Saturday, December 26, 2015

Fort Davis National Historic Site

Fort Davis played a major role in the history of west Texas. From 1854 until 1891, troops stationed at the post protected emigrants, freighters, mail coaches, and travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso road. Today it is one of the best examples of a frontier military post.

Before you enter the fort grounds, you pass this example of an Apache campsite that was at this site. Apaches passed through this area raiding travelers and settlers during the period the fort was built and existed. 

As you enter the Fort, you can hear one of the bugle calls which signaled the start or end of various activities at the fort. The sound helps you envision Fort Davis as an active military post. Click on the video.
video
Two of the enlisted men's barracks have been restored. The first one houses the Visitor's Center, and the second has exhibits depicting what life was like for the soldiers in the 1870s and 1880s.
The Visitors Center has a short video about the fort, and an interactive museum.
Two all black Infantry regiments served here after the Civil War.
 In the second restored barracks building are life-sized dioramas of life of the foot soldiers and calvary.
 On this end of the building, the barracks are restored to how they appeared in 1884.

Remains of other barracks and the restored Commissary in the background.
 Commissary building.
 Inside the Commissary, examples of supplies available to soldiers.
 Outside the Commissary, you can see the remains of four 2-story junior officer's quarters below the basalt cliffs on the eastern side of the Davis Mountains.
Close-up of the basalt columns. The campground I was going to is on the other side of that mountain.
 On the way to the Officer's Quarters, we pass the remains of the Post Chapel.

 Post Chapel
 Two of these 2-story Junior Officers' quarters are in the process of being restored, but are not presently open.
Looking at the parade ground. The Visitors Center is on the left, and a long row of Officers' Quarters on the right. In the background is Sleeping lion Mountain.
 Two of these Officers's homes are restored. This one was the Post Commander's home.

 Description of the rooms:
 Hall tree...this is for my brother who wants to see more pictures of "me" in my blog, lol.
 Grierson Master Bedroom. The portrait over the mantle is of the Commander's wife Alice and their two oldest sons.
 The home is decorated for Christmas.
 The back parlor with a music room on the right. Note the small "goose feather" tree on the table.

Behind each of the officer's houses was a separate kitchen. This one has been restored.

 Inside the kitchen/servant's quarters.
Way behind the the Officers' Quarters you can see the post hospital building.
 Examples of those who became patients of the hospital.
Post Hospital. It is furnished and part of the tour, but I didn't go there because I wanted to get Thistle out for a walk.
Another restored Officer's Residence:
 View down Officers' Row.


 Thistle and I hiked a trail partway up this mountain to get some overviews of the fort.
 You want to join us, don't you?
 How the barracks looked in 1871.
 The same view today.
 Officers' Row in 1885:
 And that view today. You can see the Post Hospital on the left.
 The Parade ground with barracks on the right, and officers' residences on the left.
After the tour I headed up into the Davis Mountains to the State Park Campground. That's the next post.

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