Category: Tesoro Cultural Center

Tesoro’s Annual 1840s Rendezvous and Spanish Colonial Art Market

Step back in time with Tesoro Cultural Center’s 1840s Rendezvous and Spanish Colonial Art Market. Each year, Tesoro Cultural Center commemorates Far Western Mountaineers and the Fur Trade, including trappers, traders, American Indians, Hispanics, teamsters and military of the Bent’s Old Fort era (1833-1849). Bent’s Fort, of which The Fort Restaurant is an exact replica, was an important fur trading fort that operated along the Santa Fe Trail in the early 19th century.

This annual celebration will take place … Read the entire post >

Jerky Along the Santa Fe Trail

Today, we think of beef jerky in its signature stick form: easy to grab for an afternoon snack or a quick energy boost on the hiking trail. During the Fur Trade era, however, beef jerky often made the difference between eating at all, or going hungry.

Although the concept of drying meat had existed for centuries, it became particularly important to hunters, traders and travelers of the mid-19th century as a way to preserve meat without refrigeration during long journeys.… Read the entire post >

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Welcome, Indian Market Artists!

Over the first weekend of June, Tesoro Cultural Center will celebrate its 19th annual Indian Market & Powwow. One of our favorite aspects of this cultural celebration is the juried art show and marketplace, featuring the inspiring work of American Indian artists, many of whom have won awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum in Arizona. We are excited to feature a few of the artists joining us this year – some for the very … Read the entire post >

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The Life of Kit Carson

In the Southwest, the name Kit Carson is almost synonymous with “fur trapper” or “frontiersman.” This real-life historical figure became the subject of folk lore and legend even in his own time, as he expanded the fur trade and forged new trails across the West during the mid-19th century.

Raised in Missouri in the early 1800s by poor farmers, Carson made his way west to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1826. He began fur trapping two years later, moving north … Read the entire post >

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The History of Fur Trade Meals

In the mid-1800s, the fur trade expanded to the American West, with mountain men trappers, merchants and American Indian tribes eager to exchange their wares at trading posts across the frontier. While the opportunity to swap pelts, ammunition and ingredients initially brought these traders together, the meals they shared at these posts provided rare and welcome moments of community on the expansive prairie.

At popular trading posts like the original Bent’s Old Fort, guests were welcomed with an impressive meal. … Read the entire post >

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Recipe: Indian Fry Bread

The exact roots of Indian Fry Bread and its traditions are unknown, but Sam’l P. Arnold – co-founder of Tesoro Cultural Center – believed it could not have been made prior to when the American Indians began trading with settlers. Once they were able to trade for metal kettles, frying became a common cooking technique for American Indians and it is believed that Indian Fry Bread was initially introduced to them in the form of German or Dutch donuts, called … Read the entire post >

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The Life of Silas Soule

Captain Silas Soule is best known for refusing to participate in the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, where 150 unarmed Cheyenne and Arapaho women and children were murdered in present-day southeastern Colorado. Because of the testimony and letters Soule left behind, the truth behind the Sand Creek massacre is known.

(Photo: Kansas Historical Society)

Born in Maine in July of 1838, Soule was raised in an abolitionist family. In 1854, Soule’s father and oldest brother left for Kansas to join … Read the entire post >

The Life of William Bent

William Bent, a prominent trader during the Fur Trade era, was born in St. Louis in 1809. Bent followed his older brother, Charles, into the fur-trading business as a young man.

(Photo: Fine Art America)

William and Charles Bent formed the Bent St. Vrain Company, which specialized in American Indian trade. After traveling the Santa Fe Trail several times, the Bent’s – along with Ceran St. Vrain – formed Bent’s Fort, an adobe outpost along the north bank of the … Read the entire post >

Tesoro’s Team of Interpreters

Adult and Senior Education Programs

Tesoro Cultural Center was founded with the mission to create community-based events and educational outreach programs that celebrate our cultural heritage. Inspired by Colorado’s rich history, our events and programming feature traditional arts created by renowned artists, historical demonstrations and reenactments, music and more.Adult and Senior Education Programs

Tesoro Cultural Center’s core programming wouldn’t be possible without our dynamic team of historical interpreters. Tesoro’s interpreters strengthen ties between Tesoro and its visitors through advanced interpretative techniques that promote and create living history experiences for … Read the entire post >

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