The Fort Stanton State Historic Siteis a must-see historic attraction when visitingLincoln County. Few sites in the nation encompass the breadth of history seen at the Fort. Early cultures lived along the Bonito River, leaving behind rich archeological evidence of human occupation. Spanish and Mexican settlers established communities in the nearby area, long before the United States sent the military west to protect settlers journeying to the region from the indigenous Apache Indians who claimed the lands as their own. The Fort was established in 1855 and operated as a military fortification through 1896.