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 OldĀ  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.

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