The 82-acre park was originally donated to Crockett County in 1965 by the Meadows and Benckenstein families for preservation and public use of the site and was transferred to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1968. Today it is managed by the Texas Historical Commission.
Originally established as Camp Lancaster in 1855, the fort was strategically located on the military road between San Antonio and El Paso, near an important river crossing which an early surveyor called Indian Ford. Fort Lancaster was one of four posts placed to protect the route. At the height of development, it consisted of 25 permanent buildings and had an average complement of 72 men and four officers.
During the Civil War, the fort was abandoned by the federal troops to be manned for a very brief period by the W. P. Lane Rangers (Texas Rangers). Company K of the 9th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers) occupied the Fort in 1867 and 1868. During their occupancy, a fierce and deadly one day battle was fought on the fort site, when a large party of Kickapoo attacked. They were repelled, but took 38 head of horses and mules after killing three civilian laborers. Eventually Fort Lancaster was abandoned and never garrisoned troops again.
Located approximately 33 miles west of Ozona, this site is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
Note: The Visitor Center at Fort Lancaster is currently under renovation. The site remains open for free tours of the fort ruins.
Facilities include Visitor Center, Picnicking, Trails, Nature Trail and Wildlife Observation and Photography. For more information, visit www.visitfortlancaster.com, call (432) 836-4391 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission: $4 adults, $3 students 6-18
Hours: 9am - 5pm closed some holidays
Address: 629 Fort Lancaster Road
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