Built on the banks of the Rio Grande, this adobe fort housed units of the U.S. Infantry and Cavalry. Their intent was to protect settlers and travelers in the Mesilla Valley from desperados and Apache Indians. A young Douglas Mac Arthur called the fort home while his father was post commander in the late 1880s. By 1890 criminals and raiding parties were no longer considered a threat as hostilities eventually lessened and the fort was no longer needed. Like many small forts in the Southwest the government decommissioned the fort and it was abandoned in 1891. Today the stark adobe brick walls of the frontier past evoke a feeling of personal connection to the past. A visitor center offers exhibits on frontier and military life.