Fort Massachusetts (4)

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Fort Massachusetts (4) (1852-1858) - First established in 1852 by Major George A.H. Blake, 1st U.S. Dragoons, in Costilla County, Colorado. Abandoned in 1858.


Established 22 Jun 1852 by Major George A.H. Blake, 1st U.S. Dragoons, along Ute Creek at the base of Blanca Peak in Costilla County, Colorado. The location was in the New Mexico Territory at the time it was occupied. The fort was to protect settlers and travelers coming over the La Veta pass from hostile Ute and Jicarilla Apache Indians.

After an attack on El Pueblo by hostile Ute and Jicarilla Apache Indians, a military campaign began to eliminate the threat. The campaign brought the hostile Indians to the negotiating table and an agreement was reached between the Indians and Indian Agent, Kit Carson.

The post itself was constructed of vertical chinked logs enclosing a compound about 270 feet by 320 feet and could house up to 150 men comfortably. During the winter of 1855-1856, the garrison suffered sub-zero temperatures and scurvy. The U.S. Army concluded a 25-year lease for a better location six miles to the south on 17 Jul 1856 and began the construction of Fort Garland.

Fort Massachusetts was abandoned 24 Jun 1858 on the completion of Fort Garland. The garrison, under the command of Captain Thomas Duncan, 3rd U.S. Infantry, was relocated to Fort Garland on that day.

Current Status

Private property in Costilla County, Colorado

Location: Along Ute Creek, Costilla County, Colorado. Map point is approximate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.49532 Long: -105.39519

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Elevation: approximately 8400'



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