Fort Bayard, N.M., Celebrates 144th Birthday

Historic New Mexico town commemorates with celebration

By: By Claire Makepeace

The commanding officer’s home, built in 1911, is a highlight of historic Fort Bayard. // © 2010 Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society

The commanding officer’s home, built in 1911, is a highlight of historic Fort Bayard. // © 2010 Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society

Fort Bayard, a National Historic Landmark located in Grant County, N.M., will celebrate its 144th birthday on Aug. 21 with a public fair featuring an old-fashioned square dance, cowboy poetry and much more. The events, hosted by the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society, are geared toward military and history buffs and clients interested in the settling of the Wild West.

The event begins at 9:30 a.m., with the first guided walking tour, featuring a visit to the commanding officer’s home from 1911. A cowboy poetry reading follows, along with a barbeque lunch, a historical talk on ranching and a second guided tour. The day ends with a square dance in the nearby New Deal Theater.

On Sept. 17 and 18, the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society will host Fort Bayard Days, providing visitors with a chance to learn more about Fort Bayard and the settling of the West. During the event, more than 20 living history centers will be set up around the parade grounds from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17. A flag ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Sept. 18, followed by guided tours, speakers, music, a military ball and much more.

Fort Bayard has been an inhabited town since Aug. 21, 1866, when it was first established as an American military post to protect early settlers from the Apache Indians. Due to Fort Bayard’s warm, dry climate, it was chosen as the location for the first U.S. military sanatorium to treat army officers suffering from tuberculosis in 1899.

Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society
www.fortbayard.org

 

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