building itself was built with a storefront and two upstairs apartments, though it's unclear what business was housed there. That is, until Prohibition was repealed in 1933... Read more
2
NuWay Sandwich Shop

PLAY AUDIO The history of crumbly burgers in Wichita started on July 4, 1930, with the opening of Tom McEvoy's NuWay restaurant. The store became known for its homemade root beer and curly fries. After McEvoy died, his wife Helen continued ... Read more
3
Wichita Hospital

PLAY AUDIO They didn't call it the Wild West for nothing – in the 1880s, if you were a cowboy who'd been shot you might have been taken down south to the Ladies Benevolent Home, built in 1879 on South Francis Street. Later in 1898, that e... Read more
4
Engine House #4

PLAY AUDIO (To see this building, look south on Seneca St. from the parking lot of the QuikTrip.) Engine House Number 4 is Wichita's oldest remaining former fire house. As Wichita grew larger, it was one of two new stations built in 1890 i... Read more
5
Rowdy Delano

PLAY AUDIO Originally called Elgin, the town west of the Arkansas River came to be known as Delano in 1871. It was named for Columbus Delano, Secretary of the Interior under President Grant. Delano was an important cattle shipment point on ... Read more
6
Blackbear Bosin's studio

PLAY AUDIO The Keeper of the Plains has become one of the most enduring modern symbols of Wichita. Its creator, Blackbear Bosin, established his art studio at this location from 1972-1980. Now occupied by Delano BBQ, they feature informatio... Read more
7
City Scavengers

PLAY AUDIO Frank Smith and George T. Tuders were the owners of Smith & Tuders, City Scavengers, located at 500 West Douglas.  At the turn of the last century, city scavengers were responsible for many of the more dirty jobs around the ... Read more
8
CC Hatfield Horse Shoers

PLAY AUDIO Prior to the automobile, horses were the main form of transportation in Wichita. Horses were ridden, pulled freight wagons, and guided the early street cars across town. All these horses needed constant care of their hooves. In 1... Read more
9
Travel Air Airplane Manufacturing

PLAY AUDIO Wichita is called the “Air Capital of the World” because of the number of influential airplane designers and builders who started here. In the early years of the airplane industry, the largest such company in Wichita was esta... Read more
10
Running of the Doves

PLAY AUDIO Prostitution flourished in Delano, and these "soiled doves" or "painted ladies" did a brisk business along the Chisholm Trail. In 1872-73, an event called the Running of the Doves took place where the ladies were loaded in wagons... Read more
11
Chisholm Trail Marker & Sculpture

PLAY AUDIO On the west side of the Douglas Street Bridge is a monument to the Chisholm Trail and half of the sculpture "Two Steers" by artist John Kearney. The other half of the sculpture is outside Maize South High School. The bull sculpt... Read more
12
Ackerman Island

PLAY AUDIO (This site was located north of the bridge.) In Wichita’s early days, there was a 56 acre island in the middle of the Arkansas River which extended from close to the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers almost to th... Read more
13
Lawrence Dumont Stadium

PLAY AUDIO (Look south, along the west bank of the river for this site.) During the Great Depression, many Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects were created in Kansas. One of them was the Lawrence Athletic Field, built in 1934 as a ... Read more
14
Douglas Avenue bridge

PLAY AUDIO Early on, there was a need for a bridge to connect Douglas Avenue across the Arkansas River. In 1872, the Wichita Bridge Company was formed and charged a toll to travel the bridge. This didn’t sit well with citizens, and compla... Read more

 

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