Fort Davis National Historic Site

Description

Fort Davis National Historic Site has a history stretching back to 1854, when the Comanche and Apache in western Texas were attacking travelers along the San Antonio-El Paso road often enough that the U.S. Army established and began construction of Fort Davis. Named after Secretary of War (and later Confederate President) Jefferson Davis, the fort was intended to protect government mail contractors, stage operators, and immigrants using the region's trails. From 1857 until 1860, the army experimented with camel transportation and sometimes used Fort Davis as a stopover during various trial expeditions. The post was abandoned at the outset of the Civil War, temporarily occupied by Confederates until 1862, and found mostly in ruins when the army returned in 1867. Reestablished nearby by a contingent of the 9th U.S. Calvary, one of the famed African American "Buffalo Soldier" units created after the Civil War, the post served as a base for operations against groups of Apaches and Comanches. With the end of the Indian Wars, the Fort Davis closed in 1891. Today the five restored buildings of Fort Davis National Historic Site have been refurbished to the 1880s which was the period of peak growth at Fort Davis.What to see and do: For a couple of hours, you can relive the western Texas frontier. In a restored barracks now serving as the visitor center, inspect the museum's exhibits, enjoy a video show, and obtain an orientation to the rest of the site. This building and three others have ramps, and an electric cart is available. Outside, your self-guided tour takes you through several fully restored buildings such as an enlisted mens' barracks, officers' kitchen, and commanding officers' quarters.During summertime, Fort Davis National Historic Site hums with activity as costumed rangers and volunteers give talks and demonstrations at several locations around the old post. Throughout the day, historic sounds of bugle calls and a dress retreat parade fill the air and stir your imagination. After you've seen the buildings, find the trailhead behind the officer's quarters. Several hiking trails allow you to explore the 474-acre site including the Hospital Canyon Trail, and Northridge Trail, which connects with the adjacent state park trail system.Living history activities are scheduled a few times a year. Call ahead for details. The site, open from 8 AM to 5 PM is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

Address

PO Box 1379
Fort Davis, TX 79734

Lat/Long

30.59616200, -103.89090500
Visit Website
(432) 426-3224

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