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Fort McKavett State Historic Site

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1852, 1873. 7066 FM 864

Situated between low hills on a narrow plain overlooking the San Saba River, Fort McKavett was a U.S. Army post established as Camp San Saba in March 1852. Abandoned in 1859, it reopened in 1868 under the name Fort McKavett. Buffalo Soldiers from companies of the U.S. Cavalry garrisoned the fort and joined the force commanded by Colonel Ranald Mackenzie, participating in the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon in 1874, when the Comanche were defeated and removed to Indian Territory. The fort, which spread over 2,373 acres, included 4 barracks buildings and 12 officers’ quarters, along with stables, headquarters buildings, a bakery and other support buildings, and a 30-acre garden. The fort closed in 1883.

Many of the fort’s buildings were subsequently used as residences or commercial buildings by residents of the nearby town of Fort McKavett. The State of Texas acquired the land and opened Fort McKavett State Historic Site in 1968. The fort’s hospital now houses the park’s interpretive center. Restored buildings include one of the officers’ quarters, the fort schoolhouse, an enlisted men’s barracks, the post headquarters, a bakery, and a “dead house” or mortuary.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.



Gerald Moorhead et al., "Fort McKavett State Historic Site", [Fort McKavett, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 421-421.

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