Category: Colorado History

The Fort’s Curried Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

(Excerpted from Proprietress Holly Arnold Kinney’s “The Fort Cookbook”) 

Inspired by the familiar squash soups found throughout the Southwest and flavored with East Indian curry—traded at Bent’s Fort in the 19th century—this delicious soup appears on our menu with happy regularity as a soup special. It is perfect served on a cold evening with cornbread and a green salad. 

Follow the recipe below to prepare a hearty bowl for yourself! 

Ingredients 

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 ½ lbs.) 
  • 3
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The Fort’s Chopped Green Chile Sauce

(Excerpted from Proprietress Holly Arnold Kinney’s “The Fort Cookbook”) 

It’s one of our favorite times of the year: Green chile season! At The Fort, we make a hot green chile sauce and a mild one, such as the recipe below. It’s wonderfully versatile and can be served on the side or spooned into a pocket cut in a thick steak, as we do for our Gonzales Steak dish, which has been on the menu since 1963! 

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Fire Away! An Interview With The Fort’s Cannoneer

Longtime fans of The Fort know there’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in Red Rocks country! Along with our tasty BBQ specials and classic Colorado views, Fourth of July at The Fort always includes the firing of our historic cannon.

But firing a 19th century cannon is a little different than setting off fireworks, so we asked The Fort’s cannoneer, Norman Hughes, to share more about his unique hobby.

How did you become a cannoneer?

My involvement … Read the entire post >

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Tour The Fort with Tesoro Cultural Center

Behind-the-scenes tours of The Fort are the perfect socially-distanced activity for spring! With a guided tour from Tesoro Cultural Center, you can learn about the history of the original Bent’s Old Fort, which operated from 1833-1849 in present-day La Junta, Colo., and was known as the Mud Castle of the Plains.

How did this historic building influence the construction of its replica in Morrison, Colo., and how did The Fort come to be listed on the National Register of Read the entire post >

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The Fur Trader’s and Bent’s Fort

Excerpted from Sam Arnold’s Eating Up the Santa Fe Trail.

In the early 1830s, the beaver fur trade in the mountains was still thriving, and fur companies built trade forts at strategic points along the trail to supply both free and company trappers, and to provide goods for the American Indian trade.

From 1824 to 1846, the Arkansas River served as the border between the United States and Mexico. It was logical that Missouri traders Charles and William Bent, along … Read the entire post >

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History’s Chocolate Lovers

Written by Sam’l Arnold and excerpted from Eating Up the Santa Fe Trail.

Tablets or slabs of chocolate have been cherished by New Mexican chocolate fanciers for nearly four centuries. In probate inventories, slabs of chocolate were listed among the estate assets of New Mexicans as early as the 17th century. Shortly after the Spanish invasion of Mexico in the early 16th century, Fray Bernardino de Sahagun listed orange, black and white chocolate, sometimes mixed with sweetening or … Read the entire post >

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Strange Eats of the Old West

Written by Sam’l Arnold and excerpted from Shinin’ Times at The Fort

As the mountain men commonly said, “Meat’s meat, howsomever [sic] what kind, as long as it’s meat!” Learn more about the rather interesting types of meat consumed by fur traders and trappers, mountain men, travelers and American Indians alike during the mid-19th century.

Buffalo Tongue

Considered a holy meat by the Indians, buffalo tongue was thought by many to be the greatest gourmet delicacy of 19thRead the entire post >

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A Short History of a Big Animal

Written by Sam’l Arnold and excerpted from Shinin’ Times at The Fort

The last bison east of the Appalachians was killed in about 1830, although by that time, the great herds of the plains had hardly been touched by the relatively few American Indians living there. Colorado, for example, was believed to be home to fewer than eight thousand American Indians, and these were small bands of the Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho, Lakota and Ute tribes. Here, bison were far from … Read the entire post >

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Tesoro’s Annual 1840s Rendezvous and Spanish Colonial Art Market

Step back in time with Tesoro Cultural Center’s 1840s Rendezvous and Spanish Colonial Art Market. Each year, Tesoro Cultural Center commemorates Far Western Mountaineers and the Fur Trade, including trappers, traders, American Indians, Hispanics, teamsters and military of the Bent’s Old Fort era (1833-1849). Bent’s Fort, of which The Fort Restaurant is an exact replica, was an important fur trading fort that operated along the Santa Fe Trail in the early 19th century.

This annual celebration will take place … Read the entire post >

Harvey Pratt and the Family Legacy

Harvey Pratt, an American forensic artist best known for contributing to many high-profile criminal cases including the World Trade Center bombings of 1993, is also a nationally-acclaimed, award-winning American Indian artist and member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.

(Photo: The Oklahoman)

Pratt currently works for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation as a forensic specialist and is famous for developing the soft tissue post mortem drawing method, which repairs trauma to the victim through digital alterations or applying paint … Read the entire post >

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