Good Ol' Days celebration in June 3 at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Fort Scott National Historic Site News Release

Contacts: Barak V. Geertsen, barak_geertsen@nps.gov, (620) 223-0310
Fort Scott National Historic Site
PO Box 918
Fort Scott, KS 66701
(620) 223-0310

Fort Scott National Historic Site celebrates National Park Service 100th Anniversary with Good Ol' Days

Fort Scott, KS – For 100 years, the National Park Service (NPS) has protected our nation’s most precious resources, preserved its most inspiring landscapes, provided safe haven to its amazing wildlife and told its most incredible and provocative stories. Fort Scott National Historic Site is honored that Fort Scott's Good Ol' Days festival is joining in the NPS centennial celebration this year. The 100th Birthday of the National Park Service is the theme of this year's Good Ol' Days parade which begins at 6 p.m. on June 3. The birthday party continues on Saturday, June 4, at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

On that day, visitors can discover the uniqueness of eight different NPS areas in the region (including Fort Scott) whose stories are set in the heartland of America. Sites represented will include Homestead National Monument of America (Nebraska), Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site, Fort Larned National Historic Site, and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (Kansas), George Washington Carver National Monument, and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield (Missouri), and Pea Ridge National Military Park (Arkansas). Rangers and volunteers from each of these places will share their site’s significance through interpretive programs, demonstrations, and stations. Most of the activities will be geared towards children-the next generation of NPS enthusiasts.

Brown vs. Board of Education will set up a classroom on site where children can use kindergarten blocks and materials to build schools. This will be accompanied by a short program interpreting segregation and how ‘separate but equal’ worked in early 20th century schools. A woman from Homestead will be giving a program and setting up a station that takes young people through various chores (laundry, butter churning, gathering eggs, and building a fence, etc.) in “A Day in the Life of a Homesteader.” At the Tallgrass Prairie station, visitors can learn about prairie plants and the Native American uses of buffalo-their one stop shopping store. The park guide staffing this station will also offer a tour of Fort Scott’s tallgrass prairie.

Volunteer Jim Gallion from Wilson’s Creek will portray John Ray, Missouri Unionist. John Ray served as the area postmaster, had one of the larger houses around, being the father of 12 children. During the battle of Wilson’s Creek, the Ray House served as a temporary hospital. Gallion will be telling Ray’s story, and demonstrating Civil War medical equipment.

George Washington Carver National Monument staff will have a peanut milk demonstration on site as well as interpreting Carver’s other scientific discoveries. Pea Ridge will be sending Union and Confederate uniforms for children to try on. Fort Larned will provide a blacksmith with a forge demonstrating metal work of the mid-19th century.

Highlights of the day also include a Civil War artillery demonstration and American Indian dancing. The dancing programs will be provided by Beyond the Circle Dancers. They will offer cultural exchange through Native American song and dance. They represent the Navajo, Ottawa, Ojibwa, Apache, Lakota, and Cherokee tribes and are based out of Springfield, MO. They have performed and powwowed all over the United States sharing their heritage and culture. The group will also be selling fry bread and crafts.

The schedule of activities will be as follows. All programs will take place on the grounds of Fort Scott National Historic Site. Stations featuring the various activities described above will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Get a map as you enter the site showing where the various programs and stations will be located. 

10:30 a.m. John Ray: Missouri Unionist (1st person program)
11:30 a.m. American Indian Dancing: Beyond the Circle Dancers
12:30 p.m. An Endless Sea of Grass: Prairie Walk
  1:30 p.m. Sound of the Guns: Civil War Artillery Demonstration
  2:00 p.m. A Day in the Life of a Homesteader
  2:30 p.m. George Washington Carver: Man of Science
  3:30 p.m. American Indian Dancing: Beyond the Circle Dancers

Fort Scott National Historic Site is one of over 400 units of the National Park Service. It is open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Entrance to the site is free of charge.

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