Tag: history

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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National Bison Month

July marks National Bison Month, celebrating the cultural, historical and economical contribution of North America’s largest land animal.

Bison have roamed our continent for tens of thousands of years. Ancestors of today’s bison existed nearly 120,000 years ago and by the time the first Europeans arrived in the 1600s, estimates are that there were upward of 60 million buffalo living in what today is North America.

The Plains tribes relied on bison for food, clothes, shelter and trade. The indigenous … 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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Warm Up This Winter with The Fort’s Historic Cocktails

Winter has arrived in Colorado and is here to stay for a while. With forecasts below freezing and snow storms in the near future, keep cozy by enjoying some of our favorite warm cocktails.

Trader’s Whiskey

By the time quality whiskey made its way west in the 1860s, the American Indians resisted it and instead preferred the flavor of the liquor they had become accustomed to. When whiskey was brought to be traded at the camps, the chief would sample … Read the entire post >

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Bent’s Old Fort Gives Visitors a Feel for Fur Trade Life

Carpenters, blacksmiths and trappers, oh my! This past March, “Frontier Skills Day” at Bent’s Old Fort invited visitors to step back in time more than 180 years, and live a day as frontiersmen through an immersive role-play experience. Hosted by the National Park Service, the March 19 event put visitors to the test with survival activities such as adobe brick-making, frontier cooking, fur trading and learning Indian sign language.

“Frontier Skills Day” reenacted the bustling life of the historic fort, … Read the entire post >

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Save the Date for Colorado’s Largest Authentic American Indian Art Show

Tesoro Cultural Center will host its 16th annual Indian Market & Powwow on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, on the grounds of The Fort Restaurant. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and entrance fees – $5 for adults, $3 for students with valid IDs, and free admission for children under 12 and seniors 65 years and older – benefit Tesoro’s ongoing educational programs.

Tesoro Cultural Center’s Indian Market & Powwow is a yearly … Read the entire post >

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