Fort Lupton - Ft. Lupton, Colorado
Posted by: Big B Bob
N 40° 05.879 W 104° 48.989
13T E 515642 N 4438648
Quick Description: A Colorado fort slowly being reconstructed by volunteers.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 11/8/2009 5:13:14 PM
Waymark Code: WM7MBR
From the City of Ft. Lupton website:
When Lieutenant Lancaster Platt Lupton first passed through this area in 1835, he most certainly never thought he would return to build a trading fort. At that time, Lt. Lupton, a West Point graduate, commanded Company A of Colonel Henry Dodge’s Dragoons, a select group dispatched from Fort Leavenworth on a “peace mission” to persuade Indians in the Rocky Mountain region to sign treaties with the United States government. The Dragoons also made extensive contact with fur traders and visited Bents Fort.
Lt. Lupton was popular with his men, which incited jealousy among fellow officers. He was a man who spoke his mind, and shortly after the Dragoons returned to Fort Leavenworth the officers accused him of “speaking disrespectful words against the President of the United States (Andrew Jackson).” His words? “Old Hickory doesn’t show the wisdom of a nit-wit nurse maid.”
Faced with a court martial trial, Lt. Lupton resigned from the Army in 1836. In early 1837, he followed the “Trapper’s Trail” down the South Platte River, and, with Mexican adobe artisans, constructed a trading fort he called Fort Lancaster. The post flourished as trappers brought furs and Cheyenne, Arapahoe and Sioux traded buffalo hides, but by 1843, trading had slowed. A two week snowstorm in April 1844 decimated the herds of buffalo, and as a result, trade at the fort dwindled. Lupton, his Cheyenne wife Thomass, and their children moved to southern Colorado, then to California, where he died in 1885.
The fort was a haven for travelers and was briefly resurrected in 1859 as a trade center during the Colorado Gold Rush. Along with prospectors came farmers who settled fields near the South Platte, cattle ranchers, and later, coal miners who worked small deposits west of the fort. The fort harbored settlers during Indian uprisings, including one where the teacher in the area’s first school was killed and scalped, in the mid 1860’s.
The first post office in what was then known as the Fort Lupton Nebraska Territory was established in 1861 within the fort. It became the Fort Lupton Weld Territory in 1869.
Settlement continued around the area of the fort, in part because it was an overland stage stop. In 1882, Fort Lupton was platted southeast of the fort, and incorporated in 1889.
By the turn of the century, Fort Lupton was a thriving agriculture-based community with a condensed milk plant, cannery and sugar factory. Seventy five years later, manufacturing began moving away from the agricultural roots and the gas and oil industry began to emerge as the dominant economic force. The era also ended the last vestiges of the fort, which had been used as a livestock shelter and its walls incorporated into a barn. Some of the walls were still standing in 1885, when an oil company erected a derrick at the site. The remaining adobe bricks were moved and stored in city facilities, but the storage conditions took a further toll on many of them. They are now in the care of the South Platte Valley Historical Society, which was founded in 1988 for the purpose of rebuilding the fort.
From the South Platte Valley Historical Society Website:
Fort Lupton (better known as Fort Lancaster during its heyday) is a late fur trade era trading post constructed in 1837 by Lancaster Lupton. The reconstruction of Fort Lupton is thought to be at the same site as the Original but offset by about 100 yards. Fund raising for this project was begun many years ago. The foundations were laid in 2005, and by 2007 the east wall of the structure had been complete. Since that time work has accelerated with the north, west and south walls completed by December of 2008. Work continues on the interior space for workshops, trade rooms, and living quarters. Eventually the interior rooms will be furnished with period correct and place appropriate furniture, tools, equipment, supplies, trade goods, and furs.
The year the "Fort" was constructed or started.: The Original fort was constructed in 1837
Name of "Country" or "Nation" that constructed this "Fort": USA
Was this "Fort" involved in any armed conflicts?: Yes it was
What was the primary purpose of this "Historic Fort"?: Used primary for a trading post
Current condition: Currently being reconstructed.
This site is administered by ----: South Platte Valley Historical Society
If admission is charged -: 0.00 (listed in local currency)
Open to the public?: Open or unrestricted access.
Official or advertised web-page: [Web Link]
Link to web-site that best describes this "Historic Fort": [Web Link]
Link if this "Fort" is registered on your Countries/ State "Registry of Historical Sites or Buildi: Not listed
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