Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West - Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter

Indian Village Site Purchase Is Closed
by Leo E. Oliva, Fort Larned Old Guard Chairman
     It was a day to remember. At 10 a.m., June 6, 2000, D-Day, "the day on which an important operation is to begin or a change to take effect", Fort Larned Old Guard Chairman Leo E. Oliva, Secretary Bonita Oliva, and Treasurer Karl Grover, accompanied by Fort Larned NHS Superintendent Steve Linderer, entered the Sunflower Bank in, Ellinwood, Kansas, to close the purchase of the Indian Village on Pawnee Fork.

     Per contract agreement with land owners Frank and Leota Klingberg, with funds provided by the Archaeological Conservancy which had recently become a partner with the Old Guard in the acquisition of the property, a check was issued in the amount of $22,505.00. The deed to the property (including all surface and mineral rights), properly executed and signed, was received in return.

     The vision to acquire and preserve this historic landmark associated with Fort Larned, the frontier army, and the Cheyenne and Sioux people, became reality, the result of the efforts and contributions of many interested supporters.

     The four procurators, in a celebratory mood, headed for the register of deeds office in Ness City to record the deed, enjoying lunch in Rush Center on the way.

     When the document was duly registered, the Fort Larned Old Guard quartet trekked to the Ness County Farm Service Agency office to report the change in ownership and initiate the necessary paperwork. From there they drove to the village site and walked over most of the quarter-section, talking about history, preservation, and potential uses of the site for public education, historical interpretation, and sanctuary for Plains Indians to commemorate their rich heritage.

     It was a day to conceive dreams and ask "why not?" Like D-Day, this was a day to remember. It was the end of one dream and the beginning of many others. Thanks to everyone who made this possible. Your continued support is needed as the Old Guard and the Archaeological Conservancy proceed with plans to protect the site and, as quickly as possible, offer it to the National Park Service to become a detached part of Fort Larned NHS.

Merchandise Available
     Fort Larned Old Guard has several items available for sale to help raise funds for the village site and other projects. The postcards of a portion of Jerry Thomas's painting "Bold and Fearless" are still available for 50 cents each, orders of ten or more cards sent postpaid. Discounts are available to museums and bookstores.

     The Old Guard also has handsome T-shirts and caps featuring the logo and "Fort Larned Old Guard." The shirts are $15 each, sizes available are adult large and extra-large, and the caps, one size fits all are $7.50, postpaid. John Dove donated several handmade reproduction Indian rattles, some of gourd and some of leather, all with decorated handles. These sell for $25 postpaid.

     Two items remaining from the auction are a beautiful student violin for $250, and a handmade leather bridle for a horse, beautifully decorated with German silver, for $125. For more information, contact Leo Oliva at 888-321-7341. Order from Fort Larned Old Guard, P.O. Box 1, Woodston KS 67675.

National Parks Pass Benefits Fort Larned
Superintendent's Desk
     A new "National Parks Pass" is now available at Fort Larned National Historic Site. For the $50 purchase price, the pass covers the entrance fee for all national parks that charge an entrance fee.

     The pass is good for a year from the date you purchase it. It admits the purchaser and vehicle occupants, where a per vehicle fee is charged, and the purchaser, spouse, children and parents, where a per person fee is charged. That can save you a considerable sum if you are traveling to a number of parks, or plan to visit a few parks many times over a 12-month period.

     The pass is similar to the Golden Eagle Passports that have been available for many years. The difference is that Golden Eagles, which now cost $65, also cover the entrance fee into other Federal fee areas, such as some national wildlife refuges. In fact, you can upgrade the National Parks Pass to a Golden Eagle for another $15, which gets you a Golden Eagle hologram sticker to put on your Parks Pass. Looked at another way, if your only interest is entry to national parks, you can save $15 with the Parks Pass over the Golden Eagle.

     We are excited about the new Parks Pass because $35 of the proceeds of each pass we sell stays at Fort Larned National Historic Site as extra money to support our high priority visitor service and resource management programs. This is considerably more than we retained under the Golden Eagle program. The other $15 of Parks Pass proceeds goes into a national fund that supports all parks. We retain very little of the $2 daily entrance fee-only enough to help offset the cost of collection. The remainder goes into the General Treasury.

     You can buy a National Parks Pass at any park, at some retailers, by phone at 1-888-GOPARKS, and even on the Internet at Of course, if you find it convenient to buy yours at Fort Larned, we will be glad to put your money to work here!

     By the way, National Parks Passes make excellent gifts. Why give that special someone on your gift list an ugly tie for their birthday or holiday when you can give them and their family the magnificence of America's 379 national parks for a full year?

     Besides the collectible Parks Pass itself, the pass package also includes a PopOut map of the national parks, a Proud Partner decal, and a business reply card with an offer for a free GoParks Newsletter. Plus, your dollars work twice as hard since the parks also directly benefit from your gift!
Steve Linderer, FLNHS Superintendent

Appreciation To:
     Karl Grover, for the idea to purchase the Indian Village site on Pawnee Fork and serving as chairman of the project;

     Frank and Leota Klingberg, for selling the site and supporting historic preservation;

     Wayne Hagerman, for leadership in obtaining the site and for securing the partnership with the Archaeological Conservancy;

     Bill Chalfant, for donating legal opinions and preparing documents for the purchase of the village site;

     J. E. Hester, for donating appraisal services of the land and mineral rights;

     The Archaeological Conservancy, for becoming a partner in the acquisition, preservation, and protection of the village site;

     Fort Larned Old Guard Board of Directors, for prusuing the purchase and preservation of the site;

     Jerry Thomas, for the painting "Bold' and Fearless";

     Lawrence Hart and Gordon Yellowman, Cheyenne chiefs, for support and blessing the village site;

     Steve Linderer and staff at Fort Larned NHS, for invaluable assistance and support of this project;

     Indian reenactors at the village site, for helping place the village site before the public;

     Charles Spina, Danica Photography, for donating photographs of the village site;

     Ken Barnard, pilot, who donated his skills and his personal plane to fly photographers over the village site when the reenactors were set up;

     Dave Webb, volunteer editor and publisher of OUTPOST, for research and publicity of the village site;

     Everyone who donated-both time and money-to the cause. Our success is shared!

Annual Meeting A Success
     The Fort Larned Old Guard annual membership meeting, April 29, 2000, offered a full day of activities and attracted more than 200 visitors to the combined events.

     Early in the morning, Ken Barnard, flight instructor for the KSU training program at Salina, donated his time and the use of his personal plane to fly photographer Charles Spina of Danica Photography in Larned and Fort Larned Old Guard Chairman Leo E. Oliva over the village site so they could photograph it while the reenactors were in place.

     The resulting photos, donated by Danica Photography, will be used to publicize and promote the village site. The Fort Larned Old Guard board of directors met during the morning and approved the proposal of the Archaeological Conservancy to become a partner in the village site project.

     For the public, living-history demonstrations at Fort Larned NHS filled the morning, and the afternoon was spent at the village site in Ness County where Indian reenactors had 15 tipis set up and a number of projects underway. Those who returned to Fort Larned in the evening observed the retreat ceremony, enjoyed a fine dinner provided by Papa's Restaurant of Larned, and were entertained by the music of Anne Mallinson during the meal. Following a brief business meeting, Leo Oliva presented a short program on "Humor from the Indian Wars' Era." The main event was the auction of nearly 100 donated items to raise money for the village site project. A little over $3,000 was collected, and bidders took home some valuable things. The evening concluded with a drawing for several donated door prizes. Special thanks is extended to all who participated and especially to those who donated to the auction and to those who purchased the items. It was a great day for Fort Larned, the Old Guard, and the Indian Village on Pawnee Fork.

Archaeological Conservancy Joins Old Guard
Groups Sign Agreement For Joint Preservation Of Indian village On Pawnee Fork

by Leo E. Oliva, Fort Larned Old Guard Chairman
     In late April of 2000, Fort Larned Old Guard and the Archaeological Conservancy (AC), signed a formal agreement to become partners in the purchase and preservation of the Indian Village on Pawnee Fork, in Ness County, Kansas.

     The AC is a national non-profit preservation association headquartered in Albuquerque that has purchased and preserved more than 150 archaeological sites throughout the United States. It brings experience, professional expertise, and much-needed money to the project.

     By terms of the agreement, the Old Guard will have 33% interest and the AC 67% interest in the land and in expenses associated with it. The two organizations will share in administration of the site.

     This is a unique arrangement for both organizations. The AC offered to take over 100% of the project, but the Old Guard board of directors proposed a partnership so Fort Larned Old Guard will be recognized for its efforts and fund-raising and, at the same time, remain active in development and operation of the site. Fort Larned Old Guard wants all donors to know that their contributions have been used for this project.

     In addition to sharing the land payment, the two organizations agreed to develop a security plan, build a perimeter fence around the quarter-section, return the crop land back to grass, nominate the site for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, erect an informational kiosk, establish a parking lot and walking trails, install 24 sets of tipi frames, establish a stewardship fund, develop a management plan for the site, and pursue donation of the property to the National Park Service to become a detached segment of Fort Larned NHS. The total budget for all this is $78,600, with the Old Guard responsible for one-third or $26,200. This leaves the Old Guard with the responsibility to raise approximately $8,000 more for its share by May 1, 2001. In addition the Old Guard will repay a no-interest loan advanced to help make the land payment in 1999.

     The AC assisted by the Old Guard, is seeking grants from foundations to help fund expenses beyond the price of the land which has already been paid. A committee to develop a management plan will include members of both organizations and representatives from the Cheyenne and Sioux tribes and the Ness County Historical Society. Volunteers will be sought to help clean up the site and remove the present fence around the pasture. Some of the other work, such as walking trails, markers, and erection of tipi poles, will rely on volunteer labor. The AC publication, American Archaeology, will feature an article about the Indian village on Pawnee Fork in the Autumn 2000 issue.

     Charles Spina, Fort Larned Old Guard member and owner of Danica Photography in Larned, photographed the village site during the Old Guard's annual meeting in late April. Indian reenactors from the region set up 15 tipis for the event. The Old Guard and Archaeological Conservancy have jointly signed an agreement to purchase and preserve the site.

Lorene Gleason
     Fort Larned NHS lost a long-time friend this spring with the death April 24 of Lorene Gleason, age 73. She had been hospitalized at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City. Lorene began volunteering at Fort Larned in the fall of 1984. She later was employed by Southwest Parks & Monuments Association and helped with book sales at the visitor center. She volunteered each year at the Fort's Christmas open house, often supplying her own decorations. Fort Larned Old Guard members may recall her appearances at living-history events as an officer's wife, riding sidesaddle on her horse. A "people person," Lorene especially enjoyed working with visitors. To date over $1,700 has been contributed to a memorial fund in Lorene's honor. The fund benefits Fort Larned NHS.

Cottoms Donate Fans To Promote Fort Larned
     Fort Larned Old Guard Board Member Mary Cottom, and husband Mel recently donated 1,000 nine-inch round hand fans to Fort Larned NHS to help promote the fort. The fans contain information about Fort Larned and will be handed to visitors and potential visitors to help spread the word about this remarkable frontier military post. This generous donation is gratefully acknowledged. The Cottoms have been long-time supporters of Fort Larned and Fort Larned Old Guard.

Old Guard On A Roll
Message From The Chairman
     It is a pleasure beyond words to be able to report so many good things that have happened with the Old Guard, Fort Larned, and the Indian Village on Pawnee Fork. Articles about these developments appear elsewhere.

     The partnership with the Archaeological Conservancy made possible the completion of the contract with Frank and Leota Klingberg to purchase the quarter-section containing the site of the Cheyenne and Sioux village captured and destroyed by General W. S. Hancock in April 1867.

     The Old Guard annual meeting in April was filled with highlights. The flight over the village site where the reenactors had their tipis set up was truly a high. Events of the day were well attended. Special thanks to the many volunteers who made it all possible. The opportunity to serve as auctioneer fulfilled a childhood fantasy, no one had as much fun at the auction as I did, nor, as it turned out, spent as much money.

     April 29 was a great day, and June 6 was a red-letter day when we made the land payment, recorded the deed, and ambled over that historic site, reflecting on events in 1867 and visualizing the possibilities for telling that story to generations to come.

     It would be nice to rest on this achievement, but much work remains to be done by the Old Guard and its many compatriots. Please continue supporting this and other projects to enhance and expand the missions of Fort Larned NHS.

     The Old Guard has been on a roll of good fortune. The opportunity to purchase the village site has been amplified by contributions of many people. Without the Archaeological Conservancy, this task would have been much more difficult. The funds donated in memory of Lorene Gleason are invaluable. It is an honor to be involved and to look forward to cleaning up the village site, installing a security system, developing a management plan, and, in due time, handing this historic landmark to the National Park Service as a part of Fort Larned NHS. Everything we do is directed toward that end, to magnify the meaningfulness of this gem from our frontier heritage.

     The excellent staff and volunteers at Fort Larned deserve accolades for the many tasks they perform. It is a delight to be associated with them. Everyone in the Old Guard is encouraged to participate in programs at the fort and to help spread the word about the many activities that are presented each year. Your continued support is essential. Thanks for all you do. It is an honor to preside over such a promising organization.
Leo E. Oliva, Fort Larned Old Guard; chairman

"Bold and Fearless" Print To Be Given Away
     A framed print of Jerry Thomas's "Bold and Fearless" will be given away during the Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous at Larned NPS, Fort Larned on September 23, 2000. A donation of $3 to Fort Larned Old Guard will buy a ticket for the drawing, books of six tickets are available for $15. Anyone who would like to help sell tickets may request as many as he or she wants to be responsible for, with the obligation to return all unsold tickets as well as the stubs and the money for those sold. To buy tickets or to order some to sell, send request to Leo E. Oliva, Fort Larned Old Guard, P.O. Box 1, Woodston KS 67675. Funds raised will be used for the village site and other projects to help Fort Larned NHS.

2001 Annual Meeting Will Join Wet/Dry Routes Chapter Seminar, April 28
     By mutual agreement, by which both organizations will benefit, Fort Larned Old Guard and the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail will join their programs on April 28, 2001.

     The Wet/Dry Chapter will offer its fifth annual seminar on the Santa Fe Trail, the theme of which will be the Trail and the Civil War, with four speakers during the morning.

     The Old Guard annual membership meeting will include a program with Indian reenactors at the village site during the afternoon, with a dinner and program, presentation of Elizabeth Custer by Marla Matkin, in the evening. Lunch and dinner will be available.

     The Kansas Corral of the Westerners will also, as in the past, make this event its monthly membership meeting. By combining programs and sharing their interests in history and preservation, all three organizations hope to attract more people to attend and participate in the programs.

     When plans are completed information will be sent to the members of all three organizations and advertised in regional media. Plan now to be there.

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