Fort Stanton Historic Site

Amended Operating Schedule

Due to temporary staffing shortages, Lincoln and Fort Stanton Historic Sites will be closed January 15-17 and regular hours of operation will be limited on Thursday and Friday, January 20-21. Please see below for the amended schedule. We apologize for any inconvenience this may create.

Saturday, January 15 through Wednesday, January 19: Lincoln and Fort Stanton Closed

Thursday, January 20: Lincoln Visitor’s Center and Courthouse will be closed from 12pm to 1pm. Fort Stanton Museum and Outbuildings will be closed 10am to 1pm.

Friday, January 21: Lincoln Visitor’s Center and Courthouse will be closed from 12pm to 1pm. Fort Stanton Museum will be closed from 12pm to 1pm.

Fort Stanton  is situated on 240 acres and surrounded by 25,000 acres of undeveloped BLM land in south-central New Mexico. There are 88 buildings on this historic site, some dating back to 1855. Built of local stone, the sturdy buildings have lasted to this day, but most are in great need of preservation and development. The Fort features officers' quarters and barracks, a hospital and morgue, nurses' quarters, a guardhouse, a dining hall, a chapel, a power plant and laundry, a gymnasium and pool, a fire station, horse stables and a (functioning) U.S. post office. The only preserved and renovated building at the Fort is now used as the Fort Stanton museum and administrative office. The Merchant Marine Cemetery at Fort Stanton, with rows of white crosses and a taller monument, is a dramatic site not far from the fort.

Established in 1855 as a military post to control the Mescalero Apache Indians, Fort Stanton may be one of the most intact 19th century military forts in all of America today. It is certainly one of the most impressive historic settings of any site in the southwest United States. Although the use of many military forts established during the western expansion diminished by the turn of the century, Fort Stanton continued on in its noble service to New Mexico and the nation well into the 20th century.

In1861, the Fort was abandoned to Confederate forces in the early stages of the American Civil War. The retreating forces tried to burn the fort, but a rainstorm extinguished the fire. The Confederates completed the destruction when they left after only a month's occupation. The fort returned to the Union fold in 1862, under the command of the legendary Christopher (Kit) Carson. The Fort was rebuilt after the war. During the 1880s, Black soldiers from Fort Stanton helped pursue Apache bands led by Victorio and Geronimo. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing served two tours of duty at Fort Stanton in the 1880s. After closure as an Army post the Fort served as a Merchant Marine Tuberculosis Hospital, a WWII internee camp, a training school for the mentally disabled and most recently as a low security women's prison and hosted several juvenile, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. It is currently a state monument and museum, visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year.

Visiting Information

Visitors can tour the 240-acre site and explore the landscape of Kit Carson, John Black Jack Pershing, New Mexico?s Buffalo Soldier, and others.

Hours and Days of Operation: 

Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Tuesday and Wednesday


$7 for adults. Free for children 16 years and younger. NM residents with ID admitted free the first Sunday of every month.

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