Pioneer life of the Old West comes alive at the Boggsville National Historic District south of Las Animas, Colorado. The Purgatoire River valley serves as a beautiful setting for this historic homestead site. Stand in the wagon tracks of the Santa Fe Trail and follow the paths of Kit Carson, Clay Allison, Chief Black Kettle and Wild Bill Hickock as you tour the area. The reconstructed homes of Thomas O. Boggs, John W. Prowers and Kit Carson give you a sense of life in the 1860s. A nearby buffalo herd and farm livestock round out the historic setting. Stop by the trade room and enjoy old fashioned refreshments while you browse the books and souvenirs.
During the summer months, you may see local re-enactors portraying notable characters of the Old West who visited and stayed at Boggsville. Some of the rooms are furnished with period furnishings and items, further enhancing the feeling of what life was like in this little civilized corner of an uncivilized area.
Boggsville was founded in 1862 by Thomas O. Boggs and was the last home of the famous frontier scout Kit Carson. In 1840, Thomas Boggs, son of then Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs and great-grandson of Daniel Boone, came to what would eventually become Colorado Territory to work with the Bent Brothers at Bentís Old Fort along the Arkansas River. In 1862, he settled along the Purgatoire (Picketwire) River south of present-day Las Animas and began a settlement known as Boggsville, which was the first white non-military outpost in this wild country. Boggsville thrived during the next decade and served as a center of trade, agriculture, education and culture and soon became an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail via the Boggsville Branch. In 1870, after the creation of Bent County, Boggsville became the county seat of Bent County. At it's pinnacle, Boggsville boasted about 20 buildings, the first schoolhouse in Bent County, a stage stop and trading house. It was a hub of activity until 1873, when the Kansas Pacific Railroad established the town of Las Animas two miles north. Boggsville started to decline, and by 1877 Thomas Boggs moved from the area.