Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
For those looking for gifts with a local connection, the Frontier Army Museum Gift Shop has specials during the holidays and stocks many items created by local craftsmen, artists and military spouses.
The FAM Gift Shop is a not-for-profit community business operating by the Fort Leavenworth Historical Society that sells unique souvenirs, books covering a wide range of historical topics and a variety of gift items related to Kansas, Fort Leavenworth and the Command and General Staff College. Located within the Frontier Army Museum at 100 Reynolds Ave., the shop is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The shop telephone number is (913) 651-7440.
“Among the aspects that I enjoy about working at this shop is the wide variety of people I meet every day. We typically have tourists who come to shop, who are from around the country and from all over the world,” said Manager Michele Millar. “So many people initially want to come to Fort Leavenworth to simply visit and see the Buffalo Soldier Monument and park. Most of them are then further amazed at the overall wealth of history on this post.”
Millar, who has worked at the shop for five years said, although it is within the Frontier Army Museum, the business is part of the Fort Leavenworth Historical Society and 25 percent of the shop’s net proceeds benefit the museum. The museum uses the contribution toward purchasing additional items for its collection.
“The Fort Leavenworth Historical Society’s mission is to support the historic preservation of the post. And, since 1955, the organization has supported the history of the post, and the Leavenworth area,” Millar said. “The historical society also presents monthly programs on a diverse range of topics given by a variety of speakers.”
The shop has a variety of products discounted for the holidays. Millar and sales associate Rana Savage encourage visiting the shop in person or online at its new Facebook page, “Fort Leavenworth Museum Gift Shop,” to see photographs of the latest Christmas specials.
“Looking for a unique gift for your history buff? Our Buffalo Soldier bronze statue is now 20 percent off as part of our Christmas special pricing,” Millar said. “And, this Fort Leavenworth-themed throw is proving to be very popular this year. We had a customer come in recently and purchase five of them as gifts.”
Fort Leavenworth Historical Society has been involved in the research and commemoration of areas of historical interest on post. The organization is involved with repair and cleaning of historical markers and monuments, and providing tour guides for groups.
“A major focus of the historical society is the operation of the gift shop. The historical society also works closely with the Frontier Army Museum in its efforts to actively evaluate and preserve the historical legacy,” Savage said. “This is a unique relationship, since Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active military post west of the Mississippi river.”
Page 2 of 2 - Fort Leavenworth Historical Society members receive a 10 percent discount on purchases in the gift shop. To become a member, contact any board member, join in person at the gift shop, or mail in the membership form. Fort Leavenworth Historical Society family memberships are $10 per year and lifetime memberships are $50. Contact Gary Linhart at 684-2124 for more information about the historical society.