The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Tour features historic Fort homes

  • Carol Belcher is the tour organizer for the Fort Leavenworth Homes Tour May 5.

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  • Carol Belcher is the tour organizer for the Fort Leavenworth Homes Tour May 5.
    1. This is the 35th year that the Homes Tour has featured historic homes on Fort Leavenworth. Can you tell us what this fundraiser supports?
    The Friends of the Frontier Army Museum are a private organization that has been authorized to fundraise on Fort Leavenworth and in the surrounding community. The Friends of the Frontier Army Museum's fundraising profits are solely intended to provide funds to the Frontier Army Museum for its artifact purchase and for restoration/preservation of existing artifacts in the museum. The Frontier Army Museum highlights the history of the local area from the early days of westward expansion to the early 20th Century. Admission to the museum is free, so it's a great place to bring your family and friends and to learn about the earlier times at Fort Leavenworth and the surrounding area.
    2. What can visitors expect from this tour?
    Visitors have a few options when they attend this tour. First, they are free to visit the homes and buildings in any order they wish. They are free to start their tour anytime between 10 a.m. and around 1 p.m., although the homes are open until 3 p.m. that day, I wouldn't want anyone to start their tour too late and then miss any of the homes. I recommend visitors start earlier in the day so that they have time to see all the homes and buildings. We have, in addition to the nine homes, two historic buildings open: the Memorial Chapel and Boughton Hall which houses the only Masonic Lodge on an Army post. We will have a volunteer in Memorial Chapel who will be able to answer any questions that visitors may have about it and the members of Masonic Lodge 311 are looking forward to sharing their wonderful building with visitors.
    Second, visitors can walk around the tour route or ride in comfort. We have provided transportation, in the form of two shuttle buses, available for those visitors who prefer not to walk. Buses will be circling the route and visitors can catch them at any stop along the way.
    Finally, visitors can enjoy additional activities in Zais Park. We will have members of the Fort Leavenworth Hunt riding their horses through the historic homes district that day. A member of the Hunt will be at Zais Park, with a hunting hound, to explain the historic role the Hunt has had here at Fort Leavenworth. We will also have vendors in Zais Park for your shopping pleasure. We will have tables and chairs set out in Zais Park as well for those visitors who would like to take a rest break and enjoy the beautiful parkland.
    3. Where do visitors buy their tickets for the Tour of Historic Homes?
    Page 2 of 3 - Visitors can purchase their tickets in person at the Fort Leavenworth Museum Gift Shop, located in the museum at 100 Reynolds Avenue, Fort Leavenworth prior to the event or on the day of the homes tour. Tickets cost $13 each for non-members of the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum or $11 each for Friends of the Frontier Army Museum members and groups of 20 or more.
    This year, we are also trying something new. We are offering visitors the opportunity to purchase tickets online at our website www.ffam.us via PayPal. Visitors should print their transaction slip once their purchase has been confirmed by PayPal and then bring that to the Fort Leavenworth Army Museum the day of the event. Visitors will be able to redeem their tickets by presenting their transaction slip to the ticket sales staff.
    4. How will visitors know which homes are on the tour?
    When visitors purchase their ticket from either the Museum Gift Shop or online via PayPal, they will receive a numbered brochure with a numbered wristband inside it. These items act as an individual ticket.
    The brochure contains a list of homes on tour with addresses and a brief description of each home. In addition, homes on the tour will have a numbered “Homes Tour” sign in the front lawn that matches the number beside the home in the brochure. This will assist visitors in determining which home is open to the public.
    5. Any special suggestions for enjoying the day?
    First, plan to leave enough time in your day to accommodate the security screening you will encounter upon entering the post, if you do not possess a valid military identification card.
    Those visitors who do not have a valid military ID card will be required to drive their vehicle into the far right lane and must go through a vehicle search to enter post.
    This may take a little time. Plan to make this a walking or driving tour.
    Wear your wristband to show that you paid for your ticket to enter the home.
    Park in designated areas only. We recommend the parking lots by the Post Theatre on Grant Avenue near Reynolds Avenue and the Fort Leavenworth Army Museum, 100 Reynolds Avenue. There will be limited parking in front of the homes.
    As an option, use the free shuttle service starting at 10 a.m. from the Post Theatre and the Museum, stopping along the route at 20-minute intervals.
    Food and vendors are available in Zais Park. Food is also available at the 12th Brick Grille, located in the old USDB complex.
    In the homes, no photography is allowed without permission of the resident. Also, tobacco products, eating and drinking are not permitted in the homes.
    Page 3 of 3 - Backpacks are welcome but no strollers in the homes, please.
    Please control your children's activities at all times, as many of these historic buildings are not 'child-proof.'
    — Special to the Times

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