Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fort Garland

After my stop in San Luis, I resumed my northward course on CO-159 to the town of Fort Garland and the fort itself, now a museum.  Fort Garland was built in 1858 as a replacement for Fort Massachusetts, built six miles further north in 1852.  It was named after the man who ordered its construction, Brigadier General John Garland.

During the Civil War, Colorado Volunteers trained at Fort Garland, before teaming up with New Mexico Volunteers to defeat Confederate troops at the Battle of Glorieta Pass.  After the war, Christopher "Kit" Carson commanded the fort for about 18 months.  During the late 1870's, the Ninth Cavalry Regiment, part of the Buffalo Soldiers, was stationed at Fort Garland.

This is the entrance to the museum.  To the right is a partially-unfurled Colorado state flag.

The fort consists mainly of a rectangular layout of buildings, some original and others reconstructed, around a central yard.  This is most of the north side of the rectangle, with the west officers' quarters to the left and the commandant's quarters in the center.  If you look closely, you can see water coming from the sprinklers that keep the yard green.

In the middle of the yard is this flagpole, similar to the one I saw at Fort Union.  In the background is the infantry barracks, which forms most of the west side of the rectangle.  The door farthest right is to the sergeant's room.

The cavalry barracks form most of the east side of the rectangle, and have been converted into museum rooms.  One of them, the soldier's theater, includes an exhibit to honor Japanese people who immigrated into the region during the 1920's.

There were two pianos, of which this is one, in the soldier's theater.  According to the mounted card toward right, this one was owned by a woman who came from back east, was allowed to take one piece of furniture with her when she moved out here, and chose the piano.  Unfortunately for me, visitors aren't allowed to touch it.

These foundations and the buildings behind them form the south side of the rectangle.  In the background to the right, again you can see the infantry barracks, the west officers' quarters, and the flagpole, partially obscured by trees.

Here is part of the interior of a room in the infantry barracks.

The building forming the south side included an exhibition to the Buffalo Soldiers.  This picture was mounted on one wall.  Unfortunately, its surface reflected some light from the lights in the room, which I could not avoid.  I took this photo without flash.  The one I took with flash came out worse.

What looks like an adobe oven sits just south of the cavalry barracks.

After my visit, I soon found a place to eat, and was back on the road again.

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