Fort Reno - El Reno, Oklahoma
Posted by: gparkes
N 35° 33.665 W 098° 02.004
14S E 587598 N 3935697
Quick Description: This fort can be found about 40 minutes west of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 11/28/2009 7:09:25 PM
Waymark Code: WM7RYF
This fort finds its originations in 1874 during the Indian Wars. Darlington Agency admininistrator demanded assistance for protection for the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes located in the area. A site was selected south of Canadian River, across from the Indian Agency.
The fort saw a transformation to a Quartermasters Remount post. The central activities of the fort were horse breeding and training of pack mules. These animals were used throughout World War II, in particular in the mountainous regions, where vehicle traffic could not pass.
During World War II, the eastern portion became an internment camp. 1,300 German and Italian troops, primarily captured in the African Campaigns were brought here. One of the great accomplishments was the 1944 construction of a chapel on the grounds of the fort. Sadly, there are 62 German and 8 Italian Prisoners of War interred at the POW Cemetery. A special section was added onto the west end of the Post Cemetery. German and Italian relatives have made trips to the area to view these final resting places of their relatives or friends.
With the close of World War II, the fort was closed in 1947. Today the grounds serve as the area headquarters for the United States Department of Agriculture.
While operationally utilized, the historic area is open to visitation. Many buildings, after the post was relenquished from its military duties, were converted to modern uses. Today, there is a concerted effort to restore these buildings to their original states. Several buildings have been completed. An excellent walking tour of the grounds provides an insight to the history of the grounds. While much of the land is off limits, the fort and cemetery are open to visitation.
Visitors Center hours are Monday thru Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Grounds are open until 5:00 pm.
Site phone number is 405-262-3987. Web address is: (visit link
The site can be reached either by taking Route 66/Business I-40 4 miles west of El Reno or Gate is less than a mile north of Exit 119 off Interstate 40.