Fort Riley, Kansas

 

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Annual tour of homes paints historic image of post’s colorful past

By Kalene Lozick | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | December 08, 2017

     The Historical and Ar­chaeological Society of Fort Riley 34th annual His­toric Tour of Homes Dec. 2 brought people strolling down six streets of Historic Main Post to view the inte­riors of selected homes and recognizable buildings.

     “It is the longest running HASFR event and there are four places that are always in the tour,” said Caroline Sibley, co-chair for Historic Tour of Homes and wife of Capt. David Sibley, 1st Bat­talion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Bri­gade Combat Team, 1st In­fantry Division. “There are Quarters One and Quarters 100 — those are the two big­gest. They are the commanding general’s home ... Then Custer House is always open, Saint Mary’s and Main Post Chapel … Those are our standards that we always have and then we ro­tate and usually have six to nine of the private homes.”

     The tour began at Custer House, 24 Sheridan Ave. — the only duplex officer’s quar­ters from the 1850s. From here, people received a red snow flake stamp and began their walking tour to any of the 11 historical buildings within Historic Main Post.

      “This year we have one of the free standing (homes), the Col. And Mrs. Armstrong (house) around the corner of Arnold Avenue — that is one of four original, single-family homes because most of them are duplexes,” Siblley said. “Then we have three down Forsyth Avenue — three dif­ferent floor plans. One on Godfrey, that one has a lot of the original historic elements. That one has the original but­ler’s pantry, it has the original electrical panel so that is really cool. Then we have a couple on Schofield Circle.”

      Each home had red and gold place settings on the dining room tables with chargers under each plate to add an additional layer of texture. Some homes had a holiday tree in each living room, dining room and some bedrooms. Others had wreaths decorating the fireplace mantles with candles and trinkets.

      Ashley Brown, wife of 2nd Lt. Scott Brown of the Army National Guard, said they lives at Fort Riley when he was sta­tioned here. She said the Histor­ic Tour of Homes is her favorite event at Fort Riley.

      “It’s just fun,” Brown said. “I just love looking at the historical homes and how they are deco­rated too. It’s my favorite part of the (Historic Tour of) Homes.”

       She said she was always in­spired by the holiday decora­tions in each home and goes home with ideas to decorate her own space.

     The tour is designed to make history tangible to visi­tors who are able to see stand­ing historical buildings that are still in use today, Sibley said.

     “Fort Riley and the sur­rounding community has such a unique history in how the post has worked with the local community,” Sibley said. “So being able to come out and see relics from that makes it a lot more present … and so I think it makes things not as fictional and brings them to the forefront of people’s minds again.”

 

Tag Tour of Homes