Fort Union National Monument Receives Funding

Fort Union National Monument in Mora County. Courtesy/NPS

Fort Union National Monument in Mora County. Courtesy/NPS


WATROUS — Fort Union National Monument in Mora County, has received funding for new visitor center exhibits as part of a three-year project funded from the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) with a phase completed each year.

Fort Union National Monumen is a ruined adobe and brick fortification along with a seperate earthwork fortification. Originally begun as a post in 1851, it was established by Lt. Col. Edwin Sumner who would go on to serve as a general for the Union Army during the American Civil War. The post, on the Santa Fe Trail, was to serve as headquarters for troops stationed in the New Mexico Territory as well as the main supply depot. The original post was constructed mostly of timber and mud.

FLREA funds for the new exhibit project come from the recreation fee revenues – entrance fees – and must be used directly for visitor enjoyment “Your Fee Dollars at Work”. It will address major deficiencies in outdated museum exhibits constructed in the early 1960’s at the Fort Union Visitor Center. The park commemorates the largest frontier military post in the southwest and multi-cultural stories of Hispanics and Native Americans of the region. Although “state of the art” when built, displays are outdated in content, theme, perspective and relevance to our changing society.

Rehabilitated exhibits will provide visitors to the park a better view of the changes brought about by the U.S.-Mexican War, Fort Union and the US Military, the Civil War, the Santa Fe Trail, and the American Indian and Hispanic cultures of the region. New exhibits and interactive displays will focus on the multicultural aspects of the civil war in the New Mexico Territory, civil war battles, Indian Campaigns and Great Plains tribal communities, women’s history and lasting impacts to the local economy and political scene.

For more information, contact Fort Union National Monument at 505.425.8025, visit

Fort Union National Monument in Mora County. Courtesy/NPS