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

Awards Presented At Mess & Muster
     The Fort Larned Old Guard presents awards and commissions to recognize outstanding service to Fort Larned National Historic Site for special efforts to promote the history and significance of the Fort, Santa Fe Trail, and related topics.

     Commissions of the rank of Colonel in Fort Larned Old Guard were presented to the following this year: Vicki Gillett for six years' service on the Fort Larned Old Guard board, award recipients Jan Elder, Lea Harding, and Grayson Maxwell, Derek Shaffer for designing the outstanding poster and flyer to advertise this year's Mess & Muster, and Wendell Grangaard, keynote speaker. The William Y. Chalfant Memorial Award was presented to Jan Elder for many years of volunteer service at Fort Larned National Historic Site. The David K. Clapsaddle Memorial Educator Award was presented to Fort Larned Elementary School Principal Lea Harding for the focus of the new school on the history of Fort Larned and the Santa Fe Trail. A special award was presented to Grayson Maxwell, a second-grade student at Fort Larned Elementary School, in recognition of his winning photo of Fort Larned in a statewide contest sponsored by the Kansas State Historical Society.
     Congratulations to each of our winners.

     Jan Elder receiving her commission and the William Y. Chalfant Memorial Award from Leo Oliva. Jan takes care of the historic garden a Fort Larned National Historic Site, which is especially remarkable because she lives about four hours away from Fort Larned. The award includes an inscribed plaque and a copy of Chalfant's book, Hancock's War. Photo courtesy of Ellen Jones.

     Principal Lea Harding, Fort Larned Elementary School, accepting the David K. Clapsaddle Memorial Educator Award from Alice Clapsaddle, on right, while students from the school look on. Photo courtesy of Chris Day.

     Grayson Maxwell with his commission as Colonel in the Fort Larned Old Guard in recognition of his winning photo of Fort Larned. He also received several books. He is the youngest colonel and represents our hope for the future. Photo courtesy of Christina Frick.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Janet Armstead
A Glorious Day!

     We were blessed with a beautiful, sunny Kansas day for the annual Mess & Muster, April 28, 2018. The sky was blue, the breeze a little gusty, but not too strong to keep the big garrison flag from flying over the parade ground. We couldn't have asked for better!

     Over 100 people turned out to hear the speakers talk about their type of weapons, from Ken Weidner's Cheyenne accoutrements to the Fort's cannons. Many weapons were on display for everyone to handle and ask questions. There were a few "duds" from the cannon, but outside of that, the day went without a hitch.

     The Fort Larned Old Guard board extends thanks to ALL the speakers, Fort staff, and volunteers for a wonderful day. Great meals were served by Faye Grandy from Rozel and Great Western Dining from Barton County Community College at Great Bend. It was so nice to have the children and principal from Fort Larned Elementary with us at the banquet and awards ceremony. Congratulations to all who were recognized. I personally thank the Fort Larned Old Guard program committee for planning such a great day.

     I was pleased that my daughter and grandchildren were able to come out to Fort Larned. The State Music Festival was their reason for coming to Larned but they came early to visit the Fort. My daughter had seen the Fort before when she was part of the Santa Fe Trail Youth trips from Wamego. She enjoyed showing her children around the Fort, creating good memories for our family! All grandparents are encouraged to bring grandchildren to visit Fort Larned.

     Board member Vicki Gillett from Larned has reached term limits after six years of invaluable service, and we extend thanks for all her work over the years. We welcome new board member Terry Nech from Hoisington and appreciate his willingness to serve.

     In an attempt to draw more young people to Fort Larned, the board has approved an annual photograph/art contest for school students, grades one through twelve. The details will be available soon, and we look forward to recognizing winning entries at next year's Mess & Muster.

     Everyone is encouraged to participate in special events at the Fort during Memorial weekend (see details in this issue), Independence Day celebration, and Labor Day activities. Invite friends to join you and enjoy this outstanding historical site.

     Candlelight Tour will be here before you know it. Please put October 13, 2018 on your calendar. Last year's tour, with its "who done it?" will be hard to beat. I have confidence that the Fort staff and volunteers will have something informative and entertaining. Let's hope the weather cooperates for Candlelight as it did for M&M.

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     I would like to start by thanking the Fort Larned Old Guard Board and Program Committee for all their hard work in once again presenting the Mess & Muster event this year. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend this year's meeting, but I can definitely appreciate the coordination and effort that it takes to annually provide such informative and educational programming.

     The signs of Spring are all around us. The grass on the parade ground and in the surrounding prairie is greening up and the birds are building nests all around the park. Of course, some of them are in places that are inconvenient for us, but nature generally does what nature wants. Speaking of new things, the end is in sight for the new exhibits. We're done with the design phase and will be starting the construction phase soon. We're looking forward to an open house next year in June or July to unveil them.

     If you attended this year's Mess & Muster you might have noticed fewer objects on display in the Visitor Center museum. They will be gone for the next few months getting conservation treatment before they can be included in the new exhibits. There will also be some construction work in the Visitor Center to make some physical changes to the space. Starting in late spring or early summer most of the exhibits will be moved out of the museum to install new carpet. The entire process will take about two months so during that time only the Buffalo Soldier exhibit and the bison will be on display.

     The Midwest Regional Director, Cam Sholly, visited Fort Larned in March and was very pleased with the improvements to the site and all the great work being done by the park staff.

     On Sunday May 6, 2018, we filmed the Buffalo Soldier reenactors on the parade ground with volunteers and staff in period clothing in the background. The film will be used as displays in the front windows of the museum area. The idea is have people looking "out" the windows and seeing a busy, active fort.

     As always, we have the Fort Larned Old Guard to thank for the help you provide in many of the projects we do at the Fort. One great asset we recently received from the Old Guard is an Apple computer and iPad, along with a wifi hotspot from Verizon, to use for long-distance learning programs. This is helpful because many of the schools use messaging services like Skype that can't be used on government computers or networks. We've already done several and the students and teachers have been thrilled with the results.

     Just as spring nourishes new growth, the new beginnings associated with the many projects and programs planned for this season nourishes our commitment to this wonderful place for which we care.

Terry Nech Joins Fort Larned Old Guard Board
     Terry Nech was elected to serve a two-year term on the Fort Larned Old Guard board, replacing Vicki Gillett who has served six years and has to go off because of term limits. We are glad to welcome Terry to the board. He has been appointed to the awards committee.

     Terry grew up in Kensington KS, was invited to join the army, and retired from teaching science after a 41-year career. He and his wife, Melissa (also a retired teacher), live in Hoisington and dote on the desires of the Chihuahua, Tinker.

     One of Terry's main interests is Wildlife Habitats/Nature development. He has established two areas: one in Smith County and the other in South Hoisington. His other interest is the study of American Indian Wars period.

     Their retirement to Hoisington has placed the couple in an ideal area to enjoy the wildlife/nature of Cheyenne Bottoms and the history of the Old West as provided by Fort Larned and the Santa Fe Trail as well as other forts in the vicinity.

     They like to contribute to their community however they can and they value the opportunities Fort Larned provides for all to learn and appreciate the role the Fort played in the development of America.

New Fort Larned Brochure Selected For Award
     The attractive and informative new brochure for Fort Larned National Historic Site, which everyone should have received a copy by now, was produced by the National Park Interpretive Media Center at Harpers Ferry VA, with information provided by Fort staff and consultants.

     Betsy Ehrlich at the Harpers Ferry Center recently notified Fort Larned Chief Ranger George Elmore that the brochure was entered in the annual Blue Pencil & Gold Screen competition conducted by the National Association of Government Communications (NAGC), and the brochure placed as one of the top three awards to be announced at the awards reception on June 20 during the 2018 NAGC Communications School in Fort Myers FL.

     Thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in the production of the new brochure.

Fort Larned Roll Call: Clayton Hanson
Moving to "The Circle"

     Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, was called "The Circle" by the Arapaho who visited it during summer months. It is easy to see why as the peaks later dubbed Olympus, Twin Sisters, and Mummy enclose open forests and meadows full of deer, elk, and wildflowers. This was a special if not a sacred place to the people who followed Left Hand and Little Raven.

     In late April I followed their old route up the Arkansas River and along the Front Range to where the waters of the Big Thompson River and North St. Vrain Creek pour from gorges onto the High Plains. After a dry and dusty prairie winter, even the mountains in drought seemed thick with moisture and life.

     But why cross the heart of the continent? In March I had accepted a permanent position at Rocky Mountain National Park in their Fee Collection office as a Senior Visitor Use Assistant.

     While I am not ecstatic to leave behind interpretation and education for fee collection, the promise of a permanent job was a powerful incentive. While at Rocky, I will help ensure the accuracy of money collected at one of the busier parks in the nation.

     But I am a historian at heart so Fort Larned will remain with me. And I plan to retrace the old Arapaho route to where it meets the Santa Fe Trail and continue to help bring the Western past alive in Kansas. Until then! Clayton Hanson

     The Old Guard extends all good wishes to Hanson in his new position and thanks for his time and service at Fort Larned National Historic Site.

Volunteer Roll Call: Ernie & Lynn Banks
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     Fort Larned's new volunteers, Ernie and Lynn Banks from Boulder, Colorado, were introduced to you in the Winter 2018 issue of OUTPOST. They really had not experienced the Fort at that time but ended up leaving their mark in the two months of volunteering. The interpretive staff is very grateful for all the hours they worked, much of the time covering the front desk greeting visitors. The lasting evidence of both Ernie's and Lynn's work is most definitely worthy of another newsletter article.

     The Banks knew they were descending on the Fort when our visitation was increasing. Both quickly became trained as front desk greeters, performing sales transactions, and answering the phone. They attended the Fort's education program training and were able to lead school groups for the next six weeks. One day Lynn was helping preschool students make bird nests from natural materials and the next day she was leading fourth graders in the Every Kid in the Park program.

     Ernie, who is a retired rocket scientist, offered up his skills for one of the challenges during Survivor Day with Larned High School. He named his challenge, "Knots Your Day." The challenge was to learn tying a variety of knots, including the bowline and clove hitch. Most students understood the lesson and had success, but it was certainly a challenge.

Ernie Banks at left overseeing "Knots Your Day" training
     Ernie made a travois to use during Survivor Day, and we are so impressed that we plan to use it for many other programs too. During Survivor Day the high school students were instructed to move the travois without upsetting the contents they were moving--bottles filled with "nitroglycerin." Just as predicted, there were a lot of upsets followed by "explosive" laughter.!

     Thanks to the Banks we have a fun rainy day activity in the Visitor Center called Buffalo Parts Game. Ernie and Lynn papered ten boxes with Santa Fe Trail map paper and cut a hole in the middle of each. The boxes are numbered and each contain an item made from the buffalo. The students reach in, feel the item, while looking at a list of items. There are also some hints on the boxes. They draw a line to the correct answer that coincides with the number. Currently, we are giving a packet of trading cards to those who hand in correct answers. If the readers of this article know some of those bison parts we show in the Fort's Visitor Center or in the game, send your answers to {} and we will send you a packet of trading cards.

     We were sorry to see Ernie and Lynn go back to Colorado. They came at a good time when we really needed the help. The Banks plan on staying home for about a year before volunteering in public lands again. They certainly have been invited back, and if they do return, we will indeed be fortunate!

Lights! Camera! Action!
Fort Larned Comes Alive For The Cameras
by Ellen Jones, Park Ranger

     On the afternoon of Sunday, May 6, the Fort Larned parade ground turned into a movie set. Thirty volunteers came out to help bring the Fort to life in a short film for the new museum exhibits. There were Buffalo Soldiers drilling on the parade ground, a squad of marching infantrymen, a supply wagon traveling behind the warehouses, soldiers on guard duty saluting a passing officer, school children and their teacher going to the school house, and ladies hurrying about on their daily business.

     The film is for an AV window display that will allow visitors to "look" out the window and "see" all the activity that might be happening on a busy day at the Fort. Although the film clip displayed in the window is only about three minutes long, it took all afternoon to film it. And, of course, just like a full-length feature film there was a lot of behind the scenes planning that took place long before filming day.

     The film was produced by 29 Pixel Studios with Nick Schale as the producer (and company owner) and Cesar Peynetti as the director of photography. The project was coordinated through the Park Service's design center at Harpers Ferry WV by David Ehrenburg.

     The Harpers Ferry Center provides interpretive media for parks, including exhibits, brochures, waysides, and films. Ehrenburg is a film producer whose job is to help parks produce interpretive films. At any one time the center could be working with six to ten parks on various projects. This includes all aspects of film production, such as pre-production, development and planning, production, or the actual filming, and then post production, which is the editing and adding music, sound effects, narration, etc.

     Although the film producers at Harpers Ferry can do the production--they have the expertise and access to the equipment--they sometimes hire film production companies, depending on what's appropriate for the project. Ehrenburg has been at the Harpers Ferry Center for three years and says that he loves his job. He does admit that it can be stressful at times. "Working with people and trying to coordinate a variety of schedules can be difficult."

     We're glad they were able to coordinate everything for the shoot here at the Fort. Stay tuned for news about when the exhibit will be ready for viewing. The target date for completion of the new exhibits, including the AV window display, is July 2019.

Post Surgeons: Augustus De Loffre
by Celeste Dixon, Park Ranger

     (This is tenth of the series on the post surgeons at Fort Larned.)
     Assistant Surgeon Augustus Andrew De Loffre took over from Dr. Steven Crowdry on June 8, 1875. He didn't stay at the Fort for long before he was granted a month's leave of absence by the Assistant Adjutant's office of the Department of the Missouri due to a medical issue.

     He applied for the leave on June 12 after Dr. Crowdry examined him the day before and issued a medical certificate recommending the leave due to finding that De Loffre had "inflammation of the internal ear with which he has suffered the past three months." Dr. Crowdry went on to say that De Loffre should see a specialist "at once before the disease becomes chronic and that in consequence thereof he is in my belief unfit for duty." He stated that it will take a month before Dr. De Loffre will be fit to resume his duties. While he was gone, Surgeon J. H. Page, post surgeon at Fort Dodge, came to Fort Larned to fill in for him.

     By November the medical records, presumably written by Dr. De Loffre, reported that the wheat farmers in Pawnee County were having a hard time keeping wild geese from eating their crop. The year before it had been grasshoppers. For his December report, De Loffre commented on the winter weather and the health of the troops at the Fort. "Nothing new to report, except the whole command has been quite busy sawing our winter supply of wood, before the saw, ordered sent to Fort Dodge, is taken away. Everything indicates we are going to have a mild winter. One snow this month and did not remain long enough to benefit the crops. Health of post excellent as following sanitary report, sent to AAG (Assistant Adjutant General) will show: 'Sir, I have the honor to report health of troops at this post for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 1975 excellent. Has not been necessary to recommend any extra sanitary measures.'"

     De Loffre was born in Paris, France, April 21, 1845, and was appointed Assistant Surgeon in Louisiana, November 10, 1874, which seems to make Fort Larned one of his first postings in the military.

     Dr. De Loffre's January 1876 medical report notes a large temperature difference between the current temperature and that of a year ago. In 1875 the January temperatures were in the teens, but in 1876 they were up in the 30s, making it difficult to cut ice from the river. De Loffre also predicted that it would just take another year for central Kansas to be filled with settlers, although he wouldn't be at Fort Larned to see whether his prediction would come true. He received orders in March to transfer to Fort Reno, Indian Territory.

     Before leaving, Dr. De Loffre asked for permission to take the Warren Cooker in the medical department to Fort Reno with him. This was a type of stove used in the army at the time and according to De Loffre's request, "It has not the appearance of ever having been used and since I took charge of this hospital, there have been so few sick, that I have not had any opportunity to give it a trial." He goes on to say that the post he's going to has been recently established and probably doesn't have one, especially since he didn't see one listed on the supply table.

     His request is a good example of the changing focus of the frontier Indian Wars at this time. Fort Larned was in its waning days as an active military post because the Indians in the area had all been moved onto reservations. The post Dr. De Loffre was going to had been established near the Cheyenne Agency in Indian Territory (present Oklahoma) to keep an eye on the Indians at the agency. His request was based on the accurate observation that Fort Larned, as a post soon to be decommissioned, didn't have a need for it, while Fort Reno, a newly-established post, could certainly benefit from it.

     The post commander at the time, Captain William Lyster, approved the request writing, "As there appears to be no need of this utensil here, at this time, I see no objection to its being removed to where it may be of service."

     Dr. De Loffre married Fannie Elliott (also Eliot) December 17, 1878, in Washington D.C. He was promoted to Captain Surgeon in November 1879. He served in the Department of Missouri until February 1883 when he was transferred to the Department of the East, and was later assigned to duty at Fort Totten, Dakota Territory. He apparently had health problems that affected his service; in 1888 he was granted six months medical leave by a surgeon's certificate. He was again granted sick leave in 1892 which was extended for an additional month. He was promoted to Major Surgeon on June 1, 1892. In 1894 he was granted three months leave to visit France. He retired on June 8, 1899, for the following reason given by the retirement board, "incapacitated for active service on account of disability incident thereto." He died at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio TX ,on September 4, 1899. He and his wife are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Enlisted Men of Company C, Third Infantry
Part XI - Amos Buckhardt
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 eleventh installment in a series on the enlisted men whose information is included in that report. There are no photos available for these enlisted soldiers.)

     Amos Buckhardt enlisted in the Army on May 4, 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. There is no other biographical information about him but from the description of his monthly duties he had received vocational training at some point before he joined the army.

     In January 1868 Private Buckhardt is reported as being on daily duty in the Post Quartermaster Department as a carpenter until the 28th, when he reported to sick call with a contusion. There's no information on how he got the injury, but he remained sick in the barracks until February 3rd, when he returned to the Quartermaster Department to resume his carpenter duties.

     Private Buckhardt continued his carpenter duties with the Quartermaster Department for the rest of February and through March and April into May. He was sick with diarrhea in the barracks on May 3 and 4. He started out as a carpenter in June until the 13th when he was assigned company duty until the 17th. After that he returned to the Quartermaster Department, only this time for extra duty as a mechanic through the end of August. He remained on company duty for the rest of the year, with a short stint out sick with dysentery on October 27 and 28.

     Buckhardt's experience highlights a fairly common practice in the frontier army: using enlisted men with specific skills to do work around the post. In fact, for most of the 1800s soldiers provided a fair amount of the labor that went into building and maintaining posts. The army started out using soldiers to build Fort Larned's stone buildings until the demands of their "real" jobs - escort and guard duty - interfered and civilian workers were brought in to finish the job.

Student Photo/Art Contest
     In an effort to attract more young people to Fort Larned, the Fort Larned Old Guard board established a photo/art contest for students, grades 1-12, to begin this coming year. There will be three age groups with two possible awards for photos and art in each. The winners will be recognized at the annual Mess & Muster, and the winning photos and art will be displayed at the Fort for one year. Details are being prepared and the contests will be announced later this year.

Flags And The Flagpole, Part 2
by Sam Young, Fort Larned National Historic Site Volunteer

     Even though the wind was very strong as you walked back to your wagon and you watched the wagons shake, it was not the worst you had ever experienced. Along the horizon north of your camp you saw almost black skies and a tremendous display of lightening. Fortunately it passed quickly and the late afternoon gave way to a most enjoyable evening.

     You were becoming fascinated with the bugle calls coming from the Fort. Even though you did not know what they meant you realized two of them were important as the soldiers were lined up while the flag was being lowered and the cannon was fired. You had not seen the soldiers like that before.

     As the evening progressed, several officers and their families from the Fort visited your camp. They had heard music and wanted to join the singing and dancing. You all had a most enjoyable evening and you met an officer who said he would answer your questions about the flagpole the next day. He said he would be at the Fort's headquarters building which had the sign "Adjutant's Office" on it.

     After the visitors returned to the Fort you and your family cleaned up around your campfire site and prepared for bed. Shortly after you crawled into your blankets you heard the same bugle call you heard the night before. It was so solemn, yet gentle. You had been told it was Taps which tells the soldiers it is time to go to bed.

     The next morning when you met with the officer about the flagpole he told you, while walking to the flagpole, it is about 130 feet tall of which 10 feet is buried in the ground. He said its base, which is fifteen inches square, sets on the center of a two-board footing crossed like an "X". The boards were each approximately 12 1/2 feet long, 16 inches wide by 1 inch thick.

     He said after the flagpole was set on the board footing and before the dirt was put back into the hole, wooden braces were attached to each end of the footing boards and attached to the flag pole at about 8 feet up from the base of the pole. The dirt was then tightly packed back into the hole to create a firm base for the flagpole.

     He then said the flagpole, a Douglas fir, is in two parts. The 80 foot base part extends 70 feet above the ground and has the 45 foot second part firmly clamped to the north side of the base pole. That achieved the desired 120 foot height while strengthening the upper part of the pole to better resist the strong winds. You could see where the poles were clamped together.

     You could see the clamps and a cross tree at the bottom clamp that extended out to the east and west with a wire from each end of the cross tree and extending upward to the 100 foot point on the pole where they were attached. You could also see a wire from each end of the tree going down about 5 feet and attached to the base pole. The officer said these were to further stabilize and reinforce the upper pole.

     He then said to help stabilize the base pole four guy-ropes were attached about 20 feet from near the top of the base pole and firmly secured in the ground equidistant apart around and about fifteen feet out from the flagpole. He also said that before the flagpole was placed in the ground a pulley was attached near the top of the pole for the rope on which the flag would be attached to raise and lower it. Also attached to the pole, starting about ten feet above ground and on two sides nearest to each other were placed footholds on which to ascend and descend the pole for repairs, to include painting and replacing the rope. A brass ball was placed on top of the pole to prevent rain water from soaking into the top of the pole and causing it to rot.

     You asked if the pole had ever been broken and blown from its vertical position by the wind. He said no because on very windy and stormy days only the storm flag is flown.

     As you walked back to the Adjutant's office he invited you and your fellow travelers to return and watch the flag lowering ceremony. Later that afternoon when you attended that ceremony and watched the garrison flag being lowered you were able to answer their questions about the flag and the flagpole.

     (Author: Information about the flagpole when Fort Larned was an Army post came from the July 27, 1983 Memorandum, Subject: Archeological excavation of the flagstaff remnant at Fort Larned National Historic Site. "There is very little in the way of documentary evidence relating to Fort Larned's nineteenth-century flagstaff and what exists has been carefully drawn together by park staff. Military records indicate that it was erected in the late 1860s and was destroyed by lightening in 1878." Information on above ground details of the structure is available in a few photographs and an illustration. Although these are somewhat indistinct, through them reconstruction of the above ground portion of the flagpole was possible.)

     The flagpole at Fort Larned National Historic Site closely matches the above information with a few exceptions. The flagpole was placed in a fourteen foot deep hole drilled into the ground like a hole would be drilled for an electric power pole. The dirt was packed tightly in the hole to create a firm base for the pole that extended 100 feet (base pole and upper extension pole) above the ground. The wood type is unknown as it is a modified power pole. Guy-wires were attached as on the 1868 flagpole. The pole does not extend above 100 feet since a pole above that height would require, per Federal Aviation Administration regulations, a flashing red light at the top.

     There is one very important exception not found on the original flagpole that was added to the new flagpole--a lightening rod! It is interesting to note that, when the current flagpole was installed, the base of the original pole was found in the hole drilled for this one. It is exactly in the original location.

Fort Larned's Memorial Weekend
     Memorial Day weekend each year depicts the activity of a working frontier fort. This year's events is Saturday through Monday, May 26-28. Living-history demonstrations and activities will be held all three days of the event from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
     Admission is free.

     Fort Larned will be abuzz with activity as park staff and volunteers portray the living fort as it was in the 1860s and 1870s. Watch soldiers perform rifle and cannon demonstrations, the post blacksmith working raw metal into finished products, and bakers creating meals for the troops. Interact with living-history interpreters throughout the site, including ladies of the post wearing elaborate Victorian dresses and soldiers in historic uniforms. We will entertain visitors with dances of the era in a new program called, "Waltzes, Reels & Polkas: 19th Century Dance Lessons."

2018 Memorial Day Weekend Schedule
All three days!

10:00 a.m.: Forge and Anvil: The Post Blacksmith
    Watch the post blacksmith transform iron into everyday objects used at the Fort.

11:00 a.m.: Waltzes, Reels & Polkas: 19th Century Dance Lessons
     Participate in activities that were popular at a frontier military post and learn to dance, and socialize, the old-fashioned way.

12:00 p.m.: Fort Larned Rocks! Building a Frontier Army Post
     From sod and adobe to sandstone, learn the secrets in the Fort's stone buildings.

1:00 p.m.: Artillery and Small Arms Firing Demonstration
     See how the soldiers used their weapons on the frontier.

2:00 p.m.:American Indian Children's Games
     Try your hand at some of the games American Indian children played.

2:00 p.m.: Afternoon Tea with the Ladies of Officers' Row
     Enjoy the finer things of life with the officers' wives (Sunday Only).

3:00 p.m.: Join the Army
     Find out if you have what it takes to be a frontier soldier.

4:30 p.m.: Flag Retreat
     Traditional Army flag-lowering ceremony, with bugle calls and firing the cannon.

     Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of the summer season at Fort Larned National Historic Site. In June park rangers will be at the Dodge City Veterans Administration Clinic handing out access passes to disabled veterans. There will be special activities at Fort Larned for the 4th of July, and we will finish out the summer programs with the Labor Day Weekend living-history event. We hope to see you at the Fort this summer.

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

     May 26-28, 2019: Memorial Day Weekend Living-History Activities (see article above)
     July 4, 2018: Independence Day Celebration and Living-History Activities
     Sept. 1-3, 2018: Labor Day Weekend Living-History
     Oct. 13, 2018: Fort Larned Old Guard Board Meeting and Fort's Annual Candlelight Tour
     Sept. 20-22, 2018: Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous at the Trail Center, Larned, and Fort Larned
     Dec. 14, 2018: Annual Christmas Open House with activities for adults and children
     April 27, 2019: Fort Larned Old Guard Annual Mess & Muster

Deadline for next issue: August 1, 2018

     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 in the Fort Larned Old Guard expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2017, 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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