Text from Fort Bowie display case:

In 1894, eight years after the Geronimo Campaign ended, the U.S. Military could no longer justify Fort Bowie’s occupation and the fort was abandoned. Some of the buildings were temporarily used by miners and early ranchers. Cattle grazed the grounds. Local residents scavenged the fort for useful items. As the unattended buildings disintegrated, relic hunters roamed among the ruins, hoping to find historical treasures. By 1964, when the National Park Service acquired Fort Bowie, many artifacts had long since been removed.

When an artifact is removed from a historical place a piece of history is lost, but not always lost forever. Some relics are returned. The items in this case were taken from here by people who found them and later returned them to Fort Bowie so that we all may learn more about the fort’s historical past and the people who once lived here.