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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

Picture of Enlisted Men's Barracks at Fort Stockton
Enlisted Men's Barracks

Fort Stockton, constructed of adobe and named for Robert Field Stockton, was established by the United States Army on March 23, 1859, at Comanche Springs, which was within the site of the present city of Fort Stockton, for the protection of the mail service, travelers, and freighters. Comanche Springs was a favorite stop on the Comanche Trail to Chihuahua, the Old San Antonio Road, the Butterfield Overland Mail route, and the San Antonio-Chihuahua freight-wagon road. Captain Arthur T. Lee, commanding Company C, Eighth Infantry, abandoned the post in April 1861. The post was reoccupied by Captain Charles L. Pyron, in command of Company B. Second Regiment, Texas Mounted Rifles, until it was abandoned by the Confederates after General Henry H. Sibley's defeat in New Mexico.

Picture of Guardhouse at Fort Stockton
Guardhouse

After the Civil War the fort was reoccupied by General Edward Hatch, who made it the headquarters for the Ninth United States Cavalry, a regiment of black troops who were used for patrols, escorts, and scouts, largely against the Apaches. After the defeat of the Apaches the army began withdrawing troops. Since their abandonment by the military, some of the officers' quarters have been used continuously for residences.

Picture of Officers' Quarters at Fort Stockton
Officers' Quarters
Points of Interest

Fort Stockton is located in Fort Stockton, on Hwy 290/67 on the way from San Antonio to El Paso. It contains three officers' quarters; a guard house with jailers' quarters, holding cell and solitary confinement; two enlisted men's barracks and their accompanying kitchens have been reconstructed. Open Monday—Saturday, 10–1, and 2–5. Admission. 300 E. 3rd. 915-336-2400

Annie Riggs Hotel Museum, 301 S. Main, built in 1899, a popular stop on the stage route. Restored and maintained by the local historical society. Fourteen room display area collections: 19th-century clothing, photography, Indian artifacts, cowboy regalia, kitchen utensils, geology, religion, Camp Stockton artifacts. Open daily Monday—Saturday 10–12 and 1–5; Sunday 1:30–5. Admission. 915-336-2167

Courthouse Square historic features include the 1883 courthouse, first Catholic Church (1875); first schoolhouse (1883); Zero Stone placed by a survey party in 1859, used as origin point for all land surveys in this part of West Texas. Nearby St. Stephens Episcopal Church (1872).

Grey Mule Saloon, a restored old saloon, was one of early-day "red-eye" dispensaries of West Texas. Callaghan and Main streets.

Historical Sites Tour, special signs provide guidance for a tour of historic sites. Historical notations date from days of Cabeza de Vaca's explorations in 1534, and other explorers such as Espejo in 1583, and Mendosa in 1684.

James Rooney County Park, on southern edge of the city at historic Comanche Springs. Swimming, picnicking and tennis courts.

Old Fort Cemetery, records on existing tombstones indicate few people lived beyond age forty.

Paisano Pete, at twenty feet long and eleven feet tall, is probably the world's largest roadrunner. US 290 at Main Street.

Tunis Creek Stagecoach Stop, former way station on Butterfield Overland Mail Route; later a Texas Ranger station. Historic structure was moved to a highway rest area on US 290, twenty miles east. Original location was approximately two miles south.

Visitor Information Center has information on dining, accommodations, events, other area information, I-10 and US 285. For information, call 915-336-8052; 800-336-2166.

Accommodations

Atrium the Inn, 1801 W. Dickinson, 915-336-2274
Atrium the Inn, 1305 NW US Hwy 285, 915-336-6666
Best Values Inn, 901 E. Dickinson, 915-336-2251
Best Western Sunday House Inn, 3201 W. Dickinson, 915-336-8521
Gateway Lodge, 501 E. Dickinson, 915-336-8336

Restaurants

Adams Pit Shop, Pecos Hwy. 915-336-8776
Alfredo's Mexican Restaurant, 2103 W. Dickinson, 915-336-7116
Best Western Swiss Clock Inn, 3201 W. Dickinson, 915-336-8521
Bienvenidos, 405 W. Dickinson, 915-336-3615
Gulf's Best Seafood House, Inc., 2003 W. Dickinson, 915-336-9977

Communities and Related Links
Fort Stockton Chamber of Commerce
Midland
Odessa

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