Today is going to be a full and long day as we are driving up to Natchitoches (Nack-a-Tish) in NW Louisiana around 125 miles via Hwy 171 and 6 from Lake Charles. Will write a separate blog on this.
On the way we stopped at 3 forts as described below. They are located on the El Camino Real (Hwy 6 in Louisiana and Hwy 21 in Texas which has existed for over 300 years. It's easternmost part begins in Natchitoches and runs to the arid lands of Old Mexico in Crockett TX.
Our first stop was Fort Jesup SHS on Hwy 6 in Many, LA. Upon arrival discovered the museum closed due to budget constraints. We were able to do a walking tour with markers of now long demolished ruins. The reconstructed Officers' Quarters house is now a musuem. The kitchen is the only historic structure remaining. Markers show where the soldiers' quarters were.
|Plaque for Fort Jesup|
|Site of Barracks|
|Officers' Quarters, Now Museum|
Fort Jesup was built in 1822 after the territorial boundary was set by the Florida Purchase Treaty of 1819. The garrison was commanded by Zachary Taylor and the fort remained an important military post for almost 25 years. In 1845, half of the US Army traveled through Fort Jesup en route to the war with Mexico. In 1846 as it was no longer needed as a border outpost it was abandoned. The fort once housed 82 structures. The soldiers performed many duties including opening the frontier to American Settlers, building roads. surveying the frontier and negotiating treaties.
Our next stop was Los Adaes just off Hwy 6 in Robeline. Los Adaes was once the capital of Texas. There was good cooperation among the French,Spanish and Native Americans. A fort and mission were established here and served as the capital and province of Texas for 41 years. No remains are left, just outline of the fort and mission. Museum was open. Los Adaes consisted of a fort, mission and presidio.
|El Camino Real Road Sign|
|Display in Museum|
|Scale Model of Fort|
Upon arriving in Natchitoches we toured Fort St Jean Baptiste SHS. A replica was completed in 1979 located on Cane River Lake (formerly Red River). The fort was established in 1716 to prevent the Spanish forces in the province of Texas from advancing across the border of French Louisiane. The fort continued to serve as a military outpost until 1762 when France's defeat by England forced the country to cede the colony to Spain. By 1803 the fort was in ruins.
|Warehouse & Magasin|
We arrived back at camp around 600PM.
Tomorrow we are going to tour the Capital Grounds in Baton Rouge, another long day.