After Goodland won the county seat fight it grew rapidly with the help of the Sherman County Development Company, which donated a court house and county fair building along with ground where each would be placed. They also offered ground for schools and a windmill on the corner of 8th and Boulevard, (Boulevard was renamed Main Street in 1915).
Buildings from the surrounding towns began moving in to Goodland – a bank, newspaper and blacksmith shop came from Sherman Center, the town of Gandy had already faded away and only one building remained in Itasca, by the use of capstans and rollers, it was brought to Goodland and became the Commercial Hotel owned by Thomas P. Leonard. It was on the northeast corner of 10th and Boulevard.
The windmill at the far end of Boulevard was the town’s water supply; notice the courthouse in the far right background. The brick bank building from Eustis was torn down and reconstructed in Goodland on the corner of 11th and Boulevard. It was used for the First National Bank in Goodland for many years and remains today. Some of the other businesses along Boulevard were Euwers Short order house, a barbershop, Shemp the Clothier, newspaper, harness shop, post office, livery and feed store, Calvert’s Law Office, Murray Livery, Jupe Laundry and a rooming house.
When farmers came to town, they brought hay in the back of the wagon. They would drive to the back of the store, unhitch the horse and let it rest and eat from the wagon while the farmer took care of his business; one of the favorite places to park was near the blacksmith shop. When the farm wife came along, she usually brought butter and eggs to trade for cash or other items. Saturday was the big day for trading and visiting with friends.
A large celebration occurred on July 4, 1888 with the arrival of the Chicago, Kansas & Nebraska Railroad, later the Rock Island. A large depot was erected also a coal chute, shop buildings and car yard. A 60 ft. tall railroad water tank helped provide water for the town. The depot in the foreground was a landmark in Goodland for more than 20 years. It hosted many town activities including parties, oyster suppers and dances. The largest frame building in the City at 2 stories high was also a stopping place for US Senators, Congressmen and politicians who at different times had been out West. The depot was destroyed by fire in March of 1909. The original light in front of the depot is on display here at the museum.
When a passenger train came into the station, Herman Euwer who ran the short order house with his wife Leanor, would stand out in front of the building and ring a bell, like the bells used in the country schools, to call attention to his lunch room. In the winter time, Mr. Euwer bought ice in huge chunks; they’d been sawed from the ice on the Smoky River and brought into town in a farm wagon. He packed the ice between layers of straw and thus held it until summer when it was needed.
The railroad brought many new people to town including business men and professionals. It also provided a way for the farmers and ranchers to ship their produce to market. And so Goodland became a thriving community.