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NEWS RELEASE u.s. department of the interior
National Park Service
For Immediate Release Frank Torres 425-8025
First Fort Tours at Fort Union National Monument
Fort Union National Monument, a unit of the National Park Service is hosting its’ annual First Fort Tours on Saturday June 6th. The first Fort Union location, normally closed to the public will be open for scheduled tours starting at 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm. “This is an excellent opportunity to view Fort Union from a premier vantage point” said Park Superintendent, Marie Sauter. Plan to arrive at the park visitor center at least 15 minutes before each scheduled tour. Visitors will be escorted to the site before the start of each program.
Construction on the First Fort began in the summer of 1851 shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Fort Union was built to establish a permanent military presence in the area to protect trade and traffic on the Santa Fe Trail, and for the protection of the people of the valley. The First Fort stayed in operation from 1851 through 1861, until the outbreak of the Civil War. Fort Union continued to operate for another thirty years until it outlived its usefulness in 1891.
Park Rangers and volunteer staff will talk about the fort’s history, the connection to the Santa Fe Trail, local communities, sites and structures, as well as military personnel stationed at Fort Union. Rangers in historical period dress will take you back in time with journals and quotes, during the era of the first forts operation. The duration of each tour will be approximately 1 hour. There will be some moderate walking and standing on uneven dirt surfaces. Accommodations for handicap accessibility at this site is limited. It is highly recommended that visitors dress comfortably, bring water, hat, and sunscreen.
This event will inspire visitors of all ages. For more information call 505-425-8025 or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/foun. Fort Union National Monument is located 28 miles north of Las Vegas, NM., take exit 366 off I-25 at Watrous, drive 8 miles on NM State Rd. 161.