Fort Mojave, Arizona, originally established 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, so they would not fall into Confederate hands. Just two years later; however, the fort was rebuilt and re-garrisoned in May 1863, to once again protect travelers and to 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 then 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 Weiser-Alexander, updated February 2020.