Camp Weld [Across the Creek]

Date posted: December 16, 2014

Another bit of neighborhood history from “Across the Creek.”

With regard to the history of the La Alma Lincoln Park neighborhood, there is no lost monument more significant to both U.S. and Colorado history, than the site of Camp Weld. Once located on thirty acres east of the Platte and north of today’s 8th Avenue bridge, it was built on the insistence of 1st Territorial Governor Gilpin in 1861 to help protect the Territory from Southern attack. Situated well on the outskirts of town, just beyond US Marshall Hunt’s homestead, the camp was used to organize and train troops for the defense of the Union. Colorado’s First Volunteer regiment is credited with beating back the Texan advance, and ending the Confederate ambition of acquiring the mountains of wealth in the West. However, the glory earned at Glorieta Pass in New Mexico would be forever obscured by the Third Cavalry’s shameful legacy, the hundreds of Cheyenne and Arapahoe women and children slain in the Sand Creek Massacre. After two damaging fires, the remaining timber from the camp would find better use elsewhere in town, and the defenders were dispersed to more imminent threats throughout the territory. Then, one thoughtful soldier staked a homestead claim on the land and raised his family in the last standing section of “Officer’s Row.” He planted orchards and built fish ponds on the acreage, operating a market and picnic ground for many years afterward.

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Monument at 8th and Vallejo

Monument at 8th and Vallejo

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