Stables - Overview
To keep your car running smoothly, it is best to maintain it; likewise a horse that is well cared for will perform much better when needed.
This station will address the role that the stables played in keeping the horses safe, healthy, and ready for campaign and combat. Topics addressed will include the proper feeding of the horse, treating them for disease, grooming, care of horse equipment, and the training of the horse.
The stables building was designed to shelter 80 horses. It included a hay loft and granaries that stored the horses’ daily ration of 14 lbs of hay, 6 qts of oats, and 4 qts of corn per day. A window above each stall provided the horses with ventilation, giving the horse relief and comfort during the often blistering summers. Tack rooms stored the equipment that enabled the horse and soldier to function as one. Here soldiers groomed their horses for the task of patrolling and protecting the frontier.
After the fort was abandoned in 1853, the stables were used for a variety of purposes. By 1858, a Mr. C. F. Drake, a tinsmith and a retailer, had established a thriving business within its walls. During the Civil War, the Union Army used it, first as a barracks and later as a supply warehouse for its commissary stores.
The current building is a reconstruction of the original. The front third of the structure is restored as a stable, with the other two thirds being used as a maintenance shop. Horses still are stabled there during special events.
Did You Know?
During their free time, the officers enjoyed hunting. Captain Swords wrote "everybody here is hunting mad, hunting and dogs constitute their thoughts by day and dreams by night" Of another officer, Swords said that "wolf chasing and duck hunting" were the only things that reconciled him to the place