• freight wagons on the Santa Fe Trail

    Santa Fe

    National Historic Trail CO,KS,MO,NM,OK

Bent's New Fort

Why did William Bent leave his trading post located near La Junta, Colorado in 1849? Why did he pick this new location just 40 miles east? What happened once he relocated to Big Timbers in 1853? How did this little-known site on the Santa Fe Trail become preserved? You can find the answers here!

 

Tragedy and Restoration
Read the story of William Bent. Discover the history of this fort. Find out the story of the people who decided to save this site as an archeological preserve: the Semmens family. (735 KB pdf)

 

Bent's Trading Post at Big Timbers
A new trading post for William Bent. Why were the Indians camped there? What did the buffalo (bison) herds have to do with trade? How long would his trading empire last? (468 KB pdf)

 

His Final Fort
Thousands of people came to Colorado seeking gold. How would this effect William Bent's livelihood? (535 KB pdf)

 

Why a Massacre?
Colonel John Chivington marched 675 cavalrymen to Sand Creek and murdered nearly 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people. Why? (402 KB pdf)

 

A Vital Link
The landscape tells stories. Bent's New Fort was used for two distinct functions over two different decades and the effects are evident on this landscape. (603 KB pdf)

Did You Know?

A barbed wire fence and windmill are near the Point of Rocks formation on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail in New Mexico

Travel on the historic Santa Fe Trail moved in both directions, with Missouri traders heading for Santa Fe with goods, and Hispanic traders from New Mexico heading east to Missouri.