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Commemorating 200 Years of the Santa Fe Trail - Part 8 (Fort Larned)

Sketch of Fort Larned in Harper's Weekly, June 8, 1867.

As we continue our monthly series of reports commemorating the bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail, we head southwest of Great Bend to Fort Larned. Referred to as "The Guardian of the Trail," the fort now operates as a unit of the National Park Service and was the most visited national park in Kansas in 2020. Historians and park rangers who provide programs and greet visitors there often find themselves addressing misconceptions related to the army's role on the trail, as well as conflicts involving Native Americans.

That was park ranger George Elmore and historian Leo Oliva, clearing up some misconceptions related to the U.S. Army's role at Fort Larned during the active days of the Santa Fe Trail. This segment comes from a video documentary titled The Road to Santa Fe, produced by Dave Kendal, who narrated our report. Learn more about the project at or check out the Facebook page for Prairie Hollow Productions.

Listen to our earlier reports, which began in January.

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