Category Archives: Fort Scott National Historic Site

FSNHS Modifies Operations

Fort Scott National Historic Site is Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance

 

Fort Scott Kan. – Fort Scott National Historic Site is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of Wednesday, March 18, at 12 p.m., the Fort Scott National Historic Site Parkstore and visitor contact desk area is closed until further notice. The upcoming Spring Civil War Encampment event will be rescheduled for a future date TBD.

 

Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, all Museum, exhibit areas, and fort buildings (including the Post Hospital) remain open. Rangers will be roving the site providing information and orientation. Outdoor spaces will remain open to provide healthy options for the public such as park walkways, trails, and the tallgrass prairie.

 

Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the digital tools already available to explore Fort Scott National Historic Site. Please continue to enjoy the park through the park’s mobile app. There are many educational resources available to explore on the Fort Scott National Historic Site webpage to help you stay connected to your national park.

 

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Fort Scott National Historic Site is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.

 

The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

 

For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.

 

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.

 

From November 1-March 31, Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, will be open for its winter hours of operation.  The site exhibit areas and buildings are open daily from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. The park grounds are open daily from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset. To find out more or become involved in activities at the Fort, please contact the park at 620-223-0310 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/fosc.

 

Celebrate the Women Who Changed History through the 19th Amendment    

 

March is Women’s History Month

 

Fort Scott Kan. – Fort Scott National Historic Site is celebrating Women’s History Month in March with weekly Saturday interpretive programs. “Though in 1861, the constitution of the newly created state of Kansas includes ‘the rights of women to participate in school district elections’, it wasn’t until 1919 that Kansas ratified the 19th Amendment,” said Betty Boyko, Superintendent, Fort Scott National Historic Site. “This series of programs around Women’s Suffrage and the 19th Amendment is the beginning of a larger discussion the park will host throughout the year.”

March 7, Noon: Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement

In 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified into law, giving women the right to vote. Paul believed the vote was just the first step in the quest for full equality. Join us in a discussion of women’s suffrage and equal rights in the United States

March 14, 1 pm: Frontier Gossip

An interpretive program based on the letters written by Charlotte Swords and her husband, Thomas. Captain Thomas Swords was the post quartermaster. He and his wife were prolific writers and were eager to tell the stories of the times.

March 21, 1 pm: Woman’s History Tour of the Fort

Discuss the women that made a difference at the fort and in shaping the west on this walk through the Fort.

March 28, Noon: Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement

In 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified into law, giving women the right to vote. Paul believed the vote was just the first step in the quest for full equality. Join us in a discussion of women’s suffrage and equal rights in the United States.

From November 1-March 31, Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, will be open for its winter hours of operation.  The site exhibit areas and visitor center are open daily from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. The park grounds are open daily from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset. To find out more or become involved in activities at the Fort, please contact the park at 620-223-0310 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/fosc.

 

At The Fort: A Most Diverse Army

This Saturday, February 29th, Ranger Barry presents ‘A Most Diverse Army’.

The program explores the challenges and prejudices that African Americans faced in becoming a part of the Union Army during the Civil War. Participants will discuss the pros and cons of joining the Union Army and the First Kansas Colored.

One of the goals of the program is to discuss the issues and biases present at the time and those that pervade society today while maintaining respect for all persons involved.

What, No Clothing Stores on the Frontier?    

Learn how to make clothes by hand

 

Fort Scott Kan. – Fort Scott National Historic Site is celebrating Women’s History Month in March with two living history clothing workshops focusing on mid-19th century women.

The Bonnet Workshop is Saturday, March 7, from 9 am to 1 pm and the Petticoat Workshop is Saturday, March 14, from 9:30 am to 3 pm. Please call or text Kelley Collins at 417-684-2484 to reserve a spot.

Bonnet Workshop: During this bonnet workshop, you will learn the popular styles of the time period and create a straw bonnet for yourself or the fort’s “magic room” clothing closet. Knowledge of basic hand sewing skills is recommended. Please call or text Kelley Collins at 417-684-2484 by Friday, February 21 if you plan to attend. You will receive a materials list upon registration if you are making a bonnet for yourself. This includes a source for ordering the straw bonnet form you will need for the workshop. Supplies for individuals making bonnets for the magic room will be furnished.

Petticoat Workshop: Learn about mid-19th century skirt supports and create a corded petticoat for yourself or the fort’s “magic room” clothing closet.   Basic sewing skills are required. A sewing machine is desirable but not mandatory as the fort has two machines available. Please call or text Kelley Collins at 417-684-2484 by March 7 if you plan to attend. A materials list is available for those creating their own petticoat.  Fabric and other supplies are available to those making petticoats for the magic room.

Great Backyard Bird Count at Fort Scott NHS this Month 

Fort Scott Kan. – Fort Scott National Historic Site will host a free guided bird walk Monday, February 17, from 7 to 9 am and 1 to 3 pm, for the Great Backyard Bird Count.

A National Park Service Ranger will lead two easy, one-mile, two-hour birdwatching walks starting from the Visitor Center. Rangers and participants will record all bird sightings and upload the data to the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). This walk is for birders of all skill levels and you don’t have to stay for the entire program to make a difference. Birders are encouraged to bring binoculars and layered clothing.

Since 1998, “The Backyard Bird Count has been an opportunity for citizen scientists around the world to contribute to the understanding of wild birds, their environment, and numbers,” said Betty Boyko, Superintendent, Fort Scott National Historic Site. “We encourage everyone to join us each month for additional bird walks and programs.” Watch for scheduled bird walks in the park throughout the year on Facebook or at the Fort Scott NHS Website www.nps.gov/fosc.

For more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count, contact Ranger Abby at Fort Scott National Historic Site by calling 620-223-0310.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded. The results of these bird counts are available at https://gbbc.birdcount.org.

PROUDLY SHOW YOUR PATRIOTISM: FLY THE FLAG EFFORTLESSLY

 

The Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site Inc. is taking new subscriptions and renewals for their Fly the Flag Project. The project provides homeowners and businesses, within the city limits of Fort Scott, the opportunity to fly the Stars and Stripes on five different flag holidays during 2020 without the hassle of purchasing, erecting, and storing a flag and pole. You don’t even have to remember the holiday!

For $35 annually, the Friends will install a 3’x5′ flag on a 12 foot staff at your home or business on each of the following Flag Holidays :

Memorial Day, May 25th

Flag Day, June 14th

Fourth of July, July 4th

Labor Day, September 7th

Veteran’s Day, November 11th

Agreements for new subscriptions can be obtained at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce or can be requested by phone or text by calling Kelley Collins at 417-684-2484. Renewals notices have been mailed/emailed to 2019 subscribers. Questions can be directed to Kelley or Martha Scott at 620-224-9924.

New agreements must be returned by March 2, 2020 to allow time for acquisition of supplies and placement of in ground flag holders.

All proceeds support programs at Fort Scott National Historic Site. These include: Symbols of Sacrifice, a Citizenship Ceremony, Candlelight Tour, Youth Engagement, and many others.

Show your patriotism and help our local National Park by lining the streets of Fort Scott with our nation’s symbol!

The Fly the Flag Project is a yearly project sponsored by the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site. Once signed up, you will receive the option to renew annually.

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Do you want to be a “Friend”?

Submitted by Martha Scott, Membership Chairman of Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site.
Membership in Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site is underway and easy.
Just fill out this form below, decide on membership level and mail this form and check to:
Martha Scott, Membership Chairman
Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site
1208 S. National
Fort Scott, Ks. 66701
NAME____________________________________________
ADDRESS_________________________________________
EMAIL____________________________________________
MEMBERSHIP LEVEL:
CORPORAL $35____________SERGEANT $50_________
QUARTERMASTER $75____________________________
SERGEANT MAJOR $100___________________________
CAPTAIN SWORDS $200__________________________

FSNHS New Park Ranger: Laura Abbott

Laura Abbott, 36, started at  Fort Scott National Historic Site on September 20, 2019.
Her hometown is Lake Crystal, MN.
Abbott began her career because it was an opportunity to showcase history.
“When I finished college, with a degree in history, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life,” she said. “I randomly came across an opportunity to intern for the National Park Service in California, and because I had nothing else to do, I took it. As someone who hadn’t visited parks growing up, I wasn’t very familiar with the NPS, but once I realized that I would be able to use my love of history every day, I was hooked. It’s been such an incredible privilege to work for the NPS and share my passion with visitors.”
“My title is park ranger,” she said. ” My responsibilities include conducting interpretive programs and historic weapons demonstrations at the fort and working as the volunteer coordinator.”
Abbott’s first job with the National Park Service was in 2008 when she worked as an unpaid military history intern in San Francisco.
“In 2010, when I moved to Washington, D.C. to attend graduate school, I got a job as a park guide on the National Mall and have worked for the NPS ever since,” she said.
” I have worked at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, and the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C.,” she said.
Fort Scott National Historic Site is unique, Abbott believes.
“I think what’s most unique about the park is that the story it tells really can’t be found anywhere else in the NPS,” she said. ” It’s a story that is not very familiar to many people. The Mexican War and Bleeding Kansas are usually footnotes in history, so to have a park where these events actually occurred is pretty special.”
FSNHS park visitor center, park store, and historic structures will be open daily from 8:30 am–4:30 pm through March 31, 2020, it’s winter hours.
Check out FSNHS website

Holiday Schedule for Fort Scott National Historic Site

 

 

Fort Scott Kan. – The Fort Scott National Historic Site’s Visitor Center and fort buildings will be closed, and no programs will be offered, on Christmas day and New Year’s day (December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020) to allow staff to celebrate the holidays with their families.

Winter hours are in effect from November 1-March 31 at Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service. The site exhibit areas and visitor center are open daily from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. The park grounds are open daily from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset. To find out more or become involved in activities at the Fort, please contact the park at 620-223-0310 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/fosc.

 

Abby Schauer: New FSNHS Ranger

 Abby Schauer, 23, is a new permanent park guide at Fort Scott National Historic Site.
She is from Spencer, Iowa and was hired on August 4, 2019.
Family vacations inspired Schauer to pursue a career with the National Park Service.
 “Every year, my family would go on vacation to national parks across the country, mainly Rocky Mountain National Park,” she said. “These vacations were something that I looked forward to every year and countless memories were made during these trips.”
Hiking trails, completing Junior Ranger books, attending ranger programs, camping in a little pop-up camper,  looking for wildlife every evening, or skipping rocks on a pristine mountain lake, these are the memories that inspired her.
“I enjoyed every single moment in these amazing places,” she said. “So, when deciding what I wanted to do for a career, I chose to pursue a path with the NPS so I could help to preserve and protect these places that have so much meaning and to help people experience their parks and make memories just like I had the chance of doing.”

She is passionate about National Parks and feels honored to take part in protecting them so that both this and future generations can learn, enjoy, and be inspired by them, she said.

Her main duties at FSNHS include guiding tours, working in the visitor center, working with school groups, helping to plan and execute special events, and is in charge of the park’s living history clothing.

Her priority is to help people learn about and connect with Fort Scott National Historic Site, she said.
 
Schauer has served at five national parks.
“I began my career with the NPS as an Interpretive Intern at Mount Rushmore National Memorial during the summer of 2017,” she said. “I completed my last year of college after that internship and then started working seasonal jobs around the country.”

Following her time at Mt. Rushmore, she became a fee collector at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota,  then Tumacacori National Historical Park in southern Arizona where she completed an interpretation and education internship,  and then worked at Grand Canyon National Park as an Interpretation Park Ranger.

Schauer believes each park contributes to the American story.
” Fort Scott tells several stories that are not well known but were pivotal in the development of the United States,” she said. ” Not only does Fort Scott offer the opportunity to learn about these important stories, but the facility offers a look into the past with the impressive original and reconstructed buildings on site.”
FSNHS park visitor center, park store, and historic structures will be open daily from 8:30 am–4:30 pm through March 31, 2020.
Check out FSNHS website

FSNHS New Employee Profile: Hayley Moore

Hayley Moore. Submitted photo.
 Hayley Moore, 25, is the new Fort Scott National Historic Site Museum Technician, since Sept. 16.
Her hometown is  Southern Pines, NC.
When Moore was growing up, every family vacation included visiting museums, a national park, or a historic site, she said.
“I particularly fell in love with museums and once I learned that there were people who had careers working in museums and taking care of objects, I immediately knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said. ” I had never considered a career in NPS as I never knew that they had archival and museum collections. I had always associated national park sites with scenic views and outdoor activities, not museums.”
Serving the public is a part of her heritage, Moore said.
“Having a mother who is a teacher and a father in the army, I grew up seeing how devoted they were to serving the public and it inspired me to do the same,” she said.  “I decided to pursue a position with the federal government. I was applying for every museum and archive job I could find and eventually I saw openings for museum and archives positions for the park service.  Eventually, I received an offer and accepted a position as a digital archivist at Everglades National Park in Homestead, FL. When I accepted my first seasonal position at Everglades National Park, I had no clue what I was getting myself to.”
Her colleagues impressed her.
“I quickly fell in love with NPS’s mission,” she said. ” Being around my colleagues who were so passionate and knowledgeable about both cultural and natural resources of the park made me realize that the agency fit with what my career goals were.”
“There’s something at every national park for everyone whether it is history, science, or just being outdoors. It makes so many different types of subjects and activities accessible to the public all while trying to ensure the preservation of resources for years to come. For someone like me who went into museums, wanting to make sure objects were being preserved and taken care of, the National Park Service aligns with my career goals.”
“I began my career in the National Park Service last May when I took a seasonal job as a digital archivist at Everglades National Park,” Moore said. “During my six months, I drafted a standard operating procedure for digital collections, cataloged science permit deliverables for Biscayne National Park, assisted the museum technician with annual inventory, and did a full inventory of the archival collections.”

“It was an incredibly rewarding experience and a great introduction to the National Park Service as a whole, she said.  “It made me step out of my comfort zone as I had never worked with science collections before and lived in a national park. One of my favorite things about the park was that you could just be driving to work and you could come across the wildlife of the Everglades such as pythons, alligators, and the great egret. ”

Her title at FSNHS is a museum technician.
“I am in charge of the care and management of both our museum and archival collections,” she said.  “I am responsible for the housekeeping of our exhibit space, ensuring our objects are being cleaned…by the Department of Interior (DOI), NPS, and museum standards. I complete our Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) where I trap pests and collect data on what we might be in our exhibit spaces and could cause harm to our objects. I handle the accessioning and deaccessioning of objects and catalog objects using our collection management system as needed. I also complete our annual inventory and annual submission of our collections that are required by NPS’s Museum Management Program. I am also available to visitors if they have any inquiries regarding our collection.”
Moore,  like many who work for the NPS, has worked in diverse places in the U.S.
“Before coming to Fort Scott, I was working as an intern at the National Catalog for NPS’s Museum Management Program in Harpers Ferry, WV, ” she said.  “Previously I worked at Everglades National Park, volunteered at the Tufts Archives in Pinehurst, NC and interned at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, VA and the University of St. Andrews Special Collections Library in St. Andrews, Scotland during my college and graduate school years respectively.”
FSNHS history is fascinating to Moore.
“It’s a period in American history that not many tend to know about or talk about,” she said. “Growing up in a southern state where Civil War history is so prominent, there isn’t too much focus on the period before the Civil War. At our site, we focus on that area by interpreting that gap. We look at the daily life of soldiers in the new beginnings of the westward expansion of the United States, we’re one of only two NPS sites that has a history associated with the Mexican American War, and we are located where Bleeding Kansas took place. There’s so much packed into one site and it’s fascinating to be able to tell each of those stories, how they relate to one another, and the overall history of the United States. I can’t say I’ve worked at a place quite like this.”

 

History Comes Alive at The Fort

The Grand Ballroom is festooned with greenery in preparation for the candlelight tour on Friday and Saturday. Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site will serve refreshments here after the tour.

Our history is a part of our culture.

And one of the gems of Fort Scott is the national historic site at the end of Main Street that tells of the beginning of the city as an army outpost.

This weekend the 38th Fort Scott National Historic Site’s Candlelight Tour will help participants understand the life of military life in the 1840s.

Tours start at dusk Friday and Saturday night Dec. 6 and 7 and last approximately 45 minutes. Tickets must be purchased prior to the tour.

Call the Fort at 620-223-0310 (with a major credit card) or stop by the Visitor Center on Old  Fort Blvd.

Participants are advised to please dress for the weather and the terrain, as they will be outside and on sidewalks.

“It’s a way to share and celebrate the holiday with the community,” Carl Brenner, Cheif of Interpretation and Resource Management said.

“The public (tour-goers) will be a dragoon soldier and get an enlistment card, each will be a different soldier,” Brenner told the weekly Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee attendees Thursday morning.

“The persona of each soldier will be giving tours of each scene,” he said.

There are six different scenes.

Approximately 100 volunteers help with the annual Candlelight Tour, Brenner said.

 

Every year the tour is different.

“We want people to learn and have new experiences telling different stories,” Brenner said.

The Fort Scott High School Drama Department will be a part of the storytelling.

“They do such a great job, we wanted to get them involved,” he said. “They will be showing a scene of what payday was like (for a dragoon.)”

Fort Scott High School Drama Teacher Angie Bin’s advanced theatre students, in their third or fourth year of taking drama class, were given guidelines and information from the FSNHS to guide them in writing a scene that takes place in the 1840s on a payday.

“I had two classes that each wrote a script and then Barak Geertsen, at the fort, consolidated the two scripts into one final draft. We have five students who are acting in that scene. We also have a student acting as a sergeant in another scene.”

Many other students will act as tour followers during the tour, she said.

Most of the tours are filled so an 8:30 p.m. tour was added.

The cost of the tour is $8 for those 6 years of age and up.

“We are asking that people show up 10 minutes early to find a parking spot and make their way to the visitors center, Brenner said.

The Friends of FSNHS will provide refreshments at the end of the tour, one of their many supportive rolls for the fort.

Reed Hartford, president of the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site, tells the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce attendees of the support services the group supplies the fort.