• Aerial View of Fort Larned

    Fort Larned

    National Historic Site Kansas

Shops

Fort Larned Shops Building

The shops building is the only one that faces away from the parade ground.

NPS

On the frontier, when the Army needed repairs done or something built, it often fell upon skilled, civilian tradesmen to do the work. Blacksmiths and carpenters were paid a handsome wage for their skilled labor. In 1867, blacksmiths made $85 a month, saddlers and wheelwrights $90. Many soldiers took on extra duty working in the shops building as laborers, blacksmiths, and mechanics.

 
Blacksmith

Blacksmith

NPS

The bakery on the north end of the shops building was used to bake fresh bread for the men stationed at Fort Larned. The large, brick oven heated by a wood fire had a huge capacity for bread baked by one of the enlisted men assigned to the job. Interestingly, the army did not provide the fresh bread to the troops over concerns that it was causing stomach ailments. Instead, the bread was allowed to "dry" on racks for at least two days before being served.

The Shops building may also have been used for the distribution of annuities to the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other tribes at Fort Larned. Several tribes collected these annuities, or gifts, from the government as arranged by treaty agreements such as the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867. More than just food, blankets, tools, and money, the annuities distributed also included weapons. Captain Albert Barnitz of Custer's 7th Cavalry noted, "The Cheyennes have been coming in to Fort Larned to day for their arms and munitions," on August 11, 1868.

 

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Fort Larned Map BarracksShopsWarehousesOfficers' RowBlockhouse

Did You Know?

Military supply wagon at Fort Larned

Fort Larned is located directly on the Dry Route of the Santa Fe Trail, which follows the Pawnee Fork. The Wet Route, which more closely follows the Arkansas River, is just a few miles to the south. More...