The U. S. Cavalry Museum is located in Fort Riley's historic main post district. Originally constructed in 1855 for use as a hospital, the building was remodeled and became headquarters to the Cavalry and Light Artillery School in 1890.
The site of Fort Riley was chosen by surveyors in the fall of 1852 and was first called Camp Center, due to its proximity to the geographical center of the United States. The following spring, three companies of the 6th infantry began the construction of temporary quarters at the camp. On June 27, 1853, the camp's name was changed to Fort Riley in honor of Major General Bennett C. Riley, who had led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail and had died earlier in the month.