Great War Memorial - erected in 1918
Construction of Fort Riley, near Junction City, Kansas, began in 1853, and its heritage includes George Armstrong Custer and Buffalo Soldiers in the 19th century as well in providing soldiers that have served the united States in every major conflict of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Fort Riley is an active US military base, and recently grew - after many years in Europe the Big Red One returned to Fort Riley.
But Fort Riley has a lot to offer visitors: museums, historic buildings, historical markers, statues and monuments. All in a setting that will sometimes remind you of a campus and at other times of a park. There are even a couple of opportunities for visitor shopping: a gift shop in the U.S. Cavalry Museum Post and a thrift shop in Building 267 on Stuart Avenue, next to the stables,
When visitors arrive at the entrance to Fort Riley, it typically takes about 5 minutes to get a visitor's pass. The army requires photo ID, car registration and proof of insurance. They will inform you of any restrictions to where you may go on the Fort. Only US residents are permitted to tour Fort Riley.
There are two museum buildings housing three museums (U. S. Cavalry Museum, Fort Riley Regimental & Constabulary Museum), and the "Custer" House Museum just a couple of hundred feet away. I put Custer in quotes, because when they picked that house to restore, they got the wrong one. Custer actually lived a few doors down the row.
There have been stories that the "Custer" House is haunted. During the period that the house was believed to have been the one where General Custer had lived, there were reports that the house was haunted by the General. More recently there were sinister stories of a haunted teddy near and rocking horse, but the toys have been moved to the Kansas Museum of History and the incidents have stopped.
copyright 2005-2011 by Keith Stokes