Traveling Trunks
Fort Larned, Kansas NHS

     The Fort Larned National Historic Site is pleased to announce the production of two traveling trunks designed for fourth-grade students. The first two trunks relate to a twelve-year-old boy. Based on two separate booklets written by a Fort Larned volunteer.

     Charley's Trunk, tells the story of Charles Parker, the son of an army officer, who travels to Fort Larned from Fort Riley by way of Forts Harker and Zarah in 1867, shortly subsequent to the destruction of the Cheyenne/Sioux village by order of Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock. Along the way, young Charles accumulates a number of keepsakes which he stores away in his new trunk, a replica in miniature of his father's trunk given to him as a present on his 12th birthday.

Charley's Trunk
Charley's Trunk

     I Heard A Coyote Howl, involves a Cheyenne boy named Box Elder living in the above mentioned Indian village at the time of its destruction. The trunk used in this unit is not a trunk in the usual sense of the word. Rather it is a parfleche made of rawhide which Plains Indians used for storage, sometimes called an Indian suitcase. The booklet tells the story of the Hancock Expedition and the burning of the village through the eyes of a Cheyenne youth, a different perspective than that usually held.

I Heard A Coyote Howl- Parfleche
Indian Suitcase

     Both the Charley's Trunk and the parfleche contain clothing and other artifacts germane to the stories. Students will be encouraged to handle such contents as concrete object lessons. Field trips to Fort Larned and the Indian village site thirty miles west of Fort Larned are an optional attraction. There are no charges for any of these services. All costs will be defrayed by the Fort Larned National Historic Site and its partners.

The Little Red House
     The Little Red House, tells the story of the Little Red House in first person giving the building the human qualities of speech and memory. The Little Red House was Larnedís first building. Originally, the sutlerís mess hall at Fort Larned, it was moved to the future site of Larned in 1872 where it became the first post office, restaurant, hotel, dance hall, saloon, church, courthouse, and school. The trunk represents the chest owned by James Worrell, one of the early residents of the Little Red House, a former army officer during the Civil War. It is packed with items related to Larnedís first school taught by Worrellís sixteen year old daughter, Isabel.

A Long Way to Santa Fe
     A Long Way to Santa Fe, tells the story of a ten year old boy who accompanies his father, the proprietor of a wagon train, to Santa Fe in 1850. A travel tale, the narrative takes the reader some 750 miles on the Santa Fe Trail from Westport, Missouri to the ancient capital of New Mexico. The trunk, a nineteenth century chest of Mexican origin, is packed with artifacts relative to the story.

No Pot of Gold
     This is the story of seven-year-old Marion Sloan, who traveled with her mother and little brother Will in 1852 from Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe. Their transportation was a wagon train under the command of legendary frontiersman Francis X. Aubry. Many sites of the Santa Fe Trail come to life as Maria and her family traverse the 750-mile trip to the ancient capital of New Mexico.

My Fatherís Watch
     Tells the story of Julio, who travels with his merchant father from Santa Fe to the railroad heading at Hays City, Kansas in 1868. Through only twelve, Julio is expected to conduct himself as an adult and shoulder his fair share of the work. The story is climaxed by your Julio being given his fatherís watch, a symbol of manhood. While the story has a "coming of age" theme, it also tells the story of Mexican involvement in the Santa Fe trade, an often overlooked part of the Santa Fe Trail history.

Traveling Trunks Expands
     The Fort Larned National Historic Site initiated the "Traveling Trunks" project in September, 2009. Originally designed for fourth grade classes, the project at the request of administrators and teachers has been expended to other grade levels. The following schools have participated in the program at this writing: Larned, Kansas Northside Elementary: Lewis, Kansas Elementary, Pawnee Heights/Hanston Elementary at Burdett, Kansas, and Jetmore Elementary School. Schools scheduled for the program in 2010 includes Kinsley/Offerle, Kansas Elementary; Macksville, Kansas Elementary; Lincoln Elementary, McPherson, Spring Valley Elementary, Junction City, Kansas; Holcomb, Kansas Middle School. Others schools will include; Holly, Colorado Elementary; Granada, Colorado Elementary; and Parkview Elementary, Lamar, Colorado. By the close of the 2010 spring semester, 795 students will have participated in the project.

     David Clapsaddle is the facilitator. Teachers interested in learning more about the trunks or scheduling them for their classrooms at no cost to the school, may call David Clapsaddle, 620-285-3295.

Kansas National Historic Sites Quilting Project
"Building Common Ground Through the Quilts of Many Hands"

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