Fort Garland in 1874.
|Location||Fort Garland, Colorado|
|NRHP reference #||70000156|
|Added to NRHP||February 26, 1970|
Fort Garland (1858-1883), Colorado, United States, was designed to house two companies of soldiers to protect settlers in the San Luis Valley, then in the Territory of New Mexico. It was named for General John Garland, commander of the Military District of New Mexico.
The Ninth Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers) was stationed here between 1876 and 1879. In 1876, these troops were called to the La Plata region to prevent conflict between the Utes and white prospectors. The following year, they helped remove white settlers from Ute reservation lands.
In 1879, United States military units from Fort Garland were called upon by Nathan Meeker, the Indian Agent at the White River Agency. Meeker and others were killed, and family members taken captive by unhappy Utes. The captives were released and the Utes were moved once again, which reduced the need for a fort.
The Colorado Historical Society restored the fort and opened the Fort Garland Museum in 1950. Restored and reconstructed buildings include the adobe Commandant's Quarters, where Kit Carson and his wife once lived, the cavalry barracks with exhibits of Hispanic traditional arts and 19th century transportation artifacts, and officer's quarters. Permanent exhibits focus on Kit Carson and Buffalo Soldiers. The museum is administered by History Colorado.