New Editor, New Format, New Beginning
After a lengthy interval, the Fort Larned Old Guard and Fort Larned National Historic Site have signed a new partnership agreement as required by the National Park Service. Longtime editor Dave Webb has retired from that position, and everyone regrets his leaving and extends sincere thanks for his many years of volunteer service. Leo Oliva is the new Fort Larned Old Guard editor. This newsletter is now a joint publication of Fort Larned NHS and Fort Larned Old Guard, and a fort editor will be selected soon to join with Oliva in getting material together for each issue. Readers will notice a new format adopted by the new editor to fit his style and computer program.
The newsletter will be published by Fort Larned Old Guard four times each year and sent to all Fort Larned staff and volunteers as well as Fort Larned Old Guard members. To help everyone get to know staff and personnel, each issue will feature biographies of a Fort Larned Old Guard member (officers and board first), a member of Fort Larned NHS staff, and one or more volunteers. Each issue will include the story of one of the fort buildings (those extent first and information about those that no longer exist later). Feature items are welcome from Fort Larned Old Guard members, fort staff, and volunteers. Individuals are encouraged to write about what Fort Larned means to them or memories of events at the fort (Oliva provides a sample in this issue). Researched articles about all aspects of fort history are welcome. Reports of the Fort Larned Old Guard chair and Fort Larned NHS superintendent will be regular columns. Historic documents will be included as space is available. Schedules of events will keep readers informed of fort and Fort Larned Old Guard activities. In keeping with the purpose and mission of Fort Larned Old Guard, the focus will be on Fort Larned. Outpost is one of the services that Fort Larned Old Guard provides.
Fort Larned 150th Celebration Continues
by Supt. Kevin McMurry
Although two major events have very successfully come and gone, there are several more opportunities to share in the celebration of Fort Larned's 150th Anniversary.
Volunteers on the Plains 1859 to 2009 (July 3 & 4, 2009)
This special event honors volunteer units manning Fort Larned during the Indian Wars and 21st Century heroes. Special ceremonies and living history memorialize contributions by volunteer state militia replacing regular army troops redeployed east to fight in the Civil War. 21st Century military and civilian disaster responders will demonstrate equipment and field operations. A special program recognizing Medal of Honor recipients will be presented.
Labor Day Celebration (September 5-7, 2009)
This event continues living-history presentations of daily life at Fort Larned, including Buffalo Soldier Cavalry. A dinner theater, and presentations on "Galvanized Yankees" are also planned.
Fort Leavenworth Memorial Service (September 19, 2009)
A memorial service honoring the 65 soldiers moved from Fort Larned and reinterred at Fort Leavenworth in 1888 will be conducted in the Fort Leavenworth cemetery. Activities include an infantry firing salute, chaplain, guest speaker, color guard and more. Congressman Jerry Moran is invited.
150 Years Guarding the Santa Fe Trail (Oct. 10-11, 2009)
This two-day program is the final in a series of events commemorating Fort Larned's role as "Guardian of the Santa Fe Trail." Offerings over the two days include:
October 10 - Telling the story of Fort Larned from its beginning as a tiny isolated camp on the vast Plains to its full development through a series of living-history stations and demonstrations. Special presentations continue at the "Little Red House" and Camp Sibley in Larned, Kansas. A special Candlelight Tour will be conducted at the fort in the evening.
October 11 - Rededication Ceremony activities include reenacting the arrival of troops establishing Fort Larned, rededicating the Post Cemetery, military displays, artillery salute, parade, military flyover, and more. Many dignitaries are invited to this formal rededication ceremony.
Thanks go to the "team" who helped plan it all and continue to work in making it happen: Col. (Ret) Sam Young - Dr. David Clapsaddle - Dr. Leo E. Oliva - Joanne VanCoevern - Ruth Olson Peters - Marla Matkin - Chris Day - Dave Webb Fort Larned Employees - Fort Larned Volunteers - And Great Support from Many Others in the Community!
Felix Revello, Supervisory National Park Ranger, retired from Fort Larned National Historic Site on May 2, 2009, after more than 33 years of service to the United States Government. In his years of service. Ranger Revello has served in a variety of National Parks across the nation and he had held the position of Chief Ranger at the fort since August 1993, directing a variety of activities, including law enforcement, interpretation, fee collection, safety, and natural and cultural resource management. He was also very involved in planning and development of Nicodemus National Historic Site in Graham County, serving as superintendent of this site on several long-term occasions. Fort Larned Superintendent Kevin McMurry stated, "the greater National Park Service and certainly Fort Larned owe Felix a huge debt of gratitude for contributions to people and places throughout his stellar career."
In previous assignments Revello served at Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina; Buck Island Reef National Monument & Christiansted National Historic Site, U.S. Virgin Islands; Colorado National Monument, Colorado; Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Montana; Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Florida; and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.
Revello is a native Texan, raised in San Antonio. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas, and conducted graduate studies in recreation, parks and tourism at Texas A&M University.
He and his wife Linda continue to reside near Larned, Kansas where they are involved in their church and numerous civic activities. The staff and volunteers at the fort and the members of Fort Larned Old Guard wish Felix a long and happy retirement.
Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Chris Day
The purpose of the Fort Larned Old Guard is to provide community support for the Fort Larned National Historic Site. The primary function of Old Guard is to assist the Fort in better serving its visitors and protecting its resources. An integral part of the Old Guard is fundraising activities, and for Fort Larned's 150th Anniversary celebration the Old Guard provided funds for the special rack cards that were distributed by the Park Service. Several years ago, the Old Guard purchased the 160-acre tract containing the site of the Cheyenne and Sioux village captured and burned by General Winfield S. Hancock in April 1867. The village site is located in Ness County northwest of Fort Larned and the site manager is Leo Oliva. On the timeline for the 150th anniversary celebrations, the Hancock Expedition weekend was commemorated at the fort and village site May 22-24, 2009. The Old Guard is provided donations for this special weekend for some guest speakers and village life demonstrations. For the 150th fall events, the Old Guard is financially supporting programs for both September 5-7 and October 10-11, 2009. Our fundraising project is detailed in this issue, and everyone is invited to participate in the chance to win some valuable prizes.
Kansas State History Day was the weekend of April 25, 2009 and the Old Guard supported travel stipends for two students traveling to Washington D.C. for the National History Day competition in June. In the Junior Individual Documentaries, Elsa Latare from Lawrence, Kansas, will take a project entitled Lewis Hine: A man, a camera, a legacy. For the Senior Individual Performances, Brooke Fox also from Lawrence will present a performance entitled Ayn Rand.
The Old Guard is looking ahead for future projects to help support Fort Larned National Historic Site. We appreciate your membership (if you are not a member we invite you to join the Old Guard) and hope you will have the opportunity to attend some of the special events at Fort Larned this year during the 150th Anniversary.
Fort Larned Old Guard Fundraising Project For 150th Events
The Old Guard is helping raise funds to support several special events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Fort Larned. Everyone is invited to make a contribution to this effort. Please send donations to Fort Larned Old Guard Treasurer Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860, designated for 150th fund.
The major fundraising program is the sale of tickets for a drawing to win one of fifteen prizes to be awarded October 11, 2009. The tickets are $2 each and available from board members and online at Last Chance Store under "Fort Larned 150th." Tickets by phone are available toll-free at 888-321-7341 (leave a message if no one is available and we will return your call). Prizes will be determined by drawing on October 11, 2009 and announced at the final ceremonies of the 150th anniversary celebrations.
The prizes are:
First Prize: Framed Art Print "Bold and Fearless"
Second Prize: Framed Print "Thus Far and No Further"
Third Prize: Unframed Art Prints "Bold and Fearless" & "Thus Far and No Further"
Fourth Prize: Unframed Art Print "Bold and Fearless"
Fifth Prize: Unframed Print "Thus Far and No Further"
10 Sixth Prizes: Book Fort Larned : Guardian of the Santa Fe Trail
Images of prints may be viewed online at
Fort Larned Superintendent's Column
"On Our Watch" by Kevin McMurry
It's nice to be back in contact with the Fort Larned Old Guard membership after the last three and a half years! I appreciate the work of your new Board of Directors (BOD) in resurrecting the organization and the work of your new newsletter editor in restarting Outpost.
Although much has been said in the past years by some former members of your Board of Directors, the simple reality of your organizations disconnect from Fort Larned was, in my opinion, caused by the following:
Now, therefore, and with everyone's concurrence, the past is behind us all and I am very excited to be working with the impressive new Board of Directors. Those of us here at Fort Larned look forward to reinvigorating our relationship with Fort Larned Old Guard under the conditions which the organization was created, and, although the focus had been lost since 2005, we are once again headed to the future protection, preservation, and presentation of Fort Larned together!
The "Articles of Incorporation" for the Fort Larned Old Guard, filed with the Kansas Secretary of State on December 29, 1988, begin with "The corporation is organized not for profit and the nature of the business or purposes to be conducted or promoted by the corporation are: (a) To assist Fort Larned National Historic Site in restoring, preserving, developing and interpreting the site's cultural, historical, and natural resources for the benefit of the public." There is no second purpose.
The formal Agreement between the Fort Larned Old Guard and Fort Larned NHS begins with "This Agreement is entered into between the National Park Service, Fort Larned National Historic Site, an Agency of the United States Department of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as "Park") and the Fort Larned Old Guard, (hereinafter referred to as "Old Guard") for the purpose of providing community support for the Park and fundraising activities which have been approved by the Superintendent and are consistent with the purpose and policies of the National Park Service (NPS) and are intended to benefit the Park."
As I type this I find myself thinking back to great times and hundreds of accomplishments here at Fort Larned since 2005. Some of the accomplishments were large, such as: completion of the two-year project to rehabilitate the Commissary and Arsenal building; contracting complete rehabilitation of the North Officers Quarters and securing the furnishing for it when the rehab is complete; completing plans with the Federal Highway Administration for reconstruction of the historic wagon bridge and demolition of the failing concrete bridge; planning for reconstruction of the Sutler's Complex; restoration of the cemetery and its original 3rd Infantry marker; completion of the Long Range Interpretative Plan and Education Plan; all planning necessary for complete restoration of the Commanding Officers Quarters, and executing plans for a very respectable celebration of the Fort's 150th Anniversary. Other accomplishments just as significant include consistent annual Visitor Satisfaction ratings between 98% and 100%, numerous smaller construction and restoration projects, and many partnership activities with the Santa Fe Trail Center and National Santa Fe Trail, the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter, the Larned Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Committee, the Western National Parks Association, and the other four National Parks in Kansas. (In the next issue we'll proudly provide a listing of all the significant activities accomplished in 2007 and 2008.)
Although it's been a great three and a half years for protecting this very special place and relating its history to all who visit, we intend to do much more with the future help of the Old Guard! I also hope for written plans to move the Old Guard and Fort Larned forward together through initiatives such as a membership drive to "grow" the organization, securing grant funds, obtaining outside sponsorship of cooperative youth education programs, and other planned activities, including fundraising to support the 150th Anniversary.
I'll close with a reminder that we have our full schedule of 150th Anniversary events which began with Santa Fe Trail Days and Memorial Day, both of which were significantly larger than in years past and went off without a hitch. July 4th and Labor Day events are ready to go and we're finishing up plans for the memorial service at Fort Leavenworth on September 19th and the rededication of the fort on October 10th and 11th. A description of remaining events is contained elsewhere in this edition of the Outpost, so mark your calendar early and gather family and friends to join the many wonderful volunteers who bring Fort Larned to life! If you are not yet one of the very special people who volunteer at Fort Larned but would like to join them, please contact Acting Chief Ranger George Elmore to discuss your interests. If you are already one of our great volunteers, thank you!
"On Our Watch" and with the generous assistance from many partners and friends, we continue to provide Fort Larned and Santa Fe Trail history for all to enjoy.
Fort Larned Old Guard Chair Chris Day has a music degree from Iowa State University in Music Education and Performance plus certification in the Orff Levels and Master Class. She just finished her 34th year of teaching music in the public school system with a teaching position in the Geary County School District at Junc tion City. Her commitments outside the classroom include conductor of the Messiah Flint Hills Chorus and Orchestra and director for the handbell choir and chancel choir at the United Methodist Church in Wamego. Twice she has received the "Outstanding Elementary Music Teacher" award for the North Central District of the Kansas Music Educator's Association and the "Shining Star" award from the Geary County School District. She has served as president of several professional music and history organizations.
As an amateur historian with great interest in the historic Road to Santa Fe, Chris has taken fifth- and sixth-grade students down the Santa Fe Trail on an eleven-day educational camping trip every other year since 1985. Another Old Guard board member, Janet Armstead, is also involved in that project. Chris is co-chair of the education committee of the National Santa Fe Trail, which is currently preparing a Junior Wagonmaster program for young people who travel the trail.. She teaches several Santa Fe Trail teacher workshops along with making Santa Fe Trail educational history trunks for the chapters of the Santa Fe Trail to provide for use in local classrooms. The National Santa Fe Trail has recognized her work with the Educational Teacher Award and the Paul Bentrup Ambassador Award.
Chris was elected to the Fort Larned Old Guard board in 2006 and elected for a second term in 2008. She served as board co-chair with Aaron Fisher last year and is currently chair of the board. She is especially interested in educational programs and increasing public awareness of and participation in events at Fort Larned NHS. Chris currently serves on the Fort Larned Education Committee, helping prepare curriculum guides for classrooms.
Life At Fort Larned: A Middle School Lesson Plan
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
Fort Larned NHS is close to completing a curriculum-based education program. This unique interpretive program is designed specifically for school children based on the Park Service's interpretive tenets and the Kansas Educational Benchmarks. The program provides a way for teachers to use the Fort as an educational resource while also meeting the teaching standards required by the Kansas Department of Education.
The Park Service's approach to children's interpretation is based on Freeman Tilden's sixth Interpretive Principle which states that interpretation for children should not be a watered-down version of adult programs but instead requires a fundamentally different approach. Some aspects of this "approach" include getting children to interact with the resource, preparing students before their arrival with pre-visit classroom activities, making the program relevant by tying it to children's life experiences, as well as a recognition that the most effective way to reach children is through schools and teachers.
Keeping the latter in mind, Fort Larned has been working with the Kansas Department of Education Social Studies curriculum specialist and several Kansas school teachers to develop a middle school lesson plan that can ultimately be used in a curriculum-based education program at the Fort. Life at Fort Larned is the result of this collaborative effort.
The lesson plan covers various subjects at the "intersection" of the Kansas Social studies benchmarks dealing with Frontier Forts and Fort Larned's principal interpretive themes. Topics covered by the lesson plan include using a traveling trunk to explore everyday life through common objects found at the Fort, the Economics of Being a Soldier, as well as the lives of African-Americans, women, and American Indians.
The lesson plan/curriculum program will be marketed to schools through existing field trips, teacher conferences, teacher workshops, and school visits.
New Directors Join Fort Larned Old Guard Board
The election of board members and officers is part of every Fort Larned Old Guard annual membership meeting. On May 2, at the meeting in Larned, three new board members were elected, along with three current members up for reelection, to join the three members whose current terms continue until next year. The board elects the officers from its membership.
Board members whose current terms expire next year are Chris Day, Wamego, KS ; Janet Armstead, Wamego, KS ; and Nancy Marteney, Lyons, KS. Current board members elected to another two-year term are Aaron Fisher, Copeland, KS ; Bonita Oliva, Woodston, KS ; and Linda Peters, Lakin, KS. Kathy Pickard, Salina, KS, was elected to fill the remaining year of Dave Webb's unexpired term. Rex Abrahams, Canton, KS, and Tim Zwink, Piedmont, OK, join the board with two-year terms as replacements for Steve Coen and Mel Cottom.
The Fort Larned Old Guard membership and Fort Larned NHS staff extend thanks to Coen and Cottom for their many years of service to the Old Guard.
Officers elected for one-year terms are Chair Chris Day, Vice-Chair Aaron Fisher, Secretary Bonita Oliva, and Treasurer Linda Peters.
In future issues all members of the board will be featured in detail (Chair Chris Day is in this issue). The new members are welcome additions to the board. A few words about each new member will serve to introduce them now. Each brings a special background, variety of talents, and personal goals for Fort Larned Old Guard as it provides service to Fort Larned NHS. Each has an interest in seeking ways for Fort Larned Old Guard to raise funds to assist with fort programs.
Kathy Pickard is a retired school administrator, former secretary of the National Santa Fe Trail, and a volunteer at the fort. She is especially interested in volunteer activities, education programs, and getting Fort Larned Old Guard members more actively involved in events at Fort Larned.
Rex Abrahams is vice president sales at Rand Graphics in Wichita, which has printed several items for Fort Larned Old Guard (including the 150th anniversary rack cards), and he has volunteered for many years as a living-history soldier at the fort. He also promotes volunteer activities, publicity about the historic fort and its annual events, and attracting more visitors to the site.
Tim Zwink is retired professor of history and administrator at Northwest Oklahoma State University at Alva and currently director of development at the Oklahoma Historical Society. He has written a history of Fort Larned and is also an authority on the Hancock Expedition of 1867 and the Cheyenne and Sioux village (the site of which is currently owned by Fort Larned Old Guard with plans to transfer it to the National Park Service). He is especially interested in telling the story of Fort Larned to a wider audience.
I, Too, Am America
The National Park Service, Public Television Station KTWU, and the Kansas State Department of Education, cosponsors of the I, Too, Am America student-narrative contest, are proud to announce that five students were selected with winning stories. The contest coordinators were overwhelmed with the positive response to the contest and received more than 300 entries representing seventh- and eighth-grade students from 20 schools all across the state of Kansas. A committee of twelve representatives from the five Kansas National Park Service units, KTWU, and the Kansas State Department of Education spent two days in May reviewing and narrowing the field of entries down to the final five winning narratives.
The I, Too, Am America contest was designed to provide middle school students an opportunity to research and retell untold stories of the diverse peoples of Kansas. Entries were submitted in several formats, ranging from essays, poems, and short stories to drawings and PowerPoint presentations. The students were provided five themes interpreted by the Kansas National Park units that they could connect with their own family, community, and cultural histories: "Living between two worlds," "Building communities," "Overcoming hardship," "Migration stories," and "Seeking fairness and justice." Many student entries told some compelling stories representing each of the five themes, making the judging process difficult. After hours of deliberation, the narratives selected came from the following students:
Joe Cheng- 8th grader at Roosevelt Middle School in Coffeyville, Kansas
Anne DeArmond- 7th grader at Westridge Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas
Ryan Kelly- 8th grader at Seaman Middle School in Topeka, Kansas
Becky Loepky- 8th grader at Satanta Junior High School in Satanta, Kansas
David Spivak- 7th grader at Mission Valley Middle School in Prairie Village, Kansas.
U.S. National Park Rangers from Fort Larned presented the award package to Anne DeArmond and Westridge Middle School on June 4. Also on hand were four Honorable Mention students from Westridge, Anne's teacher--Vonda Morris, and Westridge principal Matt Johnson.
Anne was presented a check for $200, a National Park Passport Book, and an expenses-paid trip to Fort Larned National Historic Site for herself and a chaperone. PBS station KTWU in Topeka will film her visit at Fort Larned where Anne can further explore her contemporary experiences with others living between two worlds along the Santa Fe Trail in the 1860s. The KTWU series "Sunflower Journeys" will air Anne's Fort Larned visit along with the other four winners' visits to other National Parks in Kansas.
Anne's school, on her behalf, was presented with a digital video camera and accessories for her Fort Larned visit, and for all future school projects! The school will also receive the Ken Burn's National Parks CD collection for all students to use and enjoy.
Anne Elizabeth DeArmond is my name.
It's nothing unusual that would make you exclaim.
But I'm sure you would be surprised to know,
That my other name is Li Qiao Guo.
I was born in Zhaoqing, China near the South China Sea.
And sadly for me, I will never know my family tree.
My Chinese parents had to give me away,
For what reasons, I do not know and cannot say.
I lived in a poor orphanage, with many babies and no luxuries.
Until I was adopted by my new parents, who were not Chinese.
They brought me to America, where I made my new life,
In a land where there is plenty and very little strife.
I live in a big house with everything I need.
I go to great schools and know I will succeed.
But sometimes I wonder what my life would have been,
Had I stayed in Zhaoqing with my Chinese kin.
Would I go to school and learn to read and write Chinese?
Would I eat dumplings and rice and drink Chinese teas?
Or would I live on a farm and work hard to survive,
And worry each day about staying alive?
In America we are blessed with so many opportunities.
We have our families, homes and communities.
But one day I will return to China, because you see,
China will always be a big part of me!
Marla Matkin, a native of Bucklin, Kansas, has been volunteering at Fort Larned for more than ten years and was named Fort Larned "Volunteer of the Year" in 2006. Most recently, Marla has been an active partner in completing the fort's Long Range Interpretative Plan and all planning for the 150th Anniversary Celebration. She also supports the living-history weekends and is instrumental in putting on the Ladies Tea during Memorial Day Weekend, the Christmas Past special event, and she has been the guiding creative spirit behind the successful original play, "For Whom the Belle Toils," put on at the fort in 2008. Marla has another new play currently in production for the 2009 Labor Day weekend, entitled "The Ox-Bow Incident." This lively one-act farce set at the fort is sure to delight and entertain the entire family. The play will be presented as a dinner theater on Saturday evening, with family matinees on Sunday and Monday. Watch for the dinner theatre announcement and get reservations early as this very enjoyable evening event will sell out quickly!
Professionally, Marla has held a variety of jobs, including school teacher and librarian, but it was her love of history and theater that lead her to her current occupation as an independent scholar and living historian. She is best known for portraying Libby Custer but has also developed a persona related to the Kansas cattle towns and cattle drives.
Marla's focus is the opening of the West from the female point of view. She travels primarily throughout the West and Midwest presenting her programs in a variety of venues--museums, libraries, schools, historical societies, and other NPS sites. She has even appeared at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
Marla earned an education degree from Fort Hays State University. She got into teaching in part to share her love of history with children. Of her current occupations, Marla believes that she has reached more people and made more of an impact than she ever would have in the classroom, adding, "To truly understand history you must learn it through the stories of those who came before and it's my goal to share those stories with as many people as I can."
In 1867 stone was quarried a few miles to the east of Fort Larned ; lumber from Michigan forged westward via water and overland freight routes. These raw materials where married by skilled and unskilled craftsman to form the north officers' quarters. A timeline history of this structure will inform of its role in the history of this majestic fort, and the distinguished history it played.
Presently this structure is awaiting a major rehabilitation. Soon the restoration project will begin, removing the modern intrusions and returning this structure to its intended design of housing officers and their families.
In 2010 a restored, furnished and accessible structure will open the doors to visitors. We at Fort Larned NHS eagerly wait this time as do all of you.
North Officers' Quarters (HS-9)
1867 - The construction of this sandstone structure probably began in the fall of 1867, under the supervision of Quartermaster Captain Almon F. Rockwell. It was part of a building project designed to replace the deteriorating, seven-room adobe officers quarters located south of the parade ground. Private Adolph Hunnis, Co. D, 3rd Infantry, 1867-1868, mentioned in his diary on August 26, 1867, that he had sketched a plan in lead print for the officers' quarters to be used by the mason. Since construction on the commanding officer's quarters undoubtedly began before that date, Hunnis's drawing was intended only for the two other officers' quarters which were begun at a later time.
1868 - The structure was completed and occupied in the spring of 1868.
1869 - In the post surgeon's first volume of the Fort Larned medical history, the south and north officers' quarters (HS-7 and HS-9) are described as follows: "The two longer buildings are divided into four sets of quarters two with kitchens and two without. There are two rooms in each set of quarters, 14' x 16', and the kitchens are 19' x 10-1/2, with servant's room 16' x 8-1/2 inside. The buildings are plain and substantial with long porches in front and small porches in rear at side of kitchens. The ceilings of all these rooms are 14' high, there is no ventilation except by door or windows and the rooms are heated with stove fire. All the quarters have large yards in rear with high fence and comfortable sinks. The water is brought by wagon from the creek and placed in barrels in the yard. Officers have their stables in the rear of their yard." In "A Report on Barracks and Hospitals... of 1870," Doctors W. H. Forward and A. A. Woodhull wrote, "Under the kitchen is a cellar which, within the past year, has been deepened and floored, and been thus transformed into a kitchen, leaving the kitchen proper for use as a dining-room." Another description is recorded in William J. Wagner's historic structure report: "The alterations consisted of enlarging the cellars under the Kitchens, moving the Kitchens below ground and using the former kitchens as dining rooms." It is assumed that the servant's room remained above ground. None of the accounts mention how access was provided to the relocated cellar-kitchens, how they were floored, or where the stove flues were run.
1870 - An addition was constructed the first of the year in 1870 to provide the lieutenants with shared dining room and kitchen facilities, and rooms for their shared servants. Doctors Forward and Woodhull also described these additions in "A Report on Barracks and Hospitals." "On the opposite side of the hall two lieutenants are presumed to live in one room each, without kitchens. At this writing [February 1870] frame additions are being erected to the subalterns' quarters, which will give to each two lieutenants three other rooms, although neither has the superficial allowance of a room proper; so that hereafter two lieutenants will have between them a kitchen, dining room, and a servants' room, instead of none as at present." Another post surgeon's report from Fort Larned provides a similar description (March 1870): "during this month two frame buildings were completed, one in rear of each group of Officer's Quarters, designed as kitchens for the Lieutenants set. Each building contains four small rooms, that may be used as kitchens, or two as kitchens and two as dining rooms. In each building there are also two very small servant's rooms."
Photographs indicate that by 1875, a wood frame lean-to addition was attached to the south kitchen wing, probably resulting in the relocation of that wing's cellar stair to the south wall. The window in the west wall was converted into a door and provided direct access to the kitchen wing. A horizontal groove, at the eaves line in the masonry of the kitchen wing's west wall, currently exists as evidence of a shed roof addition.
1878 - With the completion of railroads, the reduction of traffic on the Santa Fe Trail, and the relocation of Indian activities to present Oklahoma, the troops at Fort Larned were left with little to do other than tend to the maintenance of the post. The size of the garrison was reduced between 1872 and July 13, 1878, when the remaining garrison was finally sent to Fort Hays, and the military supplies were transferred to Fort Dodge, leaving only a small detachment to guard the property.
1882 - Public interest in the government property which made up the military reservation increased after the abandonment of the fort. On April 27, 1882, a federal law was passed which provided for the sale of the military reservation property to the public. One section available to the public was comprised of 640 acres and contained all the fort buildings.
1884 - The section with the buildings was sold at auction in Larned on March 13, 1884, to representatives of the Pawnee Valley Stock Breeders' Association, which won the $4,000 bid "by fraud."
1885 - On June 12, 1885, the Pawnee Valley Stock Breeders' Association was granted clear title to the land after meeting the government's price, an additional $8,056, which represented the fort's true value. The Association converted many of the fort's buildings into barns and stables for their livestock operations. The North Officers' Quarters (HS-9) remained virtually unchanged, serving as a residence for ranch hands.
1891 - After the Pawnee Valley Stock Breeders' Association defaulted on their mortgage, May 1, 1891, the land was sold to Charles A. Wilbur, who had been both secretary and treasurer of the Association. Wilbur probably made no alterations to the post.
1893 - On January 5, 1893, Wilbur sold the land to Johanna Frorer of Illinois. It is also unlikely that she made any changes.
1902 - On July 1, 1902, Edward Everitt Frizell purchased the Fort Lamed site, part of 3,000 acres he acquired from Frorer for $40,000. He maintained a successful farming and livestock business, which was continued by his son, Edward D. Frizell, and grandson, Robert R. Frizell. The North Officers' Quarters (HS-9) continued to be used as a residence for ranch hands. The south kitchen wing lean-to addition was removed, although the date of this action is not known. The wall between the south wing's kitchen and servant's quarters was removed, although the date is not known.
1913 - A water reservoir, or "swimming pool", was constructed in the back yard. It was probably supplied by the windmill, which was erected over the well, located between the kitchen wings. The date when electrical service was installed is not known.
1930 - About this time, the military-era privy was abandoned and bathrooms were constructed on the north and south kitchen porches, at the west ends of the halls. Possibly coinciding with the construction of the bathrooms, the front and rear wood porch decks and steps were replaced with concrete platforms and steps. The railings and balusters were removed, but the original porch columns, brackets, and roofs remained intact.
Prior to 1956, the North Officers' Quarters was re-roofed with corrugated metal.
1957 - Under the leadership of Larned newspaper editor, Ralph Wallace, the Fort Larned Historical Society was founded to seek federal acquisition of the site, to promote tourism and preservation, and to establish a visitors' center.
1961 - The Department of the Interior designated Fort Larned a National Historic Landmark in 1961. The site is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1964 - Fort Larned National Historic Site was established by Public Law 88-541 on August 31,1964, and was incorporated into the National Park Service system.
1965 - During the summer of 1965, measured drawings of the North Officers' Quarters (HS-9) were produced for the Historic American Buildings Survey. Refer to drawing doc. #27007, Western Office, National Park Service, Officers' Quarters (North), Fort Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas, dated 8/65.
1966 - The land and buildings were purchased from the Frizells by the federal government.
1968 - North half of the building, heated by gas heaters, is used for storage of artifacts and collections.
1973 - The Fort Larned Historical Society ceased operation of the fort site in 1973. A visitor center with interpretive displays, located in the north half of the building, was opened to the public.
1975 - William L. Warner completed the first set of restoration drawings. Refer to drawing doc. #80009, Midwest Region, National Park Service, Preliminary Drawings for the Restoration of Officer Quarters (North), HB 9, Fort Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas, dated March 25, 1974 and February 10, 1975. The masonry was repointed and tuckpointed, and shoring was installed on part of the southeast wall and the south wall in the south cellar.
1976 - Trees causing damage to the foundation, cellar, cellar entrance, and well on the west side were removed in March. Benchmarks were installed in July of this year. On June 15, 1976, William J. Wagner, FAIA, completed Architectural Data Section, Historic Structure Report, for Buildings No.3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 & 10, which included preliminary drawings for the restoration of HS-9. During the following years, numerous repair and restoration actions were accomplished under the Park's direction.
1977 - Maintenance reports indicate that cast iron butt hinges were installed in the North Officers' Quarters (HS-9), but the locations were not specified. Interpretive displays were moved to the Visitor Center/Barracks (HS-l).
1979 - The wood shingle roof (including Nicolet Flameproof Asbestos Felt No. 411 3 Sq. roll) was restored, and included the replacement of rotted rafters and crown molding. The exterior trim was also painted this year.
1980 - Reproduction paneled wood front and rear doors and deadbolts were installed. This same year, suspended ceilings, framed with t-bars and 2'x4' gypsum board panels, were installed in five rooms and the hall in the north half of the building.
1981 - Red oak thresholds were installed at the front and rear doors; the five chimneys were reconstructed; the cellar entrance on the south kitchen wing was relocated to the west wall, and a cellar window was installed in the south wall. Reproduction padlocks were also installed on the cellar doors. Gas heaters were removed and electric baseboard heaters were installed in the five rooms in the north half of the building, which continued to house artifacts and collections.
1982 - Reproduction shutters and hinges were fabri-cated and installed. Rim locks with porcelain knobs, and forged slide bolts were installed on interior doors. Gypsum board was installed over the existing plaster ceilings (taped and finished) with 3/4" cove in four rooms and the hall in the south half of the building. In the north half of the building, insulation was also installed under the floor, and blown in above the ceiling.
1983 - The bathroom additions were removed from the rear porches. The front and rear porches were reconstructed, including the decks, ceilings, columns, brackets, and railings. The privy and well house were both reconstructed this same year.
1986 - The back yard fence was reconstructed.
1990 - The artifacts and collections were moved to the New Commissary (HS-4).
1994 - The exterior trim was painted, and the shingle roof was replaced.
Fort Larned NHS and Fort Larned Old Guard were honored with the presence of children and grandchildren of the late Earl Gadbery at the 150th events at the fort and the village site, May 23-24. Earl Gadbery, a native of Kansas, served as president of The Archaeological Conservancy (AC). When the AC helped the Old Guard purchase the site of the Cheyenne and Sioux village destroyed by General Winfield Scott Hancock in April 1867, the AC chose to honor Gadbery by designating the site the Earl Gadbery Preserve. A bronze plaque was placed on a stone post at the site with that information. Although the AC no longer has ownership of the site, which now belongs to the Old Guard, the recognition of Earl Gadbery will remain.
Several family members, coming from Massachusets, Indiana, and Arizona, enjoyed their visit to Fort Larned and the village site, and Dr. Laura Gadbery spoke briefly about her father, archaeology, and preservation. In addition, the family made a generous donation to the Old Guard to assist with the preservation of the village site. Special thanks to them for attendance and support. We hope they will return often.
Q. Where at Fort Larned can one see a great example of the hook-scarf joint?
A. Old Commissary
Next time you visit Fort Larned NHS look at the trusses of this structure for a great example of the hook-scarf joint.
A hook-scarf joint is defined as two wood members' ends cut in such manner that the cuts interlock, forming a longer length member from the two shorter lengths.
Fort Larned Centennial Changed My Life
by Leo E. Oliva
The 150th anniversary celebrations to commemorate the founding and history of Fort Larned are very special to me, and I fondly look back to my attendance at the centennial programs at the fort and Larned 50 years ago. I am probably one of the few people associated with Fort Larned today who attended those festivities to celebrate the 100th anniversary. I can truly say that the activities of June 1959 changed my life.
My attendance at the many events, most of which were only somewhat historical but filled with enthusiasm for this important piece of frontier history located right here among us, where most people believe nothing important ever happened, started me down a long road. Because of the 100th celebration, which occurred in June after I completed my B.A. degree in history at Fort Hays KSC and before starting my graduate studies at the University of Denver under a National Defense Education Act fellowship in September, I was prepared to write my M.A. thesis on the history of Fort Larned. That didn't happen because Bill Unrau had just completed a thesis on Fort Larned at the University of Wyoming. So I wrote my thesis on Fort Dodge, and followed that with my Ph.D. dissertation, Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail, which was published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 1967 (a book that is long out of print and, unfortunately, also far out of date).
For the last 50 years, because of the Fort Larned centennial, I have been researching and writing about frontier military history, Kansas forts, the Santa Fe Trail, and Indian-white relations on the Plains. I have no idea what I would have done if I had not attended those 1959 programs. I certainly would not be an active member of the Old Guard, manager of the village site, and now editor of Outpost. I'm glad Fort Larned infected me when it did, and I hope there are many young people who attend the 150th celebrations who will likewise become inspired and take up the study, support, and promotion of Fort Larned.
Thank You Dave Webb
Dave Webb, Protection, KS, has served several terms on the board of Fort Larned Old Guard and has edited and published the newsletter, Outpost, since the founding of Fort Larned Old Guard in 1988. Webb, former teacher, assistant newspaper editor, Fort Larned volunteer, longtime and current researcher and writer for the Kansas Heritage Center in Dodge City, and author of many fine books about Kansas, the Santa Fe Trail, and Fort Larned, provided an outstanding newsletter for the Old Guard.
Because of issues and frustrations, communication breakdowns, and failures of cooperation during the last few years, Webb recently resigned from the Fort Larned Old Guard board and as editor. Everyone who has been a member of Fort Larned Old Guard and the staff at Fort Larned NHS extends sincere thanks to Webb for his many years of volunteer service. As issues are resolved, we hope he will return to active duty with the Old Guard.
Thank You Larry Mix
Life Member Larry Mix, St. John, KS, has graciously provided a web site for the Fort Larned Old Guard for many years. Each issue of Outpost is available there (posted approximately two weeks after printed copies are mailed). Special thanks from all Fort Larned Old Guard members are extended to Larry Mix for this invaluable service,
Fort Larned Old Guard Mess and Muster, May 2, 2009
The annual membership meeting, now known as Fort Larned Old Guard Mess and Muster, was held in Larned on May 2. Following a brief business meeting and election of board members and officers, Leo Oliva presented the program on "Why Fort Larned in 1859?" He focused on three factors in 1859 that led to the founding of a new military camp on Pawnee Fork that became Fort Larned.
The three factors were the Pikes Peak Gold Rush which brought many travelers into Indian lands where they had not gone before, increased resistance of the Kiowas (especially following the murder of one of their chiefs named Pawnee), and the determination of the Santa Fe mail contractor (Hall and Porter) to establish a new mail station on Pawnee Fork (the result of a new contract requiring more frequent and faster mail service between Kansas City and Santa Fe). All these developments were chronicled by two army privates in Company K, First Cavalry, Robert Morris Peck and Lambert Bowman Wolf, both of whom were present at the establishment of Camp on Pawnee Fork in 1859 and both kept diaries. Peck later wrote his memoirs for the National Tribune in 1901 and Wolf's diary was published in the Kansas Historical Quarterly, I (May 1932): 195-210. It is rare to have two literate soldiers who wrote about the same events, including the founding and early days of Fort Larned. Both accounts will be reprinted as space permits, beginning with Peck's memoirs below.
Rough Riding on the Plains
by Robert Morris Peck
[Robert Morris Peck was a private in Company K, First U.S. Cavalry, in 1859. During his term of military service, he was involved in several important campaigns, including Colonel Edwin Vose Sumner's 1857 campaign against the Cheyennes, and he was among the troops who established Camp on Pawnee Fork on October 22, 1859, which became Fort Larned. Peck later published his memoirs, based on his diary, in the National Tribune in 1901. The portion of his memoirs detailing the background and establishment of the military camp are reprinted here and will continue in the next issue. Private Peck spent the winter of 1858-1859 at Fort Riley, KS, and became aware of the gold rush to the Pikes Peak region during that time. This portion of his memoirs begins with that development. His recollections are reprinted as originally published.]
During the past year (1858), having been on the Utah Expedition, we had heard but little of the excitement created throughout the country by the reports of gold discoveries in the Pike's Peak region. It will be remembered that I mentioned the meeting of our command with the party of prospectors who first made known the discovery on Cherry Creek, near Pike's Peak, in June, ‘57, while we were on the Cheyenne expedition.
The reports made by these prospectors on the return to the States had rapidly spread, and set the people wild. Many gold-seekers had gone out to the mountains the following season (‘58), and the reports sent back by these, probably greatly exaggerated, had been scattered over the country, so that by the Spring of ‘59 nearly everyone seemed to have the gold fever, and a correspondingly mad rush was made for the land that was said to be teeming with silver and gold.
There were now three main routes of travel to the auriferous region. In addition to the old routes of the Santa Fe road and Upper Arkansas River, on the South, and the Salt Lake road and South Platte route on the North, a new and more direct course had been laid out from Fort Leavenworth, by way of Fort Riley, up the Smoky Hill River.
Before the grass was fairly up in the Spring of ‘59 gold-hunters by the score came pouring out from the States past Fort Riley, seeming to expect (many of them) that all they had to do was to shovel up the pure stuff on the top of the ground when they got to the mountains, and that there were no difficulties in the way of getting there.
Some of them were well enough provided for the trip, but very many seemed to have no conception of the hardships and dangers of such an undertaking. Quite a number of them had no other transportation than hand-carts, a cart being capable of holding the baggage and provisions of five or six men. When the wind was behind them some would rig up sails on their hand-carts, thus relieving themselves of considerable labor in drawing them. I remember to have seen one man who was trundling a wheelbarrow containing all his provisions for the trip. Another had all his effects packed on an old ox, which he drove along in front of him. But the lightest equipped outfit that I remembered to have noticed was a couple of fellows afoot, one carrying, besides his rifle and ammunition, a coffee-pot, tin cup and a sack containing about 20 pounds of flour; the other had about half a side of bacon, and a frying-pan, besides his tin-cup, gun, etc.
Such were the outfits and provisions of many of these crazy people for a trip of 400 or 500 miles across an almost unknown and barren plain, infested by hostile Indians.
Poor fools! They little dreamed of the privations and dangers before them, and seemed to think we were joking when we told them of these drawbacks. When asked what they were going to live on while crossing the plains, they replied, "Game, of course!" not knowing, and refusing to believe when told, that there were miles and miles of dreary plains where they would not see so much as a coyote, and long distances to be traveled where there was no water, and in addition to this the ever-treacherous redskin to be encountered now and then.
One fellow boastingly asserted that all the provisions he wanted for the trip was a box of matches, a little salt, his rifle and ammunition.
It was only a few days after a lot of these crazy gold-seekers had passed Fort Riley that word came to the commanding officer, Maj. Sedgwick, that many of them were in destitute circumstances on the plains, and when a company of cavalry was sent out with supplies to relieve their wants and to bring them back to the Fort, it was found that some had already died of starvation and exposure. The remaining ones were brought back to the post, and some died after reaching there. We heard of several parties being killed by Indians.
As soon as the grass was up, we got orders to go out on the Santa Fe road, along the Upper Arkansas River, and spend the Summer there, moving about here and there in the range of the Kiowas, as they have been somewhat turbulent of late, and an outbreak is liable to occur at any time. The commander of the Department seems to think that the presence of the troops on the plains will probably prevent the threatened trouble.
So about the middle of May three companies of us, F, K and H of the 1st Cav., start out on the Arkansas River, while Co. G is sent up the Smoky Hill to protect emigrants in that direction.
The two companies of 4th Art. are left to garrison the post. Our company women, laundresses, are to be left at the post. We pack away our best uniforms and other things that we don't wish to take on the march, and leave them with the laundresses, or "hay-bags," as the men usually call them.
We struck the old Santa Fe trail at Lost Springs, about 30 miles west of Council Grove. Found the first buffalo herd at Cottonwood Creek. At Cow Creek we seemed to be about the center of their range this year. Some seasons they range farther east or west than others. Since our last trip out here, in ‘57, we find a ranch has been established at Cow Creek by one Dr. Beach. We also find that the old ranch at the mouth of Walnut Creek has changed hands. Then Alison kept it, now a man named Peacock has it. These two ranches, Beach's and Peacock's, are the only settlements between Council Grove and Bent's Fort on the Upper Arkansas near the mountains. These ranches are merely Indian trading posts. There is a narrow strip of timber along the banks of Walnut Creek, and some on the islands on the Arkansas at this point; also some timber along Pawnee Fork, which is the next creek emptying into the river, about 35 miles west of Walnut.
We moved along by easy marches up the road, along the north bank of the Arkansas till we reached a point near the ruined walls of old Fort Atkinson, or Mackey, as it is variously called.
Here Maj. Sedgwick concluded to establish camp, as it is supposed to be near the center of the range of the turbulent Kiowas, and on one of the most traveled routes to Pike's Peak.
Here we can also be some protection to the Santa Fe mails, which pass each way semi-monthly. About 15 miles west of this camp the Santa Fe trail crosses the river, and leaving the Arkansas runs nearly due south for 60 miles to the Cimarron River.
At the point above mentioned near old Fort Atkinson we established our camp on the bank of the river, moving camp occasionally up or down the river a mile or so, as the grass became eaten out in one locality.
We passed the Summer lazily thus, watching the road and all movements of the Indians in our vicinity. Our presence seems to have the desired effect of keeping the Kiowas from making an open outbreak, and although all is peaceable in our vicinity, we hear well-founded rumors of small and defenseless parties of emigrants being killed or robbed at distant points.
In the latter part of the Summer the company that was sent out on the Smoky Hill (Capt. Walker's, Co. G), finding nothing to require their attention there, came over and joined us.
Early in the Fall we were joined by Lieut. "Jeb" Stuart, from furlough. He having been at home in Virginia, at time of Ossawattamie Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, had taken a hand in the capture of Brown and his men. I saw him exhibiting to some of our officers a fine bowie knife which he said he had taken from old Ossawottamie himself.
There being no wood along the river here, we have to gather buffalo chips to cook with, or haul wood from a point 15 miles north of our camp on the headwaters of Pawnee Fork.
About the latter part of September, as Maj. Sedgwick had reported to Department Headquarters that all was safe on the plains, we were ordered to return to Fort Riley to winter. As we passed Walnut Creek on the return to the Fort, Mr. Peacock, the proprietor of the ranch, reported that the main camp of the Kiowas was then about seven miles up the creek. Numbers of them visited his ranch and store daily to trade.
He stated that this camp contained about 1,000 warriors, and that they were evidently bent on mischief as soon as the troops were withdrawn.
He begged the Major not to take away all the soldiers, but to leave at least one company to protect the road, as there was still considerable travel.
The Major would not listen to Peacock's appeal, refusing to believe that there was any danger of the Kiowas going on the war path, and so we moved on our way towards the Fort. Our next camp was at Cow Creek, near Beach's Ranch.
That night about midnight a messenger came to us from Peacock, stating that the Kiowas had taken possession of his ranch, carried off much of his goods, had found some whisky, and when they had filled up on that he supposed the ranch men would all be murdered.
As the boy who brought this message afterwards became somewhat of a celebrity on the plains, I will say that his name was William Hacock, better known as "Wild Bill." At this time he was about 18 years old, and in the employ of Peacock as a ranch hand.
(continued next issue)
For more information, please contact Fort Larned NHS, 620-285-6911, or check their website.
July 3-4, 2009: Militia Weekend at Fort Larned.
Aug. 20, 2009: Deadline for material for next Outpost.
Sept. 5-7, 2009: 150th anniversary programs at Fort Larned, including theatre performance by Marla Matkin.
Sept. 19, 2009: Memorial service and cemetery monument dedication for Fort Larned soldiers reinterred at Fort Leavenworth
Oct. 10-11, 2009: Final 150th activities and rededication of Fort Larned.
April 25, 2010: Annual Fort Larned Old Guard Mess & Muster at the fort.
The officers, members of the board of directors, dues information and emails are listed on this page of information. Please feel free to contact any of us.
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.