History Nebraska Blog

Throwback Thursday Photo, Fort Niobrara K Troop Kitchen

K Troop Kitchen at Fort Niobrara, ca. 1903 (RG2311.PH50)

Today’s Throwback Thursday photograph features an exciting new addition recently donated to the NSHS Photograph Archives. Taken in about 1903, Private Zriny, Private Bayler and Sergeant Gerber pose in the "K" Troop kitchen at Fort Niobrara.

The site of Fort Niobrara, Nebraska was selected in 1879, and a military reservation was laid out east of present Valentine in Cherry County. The fort was originally designed to guard the nearby Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In 1882, the town of Valentine established near Fort Niobrara proved to be a valuable asset providing a ready market, which stimulated the growth of the town and surrounding region. Fort Niobrara was closed in 1906 and 16,000 acres of the military reservation were set aside as the Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge.

A few details reviewed by the high resolution scan created in the NSHS Digital Imaging Lab include:

  • Private Zriny (far left) is wearing a pair of beaded moccasins. He is also wearing a pin on his lapel, but damage to the original photograph is obscuring the exact image.
  • Private Zriny and Private Bayler appear to be checking on meat roasting in the oven. We cannot tell for sure if it is beef or pork, but it appears K Troop ate well that night.
  • Twenty-one cans of mostly corn are artfully stacked on the table behind the pies.
  • The napkins decorating the table edge are each delicately embroidered with various floral and lace patterns.

What other details do you find?

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