In 2019, a group of representatives from Fort Scott National Historic Site, Gordon Parks Museum, Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, Fort Scott Community College, Bourbon County Historic Preservation Assn. and other partners, began work on a grant proposal.
The project title is Student Researched Unsung African American Heroes of Bourbon County.
The proposal idea came from Carl Brenner, who has been the Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management at FSNHS since 2018.
The idea for a grant proposal came “from the dark recesses of my mind,” Brenner said.
“The fort has told the stories of white (mostly male) people coming….but Native American, women and African American stories need to be brought into the story.” he said.
“This project is funded through the National Park Service to work with community youth to uncover those stories that are little known or untold or under told,” he said. “It is a partnership with the Park, the Gordon Park Museum, Fort Scott High School, and Fort Scott Community College.”
“Our historian, Dominic Henry, and other local volunteers, will assist students to research local African American leaders and those who fought for or ushered in change in our community and beyond,” Brenner said. “Once they have completed their research, they will create videos and social media posts to share their newly found stories in their own ‘voice’ to better connect with other youth.”
Those videos and social media posts will be shared on the park’s web and social media platforms and also shared by the Gordon Parks Museum, Fort Scott High School, and Fort Scott Community College.
“As the project is wrapping up, we will work with all of the partners to develop exhibits to share these stories and the student’s work with our visitors,” Brenner said.
“Through small stories like these, the hope is to have conversations about equality and equity and discuss the history and what we have learned from it,” Brenner said.
A kick-off for the project was planned for April 25, but due to unforeseen circumstances will need to be rescheduled, Brenner said.
Brenner is Acting Superintendent Since March
Brenner recently has been designated as the FSNHS Acting Superintendent, since former Superintendent Betty Boyko left in March 2022. He is also Acting Superintendent of Fort Larned National Historic Site and also providing guidance and training to Nicodemus National Historic Site.
The park phone number is 620-223-0310, its website https://www.nps.gov/fosc/index.htm
Fort Scott National Historic Site Schedule of Annual Events
Civil War Encampment – April 23
Experience artillery, cavalry and infantry troops preparing for battle. Hear, see, and smell history come to life in a weekend of living history demonstrations and stories.
Symbols of Sacrifice – Memorial Day Weekend:
Approximately 7,000 flags commemorate the ultimate sacrifice members of the United States Armed Forces have made to keep this country free.
Good Ol’ Days – First Friday-Saturday of June:
Relive yesteryear in a town-wide celebration of Fort Scott’s history. Each year a different historical theme will be highlighted.
Independence Day Celebration – July 4th Weekend:
This holiday weekend feature talks, tours, demonstrations, and living history programs about Fort Scott’s role in pivotal events of American History in the place where they happened!
Labors of the Fort – Labor Day Weekend:
Learn about the jobs and tasks vital to the survival of the fort. Rangers and volunteers demonstrate skills and trades of the 1840’s.
Naturalization Ceremony – September 23:
Reflect on the privileges of US citizenship as you witness new citizens take the oath of allegiance to their newly ad- opted country.
Veterans Day Programs – Veteran’s Day Weekend:
Flags honoring our nation’s veterans will be on display and we will host discussions around service and the meaning of service.
Candlelight Tour – December 2-3:
1,000 candle lanterns illuminate the site as reenactors (including you) bring the fort to life. Ticket sales begin November 1st.