Established as a peacekeeping presence on the banks of the Rio Grande in 1865, Fort Selden played an integral role in protecting settlers and travelers in what are now the central and southern parts of New Mexico. During the 1880’s, Fort Selden housed multiple members of US Infantry and Cavalry, and also units of black troopers who were then known as Buffalo Soldiers. The soldiers were charged with the responsibility of protecting residents and travelers from desperados and Apache Indians.
In 1884, Captain Arthur MacArthur, Jr. took charge of Fort Selden as commander. He served in this position for two years, and later wrote that he and his brother "learned to ride and shoot, even before we learned to read and write.” Captain MacArthur’s command helped to reinforce control of surrounding territories, and played a major role in the future course of Fort Selden. With its key position, first-rate leadership and undeniable strength, Fort Selden proved so advantageous that by 1891 hostiles were no longer considered a major threat, and the fort was abandoned.
Even today, remnants of adobe walls and ruins of Fort Selden can be viewed via an interpretive trail and visitor center near Radium Springs, New Mexico. The New Mexico State Monuments Division oversees this exhibit on frontier and military life, and attempts to capture a glimpse of the history and existence of what was once Fort Selden.
$3. Sunday admission for New Mexico residents with ID is $1. Wednesday admission is free to New Mexico Seniors with ID. Children 16 and under are always admitted free.
Wednesday - Monday 8:30am - 5pm. Closed Tuesday.