Historic Structure Report
HISTORIC BASE MAP: BUILDING LISTINGS
OTHER BUILDINGS, NORTH SIDE OF THIRD FORT
Commissary Storehouse (Third Fort Union, p.
78). One of two frame sheds built perhaps in September, 1862, as
Commissary Storehouses, shown on the 1866 map, described briefly in
April, 1867, and June, 1868; the two structures are left off the 1868
map, suggesting that they were torn down at the end of 1868 and their
removal recorded during the updating of the map. They were certainly
gone by 1873, when they do not appear on a map of the Fort prepared in
that year. Note that the Major A. J. Alexander letter of April 15,
1867, first says that there were three such shedsthis seems to
have been an error; later in the same letter Alexander refers to "either
of these warehouses," suggesting that he mistakenly wrote "three" while
thinking "two". By 1868 the two buildings were being used as "grain
stables" (Inspection Report, 1868, in Oliva, "Frontier Army," pp.
1048-60): "The two long frame sheds just north of the Commissary
Storehouses and formerly used by that Department, have been allowed to
stand and to be put to use as Stables for trains and teams just from the
road. They are good sheds, in tolerable order serving a useful purpose;
and would be considered at many Posts as very fair stables." HS-307 was
a wooden frame structure, shown on the base map as 200 feet long and 40
feet wide; however, this size is only an estimate based on the apparent
size of the building on the 1866 map and on the apparent traces on the
ground, and should not be accepted without question.
Commissary Storehouse (Third Fort Union,
p. 78). Built perhaps in September, 1862, as a Commissary
Storehouse, but by 1868 it was being used as a "grain stable"
(Inspection Report, 1868). Visible on the 1866 map, but torn down by
1868. Frame building, estimated 200 feet long and 40 feet wide. A brick
chimney base was found on the south side near the east end.
Unknown. Visible on the 1866 map, but torn down
by 1868. May have been an early version of the Commissary Sergeant's
Quarters, later built a little northeast of this location (see HS-312,
below). The structure has a stone chimney base at its west end, and was
about 30 feet long by 20 feet wide. A section of fieldstone foundation
can be seen along the south side of the building's outline.
Machine Shop (Third Fort Union, p. 120).
This was a large enclosed yard, 200 feet square, with a machine shop
building in the northeast corner. Destroyed by fire, February, 1876.
Steam engine here relocated to southwest corner of Depot mechanic's
corral (Third Fort Union, pp. 11-12). A good photograph of the
shop in 1866 is in ill. 52, (Third Fort Union, p. 228-29); its
general shape and location are shown on the maps of 1866 and 1868 (ill.
2, pp. 128-29). A plan of the shop was made in 1866, and a copy of this
is on file at Fort Union National Monument (Third Fort Union, p.
The Inspection Report of 1868 goes into some detail
on this shop: the yard was "a sort of corral enclosure made by a low
stockade," and served as a lumber yard. In the northeast corner of the
yard was a large frame building, 36 feet wide east to west and 72 feet
long, north to south; this was the machine shop proper. In it were a
mortise machine, a jig-saw, and a tenon-machine. The building contained
a "cellar," a space 12 feet wide, 40 feet long and 9 feet deep, labelled on
the plan as "a basement story for shafting," and described in the 1868
report as "where the belting communicates with the flywheel." Here were
a turning lathe, grindstones, and other equipment. This basement was
backfilled and is not easily visible today, although in 1984 it was a
clear depression, 12 feet wide and 40 feet long, filled with dark soil.
Either the depression was further backfilled by the National Park
Service, or sheetwash has placed more silt into and across the basement
The machines were powered by the steam engine in a
separate house. The base map shows the probable engine house; it was a
structure about 26 feet long, east to west, something over 22 feet wide,
north to south, and enclosed a rectangular bricked area 3 feet 4 inches
wide and 7 feet long; this was probably the engine base itself. Two
large flagstones are visible at the northwest and southwest corners of
the engine base; their purposes are unknown. A clearly visible stone
foundation is present along the north side of the building, which
extended about 14 feet outside the lumberyard enclosure. The east end of
the bricked area was about 24 feet west of the side of the Machine Shop
itself. No evidence is visible on the ground or indicated on the 1866
plan showing how the power from the engine was carried to the basement
of the Shop building.
Unknown. Mass of lime next to Machine shop. The
1866 photograph shows only a heap of lumber in this area.
Commissary Sergeant's Quarters (Third Fort
Union, p. 115). Built sometime before
1883; plan on map of 1883 (ill. 5, pp. 134-35) and
was in use until after 1886; possibly used until abandonment in 1891.
Photograph, ill. 51 (Third Fort Union, pp. 226-27). On the ground
today, the two chimney bases are easily visible. The west chimney is
brick, about 3 feet east to west and 4 feet north to south. The house
appears as a rectangular charcoal-stained and disturbed area with
scattered artifacts; the 1883 map indicates that it was about 40 feet
long and 30 feet wide. The plan of the structure shown on the base map
is taken from the 1883 map of the fort. The plan shows an enclosed yard
behind the building, 40 feet by 15 feet.
Smokehouse. Shown on the 1883 map (ill. 5,
pp. 134-35). Fieldstone foundation that probably supported a frame
or adobe structure. The foundation is one foot wide, and the building
measured about 16 feet square.
Unknown. Appears to be the base of a chimney, but
no known structure is indicated in this area.
Cow Stables. The plan shows a stable building
about 55 feet long and 15 feet wide, with a small yard, about 25 feet by
18 feet, on its north side and a larger enclosed yard on its south, 55
feet by 30 feet (ill. 5, pp. 134-35). Today, only organic stains and
disturbed earth indicate its location; some general idea of its outline
can be determined from aerial photographs. Appearance of the ground
indicates that most of the structure was made from "stockade," or
upright posts set in holes or a continuous trench.
Last Updated: 13-Feb-2006