Fort Bent and Kansas….

SL Ft Bent 2

SL Ft Bent 1     SL Kansas Sign

As I mentioned last night we found a reconstructed fort in eastern Colorado to visit today.  I have been looking for a plains fort like this for the whole trip and am I glad we found this one.  After an archaeological exploration the fort was rebuilt on the same footprint as the original.  Fort Bent was a commercial fort not a military one.  It was used for trading with the Indians in the area as well as supplying trappers etc.  We were told that all the shooting at the “Fort Zent” from the mini-series “Centennial” was filmed here and a good bit of Levi Zent’s life in the show was based on Robert Bent’s past.  Of course Robert Bent was an actual person and Levi Zent was a make believe character.  Anyway there was a Calvary officer who spent several months at the fort while he was recovering from an illness. He was fascinated with the fort and proceeded to make detailed drawings of the fort with a lot of detail about it.  Fortunately the drawings survived and were used to reconstruct the fort.  The  reconstructed fort was meticulously made and it was amazing how real it looked.  Every room was detailed out according to the drawings and other surviving documents. Fort Bent was one of the most delightful parts, if not the most delightful, of our entire vacation for me. I got a couple of books about the fort and plan on studying them further we we get home.

After Fort Bent we headed north about 100 miles to catch I70.  We made it just across the Kansas State line before we stopped for the night. We did manage to get to the Kansas welcome center before it closed and picked up quite a bit of literature to study tonight for what we will see in Kansas.  One of the top priorities for me is the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene Kansas.  More about our Kansas adventures tomorrow.

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