• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

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  • Exhibits Closed

    Beginning Monday August 25, the infantry barracks museum will be closed for remodeling and to prepare for a new theater and exhibits. Work is expected to be completed by spring of 2015. The site's movie will be played in the visitor center upon request.

Guardhouse - Overview


When the President takes the oath of office he promises to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Guards on duty at Fort Scott had essentially the same mission. Their duty was to patrol the perimeter to keep intruders out and to keep the peace within the confines of the fort.

In this station, presenters have the option of playing a prisoner or a guard. Guards are dressed in dress uniform, and prisoners are dressed in regular fatigues. Topics relating to discipline, crime and punishment, treatment of prisoners, and the duties of guards are all appropriate topics.

The program will take place in and around the guardhouse. The guardhouse consists of three cells, a prison room, a guard room, and a room for the officer of the guard. The guardhouse housed prisoners during the 1840s. After the fort was abandoned, it served as the city jail. For a brief period of time during the Civil War, it became a unit of the hospital complex, but after the war it reverted to a jail until it was torn down in about 1900.

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Did You Know?

Free State Hotel at Fort Scott, directly across from it was the Western or ProSlavery Hotel

Fort Scott is the only NPS unit that was directly involved in "Bleeding Kansas". Fort Scott was a proslavery town, but many free staters lived in the surrounding area. Located on the grounds was the Western or Proslavery Hotel, directly across from it was the Fort Scott or Free State Hotel.