In 1936, World War Veteran, I.B. "Red" Rogers envisioned creating a solid and substantial fortress of memories that should stand for all time and be dedicated to the gallant Veterans of American wars, living and dead. Through Rogers’ undeterred efforts, this dream became a reality. On June 27, 1937, Fort Wootton Veterans’ Memorial Square, referred to as the “Fortress of Memory”, was dedicated to Veterans of all the wars in which American arms has participated.
Fort Wootton sits on a full city block in Trinidad, Colorado and consists of 6 veteran memorial buildings of uniform size and construction, an auditorium, an administration building, and two guard turrets, all constructed of native gray stone. The structures surround a courtyard with wartime field pieces decorating both the courtyard and the buildings. A nine-foot gray stone wall surrounds the entire Fort Wootton. Teller Ammons, Governor of Colorado in 1937, called Fort Wootton the most unique memorial ever created in the United States.
However, in 1942 for unknown reasons, the Las Animas County Colorado government evicted the Veterans from Fort Wootton and occupied the Fort with county service organizations. Las Animas County service organizations would occupy Fort Wootton for the next 76 years.
In 2009, the Las Animas County Veterans’ Council (LACVC), a nonprofit organization, was formed. LACVC members tirelessly fought to have Fort Wootton returned to the Veterans, as was its dedicated, original purpose. Finally, in June 2018, the Las Animas County Commissioners signed the deed for Fort Wootton over to the Las Animas Veterans’ Council.
LACVC is determined to rehabilitate Fort Wootton back into the greatest facility for the Veterans privately held in the country. But to do so, Fort Wootton must be rehabilitated to a safe, sanitary, and comfortable place in which all Veterans can come. Fort Wootton must have basic infrastructure brought up to date such as ADA-compliant bathrooms created for disabled Veterans. The heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing must be brought up-to-code. LACVC has visions to provide all services needed by Veterans, such as PTSD treatment facilities, suicide prevention, medical services, Veteran Service Office, and profession services just to name a few.
Please help us save this wonderful monument built for the Veterans who have served our country well and those to come after us. Please donate to rehabilitate the “Fortress of Memory” to its original glory and intention so that it can be returned to the most extensive, historical memorial dedicated to Veterans of War that exists in the United States.