An early settlement of
Douglas County, Vinland is situated along the
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad
about seven miles south of
Lawrence. The first settlers came in 1854, among them
Jacob Branson, Charles W. Dow, Franklin N. Coleman, W. E. Barnes, George Cutler,
F.B. Varnum, William White, Josiah Hargous, Harrison W. Buckley and several
others. They were mostly abolitionists spurred on by the
settling in Kansas to make it a
Free-State. Renowned Jayhawker Silas Soule was
also among the first settlers. Like much of eastern Kansas, Vinland struggled in
Kansas period to keep the land free from slavery, and at least one
man was killed in the
Battle of Black Jack in June, 1856.
was first named Vineland due to it being the home of William Barnes' orchards
and nursery and all the new settlers quickly planted fruit trees and gardens.
Due to a clerical error that omitted the "e," it became known as Vinland. Barnes
old storage facility still stands and is considered the oldest barn in
The Coal Creek Library in Vinland is one of the
of the Mississippi River, photo courtesy
In 1857 a sawmill was erected by N.C. Cradit & Co. on Coal Creek. The first
school was opened in a small building in the fall of 1858, taught by A.W. Smith.
The town was of some importance during the years 1857-58, but did not grow much.
It received a post office in 1868 with George Cuter appointed as the first
postmaster. On July 1, 1870, Russell & Davis opened the first store. In 1874, a
cheese factory was established, and in 1878, the Presbyterian Church was built.
In the early 1870s a cheese factory was established and in 1878
the Presbyterian Church was erected. In 1910, it had become a supply and
shipping town for the surrounding agricultural district, with a money order post
office, express and telegraph facilities and a population of 75. By 1954, the
town had dwindled to such a degree that its post office was closed.
By 1910, the town had become a supply and shipping
point for the surrounding agricultural district, with a money order post office,
express and telegraph facilities and a population of 75.
From 1914 to 1916, Dr. James C. Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball,
served as minister of the Presbyterian Church. At that time, he was also serving
as chaplain and physical education professor at the University of Kansas in
Vinland's population peaked in the 1920s, when it
boasted three churches, two stores, a grain elevator, the Grange Hall, a bank,
the train depot, a service station, the cheese factory, a few other businesses,
and several dwellings. It began to decline along with rail passenger service,
the depression of the 1930's, and consolidation of schools. By 1954, the town had dwindled to such a degree that
its post office was closed.
Today the hamlet is part of the
Lawrence Metropolitan Statistical Area and those who
live in the vicinity are primarily running agricultural and dairy farms. It's
tiny downtown consists of about a dozen homes, many of which are a century old,
a small airfield, elementary school, the Grange Hall, and the Coal Creek Library,
which is one of the oldest libraries west of the Misssissppi River, operating
since 1859. Vinland hosts an annual country fair which attracts numerous
in Vinland, Kansas.