Historic Franklin-Arma Sidewalk

1275 S Broadway St
Franklin, KS 66735

kshs.org/kansapedia/franklin-arma-sidewalk/18986

Believed to be the longest sidewalk connecting two towns in the U.S., the sidewalk is along Business U.S. 69 from Franklin to Arma, originally a military trail, then Jefferson Highway. The 1.7 mile mostly paved sidewalk connected the two rural towns in 1936 following school consolidation and was built by the WPA.

Franklin residents relied on services and schools to the north in Arma. Jefferson Highway/U.S. 69 was paved in 1922-23. High speed traffic made pedestrian travel deadly especially for children. The 1.7 mile, 3-foot wide sidewalk was built in 1936 and is believed to be the longest sidewalk in the U.S. connecting two towns.

Franklin Historic Sidewalk is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places as a means of transportation for education and commerce related activities. A marker at the Franklin Community Park, which is midway, denotes the listing on the Historic Register. Other informative signs along the sidewalk denote its significance. It has also become well known for it’s listing in either Guinness Book of World Records or Ripley’s Believe it Or Not as the longest sidewalk connecting two towns in the United States. Many early residents remember the excitement as newspaper, radio and television carried stories about this record. The story about the sidewalk appeared in Life Magazine circa 1938. Constructed in 1936 with federal funding assistance, the Franklin Sidewalk connects two rural mining communities in Crawford County — Arma and Franklin. The three-foot wide sidewalk begins at the south edge of Arma and stretches south 1.7 miles to the south edge of Franklin, and runs parallel along the east side of Business Highway 69.