WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today introduced legislation (S. 2087) to improve the Fort Scott National Historic Site in Fort Scott, Kan. S. 2087 would allow the care of the Lunette Blair Civil War Block House to be transferred to the National Park Service (NPS), as well as modify the site’s boundaries so future improvements could be made to enrich the quality of visitors’ experiences.
“This legislation will help make certain our state and nation’s history will be kept alive for the next generation,” Sen. Moran said. “It has been a pleasure to work with local officials and volunteers who are committed to improving this site to ensure visitors’ safety and enhance their experiences. From American expansion westward into the new frontier to ‘Bleeding Kansas’ and the Civil War, Fort Scott has a rich history that is underscored by the site. It deserves to be protected for the benefit of all Kansans.”
Individuals who manage the site have indicated it lacks an adequate public emergency shelter. Specifically, they need a place to shelter school children who regularly visit in case of severe weather. The buildings in the site’s new boundaries could also be used for other functions, such as an on-site storage area for artifacts that currently are stored outside the community due to space limitations or an educational center for visitors and local schools.
If the boundaries of the site are moved, the site would still have to be awarded funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to acquire the new land and buildings in question. The new land and buildings, including the Lunette Blair, could also be donated to the site.
History of Lunette Blair Civil War Block House
- The Lunette Blair Block House is a Civil War structure. Following the war, it was sold to private individuals. It is currently maintained by volunteers and the Historic Preservation Association of Bourbon County.
- The site’s original charter prohibits the block house from being included in the National Historic Site because it is from a different time period than the rest of the fort. However, it is the only Civil War block house remaining of four original fortifications and today there is a desire among stakeholders to transfer care of the block house to the National Historic Site.