Today we went to Fort Selden, which is right next to the park here. Before the dam and before the state park, there was Fort Selden, built in 1865, right along the Rio Grande river. The fort also was right along the El Camino Real De trail or (The Royal Road of the Interior) which ran north from Mexico city to Sante Fe. Melissa mentioned this in her post on the missions. The fort was built to protect traveler’s along the route from Indians and renegade cutthroats. The Fort was small in size to many of the other forts built during that time. It was made of Adobe, which was common in these parts. However it contained a high sand content and was prone to deterioration. It now is just a ruins. As a fort it had everything it needed to function, but in smaller degrees compared to the very large Fort Union. It had infantry, Calvary and a contingent of Buffalo soldier’s ( Black Soldiers.). The fort ran from 1865 to 1887. In 1881 a railroad came through just about a mile away, thus sealing the fate of the Fort. After it closed, all the wood, from the roofs, windows, doors was taken away, thus hastening the erosion of the fort. The visitor center had a great display of artifacts from the fort and old pictures of it during it’s operation.
The fort as it looked in the day.
One commander of the fort for a few years was Captain Arthur MacArthur and his wife Mary, there two kids left to right Douglas, and Arthur. Yes that is the Same General Douglas MacArthur of World War II fame.