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Founded in 1866, Fort Bayard at first provided security (mainly by African-American “Buffalo Soldiers”) against Native American attacks on settlers during the settlement of the region in the 19th century. It was then converted into the army’s first tuberculosis sanitarium, and later became a VA hospital. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 2004.

The mission of the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society is to educate the public about Fort Bayard’s remarkable history through the promotion of the preservation, interpretation, and restoration of Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark. 

Among the steps we take to achieve our mission is the collection, exhibition, and interpretation of artifacts and documents relating to its history, and the creation and implementation of programming to inform the public about Fort Bayard.

Guided Tours

Enjoy our guided tours at the Fort Bayard Museum & National Historic Landmark Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. Special tour arrangements may be made by appointment.* Tours are led by Society members knowledgeable not only in the history of the fort and hospital, but in the broader history of the Southwest.

Guests are requested to meet in front of the Commanding Doctor’s Home and Museum, along the west side of the Parade Ground.

*For further information, or to book a large group tour on a specific date, interested parties may contact:

Doug Dinwiddie at 575-388-4862
Cecilia Bell at 575-388-4477
Becky Dinwiddie at 970-222-5084.


The Fort Bayard Historical Preservation Society operates a library/archive facility, located in the Santa Clara Armory Building at 11990 US Highway 180 near the Village of Santa Clara. This facility is available for researchers by appointment. To make an appointment, please call 575-388-4862 or 575-388-4477.

Upcoming Events

Winter Film Series
Classic Westerns

Free movies at the Santa Clara Armory Thursday evenings from January 11 to March 28, 2024. See our Events Calendar for more information!

“Where am I to Go?”

Following the Civil War, General Carleton requested that a new fort be established in what is now southwestern New Mexico, in the heart of the  Apache homeland.  Its mission would be to protect the miners, ranchers, and emigrant and business trails.

Doug Dinwiddie, Ansel Walters, and John Bell discuss the history of Fort Bayard in a podcast initially aired February 11, 2023.

World War I Era Photos Donated

The FBHPS has just received a generous donation of historic Fort Bayard photographs from Mr. Chuck Martin of Maryland.  The photos date from the era of World War I, and were taken by Army PFC C.E. Titus, when he was assigned as a staff member at the Fort Bayard Army Hospital.  Mr. Titus had given the collection to his sister Mamie Parker (1888-1966), and eventually passed into the possession of Mr. Martin, who then in turn passed them on to us.  The collection, which numbers over 100 images, also includes photos of several surrounding communities and places of interest.  Once they have been catalogued, the images will be used in exhibits, interpretive signs, and added to our organization’s research archive.  Below are two pictures from this collection.

Doctors and other medical staff at Fort Bayard Army Hospital during World War I.  
Doctors and other medical staff at Fort Bayard Army Hospital during World War I.  
Fort Bayard Hospital personnel and vehicles at the Town of Bayard Railroad Depot during World War I.
Fort Bayard Hospital personnel and vehicles at the Town of Bayard Railroad Depot during World War I.

Would You Like to Be Part of Our Efforts?

If so, there are many different ways that you can help:

  • Become a dues paying member of the organization
  • Actively engage in our operation by volunteering your time as a tour guide, collections curator, living history performer, building and grounds worker, records keeper and researcher, and many more options
  • If you would like to help, but feel like you need training, no worries, as that will be provided!

Members Make a Difference!

Already a member? Renewing your membership for 2024 is easier than ever! Click the Online Membership Application now!

Members receive a 10% discount at our gift shop!