Take Shelter

Polson, George - Root Cellar

Center Township

Riley County

This arched cave is built into an embankment on a hillside a few miles east of where Winkler, KS would have once stood. It was part of a compound of buildings that would have been built by George Polson who was an important political figure in the early years of Kansas and Riley county. It seems to have been located quite some distance to where the home would have stood (now a pile of rubble). To the west by about 40 yards. Might indicate its use as a home originally. Or it could of been intended as more of a store room for animal feed (very elaborate in that case). Definitely inconvenient as a root cellar or storm shelter. The stones are quite large and seemed to have been laid by a professional. However the stones are defacing and slipping out. Interestingly at the back of the cave the crumbled rocks reveal the nature of the construction against a rocky hillside. It walks out to the east and measures 15'(L)x12'(W)x7'(H).

George Polson biographical info: Born Indiana 1836, and served in the 67th Indiana Inf during the Civil War. He came to Kansas in 1867 and bought the farm east of Winkler. Eventually had a total of 550 acres. He held many May Day Township offices and served as County Commissioner from 1874 to 1880 and as State Legislator from 1896 to 1900. He was buried at the original Fancy Creek Cem, about a mile east of his farm. Later re-interred to the new Randolph/Fancy Creek Cem on US 77 north of Randolph.