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Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Apacheria

Fort Leaton State Historical Park, consisting of 23.4 acres, five of which are the site of a pioneer trading post, is located in Presidio County. The park was acquired December 8, 1967, by deed from a private owner and was opened to the public in 1978.

History

In 1848, Ben Leaton built a fortified adobe trading post known as Fort Leaton. He dominated border trade with the Apache and Comanche Indians before he died in 1851. In 1936, the Texas Centennial Commission placed a marker at the site.

Activities

The park is day-use only and offers picnicking areas, guided tours, plus exhibits on the history from 15th century, natural history, and archaeological history of the area. The site serves for historical study activities.

Picture of Fort Leaton

Tours

There are guided tours; fees apply.

Picture of Fort Leaton

Facilities

Facilities include historic ruins, restored rooms, interpretive exhibits with an audio-visual program, restrooms, shaded picnic facilities, a .5-mile interpretive trail, and a Texas State Park Store. Fort Leaton serves as the Western Visitor Center for Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Directions

The park is located 4 miles southeast of Presidio on the River Road to the Big Bend (FM 170), one of the most scenic highway routes in the southest.

Picture of Fort Leaton
Photo from the Book, Texas Forts by Wayne Lease.
Communities and Related Links
Fort Leaton Web Site

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Further reading