Fort Larned, Kansas, was part of a series of military forts established to provide safe passage for travelers in the 1800s.
The first military outpost established in this area was called “Camp on Pawnee Fork” and then “Camp Alert.” It was then moved to its current location and named Fort Larned for Col. Benjamin R. Larned, the US Army paymaster.
Sod and adobe buildings were originally constructed but then in the 1860’s they were replaced with the stone and timber buildings you see today.
Fort Larned was a military complex consisting of nine buildings arranged around a 400’ square parade ground. There are many openings around the facility including those on simple wooden coffins.
I have been to a few Civil War battlefields and to Gettysburg. Fort Larned can hold its own right up there with the big boys. The grounds and the buildings inside and out are pristine.As you look at these bunks, consider the two blankets and two blue pillows on each bunk. After a long day, two soldiers slept on each bunk head to foot. The beds in the hospital were huge compared to their regular sleeping quarters.
I could upload a lot more photos, but I think you get the idea – each building is furnished with reproductions that bring the Fort to life.
Throughout the 1800’s, the soldiers stationed at Fort Larned were tasked with protecting the flow of people, supplies, mail, and eventually the crews working on the railroad expansion while at the same time attempting to keep peace with the Native American Indians.
If you ever find yourself speeding along I-70 in the middle of Kansas consider a detour because I think you will find the facility and its history fascinating.
These doors are part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, June 29, 2017.
Map Photo Credit: Forts of the Frontier West