The main parking lot at the south entrance of the historic site includes designated parking near the Visitor Center for guests with disabilities. Upon arrival, the rest of the journey is either by foot or, if necessary, by wheelchair. A wheelchair is available for checkout at the Visitor Center.
Several types of paved surfaces provide access to the buildings at the site. Brick walkways lead up to the Visitor Center. From there, concrete sidewalks with stone inlays lead around and through the parade ground. Visitors will also encounter stone surfaces that make up the walkway along Officer’s Row as well as various front porches, and asphalt walkways that lead to the buildings behind Officer’s Row. The stone walkway and porches are accessible by wheelchair with assistance.
The Inside Story
The Visitor Center is wheelchair accessible via ramps at both the north and south entrances. Other buildings with ramps that allow access to the first floor include the infantry barracks, the guardhouse, and the mess hall in the dragoon barracks.
Buildings that are wheelchair accessible without ramps include the dragoon stables, ordinance shed, carriage house, and powder magazine. The laundress quarters, company office, and non-commissioned officer’s quarters, all located in the dragoon barracks, may be viewed from their respective doorways, but the interiors of these rooms are not open to the public for entrance.
For those visitors who experience difficulty with stairs, there are exhibits on-site which require little climbing in order to view. The commandant’s office, the first floor of the officers’ quarters, and the bakery are all exhibits with just one or two steps up to the entrance.
On the ground floor of the infantry barracks museum is a small theater which presents a twenty three minute park orientation program. This program is activated by the push of a button and is closed-captioned. Devices are also available at the visitor center for assistive listening and audio description. An elevator in the museum allows access to the second floor exhibits.
The second floor hospital exhibit and other second floor exhibits are not wheelchair accessible. However, a photograph book showing the inaccessible areas of the site is available at the information desk. Wheelchair accessible public restrooms are located in the Visitor Center and on the ground floor of the infantry barracks located on the east side of the parade ground.
Did You Know?
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.