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

Families Enjoyed 4th of July Celebration
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Fort Larned's 4th of July Celebration saw more visitors this year, partially due to the cooler weather. All three days were filled with activities for families, including a beaded jewelry craft, kneading dough and baking bread, picking vegetables from the garden, and trying styles of clothing that the soldiers and civilians wore when the Fort was active. Each day a group of youngsters ranging from ages 4 to 14 participated in the Buffalo Game which combined music, an authentic bison leather rope, and about 40 miniature bison. It was a sneaky way to teach children about bison because it's a lot of fun.

     Pete the Blacksmith demonstrated his skill at the forge practically nonstop! If every person received a hook or link at the event then Pete made and gave away over 400 crafted pieces! Pete related a special story he had at the blacksmith shop. One little boy who came in with a group of kids was quite shy, and when Pete handed out rings or hooks to the other kids the little boy stood back and did not get one. A short time later the boy came back in with another group and again he stood back and did not ask for or get anything after the demonstration. A third time the boy came back and again stood in the background, watching Pete make a ring. This time, realizing that the boy had now watched three demonstrations and not received anything, Pete called him over and gave him both a ring and hook. The boy took off with a smile from ear to ear looking at his new treasures.

     The usual living history was taking place in the buildings and the Small Firearms demonstration was well attended. We had a record number of Junior Rangers complete the program over the event. Some of the young visitors were able to help the soldiers with flag retreat, learning about flag etiquette at the same time.

     Photographers young and old couldn't get enough snapshots of the Pawnee Creek. It was evident when crossing the bridge that the area received abundant rainfall in the days leading up to the event. The rain was most welcome, but we were worried the maintenance road was going to flood!

     Many visitors received Centennial postcards with a sticker announcing our next event, Picnic in the Park--the National Park Service Centennial Celebration, Saturday, August 27. The staff at Fort Larned wants to make the park service's 100th birthday a community event.

National Park Service Centennial

     Fort Larned National Historic Site invites everyone to #FindYourPark during the Centennial Birthday Month! Special events across the U.S. will celebrate the National Park Service 100th Anniversary during August. With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28 (Fort Larned has free admission all year), the National Park Service is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque for the centennial.

     National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis declared, "August - our birthday month - will be a nationwide celebration of national parks, and we're inviting everyone to the party. We like to think that we look pretty good for 100, and with so many events and activities to commemorate this milestone, we hope all Americans will join us to celebrate the breathtaking landscapes and inspiring history in our nation's parks and public lands. Whether it is in a distant state or in your own community, there are hundreds of ways and places to find your park!"

     Fort Larned National Historic Site will have a big celebration on Saturday, August 27, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We will have a truly unique event, but still offer a flavor of the era with living-history presentations. Music groups include Prairie Larkspur (featuring Fort Larned Old Guard board members Chris Day and Janet Armstead) and The Fort Larned Post Band under the direction of Band Teacher Katie Sperry who is our Teacher-Ranger-Teacher this year. Following the band's performance will be a talent show. The public is invited to watch and perform. There will be samplings of food from the various cultures living at and around the Fort. All FREE! Two Centennial interpretive programs will be scheduled that day: "Present at the Founding of Fort Larned by Private Robert Morris Peck" as performed by Leo E. Oliva and "The History of the National Park Service" by Celeste Dixon. More will be scheduled. A full schedule will soon be listed on our website: {}.

     Events and programs throughout the U. S. will provide countless ways for families, students, and park-lovers of all ages to discover special park experiences for the centennial.

Among the hundreds of special events are:
     The National Park Service and tribal partners will celebrate the grand opening of the Huna Tribal House at Glacier Bay National Park.

     "Music in the American Wild" concerts will bring special compositions to several western parks, funded in part through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts "Imagine Your Parks" program for the National Park Service Centennial.

     Thomas Edison National Historical Park will bring Edison's innovative spirit to the New York City skyline in the third in a series of Park Exchange events.

     In a unique partnership with NASA, a group of fourth-grade students at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park will speak with an astronaut live from the International Space Station.

     Additional events are listed on the National Park Service website, and many more can be found at {} and {}.

     Find Your Park to Celebrate the Centennial! On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations."

     Pulitzer-prize winning author Wallace Stegner declared, "National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst." President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "There is nothing so American as our national parks. . . The fundamental idea behind the parks. . . is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us."

     Please join us at Fort Larned National Historic Site on August 27 and help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Tom Seltmann

     It is hard to believe that summer is fading and autumn is just around the corner. I hope that everyone has enjoyed fun times with family and friends and accomplished those goals that we all set for warmer weather. Kansas is a great place if you add water--the rains have been wonderful.

     On behalf of the Fort Larned Old Guard I extend our deepest sympathies to Fort Larned Old Guard board member Martha Scranton. Her husband Ron died June 15. Ron and Martha owned and operated the Larned Greenhouse for more than 30 years. Ron's knowledge and advice on lawns, trees, and other plants will be missed by the "Green Thumbs" of Larned and surrounding communities. Sincere condolences are extended to his family and many friends.

     The Fort Larned Old Guard is always proud to be part of the financial support to Fort Larned programs and events. On June 24, 2016 we had the opportunity to be part of the Naturalization Ceremony. Along with financial and volunteer help from the Larned D. A. R. chapter, Rotary Club, State Theater, and local individuals, we furnished and served refreshments to several hundred new United States citizens and their families. We also will be helping in the promotion of "Picnic in the Park" which will be held August 27, 2016 in celebration of the National Park Centennial. Please plan to attend this special day; details are printed elsewhere in this issue.

     We will be giving support to the Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous, September 22-24, 2016, a biennial event sponsored by Fort Larned National Historic Site, the Santa Fe Trail Center, and the Santa Fe Trail, assisted by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council. Programs will be presented at the Trail Center, in Larned, and at Fort Larned National Historic Site. If you have not registered to attend, I encourage you to do so. The topic will be "Shadows on the Land: Women on the Santa Fe Trail," and several expert speakers and events have been scheduled. For details and registration information, please visit {}, click on "Events" and then "Rendezvous 2016." You may register online.

     The Fort Larned Old Guard board will be meeting October 8 and plans will be laid out for the April 2017, 2016, Mess and Muster events. Plans are to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1867 Hancock Expedition. The Fort's annual candlelight tour will be presented that evening. Reservations are required for the candlelight tour--please check the Fort website to see when reservations will be accepted, {}.

     I hope to see all of you at all these special events coming up at Fort Larned: National Park Centennial Celebration "Picnic in the Park" on August 27, 2016, Labor Day Weekend (September 2-5, 2016), Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous (September 22-24, 2016), and Candlelight Tour on October 8, 2016. There is much to see and do at Kansas's first National Park. Visit often and bring your friends.

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     Last summer I mentioned the upcoming 100th Birthday of the National Park Service and the need to engage our youth and become relevant to the next generation. Progress toward achieving these goals in conjunction with the National Park Service Centennial celebration has resulted in some new and exciting activities and events at the Fort this year.

     One of the premier events scheduled at Fort Larned National Historic Site this summer was the park's first Immigration and Naturalization Ceremony which was held on June 24, 2016. The United States Citizens and Immigration Service in partnership with Fort Larned National Historic Site, the Fort Larned Old Guard, and the many park volunteers, friends, and local community, welcomed approximately 75 new citizens from nearly 20 foreign countries. This important life event provided these new citizens the chance to take the oath of citizenship in one of our country's most significant places and to join all Americans as guardians of these places.

     Fort Larned National Historic Site is one of these treasured places and on August 27, 2016, we invite you to pack your picnic basket and join us for "Picnic in the Park." Join visitors across the nation as we celebrate the National Park Service 100th Birthday with music, games, special programs, and carriage rides.

     In addition to the many other Centennial events planned at the park this summer, we also continue to make progress on our new Visitor Center exhibits. The project is on track and we anticipate delivery of the final design by the end of the calendar year.

     Again, I must express my appreciation to the Old Guard for the support they continue to provide the National Historic Site. This partnership continues to provide us with opportunities associated with special occasions such as the National Park Service Centennial celebration or to provide educational programs and interpretive events associated with the history of the park and our nation. Together, we continually strive to engage and inspire our visitors to find relevancy and make personal or emotional connections. Thank you for your continual support. Have a great summer!

Naturalization Ceremony A Big Success
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     On Friday, June 24, 2016, Fort Larned was privileged to take part in one of the most important activities in the civic life of our country when we hosted a U. S. naturalization ceremony. Sixty-eight new citizens took the oath of citizenship, completing a milestone in their lives and reminding us all of what our country means to us.

     The planning for this event started last fall when we contacted the U. S. District Court in Wichita, Kansas, which has responsibilities for all of western Kansas. Working with the court officials we planned for approximately 75 new citizens to come, along with their family and friends, to join them in this important event in their lives.

     We were able to provide refreshments for the almost 350 people who came to the event, thanks to help from the Fort Larned Old Guard. Not only did Fort Larned Old Guard provide monetary assistance to buy cake and drinks, local Fort Larned Old Guard members Tom Seltmann, Vicki Gillett, and Martha Scranton helped set up and serve them. We also received help from several local Larned groups, including the Larned Garden Club, State Theater, and Rotary Club, who all provided donations to help cover the cost of the food. The Larned Chapter of the DAR provided cookies and volunteer help during the event.

     The ceremony took place in the Quartermaster Storehouse. In keeping with the patriotic nature of the event, the warehouse was decorated with bunting in typical 19th-century fashion, as well as a large flag in the back. Although registration for the new citizens didn't take place until noon, people began arriving as early as 9:00 a.m. on the 24th. Apparently they didn't want to be late for one of the most important events in their life!

     The Honorable J. Thomas Martin, Chief U. S. District Court Judge, presided over the ceremony, while Old Guard members Chris Day and Janet Armstead as Prairie Larkspur provided the music. Both Larned Mayor William Nusser and Fort Larned Superintendent Betty Boyko welcomed the new citizens and their guests, and local attorney Ron Smith, of Smith and Burnett Law Firm, gave the keynote address. The Fort Larned Post Color Guard presented the colors.

Projects at Fort Larned To Receive Funding
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Do you ever wonder what the staff does over the winter when visitation is low? Some of us, including the park rangers at Fort Larned National Historic Site, delve into an online intra-agency program called Project Management Information System. The program is designed to enable a park to submit projects for funding requests. It is absolutely necessary to write convincing and compelling project descriptions and justifications if future projects have any chance of receiving funds outside of our operating budget. We have learned that an incomplete and poorly-written project does not compete well for funding.

     We received the good news that two new Fort Larned projects submitted through Project Management Information System are being funded by Congress in 2017. The first is to be a short video clip on the African-American experience through the compelling story of the 10th U. S. Cavalry. Audiences will be invited to take a journey from post-Civil War enlistment to the Korean War era when troops became integrated. The audio-visual story will be used in a variety of outreach mediums, including the park's website and YouTube, and will possibly be part of the new museum exhibits slated to be completed by early 2018.

     Our second project is in partnership with the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service. We want to create a Dual Language Digital Story map which will connect people to the Santa Fe Trail. The nature of the story map will include both general trail-related information, plus a number of specific stops, both at the Fort and in areas up to 10 miles away from the Fort. The completed story map will be well suited for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. It will serve as an education tool, capable of taking travelers to higher levels of thinking about cultural exchange, western expansion, life and death on the trail, and early-day expeditions that passed through central Kansas.

     There are great things happening at Fort Larned which means there is so such thing as down time, including the winter months. The staff at Fort Larned is accomplishing much, but with fewer people. We are all wearing many different hats!

Fort Larned Roll Call: Carson Norton
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     The rangers at Fort Larned unanimously agree that having an artist on staff who happens to have a graduate degree in history is a pretty sweet deal! Carson Norton, seasonal park ranger, is a Great Bend resident but was born and raised in Leoti, KS. Primarily an artist working with bronze sculptures and oil paintings, Carson developed a love for art as a child.

     Both his parents, Charlie and Pat Norton, are well-known artists, so it was simply a way of life. He often would help his father when working side by side with him on clay sculptures. One of his earliest memories is feeling the clay in his hands and molding it with his fingers. The experience taught him to be very observant and truly see his surroundings. As his art intellect increased he could see dimensions of light and warmth versus coolness of color.

     Carson talks about various artists' techniques, like lost wax casting and mold making, with ease, indicating his years of apprenticeship under his parents. He learned the importance of execution, confidence in one's self and abilities, and a positive "can do" attitude no matter how big or small the project.

     After graduating from Fort Hays State University in 2008 with an undergraduate and graduate degree in history, Carson sought a job in the field of history, but he shares "When the market dried up I had to be resourceful, so I went to work full-time in the retail construction business." He has experience managing departments at Home Depot and Sutherlands. Now that he is a ranger he hopes to integrate his love of history and art in one of America's most inspiring parks--Fort Larned.

     Carson's Artist Correspondent activity in June was a success due to the interest of the kids who attended and the patience of the instructor. The small group of eight students learned how to give dimension to their pencil sketches by using techniques of shadow and depth. The Fort has received requests for Carson to lead the activity again. He plans to make that possible during the Picnic in the Park event, Fort Larned's Centennial Celebration on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

     Carson is married to Ashley, and they have two children. Six-year-old William and little sister Brecken, age three, are learning all about art at their dad's side. A new generation of artists! When asked what the likes about Fort Larned, Carson replies, "It's a blast to share the history of the fort with people from all over the world. Everybody is living an adventure and it is great to be a part of it."

Volunteer Roll Call: Brooke Coulson & Candice Peterson
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     You can't get one without the other-and we are so glad to have two new volunteers at Fort Larned! High school students Brooke Coulson and Candice Peterson are volunteering two mornings a week. They plan to continue volunteering after school starts although the schedule will have to change. Both girls have done a variety of new tasks including post garden work, basic sewing, and interpretive writing for the upcoming fashion show in September for the 2016 Rendezvous.

     Brooke has been a Larned resident all her life. She will be starting her Junior year at Larned High School. Candice, born in Wichita, now lives in Garfield, KS. She is a Junior, too, attending Pawnee Heights High School. Both girls are volunteering because they want to improve social skills, communication skills, and hone their customer service skills while volunteering at the Fort. Just recently they handed out survey cards to visitors, approaching them with information about the Fort's visitor services and conveying to them the importance of visitor feedback.

     One primary project both Brooke and Candice will be working on is to combine artistry and lettering so we can have some eye-catching signs for Centennial Celebration on Saturday, August 27. A second major project is to make straw bonnets to feature at September's fashion show. Both girls are eager to be trained as front desk greeters-a job in which both they and the park benefit from!

     One of Brooke's favorite memories of the Fort was when she attended a night sky program and earned a Night Explorer badge. She came with her grandfather and her little brother who had just received a new telescope for his birthday. Candice remembers coming to the Fort with her 8th grade class on a field trip. She'll never forget the excitement of going down into the tunnel at the Blockhouse.

     Brooke's favorite room at the Fort is the hospital. She says, "The beds and the examining table are so interesting. It makes me wonder about the medical care back then." Candice likes the Quartermaster storage building because of its size. Both girls are planning on attending college someday and accomplishing as much as they can. We have no doubt that these two special volunteers will do just that!

Post Surgeons: Charles Wilson
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger
(This is third of the series on the post surgeons at Fort Larned.)

     Assistant Surgeon Charles Wilson served as Fort Larned's third post surgeon, performing those duties a little less than a year, from October 28, 1861, to September 9, 1862. He replaced outgoing surgeon Warren Webster who transferred to Washington, D. C.

     Wilson was born in Washington, D. C., May 5, 1837, and attended the University of Virginia. His Army career began in May 1861 when he entered the service as an assistant surgeon. His initial posting in Kansas was at Fort Leavenworth, before receiving orders to move to Fort Larned to take up duties as the post surgeon.

     After Dr. Wilson left Fort Larned he went east to join the war effort on behalf of the Union. He was assigned to duty with the Army of the Potomac, becoming in turn, surgeon for the Second Cavalry, surgeon in chief of the Cavalry Reserve Brigade, and surgeon in chief of the First Cavalry Division. He served in all the engagements that the armies of the Potomac and the Shenandoah participated in throughout the war, beginning with the First Battle of Bull Run. He received a brevet promotion to captain for his service during the Battles of Todd's Tavern and Yellow Tavern in Virginia. He later received a brevet promotion to major for his services in the medical department in twelve engagements in the Shenandoah Valley.

Dr. Wilson served in the Army after the Civil War and was honorably discharged in 1870 when the Army was reorganized. Five years later he went back into the Army as a major in the pay department. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1898, then to assistant paymaster general in 1899 before retiring in 1901. He died at his home in New York City on September 22, 1903, and was posthumously awarded the rank of brigadier general in 1904.

The Enlisted Men Of Company C, Third Infantry
Part V - Horace W. Annis
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     (Fort Larned's main interpretive year is 1868, which is the year the stone buildings were completed. Company C, 3rd U. S. Infantry, was stationed at Fort Larned during that year and part of the research for the restoration of the barracks and hospital building was finding out information for most of these enlisted men. That information was compiled in the Historic Furnishing Study: Enlisted Men's Barracks and Post Hospital, HS-2. Here is the fifth installment in a series on the enlisted men whose information is included in that report.)

     Next on the list of the enlisted men of Company C is Horace W. Annis. According to the records he enlisted on September 17, 1867, in Portland, Maine. By 1868 he was stationed at Fort Larned with Co. C, 3rd Infantry. It must have been a shock for this northeasterner to find himself in the middle of the Great Plains when he ended up at Fort Larned. Except for few exceptions, Private Annis spent almost the entire year on daily duty in the Post Adjutant's office as a clerk. He was one of the few enlisted men who could read and write, and it was common for literate enlisted men to be assigned as clerks. The Adjutant's office was the post headquarters. It was where the post commander and his adjutant (the administrative assistant for a senior officer, similar to a secretary) conducted the business of the post, so being a clerk in that office would have been a big responsibility.

     Annis's first departure from working in the Adjutant's office came on April 7, 1868. He refused to comply with an order by Sergeant Thomas Holmes, Co. D, 3rd Infantry. There is no record of what the order was, but he apparently told Holmes, "I'll be damned if I do." Sergeant Holmes ordered Annis to the guardhouse for refusing to comply with the order, but Annis refused to obey that order as well and then cussed Holmes out. Annis was brought before a court-martial on the charge of "Conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline," to which he pled not guilty. The court-martial board found him guilty and sentenced him to two months confinement in the guardhouse and the forfeiture of $5 of monthly pay for the same period.

     By June 19 Annis was out of the guardhouse and back on duty as a clerk in the Post Adjutant's office. He reported to sick call on July 31 with a contusion, although the records do not indicate where it was or how he got it. He was back on duty in the Adjutant's office on August 1. On September 29 he reported to sick call with tonsillitis and spent the rest of the month sick in the barracks, returning to his clerk's duties in the Adjutant's office on October 1 until November 30. For the final month of 1868 he was assigned to daily duty as the company clerk.

     Although he did a stint in the guardhouse for refusing to obey an order, for the most part Private Horace Annis appeared to be a good soldier. Of course, everybody has their bad days.

Living in the North Officers' Quarters
Part I: The Quarters
by Sam Young, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

(Special thanks to Ranger Celeste Dixon for photos to accompany this article.)
     Several months prior to the Fort Larned North Officers' Quarters opening to the public in May 2011, the park superintendent and chief ranger gave me a tour of the building. While in the south side company commander's quarters (representing the bachelor officer quarters of Captain Daingerfield Parker, 3rd U. S. Infantry, in 1868), they invited me to interpret those quarters during special events, and volunteers Lloyd and Gay Choitz were invited to interpret the north quarters of a married officer and his wife, Captain and Mrs. Nicholas Nolan, Company A, 10th U. S. Cavalry.

     We were to make it appear Captain Parker and the Nolans were living in those quarters. We were told we could add items, with park staff approval, but to retain the 1868-period environment. 1868 is the main interpretive year of Fort Larned National Historic Site as that was the year the stone buildings were completed.

     As noted, volunteers are to portray the people who lived there in 1868. Occasionally volunteer Bill Weber portrays Captain Parker's striker (a soldier who is paid by the officer to perform extra duties, such as cleaning and polishing his boots, cleaning his tack and weapons, and grooming his horse(s). We were able to experience the quarters when the historic site was closed so we could appreciate what it might have been like when the Nolans and Parker lived there, but in so doing we had to ensure the rooms were totally ready each morning by 8:30 a.m. when the park opened to the public. These two sets of quarters are open to public access when staffed by volunteers and/or rangers. When not staffed the rooms are closed to public access and can be viewed from the hallway.

     Occasionally people commented that, since we lived there, we knew what it was like to live there in 1868. Those comments planted the seed in my mind to write this article, comparing life as 1868 occupants of those quarters with living in those quarters in the twenty-first century.

     Both company commanders' quarters were historically correct with some basic furnishings, which you will "see" with primary focus on Parker's quarters, as we enter the quarters and "walk" through the parlor, bedroom, kitchen, storeroom/servant's quarters, and cellar, then exit into the back yard. Some of the differences with the Nolan's quarters will be addressed. That "walk" is the purpose of Part 1 of this article and what we did to give Parker's and Nolans' quarters the look and smells of being lived in. We did a lot of cooking on the wood stoves, which attracted visitors when the quarters were open to the public. We also had fires in the parlor and bedroom stoves for warmth on cold days and nights. Lighting was by candles.

     From reading books written by officers' wives who lived in quarters on frontier Army posts during the post-Civil War period, you will learn what life was like for their families. The Army moved officers frequently and, since officers had to pay both for their moves and for the furnishings in their quarters, prior to departure they sold almost all of their furniture and some personal household items to other officers and hoped to buy used furnishings on arrival at their new duty station. They learned to make do with what they could get, knowing there would be furniture for sale when other officers departed. Often the most basic items such as tables and chairs were borrowed or rough substitutes such as boxes and trunks made do until they could be replaced.

     Let's take that walk by starting on the porch. It is a community porch, extending across the front of the officers' quarters, without division. On it are multiple benches, but occasionally chairs, including rockers, were added by the occupants, and maybe even small tables. Except during mornings when the hot sun would shine on the porch, since the quarters face the east, or when it was cold and possibly wet from rain or snow, you would find mostly small but sometimes larger gatherings of quarters' occupants and possibly friends from the other officers' quarters. Because many of these individuals were officers' wives and possibly female relatives and/or friends from "back east," soldiers appearing anyplace around the parade ground had to be in complete uniform so as not to embarrass the ladies.

     During this portion of the walk you will also notice shutters at each of the windows (this was true also of the building's side and rear windows). Shutters had multiple functions: when closed they helped keep out the heat from the hot sun and prevent glass breakage during severe storms; when open or closed with the slats open, they allow air and/or light into the quarters. Unfortunately, shutters did little to keep out the cold air and were occasionally damaged or destroyed during severe winds that rolled across the western Kansas plains.

     Next we move into the hallway, of which there are two, one in the north half of the building and one in the south half. The hallway, besides leading to a rear door that opened onto the back porch, separated the company commander's quarters from those of the company junior officers. Every room on either side of the hallway had a door giving access to it. Above the front and rear hallway doors is a hinged window called a transom, which allowed air to enter and exit the hall when the doors were closed to help lower the hallway temperature on hot days and nights (which I can definitely attest too as being very hot in the summer). You will also notice the single candle lantern which was sparingly used and provided the smallest amount of light.

     Now we enter the front room in Captain Parker's quarters. It is called a parlor and is a multipurpose room. First, it is the commander's official office since no other location is available at Fort Larned (his company's barracks is where his soldiers eat, live, work, and sleep, and into which he and his officers seldom visit unless on official business such as an inspection). It is also for his relaxation, hosting visitors, and doing personal business.

     When I first visited the parlor it had a writing desk with cubbyholes, a clock, and chair that represented Parker's office. On the desk lay his reading glasses, writing materials, ledger, and various forms required for reports. There was a trunk on which lay his backpack and an Infantry drum. His personal workspace was a corner table with chair, plate with knife, fork and spoon, cup and glass, and candle. There was a wood stove, old padded rocking chair, several straight back wooden chairs, a couple of wooden arm chairs, a very small top round table with a deck of cards, and a small wooden box on which was a bottle for an alcoholic beverage. On the floor was a much worn buffalo hide, and there were nice curtains on the front windows. There were several single candle lanterns around the room. The only items in respectable condition, besides the curtains, were the office desk and the corner table. Captain Parker's personal items in this room included his frock coat, cap, and a rifle.

Captain Parker's Parlor
     Since the focus was to make the quarters appear to be lived in, over the next few years items placed in the parlor included several small family pictures by the clock on Captain Parker's office desk, a leather dispatch case, (in which he could carry his papers, maps, and ledger/journal) on the desk chair, several wooden children's toys on the window sills, simple curtains were placed on the inside of the front windows next to the glass to keep out the rays of the hot morning sun and for privacy at night, a wooden box by the stove for firewood, a reproduction officer's Model 1859 McClellan saddle with associated tack and saber; a wooden rocking chair, baseball bat and horse shoes with stakes for recreation purposes, the deck of cards was replaced with a cloth checkerboard and checkers, and a coyote pelt. On the corner table was added a small library of books, pocket watch, journal, bottles of ink and metal ink erasers, and a student lamp in lieu of the lantern with candle. In the Journal were several events that Captain Parker might have experienced. The National Historic Site later added various replica Indian artifacts to the walls and a rifle rack.

Captain and Mrs. Nolan's Parlor
     At this point let's pause from the walk through Captain Parker's quarters to write about the parlor in the north company commander's quarters that Mrs. Nolan made into a fairly comfortable home. It was sparsely furnished with a carpet, two upholstered arm chairs with a small table between them, a small wooden table in the room's center, two folding chairs and two wooden straight-back chairs, a secretary style desk, wood stove, corner wall-mounted rifle rack with various weapons, several lanterns with candles, and very nice curtains. Captain Nolan's office space was combined with the personal office area both Mrs. Nolan and Captain Nolan used. Added in the months after the quarters were opened to the public were a small, armless rocker with crewel embroidered seat and back and an embroidery hoop with floor frame. These were gifts to Mrs. Nolan. She even added seasonal flowers and various holiday decorations at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Occasionally she would bring in a larger table for the center of the room on which she placed food for special occasions which she hosted.

Captain Parker's Bedroom
     Resuming the walking tour in Parker's bedroom which you entered through a set of double doors from the parlor. Due to the arrangement of the furniture (double bed, large and small trunk, dresser with mirror and clock, shrunk (wardrobe), wash stand with pitcher and bowl, and straight back chair), night stand, army blanket tacked to the floor, chamber pots, and stove, it is necessary to keep one of the double doors closed most of the time for convenience. Fortunately, in the south quarter's bedroom, the wood stove is on the west wall by the door to the kitchen so the head of the bed is placed opposite on the parlor wall. This allows access to the hallway door. However, in the Nolans' quarters the wood stove is on the outside (north) wall which puts the head of the bed on the hallway wall and prevents access to the hallway. Additionally, in the Nolan's quarters there is a chamber pot in an enclosed chest for ease of use. Both bedrooms had uniforms representing, as appropriate, Captain Parker and Captain Nolan, on the bed, chair, or trunk, as well as boots and brogans. Several women's clothing items in the north quarters represent Mrs. Nolan.

     To Captain Parker's bedroom were added carpet bags, additional uniform items, and boots. A mosquito net was added to the bed; an open housewife (sewing kit) was placed on the night stand with needles, thread, scissors, and buttons by the lantern with candle; officer's spurs on the window sill; soap and soap dish on the wash stand, along with a razor strop, towels, and a towel covering the open pitcher to keep out dirt and bugs. Parker also added a Windsor chair, bootjack, and filled wood box by the stove. Since the curtains were simple white material on the windows that let in the heat of the sun by day and could be seen through at night, overnight visitors donated heavier material to make a second set of curtains. On the dresser are a wallet, necktie, and an officer's dress sash. Mrs. Nolan added a lovely round painting hanging in her bedroom as well as her clothes and her husband's uniforms.

Captain Parker's Kitchen
     The kitchens were probably the most used rooms in these quarters. Each had a cast iron wood stove with oven, table and chairs, work table, and dishes with tableware. Captain Parker's kitchen had a cabinet for storage and Mrs. Nolan's kitchen had a pie safe. Items later added by Parker to his kitchen were a medium-size crock with dipper for water, cast iron skillets, metal pans in which to wash and rinse dishes, wood and kindling boxes by the stove, and a clothes-drying rack. Mrs. Nolan added an extra table in the corner on which to wash dishes in the winter (in the summer she washed them on the back porch).

Captain and Mrs. Nolan's Bedroom
     Adjacent to each kitchen was a small room which served as either a servant's quarters or a store room. Parker and the Nolans used these rooms as store rooms for extra household items, the officers' duty saddles and tack, and food. In the South Officers' quarters one of the company commanders had a servant who also did much of the cooking and used this room as her quarters. The officer's wife kept her side saddle in this room whereas Mrs. Nolan had her side saddle on a trunk in her bedroom.

Captain and Mrs. Nolan's Kitchen
     In addition to the door leading from the kitchen to the small back porch, there was a door to the cellar. The cellars had dirt floors and an exterior exit door. These rooms were mostly storerooms, such as for extra food during the winter months because of the cold temperatures in them.

     Exiting the kitchen takes you to the small back porch and the back yard which was surrounded by high wooden fences that also separated the south half of the officers' quarters from the north half. Within each fenced yard was a latrine (outhouse), garden, and stables for the officers' horses.

     In the next issue of Outpost I will begin the story of living in these quarters by those of us who interpret Captain Parker and Captain and Mrs. Nolan. (to be continued)

Maintenance Matters
by William Chapman, Facility Manager
Reflections on my career with the National Park Service

     As we quickly approach the date that President Woodrow Wilson signed the Law which established the National Park Service (National Park Service), I have been thinking of what National Park Service means to me. I started my career as so many do--I needed a job. At some point a job became a career and a career a personal mission. In 1990 the construction industry in which I worked had a slowdown which left many, including myself, looking for work.

The Job
     I placed my application with National Park Service Cape Hatteras National Seashore and was hired as a temporary carpenter for the rehabilitation project of the Bodie Island Lighthouse Keepers' Quarters. At times it was similar work to that of the remodeling work I was previously doing. Then I was introduced to some of the uniqueness of this job: creating cutting knives to reproduce the profiles of the millwork, learning to make selective wood repairs on window sashes, and learning how the history of the structure is not so much about the people who occupied the building through time but the story the building itself can tell you.

The Career
     As the carpenter at Bodie Island Lighthouse, one task was to remove Masonite wall paneling installed in the 1950s when the building was housing for the U. S. Coast Guard. With this paneling removed two distinct histories were reveled. One was paint lines on the wall where former built-in cabinetry was evident, which the Historic Structures report did not identify, and the other was a drawing of a shorebird and the artist's signature. My mentor Bernnie Wisegurber tasked me with researching examples of built-in cabinetry design and millwork that was available at that time and used on the Outer Banks circa 1880s. I visited the courthouse, library, and local architect to find information. The courthouse record reveled four residences were built in Manteo NC in the same time frame and their current property owners. Library and architect provided millwork pattern books and catalogs of millwork available at that time. Of the four houses built in that time frame, two remained but had no built-in cabinetry remaining. The information from the library and architect provided many samples of patterns available at that time but nothing that could be directly linked to the Bodie Island project. Though I was not able to find what exactly was there historically, the National Park Service did construct built-in cabinetry using the simple bead design in the reproduced cabinetry doors similar to the original window casing pattern.

     The Shorebird was a story that connected people I knew to the building and property. The artist of the drawing was John B. Ethridge, the grandson of the person who sold the property to the U. S. Government for the Lighthouse and supporting complex. Also, his grandson was a member of the crew working on this project and they all possessed the same name. This and many conversations I had with my mentor and others in my life, left me with a message of sharing and mentoring others.

Personal Mission
     I have been very blessed with my career; having worked alongside so many good people of the National Park Service family and our friends, that I know I've made a difference by mentoring many with their development of trade skills, technology usage, and National Park Service program use.

     What did you enjoy the most about your career with National Park Service? This is what National Park Service has meant to me. So I ask what it means to you and what do you think it will mean to others in the year 2116? What would you most like to see in the next 100 years of the National Park Service?

Fort Larned Post Garden Gains Admirers
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     The Fort Larned Post Garden this year has been by far the most beautiful compared to past seasons. The main reason for this is the increased involvement of an amazing gardener and Fort volunteer named Jan Elder. Jan came to the Fort from Baldwin City KS in 2013, offering her practical skills and knowledge of gardening. Although she lives four hours away, she schedules work in the garden prior to events and on some program weekends. Many visitors are learning about the trials and successes of the Fort's garden from the 1860s era. Visitors are also enjoying some free produce in more ways than one--free of chemicals!

     Jan created a tri-fold display for the Visitor Center on the Post Garden and put together a month-by-month binder which interests visitors in the growing season of the various vegetables. We help visitors connect their garden experience to the early vegetable gardens at Fort Larned. The binder shows colorful images of the garden, but we aren't immune to the problems gardeners deal with. Hot winds, too much rain or not enough, and squash bugs . . . and more squash bugs! Here is an excerpt from July's garden news:

     The garden has changed so much since early June. We have had more than enough rain for the garden! The corn is growing tall, vines are covering the ground, and under all this shade are several toads helping us by eating garden bugs! We designed the garden with the three sister's plantings--corn, beans, and squash, with the intent of tripping up our neighborhood raccoon in the thick vines. Every year he ravishes the sweet corn and totally ignores the large field of corn south of the Fort!

     We pulled most of the beets and onions at the beginning of July. We made pickled beets and used the onions in several dishes we prepared in a kitchen on Officers' Row. We also started picking cabbage heads, some of the leaves had been chewed on by caterpillars, but so far the cabbage heads have escaped damage.

     The "cool weather" crops have vanished from the garden-no more lettuce, peas, and radishes to harvest, although we have left some radish plants to flower and attract beneficial insects to the garden. Now we have started to harvest "warm weather" crops. On July 4th we picked our first cucumber and first squash! The HOT weather has halted the production of bean pods, but the plants still look good so we are hoping for a harvest of beans later.

     In May 1877 Acting Assistant Surgeon F. H. Atkins recorded: "The gardens are very promising, an abundant supply of vegetables may be looked for with certainty."

Rough Riding On The Plains (continued)
by Robert Morris Peck

     (Robert Morris Peck's memoirs, published in the National Tribune in 1901, telling about life at Camp on Pawnee Fork, renamed Camp Alert, continue with his account of life at the post during the winter of 1859-1860. After Peck and his close friends saved the liquor supply for Mr. Stark at the nearby mail station from destruction by the post commander, Lt. David Bell, Peck was assigned to courier duty which turned out to be a dangerous assignment. He wrote:)

     But while Bill, Dave and I were licking our lips in anticipation of the good mess of "hot stuff" we were going to have, and treat the other men to after dark, Lieut. Bell called Serg't O- - and informed him that it was absolutely necessary to send a messenger this night to overtake the east-bound mail that had left us this forenoon, and would camp at Walnut Creek (Peacock's Ranch) tonight, to deliver some important dispatches that must go in by this mail; and ordering the Sergeant to detail a man and have him saddle up one of the horses and report to him as quickly as possible.

     This was going to be a disagreeable and probably dangerous trip, and I hoped I would escape it, but always made it a point never to shirk any duty assigned to me, no matter how unpleasant. Our Sergeant, as usual, instead of detailing some man and ordering him to get ready and go, began asking first one and then another if he could go. Nobody wanted the job--all had excuses. He hadn't called on either of my chums or myself yet, when Bell came out of his quarters, and noticing the Sergeant's indecision, called out sharply:

     "Sergeant, have you detailed that man yet?"

     "No, sir," answered O- -, hesitatingly: "that is, I"-

     "Peck," called out Bell, interrupting him, "you saddle up the best horse in the stable and report to me as quickly as you can. That settles it."

     Then he turned around and walked back into his quarters.

     I admired the decisive manner in which the order was given, but not the order itself.

     It was knocking my arrangements higher than a kite. And, then, I knew it was going to be a bitterly cold night, and riding 30 or 35 miles over a road that was probably watched by the Kiowas was no enticing thing.

     I did not doubt but what if I should meet the hostiles they would be glad to see me and give me a warm reception, but, then I hadn't lost any Indians. Never a hint of this did I give, however, but seeming to accept the assignment as a favor, calling to Bill and Dave to go into the quarters and bring my overcoat, gloves, belt and revolver, I went on a trot to the stable, as though glad to get the job. Cronly went to the Lieutenant and asked permission to go with me, as he hated to see me go alone, but was answered:

     "No, can't spare but one man for this trip. Peck will go through all right."

     When they came out to the stable, bringing my things, Bill insisted that I should take another revolver, as I only had one, and slipped his onto my belt. I was soon rigged out, and muffled up in overcoat, gloves and buffalo-skin overshoes, throwing an extra blanket across my saddle to wrap around my legs, and riding up to headquarters I dismounted, knocked at the door, and as the Lieutenant opened it, saluted and reported:

     "Ready for the road, sir."

     "All right," he answered, as he returned the salute and handed me some papers in large envelopes.

     "I want you to overtake the mail at Walnut Creek, turn these letters over to the conductor for mailing, and then return at your leisure tomorrow." And then looking my outfit over, as I stuck the letters down in my bootleg and noticing that I had selected old Tobe, the best buffalo horse we had, he merely added:

     "He'll do. Now be off."

     Then calling after me as I rode away in the darkness:

     "Keep a sharp lookout for Indians."

     Having arranged with Cronly and Harrison to meet me out in the timber, I took them to where I had hidden the keg of liquor, and directed them to move it up closer to our quarters and hide it securely till I got back.

     From being strictly temperate in my habits as to drinking liquor, as I was for some time after enlisting, it will be noticed that---verifying Gen. Harney's prediction that I would take to drinking before my five years was out---I was gradually acquiring the habit of taking a drink with my comrades when occasion offered.

     I had no liking for liquor, and fortunately never gained a fondness for it. I seemed unconsciously to be drifting into the habit of drinking with the boys just out of companionship and for the sake of the excitement and fun derived therefrom. But having rather a distaste for liquor I never drank enough to affect me seriously, though I have often put myself to considerable trouble and risk to procure the stuff to give to the other men who were fond of it.

     I thought it fun then, but wonder now how I could derive any amusement from such foolishness.

     Being very familiar with the lay of the land, instead of following around by the road, I turned into the timber, crossed the creek, and as soon as I got out of the brush on the other side, struck straight across the prairie for the crossing of Ash Creek, six miles off, intending to drop into the old road there.

     Although the night was dark, I had not mistaken my course, and in a reasonable time reached the road near where it entered the brush at the crossing of Ash Creek. At the same time, however, I noticed that Tobe pricked up his ears and began looking forward as though he saw or heard something alarming. I stopped and listened, but could hear nothing except the wind whistling through the weeds and tall grass; nor could I see anything to cause apprehension. But he certainly saw or heard something unusual.

     I concluded that it was barely possible that a party of Kiowas might be waiting in the dark shadows of the timber at the crossing of the little branch, to interview me; and as I was on urgent business that would not admit of much delay, I concluded to turn to my left and cross the creek a few rods above the crossing and fool them a little; for I felt confident there could be but few of them, possibly only one or two, and if they gave chase I knew Tobe was hard to beat. I had slipped off my right glove and drawn revolver at the first hint of danger, and was just on the point of turning out of my course to hunt another crossing when a sharp, stern voice a few steps ahead of me sung out:

     "Are you white man or Injun?" At the same instant the click click of a gun being cocked struck my ear.

     "White man!" I hastened to answer, and then asked:

     "Who are you?"

     "White man--wolf hunter," said the voice, and then added, "Come this way."

     I was not yet fully satisfied that he was a friend for I had heard of a white man who lives among the Kiowas, an Englishman, known as "English Jim," who has the reputation of being the worst savage in the tribe, and was hesitating about accepting his invitation to come nearer when I heard him let down the hammer of his piece. (to be continued)

     Notice: If you would prefer to receive OUTPOST as a pdf file via email to save paper and postage, please send a note to the editor at {}. You will see color photos in color and may print out the newsletter if you want a hard copy. Thank you.

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2016, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with projects of the Old Guard. Thank you for your support.

New Memberships
     Fort Larned Old Guard welcomes the following new members:
     Jay C. Mastrud, 1889 Rome Ave, St. Paul MN 55116

     For more information, please call the Fort at 620-285-6911.

     Aug. 27, 2016: Picnic in the Park, National Park Service Centennial Celebration

     Sept. 3-5, 2016: Labor Day Weekend Events

     Sept. 22-24, 2016: Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous

     Aug. 27, 2016: Picnic in the Park, Special Celebration of National Park Service Centennial

     Sept. 3-5, 2016: Labor Day Weekend Events

     Sept. 22-24, 2016: Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous, events at Fort Larned on Sept. 24

     Oct. 8, 2016: Candlelight Tour, reservations required--please check Fort website for announcement of when reservations will be accepted; please do not call for reservations prior to that time

     Dec. 10, 2016: Christmas Open House

Deadline for next issue: November 1, 2016

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2016, please send dues to membership chair Linda Peters, 1035 S Bridge St, Lakin KS 67860. Additional donations are always welcome to assist with projects of the Old Guard. Thank you so much for all 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.

Schedule of Annual Events
     True to life stories of the Indian Wars along the Santa Fe Trail, brought to life by some of the greatest volunteers in the West. . . ! Visit the most complete Indian fort surviving from the days when Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody rode through this part of the West on their missions. Original restored buildings to that time period, a visitor center, Park Rangers will guide you through this adventure of the Old West.

     Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) largest living history event in western Kansas - experience a working frontier fort.

     Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday, & Monday) Re-enactors bring Fort Larned back to life for the holiday weekend.

     Candlelight Tour (2nd Saturday of October) Entertaining evening tours with vignettes from the fort's history.

     Christmas Open House (2nd Saturday of December) Old-fashioned Yuletide celebration with hot apple cider, cookies and Christmas carols.

     Fort Larned National Historic Site is a unit of the U.S. National Park Service located six miles west of Larned on Kansas Highway 156. Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p. m. daily, the park's Visitor Center/Museum and all furnished buildings are admission free. Information on Fort Larned may be found at {}, by calling 620-285-6911, or by sending email to {}.

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