This saloon was built in the 1890’s and was a popular hangout in Fort Stockton’s older wilder days. It now houses a coffee shop and an art gallery. I wonder what the cowboys from the early days would say about that?
Commanche Springs was the largest spring in the area flowing over 65 million gallons per day. By 1938, the spring had been tapped to the point that it stopped flowing. When the spring stopped flowing, the city built a pavilion and a swimming pool on the spot. The pool was named after the spring.
The St Stephen’s Episcopal Church was built in 1896, in Pecos, Texas. The congregation outgrew the church and it was sold to a congregation in Fort Stockton in 1958. The church was then moved and placed on land donated by Dr. D. J. Sibley.
The Pecos County Courthouse was built in 1912. To me this is how a courthouse should look. It is imposing, substantial and I admit I am a sucker for columns. Also on the grounds is a nice gazebo where they sometimes have concerts and other performances, some Veteran's Monuments, and a zero stone. A zero stone is used as a base point by surveyors.
This is actually the second jail built in Fort Stockton. It was completed in 1883 and enlarged in 1913. Numerous outlaws have been incarcerated here. Inside, on the first floor, are several displays relating to the jail and the sheriff's who ran it. The jail itself is on the 2nd floor. Admission is $2.
This building was built in 1899 of adobe blocks with Victorian wood trim using the Territorial style of architecture, and housed a hotel managed by Annie Riggs until her death in 1931. The 14 rooms now house a collection of clothing, photographs, Indian artifacts, religious objects, and much more. Note the cattle branding irons hanging on the wall in Photo 5.
Hours are 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday with extended hours during the summer. Admission is $3 for adults.
A good first stop would be the Visitors Center located in the old railroad depot. Here you can find information about attractions, hotels and restaurants in Fort Stockton, along with maps, brochures and other assistance.
In the center of the buildings on Fort Stockton you will find the parade field. The parade field is where the soldiers practiced different military drills, performed some of the maintenance and other chores, and held formal ceremonies.
Of the eight officer's quarters only three remain. Only one, Officer's Quarters #7 is open to the public. There are no furnishings inside but you get an idea how the quarters were built and how the officers lived. One room was left without plaster to show how the adobe construction was performed.
This wagon was built to resemble wagons used during the 1800s. For all my fellow John Wayne fans, this particular wagon was used in two of his films: "The Undefeated" and "The Commancheros". It is located by the guardhouse.
When Fort Stockton was commissioned on the current spot the first building put up was the guardhouse, which was built in 1868. Punishment for even minor infractions was very harsh although not as harsh as before the Civil War. Prisoners were required to do "hard labor" and were sometimes held in solitary confinement. When in the main cell they were in arm and leg irons.
This enlisted barracks was rebuilt to be as close as possible to original. It is furnished with items similar to those that would have been in an enlisted barracks in the 1800s. The building to the right was the kitchen and dining area.
There is a small museum located in one of the rebuilt buildings. It has several displays and also serves as a gift shop. This is where you will begin your tour, pay the entrance fee, and recieve a handout on the history of the fort along with a map/guide.
The history of military garrisons in Fort Stockton began with the establishment of Camp Stockton in 1858. The camp was named for Commodore Robert Field Stockton who distinguished himself during thr Mexican War. The first site was southwest of the current site for the fort; near the courthouse. The US Army withdrew from the camp in 1861. During the Civil War the camp was briefly occupied by the Confederate Army. The Fort Stockton you see today was established in 1867, and was an active fort from 1867 to 1886. Originally, there were 35 buildings on the fort two of limestone and the rest adobe. Today only four original buildings remain: three of eight officers' quarters and a guard house with jailer's quarters, three solitary confinement cells, and a larger holding cell. In addition, two Enlisted Barracks with kitchens have been reconstructed. The Fort Stockton Museum is housed in one of these buildings. Fort Stockton is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
The Fort Stockton Museum is open from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday. An admission fee of $2 is charged for adults; $1.50 for seniors; $1 for children 6 to 12; and free for kids under 6 (as of March 2010).
You have to stop and visit Paisano Pete. At 11 feet tall and 22 feet long, he is reported to be the largest roadrunner in the world. Pete is the mascot of the town and probably the most photographed attraction.