Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter
Volume 30, Number 4 ~*~ Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West ~*~ Spring 2020

Greetings From Your New Co-Editor
by Ben Long, Park Ranger

     Some of you may be asking right now, "Didn't we recently have an introduction from this guy?" To that, I say "Why yes, yes you have."

     However, things are changing around here at Fort Larned. The day I am writing this article is Ranger Ellen Jones's last day working for Fort Larned National Historic Site, and I can say that Fort Larned will be a much different place when she's gone. Ellen has done so much for this park and so much for Outpost. She's created some big shoes to fill in her time here, I was both surprised and honored that Ellen wished me to become the new co-editor of Outpost.

     With this new responsibility, I can only think about the advice, "be careful of what you say 'never' to." I remember back in grade school I had a near-hatred for writing. Now here I am, glad to write for such a publication as this! Needless to say, writing and I have a much better relationship today. I hope in my time as co-editor, I am able to continue to provide you all with quality articles, keeping you up to date with everything that's going on at Fort Larned National Historic Site. In addition, perhaps we'll look at adding some new articles or types of articles to freshen things up a bit. Being that my main outlet for writing lately has been social media posts for the park. I am glad to be able to write articles that are not so limited on length.

     We all wish Ellen well in her future adventures, and we rest easy in the fact that we know this is not the last we will hear of Ellen Jones. Time presses on and we are forced to look into the future to see what it might hold. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy.

Fort Larned Old Guard Board Election Conducted By Mail
     Because the annual Mess & Muster membership meeting could not be held, the election of board members was conducted by mail by the nominating committee (Leo Oliva, Martha Scranton, and Vicki Gillett). The nominees for four positions were two incumbents, Kristin Keith and Linda Peters, and two former board members to fill vacancies, Ken Weidner and Tim Zwink. There were 55 ballots returned, all

Deadline for the next art contest is February 1, 2021.
     This would be a good project for students working at home while schools are closed. for the nominees.

     The new board elected officers: Chair Janet Armstead, Vice-Chair Rex Abrahams, Secretary Kristin Keith, and Treasurer Martha Scranton. The contact information for all board members is found on page two of every issue of Outpost.

Student Photo/Art Contest Winners
     The second annual student photo/art contest drew more than a hundred entries this year, and the two winners in each age category are recognized here. There were many excellent entries, and the panel of judges had a difficult time deciding on the winners. There were many considered for honorable mention.

     Because Mess & Muster was canceled, the awards were mailed to the winners. Each winner was asked to send a photo for Outpost and two responded. All five are recognized here with photos of their entries. The Old Guard congratulates these winners and extends thanks to everyone who entered the contest.

Grades 1-4
     First Place: Kinzlay Pickett, Fairfield Elementary School

     Second Place: Georgia Fry, Fairfield Elementary School

Grades 5-8
     First Place: Maggie Haas, Fort Larned Middle School

     Second Place: Maggie Haas, Fort Larned Middle School

     First & Second Place: Maggie Haas, Fort Larned Middle School

Grades 9-12
     First Place: Rebekah Harmon, Larned High School

     First Place: Rebekah Harmon, Larned High School

     Second Place: Sara White Larned High School

Deadline for the next art contest is February 1, 2021.
     This would be a good project for students working at home while schools are closed.

Fort Larned Old Guard Chair's Column
by Janet Armstead

     Hasn't it been a strange time? We miss seeing our friends and the Fort very much. It was difficult but essential for the health and well-being of everyone to cancel the grand opening of the new museum exhibits ant Fort Larned on April 18 and our annual Mess & Muster that evening. We have no idea when our lives may be back to "normal" again. The most important thing is to stay safe and take care of everyone. It is a stressful time as we adjust to isolation, social distancing, and reliance on social media to keep in touch.

     Is there anything we can do-as we sit in our homes and wait out the Coronavirus? YES! There is!

     Do you need something? Are you ordering online? Try to find that needed item on AMAZON SMILE. A tiny bit of your purchase goes to the 501(C)3 nonprofit organization that you designate. Please think about designating Fort Larned Old Guard, Inc. With everything being delivered these days, instead of going out, this is a great way to help yourselves and help the Fort as well. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all the delivery workers at this critical time.

     I thank Rex Abrahams and his committee (Kristin Keith, Martha Scranton, and Greg VanCoevern, with a little help from the chair) for all of their work on Mess & Muster. Even though it did not happen, a lot of work had gone into what was to be a wonderful event following the grand opening of the new museum exhibits at Fort Larned. Derek Schaffer produced a great flyer to advertise the event.

     We were unable to present the awards to the winners of the annual student photo/art contest, and the awards were mailed to them. The Fort Larned Old Guard awards (William Y. Chalfant Memorial Award and David K. Clapsaddle Educator Award) will be presented whenever it is possible to meet with the recipients.

     The Fort Larned Old Guard board will conduct business online until it is safe to gather again. We may not have a membership meeting until regular time for Mess & Muster in 2021. At present, we do not know if there will be a Santa Fe Trail Rendezvous at Larned in September or the annual candlelight tour at Fort Larned in October.

     I also thank the nominating committee (Leo Oliva, Martha Scranton, and Vicki Gillett) for handling the nominations and "wrangling" mail ballots for our election. Thank you to all who took the time to return the ballot or vote via email. We welcome back former board members Ken Weidner and Tim Zwink who served before and laid out after reaching term limits. Special thanks to those who went off the board this year: Terry Nech who has served on our awards committee and Bonita Oliva who served many years as board secretary.

     The board elected the following officers: Chair Janet Armstead, Vice-Chair Rex Abrahams, Secretary Kristin Keith, and Treasurer Martha Scranton. Thank you all for serving.

Superintendent's Corner
by Betty Boyko

     I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe during this unprecedented time. COVID-19 has changed all our lives, including life here at Fort Larned. The National Park Service is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our visitors and employees. That commitment led to the difficult decision in March to close the Visitor Center and the historic buildings to visitation. The grounds and the History and Nature Trail remain open.

     The governor's shelter in place order has likely contributed to our low visitation despite having the grounds open. Average daily visitation has been around 4-6 people. Part of the governor's order does allow for people to recreate outside while maintaining safe social distancing and we are glad to be able to provide an outdoor space where people can go when they need a break.

     We also had to cancel our planned events for now. Of course, sadly, the biggest one was the New Exhibit Dedication and Celebration that we were all looking forward to in April. We hope to schedule something in the future, but until we have some confidence that we can provide for the safety of staff and employees, that date has not been determined. Other cancellations include all the spring school tours and Kansas Kids Fitness Day on May 1. We are also unsure about what will happen with our summer living-history programs. The shelter in place order is currently set to be lifted on May 3, however, there are still too many unknowns about the spread of the coronavirus to make plans at this point.

     With our Visitor Center closed, the ranger staff is hard at work providing alternative, digital interpretive experiences for our visitors. The cell phone tour we currently have has been updated and signage placed around the park. Some online Junior Ranger activities were added to the website with more in the works. Park staff is also working on a virtual tour for the website and social media.

     Since we were not able to host our museum exhibit dedication, and we know everyone was looking forward to seeing the exhibits, we have put some pictures on our website. You can find them at the following location: {}. Enjoy! We look forward to the day when you can come see them in person.

Fort Larned Roll Call: Mat Thompson
by Ben Long, Park Ranger

     Mat Thompson started his first position with the National Park Service at Fort Larned National Historic Site as a Custodial Maintenance Worker on March 1. Mat, a Larned native, has seamlessly joined the Fort Larned team and seems to be handling any curveball that comes his way.

     This isn't Mat's first time working for the government though. For 12 years Mat worked the night shift at the State Hospital as a security guard. It was there that he met our beloved blacksmith, Pete Bethke. Most recently, Mat worked as a custodial worker at Larned High School. One day, after finishing work early, Mat noticed the job announcement for the custodial position that was vacant here at the Fort. On a whim, he decided to apply for the job. After not hearing anything for a while, Mat had nearly given up hope. Then, around Thanksgiving time, Chappy wanted an interview. The rest, as they say, is history.

     Mat enjoys working at the Fort. One of the great positives that he sees in the job is the great hours. After working night shift at the hospital and evenings at the high school, Mat is happy to be able to spend time with his two kids and his wife. Mat hopes to make Fort Larned National Historic Site his career for many years to come.

     Around the Fort, Mat has been an amazing help. Making sure everything is sanitized and cleaned is no easy feat, but Mat makes it look like a breeze. In addition to cleaning the restrooms that remain open, Mat has also been doing a deep clean of every building. According to him, the windows take the longest. However, while they might be a chore, everyone notices how clean and clear they are afterward.

     Welcome, Mat Thompson, to the National Park Service and Fort Larned National Historic Site families--we are glad you are working with us.

Volunteer Roll Call: Sam Young
by Ben Long, Park Ranger

     Most, if not all of you, have met Sam Young or, at the very least, you have seen his work. He has participated in many living-history programs, been bugler for retreat, and done leatherwork at the Fort. I happen to be one of those who has seen Sam's work but haven't met him in person yet. On a phone call with Sam recently, it was very clear the love that he has for not only Fort Larned National Historic Site, its staff, volunteers, and visitors, but the love that he has as a volunteer. Sam recounted the many projects he's worked on and the many days and nights he's spent here.

     If you have been reading Outpost for the last few years, you might remember Sam's series: "Living in the North Officers' Quarters." In this series, he shared his experiences and how they might have varied from life at Fort Larned in 1868. Sam told me about what it was like for him to spend a night at the fort in the colder months. The stove in the bedroom was not useful, so he kept the kitchen stove burning and closed all doors except the one between the kitchen and bedroom. "I would blow the candle out," Sam said, "and I would lay down and see one little red light--the smoke detector!" Sometimes, when we are trying to gain the perspective of a previous generation, we tend to notice things that we wouldn't otherwise.

     Sam and I were able to talk about our mutual love for the craft of leather working. One of the first projects Sam did for Fort Larned was rebuilding one of the bellows for the forge in the blacksmith ship. Sam remembers Ranger George Elmore taking him into the Carpentry and Saddler Shop, showing him the dilapidated bellows, and asking him to rebuild it. To this day, those bellows allow Pete Bethke and our other blacksmiths to enhance the visitors' experience by making them a souvenir from a working forge.

     Unfortunatley, even though Sam loves Fort Larned and volunteering here, he is physically unable to volunteer in the capacity he used to. However, this presents a brand-new opportunity--an opportunity to be a virtual volunteer. He helps from the convenience of his own home by researching and writing articles for Outpost.

     With a lot of stay-at-home orders country-wide, the National Park Service is seeing an increase in virtual volunteers. It is great to see that people are so invested in their National Parks that they choose to do their volunteering from home. However, Sam has been a virtual volunteer for a while now, so he was a virtual volunteer before it was cool. Sam is disappointed that he can't come to the Fort as often, but he enjoys researching and writing, and intends to keep writing articles for Outpost for years to come.

     If you or someone you know wants to help Fort Larned National Historic Site by volunteering and it's hard to get to the Fort, consider becoming a virtual volunteer. There are always plenty of projects and we can always use your help!

Experiencing Fort Larned In 1868
by Sam Young, Fort Larned Volunteer

     We, the Fort Larned Old Guard members, along with the Fort Larned National Historic Site staff and volunteers, have a passion for Fort Larned. It is shown by how Fort Larned looks today and its appeal to the many visitors who "cross the bridge" into a very interesting and exciting historical experience.

     However, have you ever really thought about what Fort Larned was like in 1868? Can you truly picture it in your mind? Fortunately, in 2017, Fort Larned National Historic Site began providing an outstanding brochure with an excellent artist rendering of a typical day at Fort Larned in 1868. If you do not have a copy of the brochure, go to search on your internet and type Fort Larned National Historic Site. When you see the images, click on see all images. Then scroll through the pictures until you see the picture that is in the brochure (looks like an aerial view of Fort Larned as you look from the southwest); click on it. The stone buildings we see today are all in the picture. So are a multitude of other things that we do not see as we look at Fort Larned today. Of your five senses, you now have part of the visual picture of Fort Larned in 1868. But, what was there in 1868 that you do not see in the picture? And what of your other four senses that cannot be captured in pictures? What would these senses have experienced in 1868 at Fort Larned? So let us spend time in 1868 experiencing Fort Larned. Fortunately, 1868 was a leap year so there is an extra day for this very telling experience!

     Fort Larned was a small frontier town environment where people lived, worked, shopped, visited, played, slept, and died. It was a military town as you see in the picture, with soldiers being there its reason for existing. Its location was based on several things, but primarily it was to protect the mail, protect wagon trains on the Santa Fe Trail, had an ample source of water, and wood was available for heating and cooking fires. Since there were no nearby towns, Fort Larned was a lot of things to a lot of people. Thus it brought together soldiers and soldier families, travelers, freighters, Indians, and settlers.

     As much as I want to go into great detail as to what the picture shows and doesn't show, available space in this newsletter limits what we can experience. If you have the brochure picture, great! If not, and you have been at Fort Larned, picture it in your mind.

     Wood was very important to the daily activities at Fort Larned, but the trees that naturally grew along the Pawnee Fork had long since been consumed. Thus wood had to be cut and hauled from a distance by either soldiers or contracted civilians. I can see the wood yard in the picture, located due east of the new commissary building, but no smaller stacks of wood by the officers' quarters kitchen doors. So I asked where is the firewood for the officers' quarters, the hospital, and the barracks' kitchens. Chief Ranger George Elmore said it was delivered daily to all places on the Fort requiring firewood.

     In 1868, Fort Larned was very busy with many of its soldiers away performing escort duty or training to better perform their duties. thus, civilians were hired to perform many of the manual tasks that the soldiers typically would perform, such as repairing roofs, cutting and hauling wood, maintaining the many wagons necessary to transport food and other supplies, caring for animals used to pull the wagons, and repairing all the canvas and leather associated with all facets of the activities at the Fort.

     Speaking of no trees, that means no trees for birds to nest in and no tree limbs for bats to hang from. Why is this important? Birds, such as Tree Swallows, Eastern Kingbirds, Chickadees, and Barn Swallows, eat both flies and mosquitoes, while bats eat other types of insects besides an occasional mosquito. There would have been a lot of these insects around Fort Larned during the warm months of 1868 due to the Pawnee Fork River and all of the animals, but, unfortunately, few if any birds and bats to eat these flying pests.

     As you know, mosquitoes and flies target people trying to sleep. Keeping the doors and windows closed kept most of those pests out, but the sun heated walls meant keeping the windows open, especially during the night. Thus the choice was sweating profusely or getting "bugged" while you were trying to sleep. Since one of my living-history roles at Fort Larned was to give the south multi-room quarters in the North Officers' Quarters the appearance of the officer who lived there in 1868 actually living there, I slept in that bedroom many nights. Thus, I put a mosquito net over the bed so I could sleep with the windows open!

     Flies? They would have been a very challenging problem to all the people at Fort Larned. They came from the stables behind the officers' quarters, the sutler's stables and corrals, the cavalry stables, cavalry picket lines for their horses south of the cavalry stables and near the bridge north of the river, and the Quartermaster corrals east of the oxbow. Then there are the sutler's pig pens, all of the latrines, and the horse and oxen droppings on all the roads. Many of you know exactly the frustrations pesky flies can cause; try cooking and eating with them.

     If that was not bad enough, think of the smells! Remember what you have smelled being near a feed lot or a hog farm. That would closely describe the smells surrounding Fort Larned. Now add to that the dust just from the area right around Fort Larned. It covers everything. Then there were the dust storms rolling across the Great Plains that quickly covered everything with dust, possibly followed by drenching rains, damaging hail, and strong winds. Many of us have endured the dust and rain at Fort Larned. I had never seen horizontal rain or horizontal lightening in a ripple pattern until I was at Fort Larned.

     Notice I have not mentioned what could possibly be in the river water which humans and animals drank and was cut into ice on cold winter days for use in the summer. A lot of stuff was dumped into water to float away. By our standards today it definitely was not safe to drink or use for bathing.

     Except for the Shops Building, there is no smoke in the picture rising from the chimneys. Since the sun is casting near-midday shadows you should expect to see smoke from the cooking fires and water being heated for the laundresses' clothes washing. Visiting the barracks and hospital kitchens, the bakery, and the North Officers' Quarters when food is cooking is awesome. Some days, but not on big weekends, I'd portray the cook of the captain in whose quarters I brought to life, I cooked on the wood stove. Usually it would be a bison stew. I'd hear visitors entering the hallway from the front porch and exclaiming "someone is cooking and it smells good!" That presented many opportunities for living-history lessons and question-answering for these visitors.

     Looking at the Shops Building and not seeing smoke coming from the middle chimney also tells me this picture is probably in the spring. The middle chimney was for the stove in the Carpenter, Paint, and Saddler Shop. It was too small to hardly heat water on a cold day, let alone heat the room. One very cold day in a January I was in the Saddler Shop for that experience. The cold made the leather brittle, so there was no leather work. I could have repaired canvas, but when the clouds hid the sun, it was colder than cold in there. That shop did not have a ceiling, so whatever heat was in there went up to the roof. But when the sun came out, the temperature immediately went up and I had to take off my cavalry greatcoat and gloves. I could then sew canvas.

     By the corner of the backyard fence of the south set of officers' quarters is an ambulance. Why is it there? Well, the Army doctor assigned to Fort Larned lived there. Were the horses in his part of the stables there for that set of quarters his or were they army horses for the ambulance? If you look at the hospital, there is no stable or a place to park the ambulance. Maybe the doctor felt it best for the ambulance to be in his back yard.

     If you look closely at the upper right corner of the picture, you will see a herd of buffalo migrating north. They draw flies and smell also. The herd had to detour around Fort Larned. Also, if it was a big herd and there was little flowing water in the Pawnee Fork, these buffalo would drink it dry!

     There are many wild animals and snakes living in the vicinity of Fort Larned. Living at the Fort I saw many, day and night, but never saw a rattlesnake. It was the skunks roaming at night that most concerned me. People in 1868 at Fort Larned probably had the same concerns.

     The next time you are at Fort Larned, pause and listen. It is pretty quiet except when the mowers are out. At night it can be very quiet, except for an occasional animal crying out. Now, go back to 1868. During the day, Fort Larned was not a quiet place to live and work. Creaking wagons, loud voices for a multitude of reasons such as workers loading wagons and soldiers training as well as the few children playing, horseshoes on the wooden bridge, bugle calls, blacksmith shop hammers, and the animals. Yes, it might be quieter at night, but the livestock still made noises as did the soldiers before Taps and lights-out. During the evening off duty soldiers could be going to and from the Post Sutler's area where there were billiards and bowling. Personal musical instruments were probably being played and maybe some singing at the barracks. Officers and their families were probably socializing on their porches. There might even be babies crying.

     Sundays on a military post were not normally quiet like in civilian communities. With the Santa Fe Trail, wagon trains could be coming and going, freight could still need to be loaded or unloaded, and Cavalrymen could be departing or returning from a mission. Also the livestock had to be fed, watered, and cared for.

     Now consider the sense of feeling. What have you touched that was Fort Larned in 1868? How about the stone wall on the south side of the Quartermaster storehouse in the late afternoon after the hot summer sun has been shinning all day? Maybe it is the 3d Infantry Monument in the Cemetery or the old forge in the Blacksmith Shop? If yes, you have actually touched what was touched by people at Fort Larned in 1868.

     But there are sights that did not change. Interestingly the people at Fort Larned in 1868 saw what we see at Fort Larned: the multitudes of colors with each sunrise and sunset, the cloud formations, the full moon, and the moonless/cloudless night sky so full of stars. They have not changed.

     Hopefully, as you read this, you applied your lifelong experiences with your five senses to see a more detailed picture of life at Fort Larned in 1868. Now, you decide if you wish you had lived there in 1868.

     I am very thankful I was given the opportunity to live in the North Officer Quarters many days and nights to enhance my Fort Larned living-history knowledge and can share it with you.

The Enlisted Men Of Company C, Third Infantry
Part XVIII - William Green
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 eighteenth installment in a series on the enlisted men whose information is included in that report. There are no photos available for these enlisted soldiers.)

     Blair Galloway is actually the next person on our list; however, his tour at Fort Larned was fairly routine. He enlisted on March 13, 1866, at Camp Kearney, Dakota Territory. He spent most of 1868 on company duty, on detached service to Fort Zarah for picket duty, or on extra duty with the Post Quartermaster Department as a laborer. There are no reports of him getting in trouble. Like many soldiers at the Fort, he did his duty uneventfully.

     The subject of this article, William Green, is a different story. Before joining the regular Army he had previously enlisted in two Pennsylvania volunteer regiments during the latter part of the Civil War. In August 1864 he enlisted in Co. K, 192nd Pennsylvania Infantry, right before his 17th birthday, which was on August 16. He was only in the unit for four and a half months since records show him discharged on November 15. There is nothing in the record stating why he was discharged after such a short period of time. Green apparently still wanted to serve, because 15 days later he enlisted with Co. H, 45th Pennsylvania Infantry. He stayed in that unit until July 17, 1865, when he was discharged.

     Green most likely had trouble finding a job after leaving the army, which probably prompted him to return to military service. He enlisted in the regular army in Philadelphia on November 4, 1865.

     Private Green began 1868 at Fort Larned on company duty for all of January and up to February 11. At that time, he was assigned extra duty in the Post Quatermaster Department as a laborer for the rest of the month. He was on company duty again for all of March and half of April. On April 15 he was assigned to detached service at Fort Zarah for picket duty. He remained on picket duty until May 15 when he returned to company duty for the rest of May. Fort June and July, he was on company duty, getting a promotion to Corporal on July 3.

     Corporal Green began August on company duty. On the 14th he decided for some reason to desert along with fellow soldier Sylvester Chamberlain. He and Chamberlain decided not to leave the area of Fort Larned right way; instead they headed toward Fort Zarah where they were captured the next day and returned to Fort Larned. In terms of punishment for his crime, Green was incredibly lucky. While he did spend the next two and a half months confined in the guardhouse, his enlistment ended on November 4, whereupon he was honorably discharged.

     It's very unusual for a soldier to be honorably discharged after being caught deserting. Green was fortunate that during his time in the guardhouse, the post commander, Captain Dangerfield Parker, could not convene a court-martial board. Not knowing what to do with Green when his enlistment ended, Captain Parker simply gave him an honorable discharge. He avoided the fate of his fellow deserter, Chamberlain, who was court-martialed in February 1869. Chamberlain was found guilty and given the traditional punishment for deserters at that time - a "D" was branded on his hip and he was dishonorably discharged.

     Without more detailed records it's impossible to know why Green decided to desert. There were many things about 1860's army life he could have been dissatisfied with--bad food, low pay, hard work, or harsh punishments. What we do know is that after his discharge, Green went back to Philadelphia where he worked as both a coppersmith and a stair builder.

     On February 22, 1870, he married a woman named Mary, who tragically died only 17 days later. Green did not remarry again until 1879, when he wed a woman named Anna Wonderly on September 17. They had two daughters together: Bessie Viola, born in 1880, and Sadie, born in 1882. William Green died on February 10, 1918.

Maintenance Matters
by William Chapman, Facility Manager

     The Maintenance Division has completed several projects, including modifying the Visitor Center as part of the overall exhibit replacement project, conversion of in-swing doors to out-swing doors, installation of emergency exit hardware, painting wall surfaces in the Visitor Center area, and touching up painting of the exhibit galleries.

     We have said good-bye to Dylan Wozniak. His tenure was short at Fort Larned, but he had an impact on the operations. He chose to leave the National Park Service (NPS) to work for a lodge in Alaska outside the boundaries of Denali National Park.

     We welcome Mat Thompson to the staff at Fort Larned. Mat, see article in this issue, is our new custodian. He is becoming a solid team member, keeping us safe as we face the COVID-19 virus.

     In other news, a painting project we had planned and the contract awarded in 2019 is moving forward. As of May 1, Federal Builders has their staff on the grounds to paint or treat the exterior wood features of the Old Commissary Building. We also, with the interpretive division and a contractor, have completed the rehabilitation of two escort wagons. Werner Wagon Works returned the two wagons in early April. They made it to the parade ground after the first mowing operation cycle of the season.

     We are continuing to repair windows throughout the Old Commissary and Quartermaster buildings. Before the next Outpost, we will move on to porch railing repairs on the south Officers' Quarters.

     Shawn Calkins, the park's water operator and maintenance worker, has painted the interior of the water treatment areas in preparation for inspections by the state and NPS Public Health Officer.

     We are working in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing additional sanitizing of areas of the park that remain open to the public.

     As of April 30, 2020, I have stepped down as the representative on a regional advisory committee for maintenance. It has been a pleasure serving in this role the past 10 years. I am most proud of the work we accomplished through the Maintenance Advisory Committee (MAC). This position included but was not limited to servicing contracts for a standardized Scope of works library for maintenance construction and repair. I also aided in the creation of a brochure used for recruiting applicants for the Student Academy in the maintenance field as well as improving our compliance/project needs with having Environmental Screening Form included as part of the PMIS project statements. Partnering with the professional organization International Facility Manager Association (IFMA) and sponsoring the certified Facility Manager training, along with the return of regional recognition awards for Maintenance Workers and Facility Managers was yet another aspect I contributed to. This opportunity extended for a time to the national level Service wide MAC (or SMAC), working on the national level for many of the same items that we did at the regional level. One of the things I am very glad I had the opportunity to do was serving as part of the regency of the Facility Manager Leadership Program (FMLP), the gold-star leadership training program in the NPS. I assisted in the selection of students and mentors and reviewing their progress.

Letter To The Editor
     I read with interest Sam Young's informative and well-written article in the Winter 2020 Outpost, page 6, about former Fort Larned Commanding Officer William John Lyster. In the article Sam writes, "Dr. Gorgas successfully worked . . . . during the building of the Panama Canal to reduce the mosquitoes menace . . . ." That is a huge understatement.

     In the book, The Path Between the Seas, The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914 by David McCullough (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1977) and in the video "Panama Canal," part of the A&E Network's Modern Marvel series (A&E Networks, Hearst/ABC/NBC, 1994), the consensus is that were it not for Dr. Gorgas's work to control malaria, the Panama Canal could not have been built. When the U. S. took over the unsuccessful French effort to build the canal, the first order of business was to eliminate the malaria by instituting measures specified by Dr. Gorgas to eliminate the mosquitoes and prevent them from returning. In addition, Dr. Gorgas initiated good sanitary practices throughout the Canal Zone, including adequate housing and food.

     When Dr. Gorgas's measures were in place, the construction work could begin in earnest. While the engineering and construction triumphs in building the Panama Canal were indeed Modern Marvels, in my opinion, Dr. Gorgas's work may be the most important part of the story in the building of the Panama Canal.
     Steve Schmidt, Fort Larned Old Guard Life Member

Deadline For Next Issue: August 1, 2020

Membership Reminder
     Annual memberships expire on December 31. If you have not renewed for 2020, 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.

May 1, 2020

     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 2020, 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, Kansas 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. They also have a great book store! Information on Fort Larned may be found at {www.National Park}, by calling 620-285-6911, or by sending email to {fols_superintendent@National Park}.

Santa Fe Trail Research Site

Santa Fe Trail Research Site
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Larry & Carolyn
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