Fort Chadbourne is located midway between Abilene and San Angelo on Hwy 277 12 miles north of Bronte. Our last visit was in November 2011 and we were quite surprised at the new Visitor Center and Museum completed in 2012.
The museum houses thousands of military and Native American artifacts, many recovered from the fort site. Also 300 antique guns and rifles, cannons, Medal of Honor wall,stagecoach,antique bank and bar and library. Be sure and view the 20 minute movie before touring the fort.
|Visitor Center & Museum|
|Texas Sharp Rifle|
|Refrigerator of the Day|
Fort Chadbourne was established in 1852 by company's A & K of the 8th US Infantry to protect the western fronier and the Butterfield Overland Mail route. The fort housed as many as 450 or few as 50 men. At the start of the Civil War the fort was relinquished to the Texas Regimental Forces. At the end of the war, it was reoccupied by the 4th Us Cavalry and by 1873 it was decommissioned due to lack of water and deterioration and moved to Fort Concho. The Comanche and Kiowa were the two main tribes associated with the fort.
Building restoration is continuing with 6 buildings restored and stabilized including one of the barracks, officer's quarters and Butterfield Stage Station which is the only restored Butterfield Station in the state of Texas. All rooms in the Officer's Quarters are furnished with Odom family heirlooms.
|Ruins of Hospital|
|Barrack Ruins & Restored Barrack|
|Double Officer's Quarters|
|Exhibits in Station|
Thomas Lawson Odom was the first of 8 generations to call Fort Chadbourne home with the land purchased in 1877 for $500 in gold. They resided in what is now called the Double Officer's Quarters which burned in 1919 and restored in 2007. The land around the fort now consisting of 10,000 acres is used for grazing of buffalo and Texas Longhorns. 8 generations have resided at the Chadbourne Ranch. The names have changed over the years from Odom, Wylie and now Richards because of two generations of women.
The fort today is the Fort Chadbourne Foundation and is open Tuesday-Saturday. A donation of $8 is requested. I definitely recommend this stop if in the area.
Thank you Brent for giving us a tour and for bringing Sammy along for me to pet. Also, Budrow who hangs out in the museum got some pets too. Never pass up an opportunity for some dog time.