Old Stone Fort – Flint Hills

Old Stone FOrt, Wabaunsee County

Old Stone Fort, Wabaunsee County

No one that I’ve talked to knows much about the The Old Stone Fort. Located in southwestern Wabaunsee County, Kansas, this old building sits atop a small hill overlooking the old Trail Drover’s Road and a stream crossing. Privately owned, it serves as a convenient place to feed cattle who are grazing on the rich Flint Hills grass. Going west from Volland on Old K-10, find Trail Drovers Road on the right and follow it for a few miles. You should some to the Old Stone Fort.

My guess is that originally this was a Cavalry outpost for Fort Riley. There is also a stable, just to the left of where I was standing. Both buildings were not built for ranch or farm service; they don’t appear to have had the amenities for permanent occupancy of either humans or livestock. The location makes sense as a good place to station a detachment of Horse Soldiers. Trail Drover’s Road was the main cattle trail in the area for driving the herds to the railroad, some six miles away at Volland. The nearby stream crossing was probably important for the cattle drives too. And, the stream could supply water for the men and horses stationed there. All this is just my rank speculation of course.

The negative for Old Stone Fort was taken on 4×5 Polaroid Type 55 sheet film. I loved that film! One more sigh for its demise.

Prints of the Old Stone Fort are available for sale through my APUG Portfolio. Please contact me via e-mail or a Blog comment if you are interested.

All photographs copyright Alex Hawley

  1. A very interesting artifact of days gone by; wonderfully captured in your photo.
    Positive mention of the Flint Hills always gets my attention! Thanks!
    So happy it brought me to your site

    Our 22 county Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc. promotes visits to the Kansas Flint Hills – the website is: http://www.kansasflinthills.travel/

    Best wishes!
    Dr. Bill 😉
    Personal Blog: http://flinthillsofkansas.blogspot.com/

    • Alex Hawley
    • July 28th, 2008

    Thanks Dr. Bill. I’m a great enthusiast for showing the beauty of the Flint Hills.

  2. I’d really like to know more about the story of this “old stone fort” you photographed. Hope someone will be able to share some more of the story. Your photograph just makes it that more enticing! 😉

    • Alex Hawley
    • July 29th, 2008

    Same here Dr. Bill. I’ve talked to three or four people who grew up in the area and all said the same thing. One friend photographed it in 1971 for a Wabaunsee County calender. According to him, even the elderly ladies who were driving him to the site, and whom were pretty sharp on the County’s history, didn’t know anything about it.

    I’m guessing that the need for Army protection had subsided in that region by about 1880, maybe even a little earlier. And also guessing it may have been built in 1870 or so when the railroad came through. Also could have been built shortly after Fort Riley was established, perhaps in the 1860s.

    Sure would be great to find some fragment of documentation or oral history about it.

  3. You find some wonderful places. Sometime I’d like to go exploring with you.

    • Alex Hawley
    • August 4th, 2008

    We’ll do that Matt, and thanks!

  4. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  5. The Old Stone Fort is still my favorite image of yours…maybe we should swap prints..!

    • John Hill
    • January 17th, 2009

    The link below contains information about Wabunsee county, including the stone fort… pretty interesting. http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/archives/wabaunse/1907/51.shtml

    • Alex Hawley
    • January 18th, 2009

    Many Thanks for the link John. Its quite interesting.

    • terryownby
    • March 30th, 2009

    Nice shot. I also enjoyed your narrative, I love bits of history about places I photograph, so I appreciate what you offer. Keep up the good work. It’s been about seven years since I last shot with my 4×5. I still demonstrate it at the university, but nearly all the classes these days are digital. Photography has always been about change and I’m sure it will continue to change!

  6. Interesting. We have an Old Stone Fort in Manchester, Tennessee. I thought no other place shared the name. I like the art!

  7. I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content
    so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having
    1 or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

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