• Aerial View of Fort Larned

    Fort Larned

    National Historic Site Kansas

Blockhouse

Blockhouse

The blockhouse was the only building committed solely for defense at Fort Larned.

NPS

The first sandstone structure to be completed at Fort Larned, the blockhouse was built for defense. Bristling with two decks of loopholes from which to fire on any would-be attackers, the blockhouse provided a formidable deterrent to attack. Built with a long-term siege in mind, the blockhouse included an underground well from which soldiers could obtain water without exposing themselves to fire.

 
Loophole

Soldiers could fire their rifles through loopholes like this one in the event of an attack.

NPS

As the threat of attack diminished over time, the blockhouse was converted from its defensive purpose into the post's prison. Instead of being used to keep people out of the fort, the blockhouse was instead used to keep people in. For that purpose, the tunnel was partially filled in and converted into solitary confinement. Moreover, rifle loopholes were filled in to prevent soldiers from passing libations to the prisoners passing the time.

Today, the blockhouse is the only sandstone building that has been completely rebuilt, though it has been located on its original foundation.

 

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Fort Larned Map BarracksShopsWarehousesOfficers' RowBlockhouse

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