The nationally significant Bent's New Fort in the Lamar vicinity was built by William Bent in the winter of 1852–1853. The fort was used as a trading post and the Upper Arkansas Indian Agency from 1853 to 1859, after which time the U.S. Army leased it from 1860 to 1866. A key contemporary figure, Bent was married to Owl Woman, and allied with her father, White Buffalo, Cheyenne Keeper of the Arrows. Bent’s New Fort is significant under transportation, commerce, military, social history, and exploration/settlement, and is associated with the Historic Resources of the Santa Fe Trail Multiple Property Documentation Form. On November 28, 1864, Colonel John M. Chivington led his soldiers to the murderous Sand Creek Massacre of a peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho encampment from the fort. For more information, see:
Bent County Courthouse & Jail
National Register 1/2/1976, Additional Documentation 3/22/2001, 5BN.99
This architecturally significant building was constructed between 1886 and 1889. The imposing two-story red brick structure is trimmed extensively in stone. The second level includes corner towers with open arches. Directly linked to the judicial and social history of the adjacent courthouse, the 1902 jail served as the county’s processing and holding facility for 98 years.
Bent County High School
1214 7th St.
National Register 7/30/2010, 5BN.382
Constructed in 1914 and expanded in 1939 through New Deal programs, the Bent County High School is locally significant for its associations with education, entertainment/recreation, politics/government and architecture. The property is listed under the 2005 New Deal Resources on Colorado’s Eastern Plains Multiple Property Documentation Form. The building is architecturally significant as a distinctive example of 1910s school design in the Classical Revival style on Colorado’s eastern plains and 1930s school design in the WPA Moderne style. The original section of the school building reflects the Classical Revival style through its symmetrical design, full-height entry porch supported by fluted Ionic columns, elaborate cornice with dentils beneath overhanging eaves, and wide paneled frieze. Designed by Walter Dubree, a local architect based out of La Junta, the style was well suited to institutional, educational architecture. Although the school remained in active use until the late 1990s,the period of significance begins in 1914 and closes in 1960.
Colo. Hwy. 101, south of Las Animas
National Register 10/24/1986, 5BN.363
Founded in 1866, Boggsville is one of Colorado’s earliest extant agricultural and trade centers. The 1866 Boggs House and the recently restored 1867 Prowers House are among the earliest documented examples of Territorial architecture in the state. The property is associated with the Historic Resources of the Santa Fe Trail, 1821-1880 Multiple Property Submission.
Junction of Bent County Rd. 15 and Fort Lyon Gate Rd., Las Animas vicinity
National Register 5/5/2004, 5BN.117
Fort Lyon is important for its role as an army post, a navy hospital, and a veterans’ hospital. Beginning in 1867, the fort served as part of the army’s Department of the Missouri, a regional network of forts and military facilities in the Missouri River drainage. The navy took control of the fort in 1906, adapting and greatly expanding the army post to serve a medical facility. The hospital provided tubercular care to sailors and marines until 1922, with all funding for operations and construction obtained through appropriations from the Department of the Navy. The navy pursued a policy of self-sufficiency for the institution, which is reflected by the development of the associated agricultural fields, irrigation system and support structures. In 1922 the Veterans’ Bureau, later the Veterans’ Administration, assumed control of the facility, expanded the hospital complex, and opened its services to all active and retired personnel and their families in all branches of the military service.
Fort Lyon is important in Colorado ethnic heritage. First, the property is important for its association with Native Americans during the earliest period of the fort’s operation beginning in 1868. Second, the property is significant for its association with African Americans, specifically the all-black Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry stationed at Fort Lyon in the late 1860s and 1870s. Third, the property is significant for its association with those of European origins, specifically as the fort was used to treat World War I German naval prisoners suffering from tuberculosis.
Finally, Fort Lyon is architecturally significant for its set of standardized VA hospital buildings. Constructed during the period 1929 through 1945, these building types are best expressed in the group of multi-story Georgian Rival style, brick buildings adjacent to the parade ground. The property is associated with the Historic Resources of the Santa Fe Trail, 1821-1880 Multiple Property Submission.
Fort Lyon National Cemetery
15700 County Road HH, Las Animas vicinity
National Register 1/17/17, 5BN.1331
Fort Lyon National Cemetery is nationally significant for its association with the development of military and veterans cemeteries during the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries by the federal government. It is also significant for its association with the history of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Fort Lyon has a history that dates back to the Civil War, the Colorado gold rush, and conflicts between Euro-American settlers and Native Americans. However the post cemetery closed. The U.S. Navy created the antecedent of the national cemetery in 1906 as part of its adaptation of the military post into a tuberculosis hospital complex. The cemetery opened in 1907. Its history was then intertwined with Colorado as a place renowned for the treatment of tubercular patients. Fort Lyon National Cemetery serves as a memorial to the sacrifices of the U.S. military, and is a reflection of the expanded burial and memorial mission established during the Civil War with the earliest national cemeteries. More information (PDF, 6.4 MB).
505 Locust Ave.
State Register 12/10/1997, 5BN.453
Built in 1900, the house is an excellent local example of the Queen Anne style as applied to a moderate sized, 1½ story frame dwelling.
I.O.O.F. Hall, Lodge No. 11
560 Bent Ave.
State Register 3/10/1999, 5BN.466
The 1889 stone building is a good example of late 19th century commercial architecture and represents the return of prosperity to this agricultural community following the depression of the early 1890s. The building served a fraternal organization of men and women, providing them with mutual support and social activities while fostering participation in community charities.
King Solomon’s Lodge Masonic Temple
506 Carson Ave.
State Register 12/10/1997, 5BN.452
Constructed between 1909-1918, the building’s brick and concrete block masonry exterior, simple Neo-Classical design incorporating Masonic symbols, and typical interior arrangement and finish reflect standard Masonic-related construction adapted to a small town setting in the early 20th century.
Las Animas Christian Church
State Register 5/14/1997, 5BN.449
The 1920 building is an example of the "Akron Plan" of church design popular for a short period of time in the early 1900s.
Las Animas Post Office
513 6th St.
National Register 1/16/2008, 5BN.591
The post office building is associated with President Roosevelt’s New Deal legislative agenda and the efforts of the federal government to bring America out of the Great Depression. Rather than being a project of a New Deal construction agency, the post office represents a direct relief project of the Treasury Department. The construction of new post offices allowed the federal government to assist communities through the purchase of materials and the creation of construction jobs. The project also provided Las Animas with its first purpose-built post office. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of the Supervising Architect under the direction of Louis A. Simon designed the simple, traditional, and restrained building with its high quality materials throughout. It has been the only post office in Las Animas since it opened in 1938. The property is associated with the New Deal Resources on Colorado’s Eastern Plains Multiple Property Submission. (2006 photograph.) More information (PDF, 532 kb).
Las Animas Santa Fe Railroad Depot
333 8th St.
State Register 5/14/1997, 5BN.415
The 1908 depot is associated with both passenger and freight railroad transportation in the Las Animas area. It is a good intact example of the Santa Fe Railroad’s Brick Standard Plan depot design.
County Rd. 34
National Register 2/4/1985, 5BN.374
Originally a pile bridge, constructed by the Kansas City Bridge Company in 1900, trusses added by the Pueblo Bridge Company include: a 1902 Pratt through truss, a 1906 Pratt through truss on the south portal, three 1909 long-span Camelback through truss on the north portal, and a 1921 Pratt pony after flooding destroyed the north approach. Enduring numerous floods, it is the oldest bridge over the lower Arkansas River and is Colorado’s longest trussed crossing with the most successive spans. The property is associated with the Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.