Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site, October 2016

We arrived at Ft. Richardson State Park and Historic Site yesterday, and we’ll leave in the morning. We’ve been pretty busy since we’ve been here. This is a nice little park, and I hope we can make it back one day as there is quite a bit to do.

One of the more unusual designs I've seen for a park headquarters.
Low water crossing over Lost Creek.
First and foremost for me, the park is a historic site, the home of Fort Richardson. The northernmost of a line of frontier forts from the Red River in the north to the Rio Grande in the south, Fort Richardson was established in the fall of 1867 on the banks of Lost Creek. The post played a major role in the activities which led to the Indians of the region, mostly Comanches and Kiowas, to be forced onto reservations in Oklahoma Territory, thus opening the frontier to settlement. Probably the most notable of all post commanders at Fort Richardson was Ranald S. Mackenzie, who was stationed there from April 1871 to December 1872. He played perhaps the single most important role in subduing the Native Americans.

Today, only a few buildings remain on the post grounds. The most prominent of these is the post hospital. The post was abandoned in 1878, but it roared back to life briefly in 1940, just prior to World War II, when it served as the mobilization area for the group that later came to be known as the “Lost Battalion.” The story of these brave soldiers is another story, and I leave you to Google this on your own. The marker below will help get you started.

Historic marker about the Lost Battalion. Theirs is a great story.

Post hospital

Officer's quarters

Activities at the park include camping, hiking, fishing, and swimming, among others. For RVers, there are only 4 full-hookup sites (sites 1 - 4); however, cabins C1-C8 have full hookups for those who want this type of camping experience. All other RV sites have electric and water only. The sites on the east side of Lost Creek tend, in general, to have shade on the west side, while the sites on the west side of Lost Creek tend to have shade on the east side. The exception to this would be sites 13 – 23 which tend to have full shade.

Quarry Lake near the entrance to the park. That is the HQ at right center in background.

This is site 22, which has full shade. Note the solid rock behind the site. We were assigned site 3, which is basically behind this site, but 15 or so feet above it.

This is one of the cabins. Click to enlarge the picture, and you will see the sewer connection as well as other utilities so that RVS can connect.

We stayed in site 3. Most sites are long enough to accommodate both trailer and tow vehicle.

The table and fire ring were a bit away from the site, but that really did not bother us.

One of the nice things about this park is that it sits on the southern edge of Jacksboro. It is easy to venture into town for groceries, sight-seeing, or dining. We enjoyed a good lunch during our stay at Casa Grande on the east side of the square. It’s not the best Mexican food we’ve ever had, but quality was quite good, service very good, and the prices were reasonable. We'd certainly go back.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is another travel day. I have at least two other entries for this park, though. It may be several days before I am able to post these, so hang in there and I'll see you down the road.

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