Red Cat Recording Company is located in a tiny little town named Peck, about 15 minutes south of Wichita, Kansas. We're going to get a little in-depth on some history here, because the story of the Red Cat facility is somewhat unique.
According to The Kansas Area Key to Sedgwick County, Peck, Kansas is a "Lost" town. Not exactly a "Ghost" town, but not real far from it. We guess you could say the Peck is a "Commuter Town", with residences traveling to other larger nearby towns, such as Wichita, Derby, or Mulvane. Peck was so named in 1887 for the Honorable George R. Peck, a Santa Fe Railroad official (also an Orator and Attorney). With a population of around only 107 people that live in the town proper, there's actually a very large rural mail delivery area with a Peck Address, with something of a 15-20 mile radius from the town itself. In this area, there's around 1200 residences. Peck has a Post Office, Grain Elevator, Community Building, Burger Joint (which is great), and now, a World Class Recording Studio.
Red Cat Recording Company is constructed inside of a late 19th century Schoolhouse. Commissioned to be built in 1890, only four years after the Statue Of liberty was built. The land on which she sits, about an acre in size, was sold to the school district for the sum of $67.84. The limestone foundation was quarried from a small town to the southeast, named Redbud, and carried by wagon to the building site. The lumber was cut from woods around the Belle Plaine area, and pulled by oxen over ten miles to the on-location steam powered sawmill, and cut to dimension, right on the property.
Originally designed as a one room schoolhouse, as was common in rural school districts at the time. Later, around 1910, another large room was added to the west side of the building. Now with two rooms, the grade school was on one side, with high school classes on the other.
Records are a little unclear on just how many children were educated here, but with a service history of roughly 87 years, it seems safe to assume that it was probably in the thousands. We do know that over 120 educators taught here over the course of her service life, and at least 7 of them were music teachers.
The facility sat empty for a number of years, used for storage until it was converted into a residence sometime in the 1980s. The buildings current owner, Luke Wallace, a rogue musician, bought the building in 1997. Immediately he began converting the east room, formerly the primary grade room, into a practice space for his numerous rock bands. After a short time, and after many loud music complaints, he began building smaller, acoustically controlled rooms inside the large east room, in an attempt at containing the racket, and easing the neighbors headaches.
It didn't take long after that, and after a few disappointing recording studio experiences at other facilities, the decision was made to convert the east room of the school into a full time recording space. Of course, progress was slow, as recording gear, even sub-par gear, is expensive, and the learning curve agonizingly steep. But after many years of planning and construction, and a couple of complete demolition and start overs, Red Cat Recording Company, as it stands now, officially opened in 2012.
We get asked sometimes if she's haunted. As far as we can tell, she's not. But, all of the history of this unique building seems to accumulate, and a certain "magic" of sorts exists here. A "Spirit" emanates from her. You can just feel it when you walk in for the first time. The feeling in the air of all the past innocence and learning. The good times, the hard times, the first loves, (a walk around the outside shows the many initials with hearts carved into the siding), along with the first heartaches. The spirit of the just plain growing up is completely undeniable. Its magic. And it comes through the Musicians every session.
At Red Cat, we try everyday to honor that history. By doing the best job we can, and by keeping the creative spirit alive and well.