Friday, 11 November 2011

Fort Bayard, New Mexico

Fort Bayard was established in 1866 to help protect miners, settlers and travellers from the Apache.

Located near the head of the Mimbres river Fort Bayard, along with Fort Cummings at Cooke’s Spring, Fort Seldon on the Rio Grande and Fort Stanton on the Bonito river formed a line of forts covering the southern frontier of Territorial New Mexico from the Apache Indians.

Officers Row, although they look gorgeous these gracious houses are in need of preservation.

Fort Bayard was also home to Native American Indian Scouts, Buffalo Soldiers, Medal of Honour Recipients and William Cathay (AKA Cathy Williams whose gender was only discovered during a visit to the fort surgeon), General George Crook and General John J Pershing.

The Parade Ground

The fort was due to be abandoned in 1899 when the Surgeon General, proposed transferring the post to the Army Medical Department because of the healing qualities of the high altitude and dry sunny climate.   Later that year Fort Bayard became the first sanatorium dedicated to the treatment of officers, enlisted men and the beneficiaries of the Soldiers’ home.   International leaders in the research and treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis worked at the sanatorium.

Information board showing some of the work carried out.

In 1922 the Fort came under the jurisdiction of the VA becoming a general hospital for the care and treatment of veterans with a continued emphasis in tuberculosis.

German Prisoners of War housed in the Fort during WWII worked on maintenance.  In 2010 the hospital closed and patients were moved to a new facility.

Not sure what this building was.

We really enjoyed looking around this unique place and when we return to the Silver City area hope to be able to take one of the guided tours given by The Fort Bayard Preservation Society

Fort Bayard, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2004.

Have fun, we are!

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