Images of Historic Fort Riley
ST. MARY'S CHURCH. The Post Chaplain, standing in the church doorway, was responsible for conducting educational classes for children on post. Classes were held at the chapel-today's St. Mary's Chapel-and usually taught by the chaplain or one of his assistants. Pictures here is a group of school children on recess from their studies.
The fort was established in 1853 as a military post to protect the movement of people and trade over the Oregon-California and Santa Fe trails. Surveyors believed the location near the center of the United States and named the site, Camp Center.
On June 27, 1853, Camp Center became Fort Riley -- named in honor of Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Riley who had led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail in 1829. The "fort" took shape around a broad plain that overlooked the Kansas River valley.
Fort Riley has always had an important role in the defense of our nation and the training of our soldiers.