Saturday, July 25, 2009

What Wallace has to offer

The Fort Wallace Museum is a very attractive limestone building with a blue roof. It's open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (MT) and Sunday 1-5 p.m. (MT). It's located east of Wallace on U.S. 40. There are several outbuildings including the 1865 Pond Creek Stagecoach Station, the Weskan depot, and a pioneer and agricultural equipment shed.

A buffalo made out of wire stands on a limestone pedestal in front of the museum. It's mind-boggling to think someone could manipulate wire into such a work of art. Ernie Poe is the sculptor and is a museum volunteer so you might get lucky enough to meet him. There are several other Poe wire sculptures around the complex.

The museum displays are a great testament to the era when the fort was in operation from 1865-1888. Though there is nothing left of the fort, displays show the layout of all the outbuildings. It's a must to go to the museum first and then out to the cemetery. Across from the cemetery one can look south and imagine the fort.

The cemetery is found 1/4 mile east of the museum, then 1 mile southeast. A marker beside the first flagpole provides the Fort Wallace time line and layout.

Numerous Jerry Thomas photos further depict the story of the fort. (He is so good!)

The Section House is located on the southwest side of town north of the grain elevators. Described once as the finest superintendent's residence on the railroad, this stone 1879 building is now one of only two remaining original Kansas Pacific Railroad structures.

The Clark-Robidoux House (featured in an earlier blog) is another feature in Wallace, a town of 66. Don't underestimate these small towns. The history is rich and the desire to convey the story is powerful.

KE #2 Marci Penner

1 comment:

Stan said...

I agree about Jerry's work, and am anxiously awaiting the opening of his gallery, attached to the El Quartelejo Museum in Scott City.