FORT GARLAND — Eileen Jaramillo-Breichler of Colorado Springs has grown up knowing she has deep roots in Fort Garland and historian Jack Rudder confirmed it when he noted that her daughter, Candace Syracuse, bears a strong resemblance to Josefa Jaramillo Carson, Kit's wife.
The family had been to Taos, N.M. where Kit and Josefa are buried and stopped at the Fort to continue looking at Eileen’s pioneer roots when they came into contact with Rudder.
Candace was with them and saw her own image in Josefa.
Josefa Jaramillo Carson, wife of the legendary Kit, once commandant of the fort.
Maria Josefa Jaramillo was fifteen when she married well-known frontiersman Kit Carson on Feb. 3, 1843. The 33-year-old Carson appeared fearless and decent and, to young Josefa, the image of forever.
She was his third wife and the first non-Indian.
Josefa died from complications after giving birth to their seventh child. She was born March 19, 1828, in Santa Fe, N.M.
Her father, Francisco Jaramillo, was a merchant, and her mother, Maria Apolonia Vigil, owned substantial acreage in the Rio Grande area of the state.
“I’m doing this for my dad,” says Eileen, who dressed the part and re-enacted life at the fort, with grandchildren Cecilia and Raileigh Syracuse Saturday at Fort Garland.
Dressed for the pioneer ball Saturday evening, the family, including husband Butch Breichler, was ready to dance.
As the two young girls played nearby, Eileen spoke with pride about her pioneer roots.
True history was only part of the annual Memorial Day Encampment at Fort Garland.
Reliving the past included sleeping at the fort, firing ancient canons, riding horses and explaining their care, dressing for the day nd evening, showing children at play, cooks at their work and all aspects of life at a pioneer fort.