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Fort Hays State Historic Site

1472 US Highway 183 Alt



The military reservation on which Fort Hays stood occupied nearly 7,600 acres of land and at one time included nearly 45 buildings. During its life, Fort Hays was home to to an estimated 5,000 enlisted men and 250 officers. Today visitors can tour four original buildings: two officers' quarters, the guardhouse, and the blockhouse. A modern visitor center also features exhibits about the clash of cultures that created the need for frontier forts.


Fort Hays was an important U.S. Army post that was active from 1865 until 1889. Originally designated Fort Fletcher (after Governor Thomas C. Fletcher of Missouri), it was located five miles south of present-day Walker, Kansas, and became operational on October 11, 1865.

State Historic Site

After its closing in 1889 the land and buildings of Fort Hays were turned over to the Department of the Interior, which later transferred them to the state of Kansas in 1900.

When Frontier Historical Park was opened at the site in 1929, only the blockhouse and guardhouse remained of the original fort buildings. The two officers' quarters were relocated in 1964 and 1987. The visitor center was built in 1967. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Fort Hays State Historic Site is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media