September 1881

old fort buildings 1881The buildings were on the perimeter of one of the largest parade grounds in the United States (500 by 150 yards). At the north end were the commissary, the post trader's store, the theatre and dance hall, and the headquarters' office. On the east side were the barracks for the troops. Behind the barracks on the river bank were stables for the horses. Facing the barracks across the parade ground on the west were the houses occupied by officers and their families.

Photo courtesy of Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies

Co. A, 22nd Regiment Infantry 1885

22nd regiment infantry 1885The regiment is pictured in front of their quarters.

Photo courtesy of Colorado Historical Society, image F5490.

Soldier's Bridge

soldiers bridge over river

An undated photo of the old soldier's bridge built over the La Plata River.

Photo courtesy of Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies







Military Fort Original Barracks

military original barracks
The abandoned barracks were used by the Fort Lewis Indian school as a kitchen, dining room and bake shop for the Indian pupils until abandonment of the Indian School in 1910. (Picture taken in 1899)

Photo courtesy of Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies-Dale Rea Collection



Military Fort Headquarters

military headquarters

Located on the right with Tower, in foreground is the laundry, pump house and Blacksmith shop.

Photo courtesy of Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies - Dale Rea Collection | Picture taken in 1899


Military Fort Hospital

military hospital
The military hospital was converted to a girls' dormitory for the Indian School. It was known as Lewis Hall (a girls' dormitory until Lory Hall was completed in 1930). After which, one wing served as a single women's faculty housing and classrooms were located upstairs.

Photo courtesy of Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies- Mabel Chapman Collection

Buffalo Soldiers 9th Cavalry

Four companies of the 9th Cavalry were encamped at Fort Lewis in 1881 and 1892. The Buffalo soldiers were officially designated by Congress in July 1866 when it voted to permanently add 6 exclusively Black Regiments to the United States Army. The new Regiments included the 9th and 10th cavalry and the 24th and 25th infantry.

Photo courtesy of History.com