Fort Mojave, Arizona, established initially as Camp Colorado in April 1859, the fort was situated on an eastern bluff overlooking the “Mojave Road” or “Beale’s Road” and the Colorado River crossing that had become popular with settlers and miners headed for California. The post was established to provide shelter for emigrants and a base of operations against the sometimes hostile Mojave Indians.
By order of Brigadier General Edwin V. Sumner, the fort buildings were burned down in May 1861 to not fall into Confederate hands. Just two years later, however, the fort was rebuilt and re-garrisoned in May 1863 to protect travelers once again and cultivate friendly relations with the Indians.
On September 29, 1890, the War Department turned the post over to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and all troops were evacuated to other posts. A military-style boarding school was housed in the old fort buildings that schooled various Indian tribe members from Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. The school continued until 1935.
The site today displays just a very few ruins atop the bluff overlooking the Colorado River just south of present-day Bullhead City. It is now part of the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation.
By Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated February 2022.