Western Colorado

Fort Boettcher | Fort Breckinridge | Cline's Ranch Post | Fort Crawford | Fort Davy Crockett
Fort Defiance | Fort Flagler | Fortification | Fremont Lookout | Fremont's Camp | Fort Garland
Cantonment La Plata | Camp Lay | Fort Lewis (1) | Fort Lewis (2) | Camp near Los Pinos
Camp McIntire | Fort Mary B. | Fort Massachusetts | Fort Meribeh | Fort Misery
Narraguinnep Fort | Cantonment Pagosa Springs | Pike's Stockade
Cantonment on Rio Mancos | Cantonment on the Rio Plata | Fort Robidoux | Fort Scott
Camp Soda Spring | Cantonment Uncompahgre (2) | Cantonment on the Uncompahgre (1)
Fort Uncompahgre | Cantonment on the White River

Eastern Colorado - page 1



Last Update: 05/JULY/2010
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2010 American Forts Network

Fort Breckinridge
(1859 - 1860), Breckinridge
Winter quarters for prospectors, originally named Fort Meribeh or Fort Mary B., after the only woman travelling with the group.

Camp McIntire
(1896), Leadville
A Colorado National Guard tent camp established during a violent strike by miners.

Camp Soda Spring
(1838), near Leadville
Located about four miles west of town.

Fort Garland
(San Luis Valley Museum Association)
(1858 - 1883), Fort Garland
A Federal post that replaced Fort Massachusetts. Its purpose was to protect settlers and roads from Ute and Apache raiders. The fort was abandoned and the troops transferred to Fort Lewis (2). The current fort is a partial reconstruction. The museum is operated by the Colorado Historical Society, and includes six of the original buildings. Two monuments (1930, 1949) are on site.

Fort Massachusetts
(1852 - 1858), near Fort Garland
A Federal log stockade built on Ute Creek for protection of the settlers against Utes and Apaches. Replaced by Fort Garland, located six miles south-southeast, due to unhealthful conditions. Site excavated in 1968.

Pike's Stockade
(1807), near Sanford
A reconstructed 36-foot square log stockade where Lt. Zebulon Pike and his men were captured by the Spanish in February 1807. Pike did not realize they were actually in Spanish territory. This is the first documented American-flagged fort in the state. Actual site located five miles north of town, operated by the Colorado Historical Society in conjunction with Fort Garland. A monument (1936) is at the site.

Frémont's Christmas Camp
(1848), near Summitville
A temporary encampment during John Frémont's 1848 expedition.

Fort Lewis (1)
(1878 - 1879), Pagosa Springs
Originally Cantonment Pagosa Springs. The post was relocated west to a more central location due to Indian troubles (see below). The site is now a city park. One original structure possibly remains, now located on a private ranch north of town.

Fort Lewis (2)
(1880 - 1891), Fort Lewis
Originally called Cantonment on the Rio Plata or Cantonment La Plata. Provided a garrison to support the Southern Ute (Los Pinos) Indian Agency at Ignacio. Became the Fort Lewis Indian School in 1892, but most of the buildings eventually burned down. Transferred to the state in 1910 and became Fort Lewis College, which later moved to the east side of Durango in 1954-56, about 20 miles distant. The remaining historic buildings from both the military era (three) and the Indian school/college era, known today as "Old Fort", are now used as part of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station (San Juan Basin Research Center), which was originally established here in 1916 by Colorado State University (Colorado A&M College). The Research Center was closed in the summer of 2010, future status of the site is uncertain.
(some info provided by Nathan A. Barton of Colorado State Historical Society and Council on America's Military Past)

Camp near Los Pinos
(1880), Saguache County
A temporary Army post protecting the Los Pinos Pass near San Luis Peak. Located south of Powderhorn, near Cathedral (?).

Fort Flagler
(1879), Animas
A civilian log stockade built after the "Meeker Massacre" (September 1879) at the White River Indian Agency, Utah. Also used by the Army. Located on the Animas River about two and one-half miles north of Durango. No remains.

Cantonment on Rio Mancos
(1879), near Mancos
A Federal post built after the "Meeker Massacre" (September 1879) at the White River Indian Agency, Utah. Lasted about two months (November - December), but never saw any action. Located on the Mancos River in the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation.

Narraguinnep Fort
(San Juan National Forest)
(1885), near Cahone
A settlers' log defense against Indians, built after the "Beaver Massacre" (June 1885), that was used only for two weeks. Located at Narraguinnep Spring in the San Juan National Forest, on the border between Montezuma and Dolores Counties. The marked site with log remnants is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service.

Cline's Ranch Post
(1882), near Montrose
A temporary Federal post originally called Cantonment Uncompahgre (2), located somewhere near Montrose. Possibly the same as Fort Crawford below.

Fort Crawford
(1880 - 1890), near Montrose
A Federal post originally called Cantonment on the Uncompahgre (1) until 1886. Located four miles north of the Southern Ute (Los Pinos) Indian Agency at the time. Site located on private ranch land about eight miles south of town on the west side of US 550.

Fort Uncompahgre
(Confluence Park)
(1826 ? - 1844), Delta
A civilian trading post, also called Fort (Antoine) Robidoux, that was attacked by Ute Indians in September 1844. Indians later burned the abandoned fort in 1846. Local farmers demolished the last remnants in the 1880's. The fort was reconstructed in 1990 by the city at Confluence Park, upriver from the presumed original site. Admission fee. See also Malachite's Big Hole

Fort Defiance
(1879), near Glenwood Springs
A log fort built by prospectors who were trespassing onto the Ute Reservation. The site is located about eight miles (north)west of town. It was described as located ten miles southeast of the prospectors' camp at Carbonate, which was about 20 miles west of the junction of the Colorado and Eagle Rivers.

Cantonment on the White River
(Rio Blanco County Historical Society and White River Museum)
(1879 - 1883), Meeker
A Federal post built after the "Meeker Massacre" (September 1879) at the nearby White River Indian Agency. The post's former parade ground is now the Rio Blanco courthouse grounds (1949 monument on grounds) at Main and Sixth Streets. The White River Museum is in the former Cavalry Officers' Quarters. Two other log structures also still exist (private). A monument (1927) to the "Meeker Massacre" is located on CO 64 west of town. See also Photos of Meeker by George Smith

Frémont Lookout Fortification
(1845 ?), near Rangely
A temporary post during one of John Frémont's expeditions.

(no date), near Craig
The ghost town is named for Fortification Creek, which flows along CO 13 (formerly CO 789) south into Craig and the Yampa River. Fortification Creek is so named presumably because of Fortification Rocks, a hogback formation which resembles a long castellated wall, just west of the highway and the creek (and just a couple of miles south of the townsite, which had been a consolidated school site back in the 1930's). However, it could also possibly have been named because of an actual fort of some type in Craig.
(info provided by Nathan Barton)

Camp Lay
(unknown dates), Lay
An Army encampment.

Fort Davy Crockett
(1837 - 1840), Browns Park
A trading post, sometimes referred to as Fort Misery, built by Texan traders Philip Thompson and William Craig. It was simply a one-story log house with three wings, a dirt roof, and no stockade. Exact location undetermined. The Browns Park region of Colorado/Utah was at the time known as "Brown's Hole", which is located along the Green River within Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, between Dinosaur National Monument (the "Gates of Lodor") in Colorado, and the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Utah. There are several possible sites theorized for the long vanished trading post, the one favored by Colorado authorities is a site along Harry Hoy Bottom or Nelson Bottom, near the "Watson Place". Other possible sites include those on the Utah side of the border, especially one near the historic John Jarvie Ranch and the Green River Indian Crossing.

NEED MORE INFO: Fort Scott on Tomichi Creek, Gunnison County; Fort Boettcher northwest of Walden, Jackson County.

Eastern Colorado - page 1

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