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Fort Larned National Historic Site


Fort Larned in Kansas, established in 1859 to protect travelers and the U.S. Mail on the Santa Fe Trail, is one of the country's best-preserved frontier posts of that era. Today, nine original stone buildings still outline the five-acre parade ground in what is now the Fort Larned National Historic Site.

Fort Larned National Historic Site
©National Park Service
Kansas' Fort Larned was established in 1859 to protect travelers.

Seven adobe buildings were constructed in the fort's first year, and in the winter of 1864-65 a stone blockhouse was added for protection. More buildings were added the following year. The U.S. Army used the fort as a base during the Indian War of 1867-68. Fort Larned hosted Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill Cody, General George Armstrong Custer, and other famous Indian fighters, as well as the 10th U.S. Cavalry, an African-American regiment stationed across the West during the Indian wars.

In the early 1870s, the fort's role was to protect construction workers on the Santa Fe Railroad. By 1878, organized Indian resistance was broken and the rail line finished. Fort Larned, its old adobe buildings already crumbled, was abandoned.

In 1988, the National Park Service reconstructed the hexagonal stone block house. The fort has many furnished rooms that show how the soldiers lived, and the surrounding prairie has been restored with a mixture of native grasses and colorful wildflowers.

Fort Larned National Historic Site Information

Address: Six miles west of Larned on Kansas Highway 156
Larned, KS 67550
Phone: 316/285-6911
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Admission: $3

Learn more about these other national historic sites:

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic SiteClara Barton National Historic Site
Fort Larned National Historic Site
Grant Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
Adams National Historic Site
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic SiteFort Raleigh National Historic SiteHampton National Historic SiteLincoln Home National Historic SitePuukohola Heiau National Historic SiteTheodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic SiteEdison National Historic SiteFort Scott National Historic SiteHarry S. Truman National Historic SiteLongfellow National Historic SiteSagamore Hill National Historic SiteThomas Stone National Historic Site
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Eisenhower National Historic Site Fort Smith National Historic Site Herbert Hoover National Historic Site Maggie L. Walker National Historic SiteSaint Paul's Church National Historic SiteThomas Stone National Historic Site
Boston African -American National Historic Site Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic SiteFort Vancouver National Historic SiteHome of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic SiteManzanar National Historic Site

Saint-
Gaudens National Historic Site

Touro Synagogue National Historic Site
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site Eugene O'Neill National Historic SiteFrederick Douglass National Historic SiteHopewell Furnace National Historic SiteMartin Van Buren National Historic SiteSalem Maritime National Historic SiteUlysses S. Grant National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site Ford's Theater National Historic SiteFrederick Law Olmsted National Historic SiteHubbell Trading Post National Historic SiteMary McLeod Bethune House National Historic Site Saugus Iron Works National Historic SiteWeir Farm National Historic Site
Charles Pinckney National Historic SiteFort Bowie National Historic SiteFriendship Hill National Historic SiteJames A. Garfield National Historic SiteMc Loughlin House National Historic SiteSewall -Belmont House National Historic SiteWhitman Mission National Historic Site
Chicago Portage National Historic Site
Fort Davis National Historic SiteGloria Dei Church National Historic SiteJimmy Carter National Historic SiteNinety Six National Historic Site Springfield Armory National Historic SiteWilliam Howard Taft National Historic Site
Christiansted National Historic SiteFort Laramie National Historic SiteGolden Spike National Historic SiteJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic SitePalo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site Steamtown National Historic Site

Find out more about travel destinations in North America:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.