In this area along the South Platte River, competing fur companies in the late 1830's established a string of four adobe trading posts — Fort Vasquez, Fort St. Vrain, Fort Jackson and Fort Lupton traversed by the Old Trapper's Trail which connected Fort Bent on the Arkansas with Fort Laramie on the North Platte. This country of wide horizons was the commercial center of a vast region. Here trappers, traders and Indians bartered calico, knives and beads for buffalo robes and beaver skins.
Built in 1835 by Louis Vasquez (later partner of Jim Bridger) and Andrew Sublette, this fort once was flanked by the South Platte River. In the spring of 1840 a Mackinaw boat was launched here loaded with 700 buffalo robes and 400 buffalo tongues. It reached St. Louis in 69 days.
Abandoned in 1842, the fort was ransacked by Indians. Later partly restored, it sheltered gold rush emigrants and troops during Indian troubles.
Fort Vasquez was reconstructed on its original site from adobe bricks made from remains of crumbling walls.
Weld County's so-called first court house stands near the gate.