• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

Post Construction - Overview

Wilson-Goodlander Home

Captain Thomas Swords, the post quartermaster, was in charge of the fort's construction. Building a fort on the frontier brought a unique set of challenges, especially considering Captain Swords' goal to make this fort the "Crack Post of the Frontier" While the area provided an ample supply of standing timber and limestone for construction, other items such as window glass, doorknobs, and paint had to be shipped long distances at great expense. Skilled labor was also a challenge, most of the work was done by soldiers using hand tools and a nearby sawmill, which was constantly breaking down. Captain Swords complained that he was entirely on his own for resources and coming up with plans to build the fort. He complained that none of the other officers could "draw a straight line even with the assistance of a ruler.

The building most associated with this station is Officer's Quarters No. 2 or the Wilson Goodlander Home. That is due to the fact that there is a series of exhibits in the building that tell about the fort's construction. Also several original building elements can be seen inside.

 
 
Hewing a Log
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Did You Know?

Officers Quarters that later became the Goodlander Home for Children

After Fort Scott was abandoned by the army in 1853, the buildings were sold at public auction, and the fort became the town of Fort Scott. One of the officers' quarters eventually became the Goodlander Home for Children. For about fifty years, orphans and other needy children were cared for here.