Anklin’ Down Franklin
Downtown Colby Walking Tour
“As a partial fulfillment of his need for a feeling of security during this time of great change, man naturally turns to his ancestors and their history in order to get a feeling of permanency. Therefore, the history of Thomas County and its neighbors has become very important to all who live in the area……”
The previous is a preface of the January 1960 publication, Thomas County, Yesterday and Today, a monthly Historic Journal, published by Prairie Printers, Inc., by owners/publishers Bill James and Daughn Avery. Residents submitted pictures, stories, or information concerning the 1885-1900’s early history of the county for issues of the monthly publication. In addition, it is said that the late, W. T. “Bill” James would walk Franklin Ave, from South Franklin, travel north to the park and return on the opposite side of the street twice daily to visit with business owners and greet pedestrians while collecting news for the article “Anklin’ Down Franklin” published in Thomas County, Yesterday and Today as well as the newspaper, The Prairie Drummer.
In 2012, the family of Bill James granted The Movement Connection, LLC permission to use “Anklin’ Down Franklin” for walking programs in Downtown Colby. In a beautiful collaborative effort between The Prairie Museum of Art and History, Colby Downtown Business Association, Colby Rotary, Colby Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Colby Chamber of Commerce the project expanded. Information was compiled on the historic buildings including, photographs, previous businesses, stories related to the building and the present business. The material collected is linked to QR Codes posted on windows of participating businesses.
Anklin’ Down Franklin in our historic Colby downtown district can be a draw for tourism, a resource for new residents, educational, and a source of pride for those families who have lived and worked here for generations. Participants will be WALKING FOR GOOD HEALTH – for recreation and leisure, cardio endurance, stress relief, to boost energy, curb cravings, and boost immunity.
Having a mission or purpose makes walking feel like an adventure! The Anklin Down Franklin, Downtown Walking Tour is documenting history contributing to the feeling of security and permanency of our entire community for years to come.