Fort Phil Kearny Historic Site
Wyoming State Historic Site, National Historic Landmark and Interpretive Center
First Day Hike Jan 1 2020
In what is becoming an increasingly popular New Year’s Day activity, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails provides: “First Day Hikes” – a perfect way for Wyoming residents to celebrate the New Year outdoors.
Fort Phil Kearny: 2.5 mile strenuous hike beginning at 12 noon. Meet at Interpretive Center
Historic Sites and Archaeological Sites:
$2.00 per person
Free for 18 years or younger
$4.00 per person
Free for 18 years or younger
153rd Anniversary of the Fetterman Battle Dec. 21st, 2019
9:30 AM: FETTERMAN BATTLE TALK at Kearney Hall
Followed by a period weapon demonstration at Fort Phil Kearny
NOON: Guided tour of the battle site.
FREE EVENT -
(To read more on the Fetterman Battle, please click here.)
TALK, DEMONSTRATION & TOUR GIVEN BY HISTORIAN BOB WILSON, along with the
Kearny Frontier Regulars.
2019 Veteran's Event - Exhibition of American War Uniforms and Code Talker Presentation
NOVEMBER 10 & 11 from 11am - 4pm Veterans Event: First Time Ever Exhibition of American War uniforms, representing United States Army Infantry uniforms with weapons and accouterments for all the major U.S. Wars from the Revolutionary to Desert Storm. All weapons are original to the period depicted, along with a number of the accouterments. A total of 10 of American Wars are represented using 11 mannequins.
AT KEARNEY HALL (located 1 mile west of I-90 Exit 44) - FREE EVENT
November 10th and 11th at 2pm - Presentation on Native American Code Talkers by HB Puckett, Retired USN Intelligence Officer. That the US Marine Corps enlistment of Navajo Soldiers as code talkers for secure tactical communications in World War II’s Pacific Theater has been the subject of popular print and film. What is not as widely known is that more than thirty Native American languages were used in similar fashion by native speakers, to include Northern Plains tribes, by our armed forces in both World Wars. This will be an overview of how those brave servicemen were recruited, trained, and employed, and the amazing contributions of their unbreakable communications in battle. Location Kearney Hall. Free event.
History of Horses on the Plains
This event was on September 7th, 2019 - from 10-11:30 am
Location: Kearney Community Hall – 4444 Hwy 87,Banner, WY (one mile west off of Exit 44 - I-90)
Fascinating and mysterious, the history of horses on the Plains is that and more.
Evolution 2 million+ years ago?
Did modern horses thrive on the Great Plains 20,000+ years ago?
Did extinction occur in the Americas 8-10,000 years ago?
When was actual reintroduction to the Americas and by whom?
Dr. Newton’s research focuses on the early contact period and the development of Plains Indian equestrianism.
Sponsored by the Fort Phil Kearny / Bozeman Trail Association and Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site.
Author Paul Hedren
August 22nd, 2019 at 6:30pm
Speaking Event: Author and Historian Paul L. Hedren
Subject: The events leading up to the Battle of the Rosebud, the importance of the battle and its impact on the region. We are fortunate that Paul Hedren will be back in our community to share his extensive knowledge on this important battle and time in our history.
At: Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library
Paul L. Hedren is a retired National Park Service superintendent residing in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the author of many great books including Rosebud June17, 1876 Prelude to the Little Big Horn, Fort Laramie and the Great Sioux War and Great Sioux War Orders of Battle: How the United States Army Waged War on the Northern Plains, 1876–1877.
The Battle of the Rosebud may well be the largest Indian battle ever fought in the American West. The monumental clash on June 17, 1876, along Rosebud Creek in southeastern Montana pitted George Crook and his Shoshone and Crow allies against Sioux and Northern Cheyennes under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. It set the stage for the battle that occurred eight days later when, just twenty-five miles away, George Armstrong Custer blundered into the very same village that had outmatched Crook. Historian Paul L. Hedren presents the definitive account of this critical battle, from its antecedents in the Sioux campaign to its historic consequences.
This FREE event on August 22nd is co-sponsored thanks to the Sheridan County Fulmer Library, Sheridan County Museum, Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association and the Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site.
Please note on August 24th, 8:30 am – 12pm, there will be a Rosebud Battlefield guided TOUR by State Park Ranger Spencer Morris and hosted by Wyoming Archaeological Society, Sheridan-Johnson County Chapter. “Spencer will show us the breastworks on Crook's Hill and take us over to explore Packer's Rocks. We will then circle around Conical Hill and head back down to visit what is left of the Frederick Wilhelm Von Kollmar homestead site. The park is located near Busby, Montana, and the non-resident fee is $6 per car load. Please remember to bring cash. No reservation needed.”
Bozeman Trail Symposium
August 4th, 2019 Speakers: 9:00am - 11:45am (speaking event is free)
Box Lunch: 12noon - $10 per person
Bus Tour: 1:00pm - 5:30pm - $30 per person (limited to 50 people)
ALL Events - Speakers - Lunch - Bus Tour: $40 per person
Speaking event and lunch will be at Kearney Community Hall, 4444 Hwy 87, Banner (just about a mile from Fort Phil Kearny) - the bus will leave from Kearney Hall.
Three speakers include authors John Hart (Bluecoat and Pioneer; The Recollections of John Benton Hart, 1864–1868 By John Benton Hart, Edited by John Hart) and John Russell (Treasure State Tycoon: Nelson Story and the Making of Montana), and local Historian Sonny Reisch.
The guided bus tour, with historians Bob Wilson and Sonny Reisch, will be limited to 50 people in an air-conditioned comfort bus with snack and beverage. There are restrooms on board. The tour will be of the Tillotson Fight, Dec. 6th Fight, French Pete Site, Shurly Fight, Battle of Tongue River and more.
About the speakers:
John Hart is the author of sixteen books. Born in California, completing his ancestors’ westward drift, he explored eastern roots while at Princeton (BA 1970), but left the beckoning academic track to become a freelance writer. His topics have included Western water policy, farmland preservation, and wilderness travel; he is also a poet, with a collection, The Climbers, in the Pitt Poetry Series. He hopes to make it up Cloud Peak this trip!
John C. Russell was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Bozeman to attend Montana State University. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1978. He has worked as a broadcast reporter in television and radio, and most recently as director of the Gallatin (County) Historical Society. John has written several historical articles, one published in Wild West Magazine. He and his wife Peggy live in Bozeman. This is his first book.
Sheridan native Sonny Reisch attended Casper College and then the University of Wyoming where he earned his degree in history. He served as Superintendent, Historian, and Curator at Fort Phil Kearny for 25 years. Life experiences gave Sonny the opportunity to know Dr. Joe Medicine Crow of the Crow tribe, Ted Risingsun and John Wooden Leg of the Cheyenne, Jack McDermott, and many other highly respected individuals. As a professional historian, Sonny has published numerous articles on the Bozeman Trail, the Forts, and Indian Wars that are hailed as valuable and accurate resources, and has left a treasury of research on the history of the Bozeman Trail and FPK sites, and continues today.
Crazy Woman Crossing Battles
July 20th at 9am – Crazy Woman Crossing Battles Presentation. On the 153rd Anniversary of the Templeton Fight, G.L. “Buck” Damone III, BLM Archaeologist, will be presenting new findings on this battle and other battles along Crazy Woman Creek during 1866 and 1867. Buck’s discoveries are based on his extensive research of the Bozeman Trails crossing of Crazy Woman’s Fork. This was perfect terrain for Lakota and Cheyenne warriors – defending their homelands from what they saw as an invasion – to surprise and attack road weary emigrants and soldiers.
Shortly after Colonel Carrington’s enormous wagon train passed the crossing on their way to build Fort Phil Kearny, several warriors attacked a small train under the command of Lieutenant George M. Templeton on July 20th, 1866. The roughly 35-40 poorly armed soldiers and civilians including three women and three children defended themselves in a battle that inspired Templeton to write,
“I never before thought death so near.”
9am – 10:30am
at Kearney Community Hall, 4444 Hwy 87, Banner.
Free event. No reservations needed.
Wagon Box Birding and Wildflower Walk
Dr. Jackie Canterbury of Bighorn Audubon and Janelle Gonzales, BLM on June 2nd lead a wonderful group of 50+ exploring the rich grasslands of the Wagon Box site and the Little Piney Creek riparian area. "the wildflowers in this area are magnificent in early June, and the open grasslands surrounding the historic site support Bobolinks, Savannah Sparrows and other grassland sparrows. Little Piney Creek is an excellent riparian habitat of cottonwoods and aspen. Lazuli Buntings, American Redstarts and MacGillivarys's Warblers are know to nest in the area, and Ovenbirds can be heard from the trees." Birds and Birding in Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains Region by Dr. Jackie Canterbury, Paul Johnsgard and Helen Downing.
Meet at Wagon Box site, 9am. Free event.
Screening Wyoming PBS Bozeman Trail Documentary
On May 13th and 14th, Wyoming PBS hosted a screening of The Bozeman Trail: A Rush to Montana’s Gold, a locally produced film documenting the trail which became a shortcut to newly discovered gold fields in Montana Territory. A panel discussion with producer Tom Manning will follow the screening. Light snacks will be served.
About the documentary: The Bozeman Trail was a shortcut to the newly discovered gold fields of Montana Territory. Cutting through the heart of Indian country, it provoked a clash of cultures that exploded into warfare, destruction and tragedy. It was a singular road that changed this part of the American west forever.
Walking Back 10,000 Years
This was a fabulous event on April 27th at 10am - Walking Back 10,000 Years of Human History on the Western Great Plains and Middle Rocky Mountains - at Fort Phil Kearny. Join us for the Talk or a Talk and Walk with Archaeologist Cody Newton, PhD. - Cody studied the archaeology of the western Great Plains and middle Rocky Mountains. His dissertation research focused on the early contact period and the development of Plains Indian equestrianism. Other research foci include Paleoindian studies, early European exploration and settlement, the historic bison robe trade, and the Plains Indian Wars. This event is also an introduction of Fort Phil Kearny’s 4.2 mile Walking Path. Guests can choose either a gentle walk or continue on to a more rigorous walk to Pilot Knob. Refreshments will be served after the walk. Meet at Fort Phil Kearny at 10am. Free event.
January 1st, 2019 meet at the Interpretive Center at noon. We know that New Year's celebrations are all about the SPARKLE! ✨ Come to Fort Phil Kearny and see the glittering view of the Big Horns, Lake DeSmet, and the Piney Creek Valley from atop Pilot Knob, among the 5,000+ year old stone circles.
You'll be starry-eyed from more than the climb! It IS a vigorous hike, please come prepared!
Fetterman Battle Tour Dec. 21 2018
On Friday December 21st, 2018, Bob Wilson and members of Kearny's Frontier Regulars will conduct an anniversary tour of the Fetterman Fight. The public is invited to arrive between 9:30 and 10am with an opportunity to review the museum and enjoy hot drinks and snacks before an introductory talk describing the morning activities at the fort on Dec. 21,1866, the weapons used by both the military and natives in the engagement, outlying historic points, and the route to the battle. We will then car-pool to the battlefield for a walk through the battlefield, with interpretation of how the battle unfolded. Following the tour folks are invited back to the fort for questions and answers and additional warm treats. Be sure to dress for the weather and wind. Fort Phil Kearny is located three miles west off exit 44 interstate 90 on the road to Story.
Kids’ Pheasant Hunt Offers Unique Landscape for Young Hunters
Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site hosts the Fifth Annual Kids’ Pheasant Hunt on November 24th & 25th, 2018
The event is an opportunity for families and friends wanting to hunt with young people ages 17 and younger to harvest pheasants, practice safe hunting skills, and enjoy the Piney Creek landscape at the historic Fort grounds.
FULL MOON FORT 2019
October 19 and 20 2018 was so much fun! Thanks to all who can out to enjoy an evening of history, fun and fright!
An historical and howling good time! $10 per person, children 15 and under free
2019 FULL MOON FORT is scheduled for October 11th and 12th. Save the Date!!!
August 11th, 2018
150th Anniversary of the 1868 closure of Fort Phil Kearny will include a 1866 military camp, demonstrations, and competitions. (All Events are Free Admission)
Saturday, August 11th:
8:30 am- Flag Raising Ceremony
9:00 am - Introduction of new telescope, parade ground interpretive signs and bike trail
9:30 am - Infantry and Cavalry Program covering period equipment and dress
10:00 am -Fort tour and exterior points of interest: Bob Wilson and Living History Volunteers
11:00 am- Speakers Donovin Sprague and Sonny Reisch on the Abandonment of Fort Phil Kearny and the Ft Laramie Treaty
1:00 pm -The military will take to the field conducted by three types of re-enactors to include cavalry, infantry, and artillery, with each unit depicting maneuvers including live fire demonstrations.
9:00pm - 11:00pm SkyLab Night Sky Program
Visitors bring a picnic or pop into Story for a bite! Interpretive Center is only offering some very light snack foods.
Please plan for the heat. It will be a very hot day!
Benefiting a new OBSERVATORY and TELESCOPE at Fort Phil Kearny
January 29th, 2018 11am - 2pm and 4pm - 10pm
The specific project here at Fort Phil Kearny that will benefit from DFAC funds will be the installation of a telescope and observatory at the Interpretive Center. Fort Phil Kearny is in the process of applying to become a designated International Night Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association - the first IDA designated site in Wyoming.By blending native celestial folklore and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programming, Fort Phil Kearny would become a unique and compelling resource for an opportunity like no other in the area. 100% of sales and gratuities from the day will be donated by Frackelton’s.
Reservations are encouraged and can be made online at www.frackeltons.com or 307-675-6055
Fetterman Battle - Honoring Those Who Fought
December 21st, 2017 Commemorating the 151st Anniversary of the Fetterman Battle
Fort Phil Kearny State History Site will host the annual Anniversary Tour of the Battle of the Hundred-In-The-Hand, also referred to as the Fetterman Fight. The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Fort Phil Kearny Interpretive Center, off of exit 44, Interstate 90 and will include a brief introduction at the interpretive center and a tour of the battlefield. R.C. Wilson, retired Fort Phil Kearny Superintendent will lead the program. READ MORE
Full Moon Fort
Thanks to ALL who attended the 2017 Full Moon Fort, we had so much fun making history truly come alive!
Full Moon Fort, every October since 2013.
Award winning FMF grew from 200 attendees to 900 in three years!
We are already planning Full Moon Fort 2018. Stay tuned....
Wagon Box Reenactment
The 150th Anniversary of the Wagon Box Fight near Fort Phil Kearny was in itself an historical event with an action packed educational depiction. Participants from several states including skilled bareback Native American horsemen, fascinated several hundred spectators, taking us all back in time 150 years. Several historians and authors attended, and Wyoming PBS plans a March 2018 film release.
The Fetterman Battle Reenactment took place snowy Fetterman Ridge, 4 months after the 150th anniversary of the Battle of the Hundred-in-the-Hands December 21, 1866. This well attended narrative depiction was presented by Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites, and the Fort Phil Kearny / Bozeman Trail Association.
Wyoming Poet Laureate Eugene Gagliano
Grades 3-5 worked with Galiano, a former elementary teacher, to notice the world around them with his focus on the five senses and then apply them to a writing and art exercise after a short walk along Piney Creek.