Fort Larned: 1860s Army Post & Santa Fe Trail Tales | WNPA

Fort Larned

National Historic Site


Discover a complete and authentic Army post used from the 1860s to 1870s! This well-preserved fort on the Santa Fe Trail shares a tumultuous history of the Indian Wars era. The sandstone buildings sheltered troops known as the Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail.

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Fort Larned, located in central Kansas, was declared a national historic site in 1964. Built in 1860 to protect travelers, traders, and mail wagons along the Santa Fe Trail, it is one of the best-preserved military forts from the Indian Wars period. From 1861 to 1868, Fort Larned served as an agency for the Indian Bureau, where agents worked with Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes to find peaceful solutions to cultural conflicts. The Tenth Cavalry, one of two African American regiments organized after the Civil War, was stationed there from 1867 to 1869. Today, visitors to Fort Larned National Historic Site can experience an important part of our national story, as well as enjoy birding and picking vegetables from the historical garden during special event weekends.

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National parks are places where kids can dream up great adventures! Taking in amazing scenery. Testing out new skills. Exploring places kids may have only heard about. But most importantly, creating new memories with friends and family.

Our public lands are our public commons. They belong to all of us as part of our natural and cultural heritage. They remind us of a larger world that has existed long before the arrival of humans and will survive long after we are gone. –Terry Tempest Williams, Author & Conservationist

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