Old Fort Bent, La Junta, Bent County, CO
La Junta, CO
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS CO-22
Building/structure dates: 1830 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1849 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1860 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1880
National Register Number: 66000254
Significance: Bent's Old Fort was a frontier days trading post/fort built in the 1830s by William and Charles Bent and Ceran St. Verain on the Old Santa Fe Trail on the United States side of the Arkansas River, a short distance above the junction of the Purgatoire River. It was a walled adobe structure housing personnel and providing rest, shelter, trading, and repair facilities to early travelers, trappers, and Indians. During 1846 the fort was used by General S. W. Kearny as a base for supplies during his conquest of New Mexico. It functioned in these capacities until 1849 when a large portion was destroyed or damaged by fire. In the early 1860s the fort was rehabilitated to serve as a stage depot and station. It was used in this capacity for approximately twenty years after which it was abandoned to fall in decay and ruin. The remains were "pirated" by later settlers who used the wall remnants as a source of building blocks.
"Mission 66" Program
Indians Of North America
War (Mexican-American War)
Kearny, Col. S. W.
St. Verain, Ceran
Rotsch, M. M., Delineator
Young, Foy, Delineator
Smith, R. F., Delineator
Stark, Nancy E., Delineator
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
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