About 17 miles south of the Latham Stage Station, (present day Greeley) and about two miles south of the Big Bend Station along the South Platte River is the site of historic Fort St. Vrain. A wooden sign is posted which tells of a 1967 archaeological survey conducted by the Colorado State Historical Society. About 50 feet beyond the wooden sign is a big concrete slab with three steps up onto it. A big granite square slab about 6 feet tall stands on top of the concrete slab. It says:
FORT ST. VRAINFort St. Vrain was established in 1837 by Ceran St. Vrain, a French fur trader and trapper, and his friends, the Bent Brothers. St. Vrain and the Bents also established a fort in 1833 on the Santa Fe Trail near La Junta, Colorado called Bent's Old Fort.
BUILT ABOUT 1837
BY COL. CERAN ST. VRAIN.
GENERAL FREMONT REORGANIZED HIS
HISTORIC EXPLORING EXPEDITION HERE
JULY 23, 1848.
THIS FORT WAS ALSO VISITED BY
FRANCIS PARKMAN AND KIT CARSON.
CENTENNIAL STATE CHAPTER
DAUGHTERS OF THE
When Captain Fremont, and his guide Kit Carson, stopped at Ft. St. Vrain on one of their Rocky Mountain expeditions, it was on the Fourth of July, 1848. A celebration was called for. William Gilpin, a future governor of Colorado was in attendance and wrote of the day's festivities. He told of some Cheyenne Indians who were extremely impressed with the flag waving and the booming of the howitzer. They all enjoyed the "barbaric luxury" of dining on "macaroni soup, buffalo meat, fruit cake, and ice cream frozen with snow from Long's Peak!"
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Portions of this material provided by Lyn Ryder.
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