Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

Also known as: Bent's Old Fort, Fort William
35110 Highway 194 East , La Junta, CO


Bent's Old Fort

Photo taken by Ruth Reynolds



Street View 


Bent's Old Fort was a frontier days trading post/fort built in the 1830s by William and Charles Bent and Ceran St. Verain on the Old Santa Fe Trail on the United States side of the Arkansas River, a short distance above the junction of the Purgatoire River. It was a walled adobe structure housing personnel and providing rest, shelter, trading, and repair facilities to early travelers, trappers, and Indians. During 1846 the fort was used by General S. W. Kearny as a base for supplies during his conquest of New Mexico. It functioned in these capacities until 1849 when a large portion was destroyed or damaged by fire. In the early 1860s the fort was rehabilitated to serve as a stage depot and station. It was used in this capacity for approximately twenty years after which it was abandoned to fall in decay and ruin. The remains were "pirated" by later settlers who used the wall remnants as a source of building blocks. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS CO-22)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966
Reference number
Areas of significance
Commerce; Military; Exploration/Settlement; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
ca. 1833; 1849
Number of properties
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing sites: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • September 14, 2010: New photos from Ruth Reynolds
  • July 25, 2010: New Street View added by Ruth Reynolds