Five miles east of Dodge City is the site of Old Fort Dodge, founded to help protect a long section of the Santa Fe Trail. It served as a supply post and base of operation against the warring Indians from 1865 – 1882. In 1882, Fort Dodge was removed from service and now serves as the Kansas State Soldiers’ Home. Several original buildings remain, including the commanding officer’s quarters, enlisted men’s barracks, and the post-hospital. Civilians and soldiers built with native limestone quarried north of Dodge City. The military cemetery served both civilians and soldiers. The saying was “the rich are buried at the fort, and the cowhands and unknown were buried on Boot Hill or gone to hell.” Today the Fort is utilized as a retirement community and nursing facility for retired Kansas veterans. A historic library and self-guided walking tour tell the fort's history to visitors. Many of the original buildings are still in use.
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