Near La Junta in Otero County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
An Adobe Outpost
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
A Mud Castle Rises
In 1833, Bent, St. Vrain & Company built a trading post on the semi-arid reaches of the Arkansas River on the U.S. border with Mexico. Few if any buildings in the American West approached Bentís Fort in size and importance. The walls were fourteen or more feet high and thirty inches thick. Except for some support timbers, everything was built of adobe. It added up to a lot of bricks.
From Taos, 150 Mexican laborers were hired to do the work. Water was hauled from the river in barrels and dumped into huge pits. Straw and perhaps wool were mixed in with sand, silt and clay. The mud was trampled by oxen, packed into molds and laid out to dry. Tens of thousands of bricks were heaped against the horizon in a silent tribute to cross-cultural cooperation.
Adobe for Comfort & Safety
We live in an adobe fort. I help make adobe from mud and straw. The thick, high walls keep us safe. Adobe stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 38° 2.616′ N, 103° 25.891′ W. Marker is near La Junta, Colorado, in Otero County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 194 0.1 miles 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. Welcome to the Borderlands (here, next to this marker); Mountain Men to Merchants (here, next to this marker); A Cast of Colorful Characters (here, next to 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. • 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 339 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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