I planned our Route 66 trip so that we could spend the night close and get up early to visit Fort Reno for the 2nd summer in a row. Yep, that's how much I enjoyed touring the Fort. The Post Chapel and Post Cemetery are the most interesting locations in the Fort. There is so much history at Fort Reno I wish I could spend a week!
Now that they have received some restoration funds the visitor's center & museum are looking great. A trip to the cemetary is a must do event for anyone with even a passing interest in history, both Oklahomian and for World War II (believe it or not). Along with settlers, scouts & soldiers there are German and Italian POW's buried at the Fort Reno Cemetary. The WW II POWs built a chapel at Ft Reno that is still used to this day. Incredibly interesting - if you find it interesting as well, you might also want to read "Extreme Justice" by Vincent Green, which covers the true story of German Corporal Johannes Kunze who is buried at Ft Reno, and was killed by his fellow POWs at the Tonkawa POW camp.
Interesting museum of early days out on the prairie. Several buildings have been restored and more are in the works. Museum is in one of the old buildings. Old buildings of the fort are signed so you can drive around and see what was there. Admission fee is one dollar for seniors. I think two dollars for adults.
So much history especially if you have a history loving guide and time to view the museum..the chapel..the grave yard and OSU research center..or visit when an event is taking place. Check out web site.
Once each month, during April through October, the fort hosts a ghost walk. Our family recently attended. The walk was scheduled to begin at 8;00pm, and convened in the post chapel. We first had to sit through a Powerpoint presentation by the Director of the historic fort, which attempted to give a history of the fort and some general current information. The presentation was full of mispronounced and misused words and some historical inaccuracies. Next we suffered through a presentation by a local "paranormal investigations" group that attempted to explain how they go about their investigations and some of their various findings (all at sites other than the fort). The total time spent in these presentations was about an hour and twenty minutes. Extremely boring. Next we split up into three large groups for a walking tour of the grounds guided by the "paranormal investigators". We stopped at a number of buildings to listen to the guide read from a paper script, first giving a history of the building. Again, mispronounced and misused words and historical inaccuracies. The guide then read a list of the alleged "paranormal activities" associated with the building. There was no attempt to create a mood or to weave a story, common themes in most ghost walks. The final phase of the walk was a tour of the old fort cemetery. The guide was a local student, who again read from a script, with mispronunciations, etc. We were back in our car at about 11:50pm.We have been on ghost walks in the U.S., Canada, and England. The Ft Reno was by far the worst presented we have attended and was completely unenjoyable. It was unprofessionally and uncreatively presented. Don't waste your time on this.
I think it might have been neat to just tour Fort Reno, but the Ghost Tour was led by people who had no idea what they were talking about. There was no actual history. They just read from a script and knocked on doors, expecting someone to knock back, which never happened. I asked what the sources for these stories were and was told "the people who worked here over the years." It was a joke and thankfully, only $10, but I suppose I got some exercise. Skip it and just tour Fort Reno with someone who knows what he's doing.
To be perfectly honest, my wife and I had just visited the fort for the first time last January. We were suprised to find so much history almost in our back yard. Fort Rena is well worth a visit from anyone who wants to learn more about the State Of Oklahoma. D.J.Julian
We ended up at Fort Reno by accident. We were following Route 66 coming out of Oklahoma City and the road was blocked off for a drag racing event. (yes, Route 66 was blocked off for drag racing). After looping around to get back to Route 66, I accidentally crossed it and continued on what turned out to be the access to Fort Reno. We didn't spend a lot of time, but explored the visitor center and drove around the grounds. The amount of history that passed through here is pretty incredible. It includes the "taming of the west" all the way up to its use as a POW camp during the Second World War. All in all it is a very interesting spot, and one I have already made plans to go back to next time I am in the area.
Be sure to visit the US Cavalry cemetery on the hill; the historic Indian scout, Ben Clark, is buried there. WWII POW's are interred there, too.
We arrived in plenty of time only to see they had closed their gates to the Govt' SHUT DOWN..we have seen so many of those signs along the way. We were planning to visit this little bit of history while we were on Route 66.