4. First Days at Cantonment Leavenworth

The original cantonment was centered around a small square main parade (500 feet per side). The buildings were constructed with locally sourced materials including limestone, brick, and wood.

Two of the oldest buildings from this period still exist. The Rookery, constructed from 1828-1834, was constructed of wood and masonry. Sumner House, built in 1840, was constructed with bricks and is modeled after French Colonial architecture. Other support buildings around the main parade included a hospital, guardhouse, and shops.

The "Rookery" is the oldest surviving building on the fort (circa 1834), and the oldest continously occupied residence in the state of Kansas. Image courtesy of Fort Leavenworth Flickr

The Following Is a Verbatim Copy of the Original Descriptive


A. Commanding Officers' Quarters (foundation walls complete) : two story building; wood frame construction filled in with brick; two rooms at either end 20 by 19 feet; two halls each 10 feet wide; four rooms in the center, each 18 by 18 feet; piazzas, front and rear, each 8 feet wide; cellar kitchens

B. Officers' Quarters (to be built): one story building 112 by 36 feet; hall at either end and two halls in center, each 10 feet wide; eight rooms, four adjoining, each 20 by 18 feet; piazzas, front and rear, each 8 feet wide; cellar kitchens

C. Soldiers' Quarters (completed): one story building 52 by 36 feet; center hall 12 feet wide, two rooms on either side, each 21 by 18 feet; piazzas, front and rear, each 8 feet wide; cellar kitchens

D. Hospital (completed) : two story building 64 by 36 feet; hall at either end, 12 feet wide; four rooms each 20 by 18 feet; piazza in front, 8 feet wide; cellar kitchens.


a. Soldiers' Quarters Left Wing: tent 150 by 28 feet; four company rooms and one for guard, each 30 by 28 feet

b. Huts for Laundresses: 15 by 10 feet, 15 by 12 feet

c. Huts for Laundresses: 63 by 14 feet, 61 by 14 feet, 29 by 14 feet

d. Sink for Left Wing: 16 by 10 feet

e. Sutler's Store House: 41 by 20 feet

f. Sutler's Store House: 41 by 16 feet

g. Officers' Quarters: one story building, 124 by 31 feet; built of logs; rooms 16 by 151/2 feet and 12 by 151/2 feet

h. Officers' Yards and Kitchens

j. Soldiers' Quarters Right Wing: hut, 141 by 28 feet; four rooms for the companies, each 29 by 28 feet; one room for the guard, prisonary, and staff guard, 21 by 28 feet

k. Smith's Shop

l. Kitchens for the Four Companies of the Right Wing: 25 by 18 feet

m. Huts for Laundresses of the Right Wing: 10 by 12 feet, 11 by 12 feet, 16 by 12 feet, 13 by 12 feet, and 38 by 12 feet

n. Board Kiln: 16 by 10 feet

o. Bake House: 45 by 16 feet

p. Sink for the Right Wing: 16 by 10 feet

q. Commissary Store House: 138 by 28 feet and quartermaster

r. Commissary Store House: 45 by 28 feet

s. Hut for the Commissary Sergeant and Sergeant Major: 32 by 13 feet

t. Sand Pit: 80 by 17 feet

v. Ice House: 22 by 22 by 22 feet deep

Information courtesy of Kansas Historical Society : https://www.kshs.org/p/plan-of-cantonment-leavenworth-1828/13071