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Fort Garland Colorado Townsite - Ghost town

Photos Courtesy of Mike Sinnwell August 2008

Kit Carson commanded this fort during 1866 and 1867. Some of the living quarters he would have used are reconstructed at the site. Hard to believe he could speak at least 5 Languages but yet not read or write. Some claim he knew 8 different Indian Languages.  Kit Carson was proclaimed by many as either a hero, a gentleman, a just person, or a ruthless murderer of Indians, a master of concentration camps. I prefer to view him in a positive light. In any case he was an extraordinary character with a adventurous life.

Tom Tobin was a scout here for awhile. Some claim Tom was the one that hunted down the notorious Felipe Espinosa and brought his head back to Fort Garland in a sack.  For his efforts he received a coat and a Henry rifle.

The Fort, made out of adobe, was opened in 1858 and was supposed to help protect the settlers from the potential of Ute and Plains Indian attacks. Originally it had 22 buildings. Today about five  restored buildings remain. (several Barracks, Officers Quarters, and Company Quarters) During the civil war the Colorado Volunteers were organized, trained and marched from Fort Garland to join the New Mexico Volunteers to defend against General Sibley's efforts to reach the Colorado gold fields. (The battle of Glorieta Pass.) The famous Buffalo soldiers also served at Fort Garland between 1876 and 1879. The Fort was abandoned in 1883.

Several old pianos are on display at the Fort. A tribute to the efforts of our pioneers of the past, their ability to do the impossible, their love for music and their love for each other. Can you imagine bringing a piano from Pennsylvania to Moffat Colorado in the 1800's. Mrs. Elizabeth Albert got to pick one piece of furniture and the piano was her pick.