Over the years, they many different structures. So when it came time to try and rebuild some of the Forts actual buildings, these were constructed according to historical sketches and archeological investigations. The prison and guard post were two 12 foot by 16 foot buildings. The prison contained three small cells off a narrow hallway. The Guard house is only a one single room and the door faced the prison. They were built by volunteers of the Historical Society for the Fort Tejon.
The visitor center is not very big, but all the walls are covered with loads of historical information about the simple beginnings, it's development, its closure, and its rebirth to what it is today. I always enjoy the photographs and the wonderful done exhibits and displays. They also had a stand filled with lots of informational documents. The whole history is almost documented here.
The building houses the Rangers Office and the Visitor Center. There is a fee for entry, but it is on the honor system.
Due to department budget cuts and service reductions, Fort Tejon SHP is reducing its hours of operation to 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily until June 30th 2010.
The Park is open 7 days a week, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and for Special Events.
From the site: "On a hot dusty August day in 1854, a company of soldiers on horseback negotiated a steep rocky trail up and out of the southern San Joaquin Valley. The uniformed men wound their way up the wild grapevine covered canyon toward a grassy flat near the top of the pass. This beautiful tree-rimmed meadow become the U.S. Army post of Fort Tejon.
For almost ten years, Fort Tejon was the center of activity in the region between Stockton and Los Angeles. The Soldiers, known as Dragoons, garrisoned at Fort Tejon patrolled most of central and southern California and sometimes as far as Utah. Dragoons from Fort Tejon provided protection and policed the settlers, travelers and Indians in the region.
People from all over the area looked to Fort Tejon for employment, safety, social activities and the latest news from back east.
With continuing restoration and reconstruction work taking place, Fort Tejon invites you to a experience frontier California life of the 1850s and 1860s. Talk with soldiers who grumble about fatigue details. Visit the blacksmith at his forge, the carpenter in his shop, or the soldiers in the barracks.
Servants, cooks, officers, laundresses, and laborers are eager to share their stories with you.
Surround yourself with the sounds, sights and colors of the past. Smell and hear the bubbling stew simmering over open hearth fire place. Hear the musketoons fire, the blast of the cannon, the blare of the bugle, and see the clothing of the era.
Take part in everyday life at Fort Tejon. Shoulder a musket, mend cloths, polish brass, stomp around in the mud of the adobe brick pit, help churn butter, play along with children in a game of graces. Visit the officers Quarters and take tea with the Captain’s wife or sample the soldiers’ rations.
Come take a step back in time and join with the men, women and children of Fort Tejon. Relive a day out of the past. At Fort Tejon visitors are always welcome and the modern world is checked at the gate." Couldn't had said it any better.