This week, Kansas Second District Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins introduced a bill to authorize the transfer of the Fort Scott, Kan., Civil War era blockhouse known as Lunette Blair to the National Park Service at the Fort Scott National Historic Site, preserving a treasured historical building.
“It’s vitally important to preserve those pieces of our Kansas history which fit into our story as a nation,” said Jenkins.
For more than 50 years, the blockhouse has been maintained and preserved through a public-private partnership between the City of Fort Scott and local individuals and organizations. According to Congressional testimony from Dr. Stephanie Toothman with the National Park Service in 2016, the president of the organization approached the park to donate the property in past years because the members were no longer physically or financially able to continue their preservation efforts.
“Since its construction in 1863, the blockhouse, which is the sole remaining structure of four original fortifications, has been a landmark of the community of Fort Scott and a reminder of Kansas’s role in preserving the Union,” said Jenkins.
According to a Congressional report filed in the last Congressional session, the National Park Service believes the 16 square foot site requires very little repair and that its maintenance can fit within the existing park budget.