Near La Junta in Otero County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Welcome to the Borderlands
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
In winters northers howled ... In summer temperatures climbed above the hundred-degree mark ... Spirits shriveled as respiratory organs dried; lips cracked and eyes burned ... it took a particular kind of spiritual iron to survive ...
- David Lavender, Historian and Author
A Cultural Crossroads
You are now standing near the border of the U.S. and Mexico from the 1820s to the 1840s. The Arkansas River served as the international boundary between two nations. Into this borderland came trappers, explorers, and profiteers, as well as native, Hispanic and Euro-American peoples, all drawn to the region by profitable trade opportunities. From 1833 until 1849, Bentís Fort was a cultural crossroads.
Business prospered. Peace held sway.
Bentís Old Fort, now reconstructed, continues to stand as a reminder of a time when “the permanent forts were specks in the vast loneliness.”
Enjoy Your Visit, Be Safe
Stay on the trail. Watch for snakes. Protect yourself from the sun. Seek shelter if lightning threatens. You are in a dry environment. Carry plenty of drinking water. Please remember that the fort animals are not pets. Enjoy them at a distance.
The National Park Service protects and preserves Americaís special places.
Kids at the Fort
I like living at the fort. People come and go, telling stories of their adventures. I like to play with the animals and collect peacock feathers. Sometimes I even get to stay up late pulling taffy and dancing at the Fandango.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 38° 2.617′ N, 103° 25.89′ W. Marker is near La Junta, Colorado, in Otero County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 194 0.1 miles east of County Road 35, on the right when traveling east. Touch 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 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. An Adobe Outpost (here, next to this marker); Mountain Men to Merchants (here, next to this marker); A Cast of Colorful Characters (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 (Submitted on February 18, 2014.)
2. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on February 18, 2014.)
Categories. • Exploration • Forts, Castles • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 378 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of wide-view of marker and surroundings. • Can you help?