As part of my birthday weekend, we took an impromptu trip to Brady, Texas which is about an hour or so from Fort McKavett State Historic Site. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do for my birthday, I just knew I had to get out of the house. So we made the 2-hour drive west to Brady, Texas where we would spend the weekend and use it as our base camp. You can watch our Fort McKavett video tour below.
We got up early Saturday morning and headed out to the old forgotten town of Fort McKavett, which is where Fort McKavett State Historic Site is located.
As we pulled into the parking lot, we realized we were the only ones there and headed into the old hospital building which houses the museum, gift shop, research library, staff offices and restrooms. This is also where you go to pay your entrance fee.
Before checking out the grounds, we decided to do the short nature trail that that leads to the lime kiln and springs once used by Soldiers at Fort McKavett. The nature trail is easy, but not well marked. It splits off and we were unable to figure out how they reconnect and ended up making our own trail to get over to the lime kiln and springs.
Once we were back on the grounds, we started our self-guided tour at the hospital which was completed on January 27, 1873. Behind the hospital are two sinks (which we found out are what they used to call outhouses/bathrooms) and the morgue (also called the dead house).
From there we headed toward the ruins of Barracks #1 which was originally built in 1852 and served as the first post hospital. There were a couple of other buildings that were not on the map.
Next, we headed to Barracks #3 which were the enlisted men’s barracks originally built in the 1850s as three separate buildings. In 1872 they were joined, which created the longest military building west of the Mississippi River. We really liked exploring these ruins. They created great photo opportunities.
After checking out Barracks #3, we headed towards the back of the property to check out the Bakery and Quartermasters Shops. The bakery, which was built in 1874 was still intact, was once the source for the daily ration of bread for up to 560 men. The Quartermaster shops were ruins of what was once the post blacksmith, wagon & wheelwright, and saddler shops.
We followed the back property line to make our way over to the Officer of the Day Quarters before heading over to Barracks #4 which housed Company B of the 8th U.S. Infantry Regiment in 1853.
From there we headed past the Post Headquarters, which were currently being renovated and inaccessible to the public, to the Captains Quarters. The Captains Quarters were furnished in period time and were built after the Civil War as the residences for the company commanders.
We then headed over to what became my favorite building of them all, the Post Commanding Officer’s Quarters. This was the post commander’s house, and while it is just the ruins it was still VERY neat to explore. It was the only two-story building at Fort McKavett. It was originally constructed in 1856 but was consumed by fire in 1941. You can still walk into the basement area and many of the fireplaces are still in-tact.
We took a quick look at the ruins of the Field Grade Officers Quarters which were built in 1871 before heading over to Lieutenants Row.
The houses on Lieutenants Row housed the families of the fort’s junior officers where they frequently had to share quarters. Several of them were built in the 1850’s as single room structures but additions were made after the Civil War.
Our last stop was at the schoolhouse which was established in 1874 after Army regulations required that schools be built for the education of soldiers and their families. This schoolhouse was operational until 1956.
It served as a supply base for West Texas and as a location for testing new weapons and equipment.
Breakfast was usually bacon, coffee, beans, and dried fruit.
Portions of all four Buffalo Soldiers were stationed here at some point during the Indian Wars.
The first Medal of Honor awarded to an African-American soldier after the Civil War happened here.
After the military left in 1883, nearby settlers occupied the fort’s buildings.
There is still an operational Mason lodge on the grounds.
Video Tour of Fort McKavett State Historic Site
Want to see us tour the entire fort and trail? Watch the video below for a first person view.
Fort McKavett Information
7066 FM 864, Fort McKavett, TX 76841
GPS: N30° 49′ 28.2″ W100° 6′ 37.8″
Bring Cash: Their phones don’t always work, therefore the credit machine doesn’t always work.
Bring Sunscreen & Water: There’s no shade, bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
5 and under: Free
Adult Tour Groups
$3 Per Person
(2 Adults/1 Child or 1 Adult/2 Children): $8
Each additional child: $1
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Like visiting old forts? Check out Fort Concho.