Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fort Davis, Texas

Spring time just would not seem right to us without a trip to Fort Davis, Texas. The air is cool, in fact it is normally the coolest place temperature wise in Texas especially in the summer time.  The history and feel of the place is far more cool than the temps.  Below is the Fort Davis National Historic Site. You can hike about 3 miles on a nice trail from the fort over the The Davis Mountains State Park. Gorgeous views along the way. 
 History in a Pecan Shell

The county, town and fort were all named after Jefferson Davis, although the county had originally been Presidio County. Fort Davis was named prior to Davis' term as President of the Confederate States. As U.S. Secretary of War - Davis signed the order establishing the facility and was thus honored.

Originally the site of the fort was an Indian camp. A stage stop was set up in 1850 for the mail route between San Antonio and El Paso with a man named Diedrick Dutchover in charge. The Fort was formed in 1854 to billet the troops needed to patrol and protect the area from Apaches.

During the Civil War, the Confederate Army left Diedrick in charge of the fort, but he and his party were attacked by Apaches.and forced to abandon the place. In 1867, The Ninth U.S. Cavalry reoccupied the fort and the town experienced new growth as an important West Texascrossroads.

Ft. Davis had only 500 people in 1894, but the population remained between 700-1,200 for decades. Various plans to develop Ft. Davis as a tourist destination have failed over the years - not because they were bad ideas - but because of the deaths of the would-be developers. One such plan was instrumental in getting approval of Ft. Davis as a National Historic Site in 1961.

  • Fort Davis National Historic Site: Est. in 1854 - deactivated in 1891. This was the main Fort that garrisoned troops that patrolled the border from El Paso to San Antonio. The post was abandoned during the Civil War and re-occupied by troops of the 9th Cavalry. Museum. Open 9 to 5 daily except for major holidays. 
  • Davis Mountains State Park: 6 miles west of Ft. Davis on Park Road 3 off Hwy 118. 1,800 acres.
  • Overland Trail Museum : Former home of Nick Mersfelter, Barber, Justice of the Peace and versatile musician. Many historical relics of early life in the area
  • Chihuahuan Desert Visitor Center: A must-see for the visiting naturalist. On Hwy 118, 3.5 miles south of Ft. Davis. 915-364-2499. 
  • The McDonald Observatory: Nearby, on top of Mount Locke (Altitude 6,800 ft.) - 16 miles NW of Fort Davis. Managed and owned by the University of Texas. At the bottom of the mountain. Visitor's Center open daily 9 to 5. 1-877-984-7827.
    "There is one telescope here that’s owned by 5 universities, but not the whole complex. Everything here is managed and owned by the Univ. of Texas. Also, if anyone wants more information about the new Visitors Center here, they can check our website at or call our toll free information line at 1-877-984-7827. Enjoyed your site! Thanks." - Mark Cash, Public Affairs Specialist, U.T. McDonald Observatory, September 28, 2002 
  • Book Hotel Here > Alpine Hotels

    The Chamber of Commerce: 432-426-3015

  • Indian Lodge in the Davis Mountains State Park-

     View from the top of the trail down into Davis Mountains State Park:

     Old Fashioned Soda Shop on the main street in Fort Davis.

    The Hotel Limpia. A walk back in time. Lovely.

     Limpia Cafe:
     On our way home we stopped at the invitation of my big brother to hear Aaron Watson sing. 
    What a treat and what a nice guy.
     Even more importantly it was my sweet sister in law's birthday. She never ages. Seriously. Neither do her friends. 

     Had to make a stop on the way home at the best place to eat in Fredricksburg. 
    Old German Bakery and Restaurant. Yum.

     When you start dreaming of a peaceful, remote and lovely place to spend a long weekend or week think Fort Davis and take me back with you. 

    1 comment:

    Michelle said...

    This looks like such a fun trip. Beautiful scenes!