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 >
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 >
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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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 >