BY JIM MISUNAS
LARNED — Fort Larned Ranger Ellen Jones told the history of Larned’s historic “Little Red House,” to Northside Elementary School third-grade students Tuesday. Jones’ visit was sponsored by the Fort Larned National Historic Site.
Isabel Worrell, Larned’s first schoolteacher, called the building ‘The Little Red House.”
Jones read Clapsaddle’s story about James Worrell, one of the early residents of the Little Red House. Worrell was an Army officer during the Civil War. The Little Red House has been reconstructed to represent Larned’s first building constructed in 1983 as the Sutler’s mess hall at Fort Larned.
In 1984, Tim McCarthy moved the Little Red House to Fifth and Main Streets. The building served a number of functions — residence, post office, hotel, restaurant, saloon, dance hall, brothel, church, school and courtroom.
The school shared cramped quarters with the Union Church and the Justice of the Peace Court. The back rooms of the building housed a stream of settlers immigrating to Pawnee County.
Clapsaddle is a member of the Fort Larned Old Guard, which was formed to provide support for the Fort Larned National Historic Site beyond that given by the federal government. Fort Larned operated from 1859 to 1878 and was established to protect traffic along the Santa Fe Trail from hostile American Indians.
The Little Red House property at 2nd and State was owned by David and Alice Clapsaddles for 12 years. David Clapsaddle, 78, did a reconstruction of The Little Red House.
“It’s always enjoyable to see the young students and see their interest in local history,” Clapsaddle said.
Northside teachers Crystal Schmidt, Lisa Burgess and Danielle Fleske assisted Jones and Clapsaddle with the program.