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Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park

  • Picnicking
Upcoming park events

Visit Calendar

Located near Elyria, Fort Hartsuff is typical of Plains infantry outposts. It stood as a buffer between settlers and Native Americans, and to protect the Pawnee from the war-like Sioux, in the North Loup River Valley from 1874 to 1881. Because the main fort buildings were constructed of a lime/concrete mixture, many have survived. Acquired as a historical park in 1961, it has been restored as it was when soldiers patrolled the North Loup and Cedar river valleys and pioneered a new trail to the Black Hills gold fields in the 1870s.

Attractions

Visitors Center

Fort Hartsuff’s Visitors Center is located in the historic Post Headquarters building built in 1874, which originally housed the commanding officer’s office, the adjutant’s office, the quartermaster’s office and the commissary’s office. The center features interpretive displays about fort history. A gift shop located within the Visitors Center includes books for the serious historian and a wide range of gifts for people of all ages. The Visitor Center and gift shop are open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children under the age of 13. Admission is free for children under 3. Most buildings at Fort Hartsuff are open year round for touring.

Original and reconstructed buildings

Because the main fort buildings were constructed of a lime/concrete mixture, many have survived. Original buildings still standing at the fort include the post headquarters, enlisted men’s barracks, officers’ quarters, commanding officers quarters, post hospital, quartermaster storehouse, commissary, stables, laundress quarters, bakery and guardhouse. Additionally, a wagon scale, blacksmith and carpenter shop and privy have been reconstructed.

Living History

Living history demonstrations are staged periodically throughout the summer, with reenactors portraying the post sutler, post surgeon, blacksmiths, soldiers and laundresses.

Every spring, the Fremont Pathfinders take over the Fort for an entire weekend for their spring muster, usually in April or May. The soldiers fill most of the buildings with re-enactors as was typical in the 1870’s of a Plains fort. They have a blacksmith working the blacksmith shop, laundresses doing laundry, a post surgeon in the hospital and drills on the parade ground, as well as a skirmish on Sunday afternoon to entertain the visitors. The canons are fired all weekend long.

Usually in mid-August, the Fremont Pathfinders return to the fort for a more laid-back living history weekend, incorporating an evening flag retirement ceremony during their weekend stay.

Contact Information

Address: Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park | 82034 Fort Ave. | Burwell, NE 68823-9801
Phone: (308) 346-4715

Email: Send email