Fort Harker Guardhouse in Kanopolis, Kansas

More History

During our October 2022 visit to Kansas and Missouri, we saw several historical places. One of those was the town of Kanopolis, Kansas. Kanopolis was the home to Fort Harker, which was in operation between 1866 and 1872. Fort Harker was used to help protect the settlers moving into the area during that time period. In addition to a few of the fort buildings, Kanopolis also has a railroad depot, too. Here is a little of what we saw there.

Fort Harker Guardhouse

Fort Harker Guardhouse in Kanopolis, Kansas

One of the first things we saw when we drove over from Ellsworth was the Fort Harker Guardhouse. It is actually pretty difficult to miss because of its large size. The Guardhouse now houses a museum. But because we were there on a Sunday, the museum was closed. Maybe some other time.

Fort Harker Guardhouse in Kanopolis, Kansas

The Fort Harker Guardhouse was built in 1867 out of large, thick stone bricks. This building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and rightfully so.

Fort signpost in Kanopolis, Kansas

Fort Harker was just one of many forts in the area built to protect settlers. One of the forts mentioned on this sign is Fort Dodge, and you might remember that we visited Fort Dodge earlier this year. Incidentally, the original fort in this area was in Ellsworth, where we had been before we drove over to Kanopolis. But more space and better facilities were needed, so a new fort was built to replace Fort Ellsworth, and that new construction was Fort Harker.

Upper level of the Fort Harker Guardhouse in Kanopolis, Kansas

Even though the museum was closed, we were able to climb the exterior stairs to the upper level to check out the view. And that gave us a good view of that building with the green roof that you can see here, which just happens to be a railroad depot. And you know I love railroad depots! Check out that post here!

About History

The older I get, the more I appreciate history. I wish I could go back and visit again all of the historical sites that I visited in my young years, because I know I did not fully understand at that time what had happened there. I still do not understand all of it, but I do have a deeper appreciation of it all now. Plus, I have a better understanding of past events in general and how they all fit together, so that helps, too.

So much of history is seemingly wasted on the youth. But you have to start somewhere. You have to tell that first story, and then try to tie other stories together with it, filling in holes where you can, and making the whole history of the world work together. Maybe the reason I appreciate history more now is that I know more about it now. And that mainly comes with age.

The closer you are to becoming history yourself, the more you appreciate the history that was before you. Funny how that works.

For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. - Romans 15:4

About the Photos

Because this location was close to our previous stop of Ellsworth, these photos received much the same treatment. That included brighter colors, strong contrast, and my favorite yellow tint. Just to keep with the theme.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in GIMP and Raw Therapee. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: October 9, 2022
Location: Kanopolis, Kansas

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.