Caption: Treece: Kansas, Credit: Chaela Herridge-Meyer
Image by: Chaela Herridge-Meyer 
Treece: Kansas 

Treece, Kansas: Ghost Town in the Making

From: The Recollective
Length: 31:49

Treece was a small mining town in SE Kansas. Since the EPA bought out Treece in 2009 the residents have scattered to the winds, all that remains are outlines of houses, weeds covering the driveways, and in the distance, mountains of chat.

Treece-today1_small

Treece, Kansas was a heavy supplier of lead and zinc ore during World War I & II. After the 1950′s, ore production declined rapidly turning the once booming mining town into an environmental wasteland and now a ghost town. The Recollective went to Treece in 2009 when Congress passed a bill authorizing funding for a voluntary buyout by the Environmental Protection Agency. We interviewed members of the dwindling community as they struggled with the choice to take the money and leave or continue their lives in the only home they’d ever known. By 2012 nearly all the residents of Treece had left and the streets were turning back into grasslands. That summer we returned to Kansas to follow up with the community.

“Treece Kansas: Ghost Town in the Making” debuted on Kansas Public Radio’s  KPR Presents on May 19, 2013.  You can learn more about Treece, Kansas and the making of this documentary on The Recollective Blog

This project was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council and many generous donations.

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Piece Description

Treece, Kansas was a heavy supplier of lead and zinc ore during World War I & II. After the 1950′s, ore production declined rapidly turning the once booming mining town into an environmental wasteland and now a ghost town. The Recollective went to Treece in 2009 when Congress passed a bill authorizing funding for a voluntary buyout by the Environmental Protection Agency. We interviewed members of the dwindling community as they struggled with the choice to take the money and leave or continue their lives in the only home they’d ever known. By 2012 nearly all the residents of Treece had left and the streets were turning back into grasslands. That summer we returned to Kansas to follow up with the community.

“Treece Kansas: Ghost Town in the Making” debuted on Kansas Public Radio’s  KPR Presents on May 19, 2013.  You can learn more about Treece, Kansas and the making of this documentary on The Recollective Blog

This project was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council and many generous donations.

Broadcast History

“Treece Kansas: Ghost Town in the Making” debuted on Kansas Public Radio’s KPR Presents on May 19, 2013.

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

Treece, KS was incorporated in 1918 as a home for lead and zinc miners. After WWII, the industry began to drag. The area's last mines closed in the 1970s, leaving behind a small community of the children and grandchildren of miners. Treece is part of Tar Creek, the largest EPA superfund site in the United States. Poor mining practices left the ground unstable and susceptible to sinkholes. Mountains of "chat," the toxic
remnants of the mining, surround the town. According to a 2009 EPA test, 8.8 percent of children in Treece were shown to have elevated blood-lead levels, compared to just 2.9 percent statewide. The residents of Treece asked the government for help. In 2009 Congress passed a bill authorizing funding for a voluntary buyout.
The Recollective, a group of independent audio producers went to Treece in 2009 to talk with people about their thoughts on the buyout. They returned again in 2012 when nearly all the residents had left Treece and the streets were turning into grasslands.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council.

OUTRO:

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
This Land Is Your Land Woody Guthrie The Asch Recordings . Smithsonian Folkways 1951 02:20
Goin Down This Road Feeling Bad Woody Guthrie The Asch Recordings . Smithsonian Folkways 1944 02:19
Guitar Blues (Instrumental) Woody Guthrie Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs. Smithsonian Folkways 1989 02:23

Additional Credits

This project was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council and many generous donations.

Related Website

www.therecollective.net