Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fort Croghan Day

Fort Croghan Day is coming soon! Fort Croghan Day is a celebration of the original Texas settlers who were brave enough to make the sometimes dangerous yet stunningly beautiful rolling hills of central Texas their home. Fort Croghan Day is held at the Fort Croghan Museum in Burnet, one of the first four military forts built by the U.S. Army in 1849 during their efforts to protect settlers from attacks by the Comanche.

Fort Croghan is remarkably well-preserved. The sturdy, oak buildings of Fort Croghan once served officers and soldiers alike with a hospital and officer’s quarters. The buildings also offered the promise of protection for local residents during possible attacks. It was this promise of protection that helped establish confidence in the settlers that their families would be safe, and Burnet and the surrounding area quickly grew to such an extent that military protection was no longer necessary.

Fort Croghan was closed in 1853. It is now a museum with Old West artifacts including a 100-year-old square grand piano, an 1852 ballot box, saddles and old jail doors from the county jail. Most of the items on display date back to around 1875. There are many cabins still intact, such as the blacksmith shop, stagecoach house, powder house, and schoolhouse.

On October 10th, the Fort Croghan Museum will hold its annual Fort Croghan Day, a demonstration of how life was lived on the Texas frontier and specifically within the walls of Fort Croghan. There will be demonstrations by craftspeople such as blacksmiths and bakers, and lessons held in the classroom of the school house. There will also be live music and, as always, plenty of people willing to talk about the history of the area. Fort Croghan Day will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission and parking is free, though they do accept donations, which I am certain are greatly appreciated.

Fort Croghan is in Burnet, Texas at 703 Buchanan Drive, or Highway 29 West. It is open for visitors from April to October, Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can call them at: (512) 756-8281. Their web page is at: http://www.fortcroghan.org/index.htm

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