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Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Frontier Army Museum at Fort Leavenworth

Exhibits at the Frontier Army Museum
Back in January we had a bad weather weekend, so we decided to spend it indoors at the Frontier Army Museum.  We had a great time wandering around and seeing the many exhibits.   It really brought to life the great role that Fort Leavenworth had in the settling of the American West.  A small exhibit began with the exploration of the Corps of Discovery headed by Lewis and Clark, which passed through here in 1804.  Further exhibits showed items used by Abraham Lincoln when he was in Leavenworth, the free-state/slave-state conflict between Missouri and Kansas prior to the Civil War, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, and all the way up to the conflict with Mexico over Pancho Villa.  The Pancho Villa tie-ins and the Jenny Biplane really reminded me of the visit we made to Pancho Villa State Park in New Mexico a few years ago. 
A buggy Abraham Lincoln rode in
It was a great little museum, although part of it was closed for renovation.  I really enjoyed the many exhibits on display.  One of the things that I really liked was how the museum tied Fort Leavenworth to the west.  I've spent most of my life in the western United States, so retracing the trails back to a point they all passed through was really quite cool.  The Santa Fe Trail went through here, as well as the Mormon Battalion, and of course Lewis and Clark.  Then so many of the notable figures of history once walked the streets and dirt roads of Fort Leavenworth: Buffalo Bill Cody, Chief Joseph, George Armstrong Custer, Dwight D. Eisenhower,  and many others. 
Fort Leavenworth recently tightened up its security procedures. Instead of showing valid identification and consenting to a cursory vehicle search to get on post, now visitors need to stop at the post visitor center for a background check and whatever else they do.  It takes a great deal longer than it used to.  I'm not sure how it will affect the museum, most likely it will reduce the number of visitors, but if you like history at all, it's definitely worth the hassle to get there.

Nearest City: Ft Leavenworth, KS
Location: 100 Reynolds Ave, Ft Leavenworth, KS
Time Needed: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: easy
Kid Friendly:
Additional Info: Frontier Army Museum Website

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