• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

Labor Day Weekend

reenactor dressed as surgeion during Labor Day Weekend 2010.

Reenactor dressed as surgeon duing Labor Day Weekend 2010.

NPS Photo

"The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depend on, is action. It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny" – Pierre Joseph Proudhom

This Labor Day weekend, we invite you to get active in the outdoors with your family and friends by visiting Fort Scott National Historic Site. In support of the National Park Service's Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative (which encourages parks to include activities that contribute to physical, mental, spiritual health, and social well-being), the focus of programs this weekend will be the health, wellness, and safety of soldiers at Fort Scott during the mid-nineteenth century. The talks, demonstrations, or stations will build upon the idea of the fort as a community which supported the well-being of soldiers. The laundress will be talking about her role in keeping clothes clean, a cooking demonstration will discuss the role of nutrition, or lack thereof, in the soldier's diet, a surgeon will be showing how medicines and surgical tools helped or hindered the recovery of sick and wounded soldiers. Blackpowder demonstrations will emphasize safety, and a guided tour will discuss various aspects of frontier healthcare.

Some programs will encourage people to interact with the outdoors while others will promote healthy life style choices. "A Glorious Country for Sportsmen" will focus on how the 1840s military hunted and used the natural resources of the area in other ways to make life bearable. "Bug Juice Use and Abuse" will address the challenges that soldiers faced with alcoholism.

In addition to these types of programs offered throughout the weekend, there will also be a special Labor Day tour "From the Crack Post of the Frontier:" This program will focus on the labor force, building materials, architectural styles, and construction techniques used in the building of Fort Scott.

The schedule of activities for the weekend is listed below:

Saturday, August 31

  • 10:00 am – A Most Magnificent Prairie: Prairie Walk
  • 11:00 am – Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
  • 11:30 am – Food for Thought: 19th Century Cooking
  • 1:00 pm – Guided Tour – Frontier Care – Health and Well Being at Fort Scott
  • 2:00 pm – Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
  • 3:00 pm – Saws and Scalpels – 1840s Medicine
  • 4:00 pm – Flag Retreat

Sunday, September 1

  • 11:00 am – Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
  • 1:00 pm –Guided Tour
  • 2:00 pm – Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
  • 3:00 pm – "A Glorious Country for Sportsmen" –Interpretive Talk
  • 4:00 pm – Flag Retreat


  • 10:00 am – Soaps Suds Row – Laundress Talk
  • 11:00 am – Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
  • 1:00 pm – "The Crack Post of the Frontier" - Guided Tour
  • 2:00 pm - Thunder Wagon: Artillery Demonstration
  • 3:00 pm – "Bug Juice Use and Abuse: Alcoholism in the Frontier Army"-Interpretive Talk
  • 4:00 pm – Flag Retreat

Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park System, is open daily from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Entrance to the site is free of charge. For more information, call 620-223-0310. You can also follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/FortScottNHS.

Did You Know?

Barrels in the quartermaster storehouse at Fort Scott

All supplies had to be strictly accounted for at Fort Scott. Upon discovery of 31 barrels of pork that had turned "soft and rusty", Lt. George Wallace, post quartermaster, recommended selling it to the Indians at $4.00 a barrel rather than disposing of it.