Camp Nichols was established at the command of the Military Department by Kit Carson, the noted trapper, soldier and Indian fighter in 1865. This was built on the Santa Fe Trail to serve as protection to the caravans against the marauding Indians and outlaws. It was supposed to have been in New Mexico, but it is actually in Oklahoma, four and one-half miles east of the New Mexico State line.
At one time, 300 soldiers with officers and equipment were stationed there. It had an advantageous location, both from the standpoint of viewing the surrounding country and protection, being on a high point and surrounded by canyons on three sides. The canyon to the northwest contains an ample supply of water from which the camp was supplied. Very little of the stone foundations and walls, both of the fort and the officers quarters outside the fort, still remain. A marker giving a brief account of Camp Nichols, may be seen 18 miles northwest of Boise City on the Kenton road.
Map drawn by Marian Russell and how she remembered the fort.
Additional Reading from the CHC Gift Shop.
"Land of Enchantment" the memoirs of Marian Russell