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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.
Photographed 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. Fremont’s 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
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Wolf led the Cheyenne into prosperity through the robe trade. By 1846, dwindling buffalo herds led Yellow Wolf to consider a return to agriculture. This choice was eliminated, however, when the tribe was forcibly removed to a reservation.

Lieutenant J.W. Abert
Lieutenant Abert’s 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 Bent’s 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.

Kid’s 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.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationForts and CastlesIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1846.
 
Location. 38° 2.613′ N, 103° 25.897′ W. Marker is near La Junta, Colorado, in Otero
Bent's Old Fort image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
2. Bent's Old Fort
View to southwest from hiking trail
County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 194, 0.1 miles east of County Road 35, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located in Bent’s 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 driveway to the Bent’s Old Fort parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 35110 CO Highway 194, La Junta CO 81050, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mountain Men to Merchants (here, next to this marker); No Fur, No Fort (here, next to this marker); A Babel-Tongued Multitude (a few steps from this marker); An Adobe Outpost (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to the Borderlands (a few steps from this marker); Trading Post on the Trail (a few steps from this marker); Edward Dorris (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bent's Fort on Santa Fe Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in La Junta.
 
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.)
 
Bent's Old Fort image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
3. Bent's Old Fort
View from trail at cemetery
Interior of Bent's Old Fort image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
4. Interior of Bent's Old Fort
Arkansas River Valley image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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.
Photographed By Duane Hall, October 8, 2010
6. Arkansas River
View from hiking trail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 571 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on September 3, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 20, 2024