Saturday, May 14, 2016

Fort Reno

South of Kingfisher is the town of El Reno, originally a stopover on the Chisolm Trail 

and a supply station for Fort Reno.  The fort stands just off a strip of old Rt. 66.  

Ft. Reno was no log cabin affair.  It was built well and built to last.  The fort fell into disrepair when it was abandoned, but the original buildings still stand.  Three have been fully restored and are open for touring. The one visible was officers' quarters and is now the Visitors' Center, small museum and gift shop.

When the Indians gave up and the white settlers were busy building new lives, the fort was abandoned by the army.  During WW I and II it was refurbished and used for a remount base for the war effort in Europe.  

German and Italian prisoners of war stayed here.  Many are still here in the cemetery.  They were buried behind a wall in a corner of the cemetery, segregated even in death.

When the Army once again had no use for the fort it was taken over by the USDA for their Grazinglands Research Lab, which remains there today.  Their buildings surround the fort buildings.  

This map explains where the unassigned lands lay.   They are where everyone went during the Land Rush.

The town of El Reno located here to take advantage of the the well-traveled Chisolm Trail and to supply the fort.  The town was originally named Reno, but mail kept ending up in Reno, NV.  The town took the El from General Reno's middle initial.

The 9th cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers) were stationed here and did most of the construction.  

This duplex was the first building constructed.  It was a two family duplex for married officers and their families.  It is used now to display cavary equipment.  

I was assured that the inside (as well as the outside) was reconstructed the way it was originally built, clapboards, wood floors, plaster and all.  This would have been a sitting room or office.

One of the buildings awaiting refurbishing.

We hope that all of the buildings in the Fort can be redone.  Most of the displays centered on the two World Wars.  We would like to see more artifacts from the original fort era.

I would like to have input on these blogs about the content of and number of pictures and the quality and amount of information.  I promise to use your input to try to make the blog more readable and interesting.  My goal is not only for you to know where we are, but also to give you enough information to help you decide if these are places that you would like to visit.
  I want to thank my faithful reader, Marsha.  Thank you for tuning into our daily adventures (and lack of them), and for your nice comments.  

Louise and Duane

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