Saturday, November 26, 2011

Driving by Fort Tejon

On the way south to visit Mom--that is Southern California, not the Confederacy--I drive by a wonderful place that is very important to the Civil War history of California. Fort Tejon was established in 1854, and was a Dragoon post intended to guard Tejon Pass and control local Native Americans. In 1858, it also became a station on the Butterfield Stage overland route.

It was a small fort, 225 men, I think, at most. There were camels, but not for long. By 1861 it was evacuated, and its men sent to Los Angeles because of the Civil War. It was regarrisoned in 1863 by California volunteers, but by 1864, it was again vacant.

For nearly 30 years now it has been a Civil War re-enactment site, but this may end. It is on California's list of probable park closures. This would be just terrible. The Fort, through the efforts of their volunteer organization, the FTHA, has done everything it can to comply with requests of the State, and to enhance the programs at the Fort for the California school children and citizens who come every year.

One thinks of saving battlefields in the East, and that is surely necessary, but there is a lonely, lovely little fort in the Tehachapi Mountains that needs help as well. The link below is to the Fort Tejon Historical Association website, where there is more information on how to help save this landmark. Please click the link, and think about doing something. Please?


  1. Yes, please send your letters and attend events. It will make or break the State's decision to close or save Fort Tejon!! And of course spread the word. We appreciate your support!

  2. "It was regarrisoned in 1863 by California volunteers, but by 1964, it was again vacant." whoops, um, I think it was um 1864... :D"
    otherwise good article.
    -John D. in Lebec, Ca.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Once Fort Tejon closes, it will be subject to theft, arson, destruction and vandalism. Fort Tejon is not only part of California history but U.S. History. By standing aside and allowing it to be closed we would be letting “them” to rob our children and future generations from learning about the Fort, its history, its structures, and what life was like in California during the Civil War era. Fort Tejon is not just an ordinary park but a state HISTORIC park. There are people buried in its grounds!!!
    ~ Karina Mooradian

  5. Dear Ones--this post has had a lot of hits, so maybe it will help. To Anonymous--I fixed the date. I guess I sort of think of all the reenactors that have been working there for so long as regarrisoning the Fort as well, but the mistake was a typo. Not to worry--I have had Mr. Lincoln killed in 1965! If it weren't for good eyes, things like this might get by.

    I will continue to post regularly about Tejon, if you think that will help.

  6. Thanks for briging this to our attention outside of California. I just sent an email to state officials, and hope others will do the same!

  7. I first visited Ft. Tejon with my family in 1975 . as a 12 yo , it didn't dawn on me what a significant piece of history we have in Ft. Tejon . Now 36 years later , as the President of the FTHA , I am doing every thing I can to keep this hollowed ground from being forgotten .

    Thank you Meg for all your years at the Ft. and for bringing it to the more peoples attention !!!!

    Steve Mata

  8. How ironic that my first interest in reenacting started at the Fort and just recently I did the 150th Anniversay reenactment at Manassass as an 11th NY Fire Zouave that was formed by Col. Ellsworth. I will continue my efforts to lobby my assemblymember and senator to keep Ft. Tejon open. Thank you, Meg.

  9. What a coincidence indeed! I'd love to speak to you about the 11th NY, Sean, etc. I check you guys out on Facebook a lot. I'd love to know how the 150th Manassas went. The 125th was my first "back East" experience as a reenactor, & I remember being so nervous that we, as Californian, wouldn't measure up to the guys from the East Coast. In retrospect, we did pretty well!

  10. They should be ashamed of them selves.Lets tell them how we feel in 2012.