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Fort Union National Monument

Southwest Frontier Military Post (1851-1891)

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Ranks of chimneys 8 miles northwest of Watrous on Hwy 161 are stark reminders of the days when Fort Union was the largest military post on the Southwest frontier. Fort Union was the chief quartermaster depot 1851-1891 for nearly 50 forts throughout the region, as well as the primary station for troops assigned to protect settlers and Santa Fe Trail travelers. The site was well chosen, for the branches of the Santa Fe Trail - the Mountain Branch and the Cimarron Cutoff - converged about 6 miles south. In addition, the remote location put the soldiers closer to the tribes and farther from Santa Fe, then considered "a sink of vice and extravagance."

A 1.25 mile tour trail explores 100 acres of adobe ruins. A visitor center with a museum relates fort history. Daily during the summer, people in period clothing demonstrate aspects of fort life.

Location: P O Box 127, NM 161, Watrous New Mexico 87718 Telephone 505-425-8025

Other History nearby:
(Santa Fe) Aboot About/Santa Fe Walks
(Las Vegas) Acequias
(Santa Fe) Amelia White Park
(Santa Fe) Bandelier National Monument
(Santa Fe) Bataan Memorial Military Museum and Library
(Las Vegas) Bridge Street Historic District

12/16 Coming to The Watrous area
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Santa Fe NM July14-August19 Sensational music, top-notch performers and Santa Fe’s alluring location combine to make this an event you won't want to miss.