Bent’s Old Fort, near La Junta, Colorado, is one of my top three favorite sites on the frontier.
A few years ago Vicki and I went in June so we could experience their annual Santa Fe Trail Encampment. This is a huge gathering of trappers, traders, and mountain men, all gathered to show visitors what life was like in the hey-dey of the Trail. The photo above was taken inside the fort’s thick adobe walls.
This year, we plan on being there in September for Hispanic Heritage Day. “One 19th century visitor remarked that, “Spanish is the prevailing language spoken at the fort…” Come visit as the rich and colorful history of Mexico’s frontier comes alive with period adobe work, music and dance, trading, cooking, storytelling, livestock use demonstrations and other special programs.” And if you’re wondering why Spanish was prevalent . . . it’s because the Fort sits on the Arkansas River. Back in the day, Mexico was on the other side of the river. This really was the frontier.
Read more about Bent’s Old Fort
This is a favorite of ours: William Bent: Frontiersman (Great Lives in Colorado History) (Great Lives in Colorado History / Personajes Importantes De La Historia De Colorado)
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, Colorado: 1976 archeological investigations : trash dump excavations, area surveys, and monitoring of fort construction and landscaping