In 2013, the current owners, Dori DeJong and Elaine Carleton, purchased the property. Dori grew up on a dairy farm directly south of where the Platte River Fort is located. She still owns part of the family farm just to the east of the fort property. That property has been in her family for decades.
Dori is a retired divorce attorney and had a dream to build a camp in the country for kids whose families are going through divorce. Dori believed it would be healing for kids to be removed from the often tense and difficult situation, even if for only a brief period of time. She also wanted urban kids to experience what life is like living on a working ranch/farm. When the Ream’s learned about Dori’s plans for a kid’s camp, a collaboration formed and the dream expanded.
Two years later, in March of 2015, Platte River Fort opened its doors! After two years of remodeling and the addition of six bathrooms, four suites, three bedrooms, three bunkrooms, the addition of a dining room that seats fifty and a world class, one of a kind gourmet kitchen they were finally ready to provide once in a lifetime experiences to their guests!
Historical Bent’s Fort was built in 1834 along the Arkansas River. It was a haven for army troops, western settlers and traders making the trek along the Santa Fe Trail from St. Louis to New Mexico.