Latitude / Longitude:
39°38′20″N 96°35′51″W / 39.63889°N 96.59750°W / 39.63889
1,142 ft (348 m)
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Irving was a town in Marshall County, Kansas located six miles southeast of the city of Blue Rapids along the Big Blue River. Irving was one of the many towns affected by “Big Dam Foolishness” during the construction of Tuttle Creek Lake about ten miles to the south. Although the lake would never reach the town, the Federal Government forced the residents to permanently vacate the town.
Irving was founded in 1859 by a small group from Lyons, Iowa. They named the town after author Washington Irving. In the spring of 1860, a severe drought ruined crops and forced some farmers to lose their land. Over the summer the was wracked with fierce winds and thunderstorms that blew down buildings, took roofs and damaged the saw mill. During the fall, some residents chose to leave and return to Iowa. In 1866, the community was invaded by grasshoppers that also destroyed crops and damaged trees. The town would have another plague in 1875. Despite these hardships, in 1878, Irving was described as “being located in one of the best settled and best cultivated portions of Marshall County”
When plans for the construction of the Tuttle Creek Dam were announced, the populaion started to decrease and many businesses closed, including the post office. The townsite was abandoned in 1960 after the dam was constructed but since the lake is miles away, Irving is still accessible. The town’s road network is still visible, foundations for building can still be seen and a stone marker sits in a makeshift park along with a mailbox and notebook that visitors can write notes in.