September 11, 2009
American History Comes Alive at Fort Bayard Days
Old-fashioned games, crafts and dances, Buffalo Soldiers, Military re-enactments, and Native American history are
just a few of the activities that await visitors to this year’s Fort Bayard Days, September 18-19, 2009, at Ford Bayard,
located on the Trail of the Mountain Spirits Byway, six miles east of Silver City on State Road 180.
The Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society, sponsor of the annual Fort Bayard Days for the past eight years,
encourages children of all ages to take part in the free activities, all geared to teaching New Mexicans and their
visitors about the blacksmiths and gunfighters, Buffalo Soldiers and nurses, Native Americans, railroad workers and
settlers who set up shop in the New Mexico Territory. Living history centers will be set up around the parade
grounds. A flag ceremony at 9 a.m. starts the day. The learning centers will end at 2 p.m.
Fort Bayard was built in 1866 as an important Post during the Indian Wars. It was later converted to a health care
facility that that served veterans and still serves New Mexico.
Special events Friday (September 18) include noted Chautauqua performer Don Garate, who will entertain dinner
guests at the Fort Bayard New Deal Theater as "Juan Bautista de Anza: Spanish Explorer and Governor of the
Territory of New Mexico." Dinner will be prepared by Copper Creek Ranch. There is a fee of $12.50 for the dinner.
Reservations are required by Monday (September 14).
Special events Saturday (September 19) include free lectures: "1866 Army Surgeon" by Dr. Mallin of Albuquerque;
"Apache Scouts" by author Toby Giese of Kansas City, Missouri; "Military Letters from Fort Bayard” by Dr. Dale
Giese of Silver City; "Tuberculosis Sanitariums in Southwest New Mexico" by Nancy Owen Lewis of the School for
Advanced Research in Santa Fe; and the dedication of a plaque at the theater for Legislator Manny Herrera, who
died in 2007.
Special events also include a discussion on the future of Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark, moderated by the
Fort Bayard Steering Committee (2 p.m. Saturday); and a "Time for Healing and Sharing" by the Chihenne NDE
Chiricahua-Warm Springs Apache tribe of Oklahoma, with the Buffalo Soldiers and their officers (3 p.m. Saturday).
The Buckles and Bustles Military Ball is Saturday, 7-10 p.m., at the New Deal Theater at Old Fort Bayard (no dance
experience required); and a walking tour of Old Fort Bayard including entrance to the Commanding Officer's Home,
also on Saturday.
Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Old Fort Bayard and
its history. Event sponsors include Am Bank, Aunt Judy's Attic, Copper Creek Ranch, First New Mexico Bank, Fort
Bayard Medical Center, Haven's Construction, Holiday Inn Express, New Mexico Endowment for the Arts, Silver
City Woman's Club, Silver Health Care, Terraza's Funeral Chapel, The Westerners, Town and Country Garden Club,
Trail of the Mountain Spirits Byway, USA Cleaners, Western Bank, and Yada Yada Yarn.
For more information call 575-956-3294 or 307-640-3012; or visit www.fortbayard.org, www.tmsbyway.org, or
Mike Stauffer, Communications Director, New Mexico Tourism Department