Category: Colorado History

Fifty-Five Years and Counting

In 1961, Sam’l and Bay Arnold had a dream to build an adobe home outside of Denver so their family could grow up surrounded by fresh air, horseback riding and fishing. While Bay was reading a book about Bent’s Old Fort, she was inspired to create a similar adobe castle in Morrison, Colo.

The Arnolds hired William Lumpkins, a top architect in adobe construction, as well as a contractor from New Mexico. The Fort was first authentic replica of Bent’s … Read the entire post >

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Holiday Traditions at The Fort

‘Tis the season for making memories with family, catching up with friends and enjoying festive food. This holiday season, create new traditions – or celebrate existing ones – with us at The Fort.

Christmas Eve

While our Christmas Eve dinner is sold out this year, be sure to join us from 4-5:30 p.m. for Tesoro Cultural Center’s annual Las Posadas celebration in our courtyard and throughout our grounds. The special holiday event commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to … Read the entire post >

Kids in the Kitchen

Holly Arnold Kinney, Proprietress of The Fort, credits her mother for igniting her passion for food and cooking at a young age. Kinney spent much of her childhood in the kitchen with her mother, testing out new recipes and flavors for the family to enjoy.

As Kinney’s career in the food industry developed, she maintained a spot in her heart for children in the kitchen. Seen as an opportunity to empower and educate those of a young age, Kinney developed … Read the entire post >

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Fort Recipe: Apple Pie Without Apples

As the end of summer nears, we’re preparing for brisk fall weather and cozy days spent baking at home with some of our favorite recipes.

Fort Robinson in Dawes County, Nebraska was famous for acting as the old Calvary headquarters, but was also well-known for making apple pie without apples. The recipe, a nod to the ingenuity of frontier cooks, substitutes the traditional use of apples for saltine crackers, lemon, eggs and cinnamon. This fall, try a twist on a … Read the entire post >

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Fur Trade Gardens in the West

During the 19th century, many trading forts in the American west found gardens to be a necessary source of fresh food. The selection of crops at each fort depended entirely on what crops were suitable for each specific climate. Crops ranged from sweet corn to watermelon and summer squash to Hidatsa beans.

In the 1960s, Bay Arnold insisted that The Fort Restaurant needed a fur trade garden, just as forts of the old west once had. She discovered the … Read the entire post >

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Road Trip Itinerary: Historic Southwestern Forts

Summer is road trip season, and we’ve mapped out a historic and educational road trip for you and yours to adventure on this summer. The Southwestern region of the United States was once a breeding ground for adobe forts, which served as a commercial place for merchants, hunters and trappers to conduct trade and protect their goods. Today, many of these forts have been restored and now serve as must-visit historical monuments. From Colorado to New Mexico and all the … Read the entire post >

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The Little Vegetable that Conquered the World

Chile peppers are native to South America, where they have been domesticated for more than 6,000 years, but made their way across the world when Christopher Columbus crossed the sea in hopes of finding the “Spice Islands.” The chile pepper spiced up the western world and is now one of the most prominent flavors in cuisine around the globe.

Is it chile or chili? The word “chili” is derived from the Aztec dialect and refers to plans known as capsicum. … Read the entire post >

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Tesoro Cultural Center’s Living History Experience

This summer, The Fort will open its gates to the public as the Tesoro Cultural Center expands its educational programming and cultural events with their new Living History Experience. Using our historic adobe structure as its primary teaching tool, Tesoro will introduce 20 weekends of historic immersion and fun for the whole family. Join us for shopping, art, music, historic demonstrations and more.

Visitors will learn about Bent’s Old Fort and the cultural diversity that inspired the Arnold family to … Read the entire post >

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Cookies for Santa – and Your Whole Family!

‘Tis the season for baking holiday treats with family or friends, and rumor has it that jolly old Saint Nick is a big fan of cookies on Christmas Eve. This year, try something other than the traditional frosted sugar cookies or homemade chocolate chip cookies and treat Santa to biscochitos, a special New Mexican Christmas treat.

Biscochitos, or New Mexican shortbread cookies, are anise-flavored cookies rich in flavor, but still light. The cookie was brought to the Southwest by the … Read the entire post >

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Tesoro’s 1830s Rendezvous and Spanish Art Market

We had another great year hosting Tesoro’s 1830s Rendezvous and Spanish Art Market on the grounds of The Fort. Our guests were accompanied by family, friends, mountain men, artists, dancers and beautiful weather. It was an unforgettable and “waughsome” celebration!

The event was a fun day full of activities for the whole family. Guests were able to experience demonstrations from mountain men and women, trappers and traders. Our mountain men and women paired up with guests to teach them a … Read the entire post >

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