Near La Junta in Otero County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
A Cast of Colorful Characters
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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
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. • 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 416 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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