Historic Structure Report
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Meridian Marker, 1871 (Third Fort Union, p. 119).


USGS Marker, 1867 (Third Fort Union, p. 119).


Depot Hay Corral, North. Visible in photograph, ill. 47, in Third Fort Union, p. 218-19. The huge stack of hay in this yard is visible in the ca. September, 1865, photographs of Second Fort (National Archives, 111-SC-88001 and 88004, Neg. FOUN 905, 906) taken from the top of HS-219, where it is usually mistaken for a mountain on the horizon. The original corral measured 300 feet east to west by 100 feet north to south, and was built in 1863-66. The Hay Corrals were described in 1868 as being "of stockade with gates, having some lumber and slabs containing the hay ricks." This corral continued in use through 1868 but was gone by 1873.


Depot Hay Corral, South. Visible in photograph, ill. 48 (Third Fort Union, p. 220-21). The original corral measured 300 feet east to west by 100 feet north to south, and was built in 1863-66. The Hay Corrals were described in 1868 as being "of stockade with gates, having some lumber and slabs containing the hay ricks." The hay in the southern corrals was "old, good and well stacked," and was estimated to be about 675 tons.

By 1873 this corral was expanded to a larger Hay Corral measuring 480 feet north to south and 200 feet east to west, and by 1883 to an even larger Hay and Wood Yard, 460 or 480 feet north to south by 350 feet east to west. The enlarged version as it appeared about 1880 is visible in Robert Utley, Fort Union National Monument, p. 40, center photograph.


Unidentified. Structure shown on 1866 map between original Depot Corral and South Hay Corral; gone by 1868. A mark just east of the Park Service road at this point is visible in the 1984 aerial photograph, but is not recognizable as a structure on the ground.


Depot Hay Scales. Probably shown on 1866 map between original Depot Corral and North Hay Corral; shown in detail on 1873 plan of the Depot Corral and enlarged version of Hay Corrals. A mark on the ground just east of the Park Service road at this point is visible in the 1984 aerial photograph, but is not recognizable as a structure on the ground.


Good Templars Meeting Hall (Third Fort Union, p. 108). This is the location of the structure; for photographs of it as excavated in 1956-57, see Levine, A History of Archeological Investigations at Fort Union National Monument, pp. 106-07. Constructed of vertical logs set into a trench; begun in November, 1866, continued in use through 1875, and gone by 1877, when it does not appear on the 1877 plan of the fort.


"Old Post Corral," south. The location and general layout are shown on the 1866 and 1868 maps. The plan is taken from the 1984 aerial photographs; the evidence of the aerial photos indicates that sections of the corral had been abandoned by 1866. It is difficult to work out the plan on the ground, although the corral location can easily be recognized. Apparently built in 1861-62 to replace the corrals collapsing at First Fort. The plan was about 155 feet north to south and 200 feet east to west, with stables or sheds along the north and west sides and larger structures on the east and south sides; an extension to the south added a corral yard 155 feet long, north to south, and 170 feet wide east to west, with another row of sheds or stables along the south side. From the appearance of the ground, both this and the northern corral were probably made predominantly from vertical posts. The principal gate was located in the center of the north side of the corral.

The "Old Post Corral" is mentioned in the June, 1868, inspection. It probably went out of use upon completion of the new Post corrals (HS-18, 26) in 1868. Beginning in December, 1868, the abandoned corral was dismantled for firewood (Oliva, "Frontier Army," p. 615). The 1882 map of the fort does not show this corral or HS-80, just to the north.


"Old Post Corral," north. Probably the Ordnance Corral from ca. 1861 to ca. 1868. If so, it was abandoned upon completion of the new Ordnance Stables (HS-111) in early 1869. The location and general layout are shown on the 1866 and 1868 maps. The plan is taken from the 1868 map and the aerial photograph; it is difficult to see the corral or work out the plan on the ground, although there is no doubt that it is there. The corral appears to be about 80 feet wide, east to west, by 150 long. A building 20 wide and 60 feet long was located in the southeast corner, and a yard 20 feet wide and 90 feet long extended north from it along the east side of the corral.


Temporary Civilian Quarters (Third Fort Union, p. 116). May be visible at left edge, background, above tents, ill. 52 (Third Fort Union, p. 228-29). Apparently stood from ca. 1863 to ca. 1868. Shown on 1866 and 1868 maps. The report of 1868 said "Northwest of the Depot are some six sets of old jackal and plank quarters occupied by employees, which are conspicuous and not very ornamental." The general location of this row of buildings is easily recognizable, with several possible chimney bases and a quantity of scattered trash, but individual structures cannot be distinguished by surface examination; the buildings seem to have been disturbed by the cuttings of the Adobe Fields. The structure outlines on the Base Map are taken from the 1866 Lambert and Enos map. Each building is shown as 70 feet by 30 feet; the locations and sizes are only approximate. Eventually the employees housed here were moved into quarters added in the west half of the Depot Corral, probably soon after the 1868 inspection.


Adobe Storage Shed and Brickyard. Visible in photograph, ill. 52 (Third Fort Union, p. 228-29); on the 1866 and 1868 maps. The 1868 Inspection Report says that the Adobe Storage Shed was made of adobe as well as being used to store about 88,000 adobe bricks. It was approximately 135 feet by 25 feet, with a gabled board roof. The adjoining brickyard had about 200,000 "burnt" bricks, six plank-covered brick sheds (empty), and three brick-making machines. The "burnt" bricks were probably fired at the nearby northern Lime Kiln (HS-83, below). The buildings and yard was apparently abandoned soon afterwards. No specific traces of these structures have been seen on the ground, although areas of pulverized fired brick have been found in the general location of the site; the size and location of the Adobe Storage Shed are approximate, plotted from the 1866 Lambert and Enos map and the photograph. The site of the building appears to have been damaged by later adobe-making, but the site should be regarded as being a potential archeological resource.


Lime Kiln, North (see also HS-89, Lime Kilns, South). Probably one of the lime and brick kiln for the First Fort. This was called "an old square brick or lime burning tower" in the Inspection Report of 1868, and labelled as a lime kiln on the 1866, 1868, and 1874 maps, but was gone by 1882. The earliest reference to a limekiln at Fort Union was in September, 1851 (Part I, p. 21), but this was probably the smaller kiln closer to First Fort, HS-184/185/186, rather than this kiln. HS-83 may have been originally constructed for baking bricks, probably beginning about September, 1860 (Part I, p. 71). A clear structural outline of the kiln can be seen as a masonry foundation 15 feet square at the top of the terrace above the creek, just outside the National Monument boundary. A large number of broken, overfired, and fused bricks are found scattered over the entire area of the creek bank. Similar masses of brick are found in the stream bed of Coyote or Wolf Creek just south of the highway bridge; this may be a second brick-making area, or the brick may have been washed here from HS-83 by floods.


New Beef Corral. Built beginning in September, 1866, to replaced HS-188 because the old corral had "the accumulated blood of the winter, as well as the bones of years" (Part I, p. 39). The construction required considerable effort, since it appears to have been built of large posts set into postholes cut with a great deal of labor into the lava of the hilltop. The corral measured 300 feet square, with a main division extending northward from the south wall at the centerline, and a small structure at the southwest corner, 20 feet square. This was undoubtedly the "good butcher house" referred to in the correspondence about construction of this corral (Oliva, "Frontier Army," p. 571). In July, 1867, a board of health found that this location for the Beef Corral was unacceptable because it would contaminate the drinking water, presumably in the reservoir behind the dam at the bottom of the hill, HS-99. The board recommended that the corral be moved to a better location further from the fort (Oliva, "Frontier Army," p. 593-94). Whether this happened is unknown.


Quarry. The areas where stone has been cut from the canyon walls are easily recognized today. The location is shown on the maps from 1866 to 1882, and apparently continued in use through the constructions of the 1870s. The earliest quarrying here was probably in 1851, for stone to build the chimneys of the First Fort buildings (Oliva, "Frontier Army," p. 111).


Lime Kilns, South. Two brick and stone kilns, fire-reddened. Some sections still standing to 10 feet or more, built into the side of an arroyo west of the highway. Shown on all maps of the fort from 1866 to 1882; probably built about 1863 to supply the needed lime for the construction of the Third Fort, supplementing and eventually replacing the older lime kiln, HS-83, in use from perhaps 1860 to sometime in the 1870s.


Race Track (Third Fort Union, p. 110). Pitcaithley and Greene describe the racetrack as five miles long, but the actual length on the ground is one mile. The track was laid out in 1878; the closed, flattened oval course is 2,155 feet across its long axis, 1,000 feet across the short axis, and has a straightaway of a quarter-mile, 1320 feet.


Target Pits. These appear to have been a rifle range. There are two distinct sets of target pits. One set begins with a rectangular firing area about 70 feet by 30 feet, with the target areas on a straight line towards the southeast at 100 yards, 300 yards, and 500 yards. Each target area is a rectangular pit about 50 feet by 20 feet. The second set begins with a rectangular firing area about 40 feet by 20 feet, and seems to be oriented both southeast and northwest. Towards the northwest is a circular target area about 20 feet in diameter and 150 feet away. Towards the southeast, the target areas are at 100 feet, 200 feet, 300 feet, and 400 feet. The 100 foot and 300 foot target areas are circular and about 15 feet in diameter, while the 200 foot and 400 foot areas are circular and about 20 feet in diameter. These target areas are all on a straight line parallel to the longer-range set of targets, but offset to the north about 25 feet. The easternmost of these pits are outside the Park boundary.


East Hay Corral. The original corral was built in 1863-66, about the same time as HS-72 and HS-73, above, and like them was made of pickets, but was somewhat shorter, east to west, measuring 230 feet by 100 feet. The corral continued in use through at least 1868 in this form, but was eventually changed to a larger plan, about 300 feet by 200 feet. Road traces suggest a major gate in the center of the west side of the corrals, and a similar gate in the center of the east side. There is some suggestion in the aerials of a rectangular structure or yard about 25 feet square in the southwest corner of the enlarged version of this corral. The sizes and relationship between the first and second forms of this corral as shown on the base map are somewhat conjectural, since a number of possible wall-lines appear to be visible overlaying each other. Archeological investigation would easily sort out these structural events into a sequence of changes.


Depot Mule-Herd Corral. This corral is not shown on the 1866 or 1868 maps of Fort Union, but is described at length in the Depot Inspection Report of June, 1868. It is therefore arguable that the Mule-Herd Corral was built between March, 1868, when Lambert conducted the survey for the 1868 map, and June, 1868, when the Corral was first described; however, the description refers to the corral as "old," and the corral was probably built about the same time as the East Hay Corral, HS-92, above, and simply overlooked on the maps. It is clearly visible in the 1984 aerial photograph and easily traced on the ground, although any given area seems to have several lines of wall traces, perhaps from multiple episodes of repair or rebuilding. The plan as shown on the base map is again somewhat conjectural, because of the many choices of wall line, but seems to be the most clearly present. The main corral is a rectangle about 450 feet long east to west and 460 feet wide, north to south. An extension of about 230 by 75 feet is along the north side. The main body of the rectangle is divided into quarters, with apparent stables and sheds along the east sides of the northwest, northeast, and southeast quadrants, and along the south sides of the southeast and southwest quadrants. The southwest quadrant is further divided by an east-west fence line, with the northern section 150 feet wide and the south 75 feet wide. Road traces imply gateways at the southwest corner and just north of the center of the west side of the Mule-herd Corral, a third gateway just south of the center of the east face, and possibly a fourth in the southwest corner of the west face of the northern extension. All of the wall lines show thicker vegetation growth today, and great quantities of decayed wood are visible on the ground along the alignments. From the appearance of the surface marks, it is likely that thick vertical posts or logs formed a major part of the walls of the corrals. Archeological work would clearly define the plan, use, and changes of the structures.

The description of 1868 says that this was "an old corral of stockade, with sheds inside, water tanks and troughs, the ground covered with manure, where was kept the Mule herd, and where were counted 448 mules, usually divided into two herds, for grazing." The report added that "still east of this corral is a row of rough, plank houses occupied by herders." Whether these were in the row of sheds or stables on the east side of the corrals on the base map cannot be said; no house sites have been identified further east, but a much more careful inspection of the area should be made.


Adobe Fields. These areas appear to have been cut with a large scraping device, probably horse- or mule-drawn. The general appearance suggests that the sod cover was cut off first, uncovering the underlying clay, which was then excavated as needed. The fields have several distinct components, each with its own width, frequency, and angle of cut. The area in the northwest corner of the fenced enclosure of Fort Union National Park appears to have cut through the sites of the Temporary Employee's Housing (HS-81) and the Adobe Shed (HS-82). Since these structures all appear to go out of use by about the end of 1868, the adobe fields that appear to cross the sites can be considered to have been cut after that year.


Dam. Built across Coyote Creek at the southwest corner of the New Beef Corral, HS-84. About 240 feet long, perhaps 10 feet thick. Date unknown, but may have been built during the fall of 1851 to supply ice to the ice-houses constructed at the post that winter (Oliva, "Frontier Army," p. 121), or water for various needs of First Fort, such as the lime-slaking pits of HS-187. Possible irrigation ditch line extends down the valley from the dam, but quickly becomes indistinguishable from cow paths.

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Last Updated: 13-Feb-2006