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National Monument
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Laundress' Quarters
Ruins of the Laundress' Quarters.

Fort Union Today

After abandonment, Fort Union fell into ruins. With the roofs gone, rain, snow, and wind ate away an the adobe walls and caused rapid deterioration. In the late 1930's a movement was launched no save what had survived, Strong popular support, spearheaded by a local group called Fort Union, Inc., helped this movement at last to achieve its goal. With land deeded by the Union Land and Grazing Co., whose cattle ranges surround the ruins, Fort Union National Monument was established as a unit of the National Park System on April 5, 1956.

Crews working under the supervision of archeologists of the National Park Service immediately began a 4-year program to stabilize the ruins and halt further deterioration. They capped and braced the crumbling walls and sprayed the exposed adobe with water-resistant chemicals. Excavations yielded many artifacts.

map of Fort Union NM
(click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

A visitor center and museum opened its doors on June 14, 1959.

Although most traces of the first fort, 1851—63, have vanished, visitors may examine the ruins of the star fort and the font begun by General Carleton in 1863. The last consists of the Post of Fort Union, the Fort Union Quartermaster Depot, and, on the site of the first fort, the Fort Union Arsenal. Extensive evidences of the Santa Fe Trail may also be observed.

hospital fireplaces
Fireplaces in hospital interior.


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Last Modified: Sat, Sep 28 2002 10:00:00 pm PDT

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