Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria
Fort Hays Guard House
Originally Fort Fletcher, Fort Hays was built to protect military roads and the Smoky Hill Trail, guard the mails, and defend construction gangs on the Union Pacific Railway. The fort also served as a major supply depot shipping badly needed supplies to other U.S. Army posts in western and southern Kansas.
At times Fort Hays was home to the 7th U.S. Cavalry commanded by Lt. Col. George Custer, the 5th U.S. Infantry commanded by Col. Nelson Miles, and the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry better known as the Buffalo Soldiers. Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Gen. Philip H. Sheridan also spent time at Fort Hays.
Fort Hays Blockhouse
Tours and Information
Four original structures still stand, including the blockhouse, guardhouse, and two officers' quarters. A modern day visitors center features historical exhibits. Living history demonstrations are presented on weekends during the summer and during special events.
Hours: Tues. – Sat. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun. and Mon. 1 – 5 p.m. Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. 913-625-6812
Old-fashioned Fourth of July, July 4th
Pioneer Days, third weekend in September
Christmas Past, first weekend in December