Last updated: 12/30/2013
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Street Address
437 Quanah Rd
Fort Sill, OK 73503
Mailing Address
437 Quanah Rd
Fort Sill, OK 73503
phone: 580-442-5123
web: sill-www.army.mil/museum
Hours
Photo identification for all persons over the age of 16 must be presented at the Checkpoint upon entering Fort Sill.
Tuesday - Saturday9 AM - 5 PM
Admissions
Free. Donations Accepted.
Services
Gift Shop
Staff
Frank Siltman, Director, Directorate of Museums
Scott Neel, PhD, Director / Curator
Wade Popp, Archivist
Mark Megehee, Museum Specialist
Ralph Spencer, Museum Aide
Michele Mabry, Facilities Manager
Description

The Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum is the most complete Indian Wars frontier Army fort still in existance. It has 36 historic buildings dating from 1869-1875, along with a diverse collection focused on the history of Fort Sill, the Frontier Army, regional settlement and Native Americans.

Mission

The mission of the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum is the collection and preservation of objects, the research and installation of quality exhibits and the presentation of interactive interpretation of the military, social, political, cultural and economic history of Fort Sill and its vicinity from the Dragoon Expedition in 1834 to 1920. Several Native American tribes are an integral part of the history of Fort Sill and will be considered irrespective of the chronology.

The purpose of the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum shall be the education of Soldiers and Leaders and the edification of Military families and the general public.

History

The US Army Field Artillery & Fort Sill Museum was established by direction of the Chief of Field Artillery on December 10, 1934 and formally opened in January 1935. The dual mission of preserving the history of both the Field Artillery and of Fort Sill was identified from the beginning. Captain Harry C. Larter, a Field Artilleryman, military artist, and historian was the first curator.

Larter made use of an old artillery teaching collection of military items which had been brought together at Fort Sill in 1919 and stored in a warehouse for a number of years. Captain Wilbur S. Nye was given the task of compiling and writing the history of Fort Sill as a joint action. The old guardhouse was selected as the building to house this material for interpreting the history to the public and it served as the main museum building for many years.

The Field Artillery and Fort Sill Museum was certified for the first time by the US Army Center of Military History in 1985 recognizing the museum met professional standards. Several additional facilities of the original historic post were added to the museum during the 1990s, including a second Infantry Barracks on the southwest corner of the Quadrangle; three cavalry barracks and associated outbuildings on the west side of the Quadrangle; and the only surviving balloon hangar on Fort Sill.

Today, the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum occupies 36 buildings in the historic complex where its vast collections are both stored and exhibited. The museum has an active volunteer program and conducts several educational programs annually.

Artifact Collections

Public Facilities

Several of the historic facilities are currently open for public viewing including the Museum Interpretive Center (B435); the 1911 School of Fire for Field Artillery (B432); the Post Guardhouse (B336); and the Chapel (B425). Due to staff losses, two facilities, the Warrior’s Journey Exhibit Gallery (B441); and the furnished Cavalry Barracks (B442N) are open by special arrangements only.

  • The Interpretive Center, Building 435 is the initial point of entry to the museum and where all tours should begin. An attendant is on duty at this location to answer questions, distribute maps and brochures, show a 20 minute film on the history of Fort Sill, and monitor introductory exhibits. Public restrooms are also located in this facility.
  • The School of Fire for Field Artillery (B432) is located across the street east. It has been totally restored and partially refurnished to the 1911 period when formal instruction in Field Artillery first began at Fort Sill.
  • The Post Guardhouse (B336) has also been restored and refurnished to its 1870s appearance. A balanced approach of exhibit galleries and period furnished rooms is utilized here to address the early law enforcement history of the Army at Fort Sill. This includes the early lawbreakers, Deputy US Marshals, Indian Police, as well as the guards and prisoners.
  • The first Post Chapel (B425) reflects an early house of worship in the Indian Territory and has been used continually for religious services since it was built in 1875.
  • The Warrior’s Journey Exhibit Gallery is the most recent addition to the museum’s educational programs and is already getting lots of attention. Exhibits depict the status of the warrior’s tradition for the Native Americans from the pre-reservation period, to the aftermath of the surrenders at Fort Sill in 1875, to the present time. Rare and significant items once used by prominent warriors in the Southern Plains, are included in very informative exhibits.
  • The furnished Cavalry Barracks in B442N is a favorite of many visitors. One can feel the presence of the typical cavalry soldier in this building which is furnished to the 1875 period. From the bunks and equipment of the enlisted men, to the Sergeant’s quarters, the supply room, the mess hall and kitchen, the daily life of a soldier during the Indian Wars in the Indian Territory envelopes the museum visitor.
  • Several new projects are underway to expand the public viewing opportunities at this museum. The original Commissary Storehouse (B345) is being prepared for new exhibits utilizing the museum’s wagon collection to interpret the early transportation history of Fort Sill. The Quartermaster was responsible for this function among many others. Included in this gallery will be an 1870 stagecoach, conestoga wagon, mountain wagons, early horse drawn hearse, omnibus, Phaetons, buggies and a Talleyho wagon.
  • Facilities

    Auditoriums

    Library

    Access: Scholars, Staff Only

    Appointment required: Yes

    Services

    Post Trader Gift Shop, Building 435

    Gift Shop

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    MUSEUM CONFERENCES
    Wednesday, August 4 - Friday, August 6, 2021 — Virtual
    2021 Annual Association of African American Museums (AAAM) Conference
    Monday, August 23 - Thursday, August 26, 2021 — Virtual
    2021 Association of Nature Center Administrators Summit
    Wednesday, September 1 - Thursday, September 30, 2021 — Virtual
    CANCELLED: Florida Association of Museums 2021 Annual Conference
    Monday, September 20 - Sunday, September 26, 2021 — Virtual
    American Craft Council (ACC) Atlanta Southeast Craft Week
    Wednesday, September 22 - Saturday, September 25, 2021 — Virtual
    American Association for State and Local History/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting
    Wednesday, October 6 - Friday, October 8, 2021 — Virginia City, Nevada
    Nevada Museum Association 2021 Annual Conference
    Virginia City, Nevada
    Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
    2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
    Washington, District of Columbia
    Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
    2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
    St. Louis, Missouri