The Ranching Period

"When I was a kid we used to come out here and go through the escape tunnel."

No, that tunnel is no longer here. Since it wasn't an original tunnel, it was refilled. The Fort Larned Historical Society with help from some Boy Scouts dug that tunnel in the 1950s. They knew there had been a tunnel somewhere in that area. There is no historical evidence showing that an escape tunnel was ever out here. However, in the summer of 1973 an archaeology crew found a tunnel under the blockhouse. It wasn't used as an escape route, though. Rather, the 20-foot tunnel led to an underground water well.

The big barn that you may remember was actually the two barracks buildings that had been joined together. We have restored the barracks back their original configuration.

The fort was used as a ranch for over 80 years, from 1885 – 1966.

The Frizell family owned the fort for 64 years, 1902 – 1966. From 1885 to 1902 it was owned by the Pawnee Valley Stockbreeder's Association.

The Frizells lived in the Commanding Officer's House and the farm hands and families lived in the Company Officer's Quarters.

Last updated: March 3, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1767 KS Hwy 156
Larned, KS 67550


This phone is answered during regular business hours. After hours calls will be answered the next day. Please select a mailbox or leave a message on the main extension when the fort is closed.

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