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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near La Junta in Otero County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

A Cast of Colorful Characters

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

 
 
A Cast of Colorful Characters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
1. A Cast of Colorful Characters Marker
Inscription.

John C. Fremont
His name appears on almost any roll of Western pathbreakers. Fremontís expeditions were instrumental in opening the Southwest. He visited the fort on three of his first four expeditions to the West.

Susan Magoffin
During her short stay, Susan Magoffin chronicled fort happenings. On July 30, 1846, she wrote “The fort is crowded to overflowing. Colonel Kearny has arrived and it seems the world is coming with him.” Soon after she suffered a miscarriage. Once the troops departed, Susan confessed: “The fort is quite desolate.”

Charlotte
At evening galas, Charlotte was the “grand center of attraction.” An African-American woman, and Bent family slave, she was celebrated for her ability to dance at the Fandangos as much as for her pumpkin pies.

Christopher “Kit” Carson
A mountain man and guide of legendary repute, Carson weaved in and out of the stories of the Bents and the surrounding tribes. In the early 1840s he served as a buffalo hunter for Bent, St. Vrain & Company.

Yellow Wolf
A lifelong friend of the Bents, Yellow Wolf led the Cheyenne into prosperity through the robe trade. By 1846, dwindling buffalo herds led Yellow Wolf to consider a return to agriculture.
Bent's Old Fort image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
2. Bent's Old Fort
View to southwest from hiking trail
This choice was eliminated, however, when the tribe was forcibly removed to a reservation.

Lieutenant J.W. Abert
Lieutenant Abertís maps, drawings and diary entries from his fort visits in 1845 and 1846 are first-hand accounts still widely consulted by historians. His detailed sketches and notations facilitated the reconstruction of Bentís Old Fort in 1976.

Jim Beckwourth
Jim Beckwourth was of mixed African American and European descent. He was a Bent, St. Vrain & Company trader who possessed abundant survival skills, including a knack for languages.

Kidís Corner
Heroes on Your Doorstep

Today I watched One-eyed Juan break a wild pony. The horse bucked and kicked, but One-eyed Juan held on tight. Someday I will race my own pony across the prairie.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 2.613′ N, 103° 25.894′ W. Marker is near La Junta, Colorado, in Otero County. Marker can be reached from Colorado Route 194 0.1 miles east of County Road 35, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is located in Bentís Old Fort National Historic Site in a informational kiosk next to the parking lot; the above directions are to the intersection of State Route 194 and the
Bent's Old Fort image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
3. Bent's Old Fort
View from trail at cemetery
driveway to the Bentís Old Fort parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: La Junta CO 81050, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mountain Men to Merchants (here, next to this marker); An Adobe Outpost (here, next to this marker); Welcome to the Borderlands (a few steps from this marker); Edward Dorris (approx. 0.2 miles away); Traveling Through History (approx. ľ mile away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site. Official National Park Service website. (Submitted on February 18, 2014.) 

2. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on February 18, 2014.)
 
Categories. ExplorationForts, CastlesIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Interior of Bent's Old Fort image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
4. Interior of Bent's Old Fort
Arkansas River Valley image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
5. Arkansas River Valley
View to south from Bent's Old Fort
Arkansas River image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
6. Arkansas River
View from hiking trail
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 322 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
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