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

Late Summer/Fall Events Scheduled for Fort Larned
     Two great reasons to visit Fort Larned and Larned are coming up soon.

     Rendezvous 2002---co-sponsored by the Santa Fe Trail Center, Fort Larned National Historic Site and Santa Fe Trail---is scheduled for September 19, 20, and 21. The biennial event is held at Larned in even-numbered years, and alternates with the Santa Fe Trail symposium.

     This year's Rendezvous will feature "The Santa Fe Trail in Lore and Legend." Speakers include Fort Larned Old Guard Chairman, historian and author Leo E.Oliva; historian John Dove of Las Animas, Colorado; author and folklorist Jim Hoy of Emporia; historian and author David Clapsaddle of Larned; Southern Cheyenne Tribal Chief Lawrence Hart of Clinton, Oklahoma; former New Mexico state Historian Robbert Torrez of Albuquerque; and author William Chalfant of Hutchinson.

     The three-day event opens at 5 p.m. Thursday, September 19. The program continues on Friday with addresses in the morning and tours in the afternoon. Folk songs will accompany the Friday evening meal. More speakers are scheduled for Saturday morning, with tours in the afternoon and an evening meal at Fort Larned.

     The Fort's most popular one-day program, the annual candlelight tour, is set for Saturday, October 12. This year's tour theme is still under development but will feature several dozen reenactors portraying events that occurred at the Fort during its active period.

     Visitors are toured around the Fort's historic structures by candlelight, and are able to experience true "living history."

     Reservations are required for the evening tours, and can be made by phone at 620-285-6911---beginning October 1.

     Plan now to attend both of these programs. Anytime is a great time to visit Fort Larned National Historic Site.

Fort Footnotes
     Sign of the times On your next visit---perhaps mid-September if you attend Rendezvous---you will notice the beginnings of our new main entrance sign on Kansas Highway 156. (This is a work in progress!)

     The sign's site is now marked with concrete blocks. As time and money allow, they will be covered with a native stone veneer. Eventually, a metal silhouette of a mounted cavalryman will be installed between the highway and the sign. The artwork will be similar to the distinctive metal cowboys that mark the eastern approach to Dodge City on US Highway 50.

     We anticipate that the new sign may stimulate more interest by travelers in visiting Fort Larned. It also will make it easier for first-time visitors to find our main entrance, as our old sign is too far from the highway to be easily seen by motorists. The old sign originally had to be located far south of the highway because of land ownership and safety concerns at the time it was built.

     Village site honors Earl Gadbery The Archaeological Conservancy, partner with the Old Guard in the ownership of the Cheyenne and Sioux village site on Pawnee Fork, has honored Earl L. Gadbery, a native of Kansas and chairman of The Archaeological Conservancy for over ten years, by designating the site as "The Indian Village on Pawnee Fork---Earl Gadbery Preserve."

     Gadbery was born at Emporia, Kansas, and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in aeronautical engineering in1950. He joined Alcoa Corporation that year and worked in sales for the corporation for the next 35 years. He served as president of Alcoa Foundation from 1985-1991. He has served on numerous public policy boards, including the Council of Foundations, Independent Sector and The American Symphony Orchestra League.

     The Old Guard is pleased to have The Archaeological Conservancy select this Kansas site to honor Gadbery for his many years of service to protect and preserve historic sites. an appropriate sign will be erected at the site.

Fort Larned Old Guard helps carry Kansas history in Washington
     Old Guard again helped send a Kansas History Day winner to the national competition with $225 scholarship. This year's recipient was Ashley Dohrmann, 8th grader at Reno Valley Middle School in Hutchinson, who presented a dramatic portrayal of Carry A. Nation called "She Hath Done What She Could." According to Kansas History Day Coordinator Anne Hawkins, Ashley placed fifth in her judging room at national competition, and did "very, very well, considering it was her first trip to nationals." Ashley sent a warm thank-you to the Old Guard expressing her appreciation for the assistance.

Best wishes, Ben. . .Hello, James and Bill
     Fort Larned National Historic Site says good-bye to one employee and welcomes two new employees to the park's maintenance division.

     Ben Bailey recently retired after 30 years of service. Ben began his park service career as a seasonal interpretive ranger at such parks as Yosemite, Redwoods and Everglades. In 1980 he began his Fort Larned tour. Here he worked 22 years providing essential services for the visitors' enjoyment. Ben's fondest memories of the Fort are watching the rehabilitation efforts on the historic structures over the years.

     In March, 2002, the Fort welcomed James Whitton to the National Park Service family. James comes to Fort Larned National Historic Site from the US Postal Service and has recently retired from the US Air Force Reserve (National Air Guard). James is filling the void left by Ben Bailey's retirement.

     The Fort also welcomes William C. "Chappy" Chapman. He serves as the Facility Manager for Fort Larned National Historic Site and Nicodemus National Historic Site. Chappy has been with the National Park Service for 12 years. He began his career at Cape Hatteras National Seashore working as a preservation carpenter on many preservation projects, including the Bodie Island Lighthouse keeper's quarters.

     Bill also worked on hurricane Hugo and Andrew recovery efforts. After hurricane Andrew, he transferred to Everglades National Park as a maintenance mechanic. In 1997 he moved to the Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederick, Maryland. In 2000 he graduated as a preservation specialist and for the past two years he has worked as a project leader for the Training Center.

Superintendent's desk
     Motorcoaches are coming! The Family Motor Coach Association will be holding their "68th Premier International Motorhome Extravaganza" in Hutchinson this year. More than 7,000 of these large recreational vehicles (over 15,000 people) are expected to attend the convention at the Kansas State Fairgrounds from September 30 through October 3. There will also be pre-rallies held throughout the state the weekend before. About 800 motor homes are expected in Great Bend and hundreds more in Garden City.

     Since these RVers have indicated that they have a special interest in visiting historic sites and national parks in Kansas during their trip, we anticipate that many will come to Fort Larned on their way to or from the convention.

     Fort Larned National Historic Site staff and volunteers will be making a maximum effort to accommodate this large group. On the days before and after the main convention, especially weekends, the fort will present extra living history programs throughout the day.

     National Park Service will staff a booth in Hutchinson to provide information about the national parks and national historic trails in Kansas. Rangers from Fort Larned will set up this booth and help operate it, and will also help set up and operate another booth with information about the Fort, the Santa Fe Trail Center, and other Larned attractions.

     We expect many of the Larned folks at the booth will dress in living history clothing. The Santa Fe Trail Center will also have special programs for the motorcoach travelers.

     If you are a Fort Larned Volunteer-in-Parks, or would like to become a Volunteer-in-Parks, I hope you will assist with this event in whatever way you can. Just give our Volunteer-in-Parks Coordinator, George Elmore, a call at 620-285-6911 and let him know when you will be available.

     The folks attending this convention are from all over the country and travel extensively. We hope to show off Fort Larned at its finest so that they will spread the word about what a great state Kansas is to visit. We want them to tell other RVers, "Don't miss Fort Larned!"
     Steve Linderer,
     Fort Larned National Historic Site Superintendent

Message from the Chairman
     I hope you have spent some time at Fort Larned National Historic Site this summer. Make plans now to join in two impending programs.

     The Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous, September 19-21, includes activities at the Fort as well as at the Santa Fe Trail Center, sessions in Larned, and guided tours on portions of the Santa Fe Trail.

     The annual candlelight tour at the Fort will be the evening of October 12 (reservations required). I hope to see you at these events.

     Looking further, the Fort Larned Old Guard annual meeting and a joint meeting with the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail will be May 3, 2003. The Wet/Dry Routes Seminar will focus on the Trail and the Mexican War. Fort Larned Old Guard plans are pending but will include a visit to the Cheyenne and Sioux village site on Pawnee Fork.

     It has been a hot, dry summer at the village site (and most of western Kansas and much of the Great Plains). A boundary survey has been completed and a perimeter fence will be erected during coming months, using volunteer labor. Plans include planting the cropland back to grasses native to the area as soon as possible. Efforts to provide more security for the historic site will continue. It appears that the additional signs and locked gates have reduced the incidents of trespassing at the location. The site remains closed to the public except on special occasions.

     On behalf of all Fort Larned Old Guard members, it is my pleasure to express thanks and appreciation to the wonderful staff and volunteers who make Fort Larned one of the finest historic sites in the nation.

     I also thank all Fort Larned Old Guard board members and volunteers who help with our mission to promote and enhance Fort Larned in every way possible.

     Come participate in some of the special programs at Fort Larned and enjoy this outstanding treasure of our rich Great Plains heritage.
     Leo E. Oliva, Fort Larned Old Guard Chairman

Membership Reminder
     Old Guard membership is open to anyone interested in the frontier military history of the United States, the Indian Wars in the trans-Mississippi West, the role of the military in the development of Kansas and the West, Indian-white relations on the Plains, and---of course---Fort Larned National Historic Site.

Annual memberships in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2002, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Thank you for your support.

Fort Larned Old Guard Contact Information
     The officers, members of the board of directors, dues information and email's are listed on this page of information. Please feel free to contact any of us.

     Include Fort Larned National Historic Site in your plans:
     September 19-21, 2002
     Rendezvous 2002

     October 12,2002
     Candlelight tour

     December 14, 2002
     Christmas open house

     May 3, 2003
     Fort Larned Old Guard annual meeting

     Our thanks to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum of Oklahoma City, Ok. for sending this missing copy of Outpost!!

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