Bent's New Fort Exhibits

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!

thumbnail of "Tragedy and Restoration" exhibit panel

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)

thumbnail of "Bent's Trading Post at Big Timbers" exhibit panel

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)

thumbnail of "His Final Fort" exhibit panel

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

thumbnail of "Why A Massacre?" exhibit panel

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

thumbnail of "A Vital Link" exhibit panel

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)

Last updated: March 6, 2019

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Santa Fe National Historic Trail
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