Tag: history

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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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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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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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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