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N J (Elder) Collins was an educated and cultured man with a modest amount of wealth. He came west from New York with the ambition of establishing a great wheat ranch. During the summer of 1879 he built "The Summit", a twelve-room, three-story house above a full story basement of native rock.

A spacious portico extended from each story, and he painted the building white. Standing on the hill overlooking Pierceville on the north, it towered like a castle above the plains which were so barren of comfortable dwellings or even trees. That fall Mr. Collins planted 100 acres of wheat. But there was no rain, and it never came up. The hot winds continued to blow all during the next year, and the drouth showed no signs of abating. He had a vision that it was going to take a long time to tame the wild sod, and the still wilder climatic conditions. His ambition to be a farmer left him and he was overcome with a desire to again occupy the pulpit. Abandoning the Summit, he moved to Dodge City and devoted the rest of his life in preaching the word of God.

This was the location of "The Summit" home built by N.J. Collins image courtesy of Google Earth

For the next few years the big house stood empty, and served only as a land mark for people travelling through the country. Reports were circulated that the house was haunted. Its flapping shutters and swinging doors appeared to be moved by unseen hands. Even those in dire need of shelter shunned the place. But during the boom of 1886 the problem of housing the boomers became so acute that some one conceived the idea of making it into an apartment house. Four families of newcomers, who knew nothing of the ghostly rumors connected with the place, were comfortably and happily sheltered there. The boom of '86 didn't last long, however, and the boomers left the country faster than they had come in. Once more The Summit was deserted and left to the bats and the owls. One nice Sunday afternoon the Wallace boys and some other young people strolled over to the old house and were resting and happily chatting on the front porch, but they were well aware of the ghostly reputation of the place.

There wasn't a breeze stirring, nothing to break the quiet calm except the sound of their voices as they jokingly related how different ones had heard "things" when they visited the house. One of the boys jumped up and said he was going to investigate, but before he took a step they heard distinctly a "dull thud" within as though a heavy body had fallen, and that was instantly followed by a terrible crash that rocked the house on its stone foundation. The party on the porch jumped to the ground and started running, and they never stopped or even looked back until they reached Pierceville. They thought the spooks were after them sure, but later they discovered that one of the tall chimneys had fallen. During succeeding years the house gradually fell to pieces and the material was hauled away to put in smaller buildings.