FORT LARNED — Fort Larned National Historic Site is off to a great way of celebrating the National Park Service Centennial — whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or not — you’ll want to celebrate too!
Over the next two years many celebrations across the country will take place to honor the special places set aside by the American people for all. A Smithsonian exhibit is currently featured at the Ellinwood library.
The Fort Larned Old Guard, partnering with the Kansas Humanities Council, Home Town Team Initiative, is focusing on early hunting in Pawnee and surrounding rural counties.
An interactive exhibit goes on display on March 31 at Fort Larned National Historic Site, and an all-day Open House is scheduled for Saturday, April 25.
The public is invited to visit the exhibit and to hear guest speakers addressing the topic of hunting. A schedule of speakers, meals, and activities for the day will be announced in the coming weeks.
A team consists of players who are competitive. Ever wonder about the early buffalo hunts, and what type of players was on that team?
“The Evolution of Hunting: From Survival to Market to Sport” describes hunting expeditions, competitions, and mishaps. Stories that are amusing yet convey a danger, many are life changing, and all shared by voices from the past.
Some accounts are taken directly from the Fort Larned records, many from diary accounts of people who hunted on this same ground we cherish as our home.
Before ranches and towns were established along the Pawnee and Arkansas Rivers, vast numbers of buffalo, antelope, elk, catfish, turkey, geese, and deer could be found. These animals provided Indians food, clothing, shelter, tools, and trade with other Indian tribes, and food for the increasing numbers of travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.
Migration brought the Army to protect settlers, travelers, and Indians. Army officers joined hunters and travelers competing for the number of “kills” for food, hides, or just target shooting — the sport of hunting was introduced by the elite officers stationed at Fort Larned. Buffalo was by far the most popular game offering a “thrill of the hunt” which is described by voices from the past in the new exhibit.
The exhibit includes the legacy that is emerging for our Youth today and for future generations. Fort Larned National Historic Site is located six miles west of Larned on K-156. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., information on visiting is on the internet at www.nps.gov/fols, or by calling 620-285-6911. There is no admission fee.
For information on area tourism partners and community services go to www.larnedks.org or call (620) 285-6916.