Monday, March 31, 2014

Saturday Morning - Fort Phantom Hill - Abilene, Texas

Saturday was jammed pack - we started the morning with breakfast at the hotel, then on the road to see the first Fort that is just outside of Abilene, Fort Phantom Hill.

The guardhouse

We were both expecting a small place with just a few old rock edifices, the write up in our Texas Forts book made it seem like there was going to be not much to see.  Wrong! This was a pretty big Fort - most of the buildings are mostly gone, only two are still fairly intact, but the place is spread out over quite a large area.

The fort was built in 1851 for the Army to give settlers and miners headed to California safety from the Comanche Indians. It was only active for three years, the fort suffered from a lack of adequate water supply and building timbers were hard to find in the area.  It was abandoned in 1854.  In 1858 the fort was utilized as a way station for the Overland Mail on the Butterfield Trail, and again during the Civil war as a field operations site.
 The old hospital building fireplace is still standing
The magazine building where they stored munitions - it still smelled like gunpowder in there!

The fort was on private property for a long time, but recently has been acquired by the Fort Phantom Foundation of Abilene, and there is a nice entry sign marking the site.
 Because we always look for the cannon!

"When I say to you that we have a beautiful valley to look upon, I have said everything favorable that could be said of this place.  We are camped in a grove of blackjack two or three hundred yards of the creek which is salt.  Everybody is disgusted.  Like the Dove after the Deluge, not one green sprig can we find to indicate this was ever intended by man to inhabit.  Indeed I cannot imagine that God ever intended for white man to occupy such a barren waste." -- Lt. Clinton W. Lear

No comments:

Post a Comment