Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcome to Quarters One!

Built in 1888 at the cost of $9,474, and some change, these quarters have been the home of Fort Riley's senior commanding officer for 123 years. Built from limestone quarried here at Fort Riley, the impressive home sits at the end of Forsyth Ave. looking directly at the Cavalry parade field, fitting since the first occupant of the home was COL James Forsyth himself. Then the commander of the 7th Cavalry, he and his family lived here from 1888-1894. This 9,137 square foot home is affectionately known as Quarters One.
Today, my family and I have the honor of being the 71st (possibly 72d, as there is some discrepancy in the early dates) caretakers of this marvelous and some what mysterious place.
I am an Army brat. I have been married to my husband for 27 years, dating him since his senior year at West Point. He is currently the commander of Fort Riley and the 1st INF DIV, the Big Red One, the Fighting First, the oldest division in the United States Army. We are both humbled and honored to be here...and I am being sincere and not cheeky when I say this. 

I have always wondered what went on in the lives of general officers and their families. They seemed to live somewhat mysteriously in a world of their own. Surrounded by a chosen few who, alone, knew their secrets. I always felt like generals' wives knew the right thing to say, all the Army acronyms, the right fork to use, the right hands to shake... Now that I am, amazingly, in that position myself this gives me a great laugh as I still get most of those things, and many others, wrong! We are ordinary people given a chance to live, for the moment, extraordinary lives. Playing a role that will, in a couple of years, be played by someone else.

This blog, however, is not necessarily about being an Army wife or mom, although those are the two things I am most proud of being, but about welcoming you into Quarters One and sharing with you the things we do and how I go about making these quarters our own...for now.
Hopefully, you will pick up a few good decorating tips, recipes, or entertaining ideas. And just maybe you'll be comfortable to give the next general officer's wife you meet a big hug...or a vodka tonic...most likely, she could use both!
If you want to know more about Quarters One you can follow us on Facebook (
'Til next time....Duty First!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Shand, what a beautiful home and such a lovely introduction to the next chapter in your life. Thank you for opening your heart and your home. <3

  3. I love your perspective! Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Shand, Thank you for welcoming us into your home. My husband is a SSG & we are currently stationed @ Ft.Riley as well.
    Your opening intro was very warming & heartfelt. I have had the pleasure to meet the General & it was a great honor .
    May ya'll have a pleasent stay here.

  5. Thank you for visiting Quarters One! I wish we were still at Ft. Riley but we left in May of 2013. I know you will love your time in Kansas, please go by Gatherings at 3 Thirteen in Manhattan and tell Rob and Rick I said hello! You can also visit me on my new blog, just slightly different,
    Shand :)