For some weeks, we have been describing Indian unrest and the U.S. Army response to the unrest by building Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs. Construction of Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs began late in 1878. By 1882, Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs had been shut down, replaced by Fort Lewis in Hesperus, near the La Plata River.
What had the Pagosa fort been like? An Army inspector, Maj. J.J. Coppinger, inspected Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs Aug. 13, 1879. His report probably contains the most accurate account of the buildings actually constructed there.