Fort Stanton


With eager anticipation, I embarked on a journey to another historic gem in the southwest United States. The drive along the Bonito River on the Billy The Kid Trail is remote; my heart raced as I turned left onto the sprawling military post.

Boondocked south of the Captian Mountains, Fort Stanton in New Mexico, a testament to history, stands today with 88 buildings that date back to 1855. As I dismount from my trusty steel horse, I'm captivated by the intricate details of the architecture, location, and each building a masterpiece in its own right.  It seemed intentional that this Fort was isolated, with no actual settlements for miles around. After researching the location more, I discovered that in 1899, the US Public Health Service used it for Tuberculosis patients that housed hundreds of Merchant Marines. Many died at the Fort. 

Yes, this is the most impressive historical setting of any site in the southwest United States.

The Fort is a unique blend of officers' quarters and barracks, a hospital and morgue, nurses' quarters, a guardhouse, a dining hall, a chapel, a power plant and laundry, a gymnasium and pool, a fire station, horse stables, and a current (functioning) U.S. post office.  As you wander the path, you'll see a Merchant Marine Cemetery adorned with rows of white crosses, a haunting and beautiful sight.

Words fail to capture the essence of this place. I invite you, fellow history enthusiasts, to experience it for yourself. Will you accept the invitation? 
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