fort hartsuff state historical park

Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park: Explore Nebraska

Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts in Nebraska. Located on the original 1280-acre Military Reservation, the park showcases nine original permanent buildings constructed of grout, a mixture of gravel, lime, and cement. It was active from 1874 to 1881, providing protection for settlers and friendly Indians during the height of Indian warfare on the Plains. The park is part of the state-wide Historical Parks system and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is a historic destination in Nebraska, showcasing original permanent buildings from the late 19th century.
  • The park provided protection for settlers and friendly Indians during the Indian warfare on the Plains.
  • It is part of the state-wide Historical Parks system and holds significant historical value.
  • Visiting the park offers an opportunity to learn about the history of Fort Hartsuff and experience the preserved buildings firsthand.
  • Exploring the park provides insight into the challenges faced by settlers and the role of the military during that time.

Essential Information

When planning a visit to Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park, there are a few essential details to keep in mind. To enter the park, visitors are required to have a park entry permit. These permits can be purchased at the park itself, statewide Game and Parks offices, permit vendors, or online. It’s a simple and convenient process that ensures smooth access to the park.

The park has specific operating hours depending on the time of year. From May 15 to September 4, it is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays to Sundays. During the transition period from September 5 to September 24, the park is open on Fridays to Sundays with the same hours. From September 25 to April 30, the park is open by appointment only. It’s essential to plan your visit accordingly and check the park’s availability before making your trip.

When it comes to admission fees, Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park offers affordable rates. The admission fee for adults (13 & up) is $4, while children aged 3-12 are charged $1. Children 2 and under can enter for free. These fees help support the maintenance and preservation of the park’s historical buildings and grounds.

Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park

Admission Type Fee
Adults (13 & up) $4
Children (3-12) $1
Children (2 and under) Free

Park Highlights

Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park offers a unique experience for history enthusiasts with its impressive collection of historic buildings. These buildings have stood the test of time and provide visitors with a glimpse into the past. Among the notable structures are the post headquarters, enlisted men’s barracks, officers’ quarters, commanding officers quarters, and post hospital. Each building showcases the architectural styles of the late 19th century and offers insights into the daily life of those who lived and worked at the fort.

One of the highlights of visiting Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is the opportunity to witness living history demonstrations. Throughout the summer, the park hosts reenactors who bring the fort to life by portraying various characters such as soldiers, blacksmiths, and laundresses. These demonstrations offer visitors a hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of the time period. It’s an immersive way to learn about the fort’s history and the challenges faced by those who called it home.

“Visiting Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park was like stepping back in time. The historic buildings were incredibly well-preserved, and the living history demonstrations were engaging and informative. It was fascinating to see the reenactors in action and learn about the daily life of the people who lived at the fort. I highly recommend a visit for anyone interested in history!” – John, Nebraska

For an enriching experience at Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park, visitors can explore the park grounds, taking in the serene surroundings and picturesque landscapes. The park offers a peaceful atmosphere and the chance to connect with nature while immersing oneself in the history of the area. Whether it’s strolling through the grounds or enjoying a picnic under the shade of a tree, there are plenty of opportunities to relax and absorb the historical significance of the park.

Overall, Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is a treasure trove of history and a must-visit destination in Nebraska. With its remarkable collection of historic buildings and engaging living history demonstrations, it offers a truly immersive experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the past, a trip to Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is sure to leave you with a deeper appreciation for the rich heritage of the area.

Table: Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park Buildings

Building Description
Post Headquarters The administrative center of the fort, housing the commanding officer’s office and staff.
Enlisted Men’s Barracks The living quarters for the enlisted soldiers stationed at the fort.
Officers’ Quarters The residences of the commissioned officers.
Commanding Officers Quarters The residence of the commanding officer and his family.
Post Hospital An important medical facility that provided healthcare for soldiers and their families.
Quartermaster Storehouse A storage facility for military supplies and equipment.
Commissary The place where provisions and rations were stored.
Stables The shelter for the horses used by the military.
Laundress Quarters The residences of the laundresses who provided laundry services for the fort.
Bakery A facility where bread and other baked goods were prepared.
Guardhouse A building used as a detention center for soldiers who violated military rules.
Wagon Scale A device used to weigh wagons and their cargo.
Blacksmith and Carpenter Shop A combined workshop for blacksmithing and carpentry needs.
Privy A restroom facility used by the occupants of the fort.

Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park


When visiting Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park, there are plenty of activities to engage in and events to attend. Aside from the fascinating living history demonstrations, the park hosts special events throughout the year, providing visitors with unique experiences.

One of the notable events at Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is the spring muster organized by the Fremont Pathfinders. This event takes place in April or May and brings the park to life with reenactors who conduct drills and skirmishes, immersing visitors in the atmosphere of the past. It is a great opportunity to witness the dedication and skills of these history enthusiasts, further enhancing the overall experience.

“The spring muster at Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is a truly immersive event. The passion and attention to detail displayed by the reenactors make it a memorable experience for everyone.” – Visitor review

In addition to the spring muster, Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park also hosts a more laid-back living history weekend in mid-August. This event offers visitors a chance to enjoy the park at a slower pace and includes an evening flag retirement ceremony, adding a touch of solemnity to the historical immersion.

Aside from attending events, visitors can explore the park at their own pace, taking in the historic buildings and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. It provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of the area and appreciate the preservation efforts that have gone into maintaining the park’s authenticity.

Upcoming Events at Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park

Date Event
April/May Spring Muster
Mid-August Living History Weekend


While Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park does not offer on-site accommodations, camping options are available nearby in Nebraska. Visitors can enjoy a full outdoor experience while exploring the park and its rich history.

There are several campsites and RV parks in the surrounding area that cater to different preferences and needs. Whether you prefer a rustic tent camping experience or the convenience of an RV, you’ll find options to suit your preferences.

Here are some popular camping destinations near Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park:

  • State Recreation Areas: Nebraska offers a variety of state recreation areas with camping facilities. These areas often feature amenities such as picnic areas, hiking trails, and fishing opportunities. Some popular options near Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park include Davis Creek Recreation Area and Victoria Springs State Recreation Area.
  • Private Campgrounds: There are also numerous private campgrounds and RV parks in the area. These campgrounds may offer additional amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, and laundry facilities. Examples include Riverside Campground and Lake North Campground.

It’s important to plan ahead and make reservations, especially during peak camping seasons. This ensures that you secure your preferred campsite and have a smooth camping experience. Additionally, don’t forget to check for any specific camping regulations or restrictions at the chosen campground.

Camping in Nebraska

Table: Popular Campgrounds near Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park

Campground Name Contact Information Amenities
Riverside Campground Phone: 123-456-7890
Swimming pool, playground, hiking trails
Lake North Campground Phone: 987-654-3210
Lake access, fishing, picnic areas
Davis Creek Recreation Area Phone: 789-123-4560
Hiking trails, fishing, boat ramp
Victoria Springs State Recreation Area Phone: 456-789-1230
Picnic areas, hiking trails, fishing

Exploring the Area

While visiting Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park, you’ll have the opportunity to explore other tourist attractions in Nebraska. The state offers a wide range of nearby parks and trails that are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

One popular destination is the nearby Platte River State Park, located just a short drive from Fort Hartsuff. This picturesque park offers hiking trails that wind through lush forests, leading to stunning viewpoints overlooking the Platte River. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in nature and spot local wildlife.

If you’re interested in history, make sure to visit the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in nearby Grand Island. This living history museum showcases the pioneer heritage of Nebraska through interactive exhibits, historic buildings, and costumed interpreters. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past and a perfect complement to your visit to Fort Hartsuff.

For those seeking adventure, the Great Platte River Road Archway in Kearney is a must-see attraction. This unique museum takes you on a journey through time, following the footsteps of pioneers as they traveled along the Platte River. With interactive exhibits and engaging displays, it provides a dynamic and educational experience.


Are pets allowed in Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park?

Yes, pets are allowed in the park as long as they are on a leash and cleaned up after.

Are there picnic areas in the park?

Yes, Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park has designated areas where visitors can enjoy picnic lunches.

Is there a gift shop in the park?

No, there is no gift shop in Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park. However, visitors can find souvenirs and historical items in nearby gift shops and visitor centers.

Can I take photographs in the park?

Yes, photography is allowed in Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park. Visitors are encouraged to capture the beauty of the historic buildings and the surrounding landscape.

Is there wheelchair accessibility in the park?

Yes, Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park is wheelchair accessible. However, some areas may have uneven terrain or gravel paths, so visitors are advised to use caution.

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