Fort Larned is the nation’s best-preserved fort from the Plains Indian War Era. Established in 1859 to protect people traveling on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Larned became one of the more important posts in the west during its 20-year operation. Today the fort looks much the same as it did back then. A visit to Fort Larned really was like traveling in a time machine. We loved our visit. Walking away we think our lucky stars we were born in a much more convenient and comfortable time period.
A little off the beaten path was a history lesson waiting for my little family. Okay in all honesty a trip from the Interstate but as we found out well worth it. We have been to a few other historic sites and would have to say this is probably the best one we have been to. Maybe not the most interesting to me personally, because I am from Kansas. Once you have lived in the Plains other parts of the country seem to be more stimulating. If you are into American history, 1800s western lifestyles, or just historic places then you will love Fort Larned.
A tour of the area brought a greater understanding to Fort life. The access to the different historic buildings was educational but more importantly fun. A harsh but simple life style. Small rooms, few belongings, seems like the perfect antidote to the materialistic world of today. Then I think about no air conditioning in the summer heat of Western Kansas count me out. It was nice to have access not only to where they bunked, but also the family quarters, mess hall, blacksmith, armory, and general store. Walking the wooden steps outside the different buildings. Hearing the sounds of our shoes hitting the boards the same noise the inhabitants of Fort Larned would have heard. It was like we were there, but with the ability to get back in our car and head to civilization.
The visitor center was also a must see. They had a nice array of artifacts on display as well as a short video that gave a nice overview of the history and importance of Fort Larned. The park rangers were excellent. Very friendly and professional. They did not seem to be bored that my family was basically the only visitors there at the time. We might have been the only ones there all day. Just passing through was what we were doing when we stopped at Fort Larned. So it was fun to learn about the notable historic people that also were just passing through the fort.
For our reviews of other Kansas attractions, click here
Fort Larned National Historic Site
Located on KS 156 about 5 miles from Larned, Kansas
Hours of Operation: Monday through Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
Cost as of this Posting: Free
For more information visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/fols/index.htm
Get free daily email updates!