Hays in Ellis County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The hill approximately two miles south of the guardhouse was known as Sentinel Hill. As part of the Fort Hays military reservation, a sentry (guard) posted at this location could have seen several miles in all directions.
The legend of Elizabeth Polly, also known as "the blue light lady," is closely linked to Sentinel Hill. When a cholera epidemic hit in 1867, hospital steward Ephraim Polly was assistant to the fort doctor. His wife, Elizabeth, comforted patients in the hospital. When she became sick with cholera, she asked to be buried on top of the hill, but it was too rocky to dig a grave. Elizabeth is buried on the side of the hill. Sightings of her ghost were reported in 1897 and have continued to this day.
Erected by Kansas Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Forts and Castles • Natural Features • Women. A significant historical year for this entry is 1867.
Location. 38° 51.729′ N, 99° 20.638′ W. Marker is in Hays, Kansas, in Ellis County. Marker Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1472 US Highway 163 Alternate, Hays KS 67601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Officers in Tents (here, next to this marker); Fort Hays Military Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); Guardhouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Well House (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Hays - Fort Dodge Road Trailhead (within shouting distance of this marker); Officers' Row (within shouting distance of this marker); Enlisted Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker); Parade Ground (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hays.
Also see . . .
1. Fort Hays, Kansas – History & Hauntings. "Legends of America" entry, including Elizabeth Polly's ghost (Submitted on November 28, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Fort Hays State Historical Site. (Submitted on September 23, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 23, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,371 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 23, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.