Destination :: Fort McKavett State Historical Site

  • Fort McKavett SHS: The ruins of the Officers' Quarters stand under a blue sky.

    Officers' Quarters. May 2018. Image 1/5

  • Fort McKavett SHS: The ruins of a wall and fireplace of one of the enlisted men's barracks stands open to the sky.

    Enlisted Barracks. May 2018. Image 2/5

  • Fort McKavett SHS: A restored residence building sits behind the low ruins of a wall.

    A restored residence building. May 2018. Image 3/5

  • Fort McKavett SHS: A cannon sits on the porch of a residence, aimed through another porch to the distant hills.

    Cannon . May 2018. Image 4/5

  • Fort McKavett SHS: A scissortail flycatcher perches on a fence.

    Scissortail Flycatcher. May 2018. Image 5/5

Fort McKavett was established in the early 1850s to support local settlers and travelers through the area. Today, it is one of the best-preserved forts from the Texas Indian War period (1850-1875).

Brief History

1600s
Apache tribes dominate what is now the Texas Panhandle.1
1700s
Comanches begin moving into Texas.2
1749
Four Lipan Apchees chiefs sign a peace agreement with the Spanish and agree to allow missionaries in their territory.3
1757
After one failed mission attempt, the Spanish build the Santa Cruz de San Sabá mission in an area contested by the Apache and Comanche tribes. A protective fort, Presidio San Luís de las Amarillas, is built a few miles upstream. Within a year, both the mission and fort are attacked, looted, and burned; the mission is abandoned soon after.4
1772
The Spanish abandon the fort in the face of a strengthening Comanche hold in the area.5
1848
While Mexico had been unable to defend its northern territories against Native raids for some time, the end of the Mexican-American War officially made the U.S. Army responsible for protecting Anglo settlers in the area.6
1851
The U.S. Army considers building a fort on the location of the old Spanish presidio, in 1851 Brevet Major General Persifor Smith selects a location upstream, at the head of the San Saba river.7
March 14, 1852
Fort McKavett is established to protect settlers and California-bound immigrants.8
1852
The Officer-of-the-day station and sentry post are constructed by the 8th Infantry.9
1856
The Commanding Officer's quarters is built.10
February 1859
Fort McKavett is abandoned when the displacement of Native tribes to reservations and changes to the immigration routes reduce conflicts in the area. The THC historical marker says the fort was abandoned March 22, 1859.11
April 1, 1868
Following the Civil War, tensions between U.S. colonists and local Comanches rise, resulting in the re-opening of the fort.12
1874
A new hospital building and a schoolhouse are built. All enlisted men are taught to read and write, including freed slaves.13
1875
The Texas-Indian War ends with the forced relocation of local tribes to reservations in Oklahoma, ending conflicts in the area.14
1882
The U.S. Army orders the abandonment of Fort McKavett. However, it had become a major supply source for more distant forts, and the logistics for withdrawing all of the supplies took nearly a year.15
June 30, 1883
Company D of the 16th Infantry Regiment withdraws from the fort. Local residents begin using the buildings.16
1920a
Civilian population of the site peaks at around 150 individuals.17
1936
A historical marker commemorating the history of Fort McKavett is placed on site.18
May 17, 1968
The fort is designated a state historic site.19
1968-landmark
The officer-of-the-day station and sentry post are designated a Texas Historic Landmark.20
1973
The last of the local residents leaves the fort.21

Location

7066 FM 864
Fort McKavett, Texas, 76841
United States

Website

Evaluation

Once or Twice is Enough

Worth a visit if you are passing by.

Visits: 1 Visited: May 2018

Quick Statistics

Established
1852
Abandoned
1859
Reopened
1868
Abandoned
1883

Notes

  1. "Cultural Collisions in the Hill Country," Texas Beyond History.
  2. "Cultural Collisions in the Hill Country," Texas Beyond History.
  3. "Cultural Collisions in the Hill Country," Texas Beyond History.
  4. "Cultural Collisions in the Hill Country," Texas Beyond History.
  5. "Cultural Collisions in the Hill Country," Texas Beyond History.
  6. "Cultural Collisions in the Hill Country," Texas Beyond History.
  7. "Post on the San Saba," Texas Beyond History.
  8. "Fort McKavett History," THC.
  9. "Details for Sentry Building," THC.
  10. "Post on the San Saba," Texas Beyond History.
  11. "Fort McKavett History," THC; "Details of Site for Fort McKavett," THC.
  12. "Fort McKavett History," THC.
  13. "Post on the San Saba," Texas Beyond History.
  14. "Fort McKavett History," THC.
  15. "Post on the San Saba," Texas Beyond History.
  16. "Fort McKavett History," THC.
  17. "Post on the San Saba," Texas Beyond History.
  18. "Fort McKavett History," THC.
  19. "Details for Sentry Building," THC.
  20. "Fort McKavett History," THC.
  21. "Details of Site for Fort McKavett," THC.

References

  • "Cultural Collisions in the Hill Country." Fort McKavett and Hill Country Frontier. Texas Beyond History. June 30, 2003. Accessed September 2, 2018. Link.
  • "Details for Sentry Building (Atlas Number 5327004642)." Texas Historic Sites Atlas. Texas Historical Commission. Accessed September 3, 2018. Link.
  • "Details for Site of Fort McKavett (Atlas Number 5327004795)." Texas Historic Sites Atlas. Texas Historical Commission. Accessed September 3, 2018. Link.
  • "Fort McKavett History." Fort McKavett. Texas Historical Commission. April 8, 2016. Accessed September 3, 2018. Link.
  • "Post on the San Saba." Fort McKavett and Hill Country Frontier. Texas Beyond History. June 30, 2003. Accessed September 2, 2018. Link.