StoryCorps: Fort Scott National Historic Site
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StoryCorps: Fort Scott National Historic Site


I remember the very first time in 1980 when I saw Fort Scott National Historic Site, and I was absolutely amazed of all the buildings and the fact that it just seemed to just pop right out of the prairie. It was pretty special then, and it’s pretty special now. I remember as a child hs1 which was a museum at the time and that’s really all it was here except the modern buildings… and then coming back years and years later as an adult and seeing an actual fort standing here that was amazing to me because I had no idea that there was really a fort here. What makes this site unique is… it is the only unit of the National Park Service… and the only restored and reconstructed fort in the entire United States that represents a military fort, active duty army 1842 to 1853. When I was giving tours I would always take people into the quartermaster’s storehouse which is partially original and you can still see marks where they had hewn the logs. Right. You can see the adze marks on the timbers. And I would always bring that to visitor’s attention. I always asked them to touch it. I said you’re touching a piece of history that beam there probably has a lot of the soldier’s sweat maybe even a drop of blood or two in it. And I can take you right to a building right next door to this one, there was a blacksmith shop. You can run your hands across the wall an outside wall and you can feel the chisel marks of the stonemasons that shaped the stone. That brings the building which is a dormant, static building, it brings alive! It brings it alive for the visitors.

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