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A cousin of mine told me about Bent's Fort.  The fort is near La Junta in the plains of southern Colorado.  When looking for alternate routes to/from Albuquerque, I realiized I could get close to the fort and bypass Denver on the same time.  

Bent's Old Fort is on the Santa Fe Trail.  This is the third "fort" I have visited along the trail - Fort Union, Fort Larned, and now Bent's Old Fort.  Each have distinct differences.  Bent's Fort was built by Bent, St. Vrain & Company in 1833 and became the center for trading - mainly beaver pelts and bison robes destined to consumers in the East and manufactured goods to the West.

Fort Union National Monument a ruins of a fort (the third fort built on this site).  Fort Larned National Historic Site looks like the troops are still in residence and just out on maneuvers.  Both were military institutions.  Bent's Old Fort National historic Site is a reconstruction of the original trading fort.

Images of Bent's Old Fort - the :Castle of the Plains"

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While at the fort, I bought a book about the history and reconstruction of the fort.  The book was written by Emil Gimeno, the general contractor for the project.


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