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May 09

 Fort Phantom Hill – Abilene, Texas

Fort Phantom
Lines of chimney stacks is what greeted us as we took in some Texas state history at Fort Phantom Hill.  There was something ghostly about the ruins there.  A sort of uneasy feeling about walking around the grounds of the abandoned fort.  I imagine the soldiers stationed there had a similar feeling.  Kind of out in the middle of nowhere Texas in dry brush country hoping for a good water source which apparently, the soldiers of that time period did not have.  Rough life but somebody had to do it.
Abandoned Fort
Never officially named, probably was not the best of signs, but known as the “Post on the Clear Fork of the Brazos.”  Fort Phantom Hill was first established in 1851 as Texas seek to protect its settlers moving west.  Unfortunately, a water source was hard to establish and the army abandoned it in 1854.  So after it burned to the ground.  Leaving a dozen or so chimneys, stone powder magazine, a stone guardhouse, and an almost-intact commissary.  Some of the buildings were restored in 1858 to be a stage stop for the Butterfield Stage Company.  Once again it became a base of operations during the Civil War, but by the 1870s it days were numbered and eventually dried up when the railroad bypassed the area for Abilene.
Path at the Fort
The ruins of Fort Phantom Hill were in much better shape than I thought.  It offered interesting photo opportunities.  At the entrance to the fort there is an informational stand with an original map of the fort.  Makes it easier to visualize what it was like.  There is short marked trail that weaves throughout the ruins.  The trail is a gravely path but remember this is rattlesnake country so be careful when walking around the stone ruins.  Another visitor gave us a warning about seeing a snake however we did not see any during our time there.
Fort Phantom Abilene
To help make more sense of stop to old ruins I highly suggest taking you time to read the informational map and brochures.  It will give a fuller understanding of the fort and history.  Now I would say that Fort Phantom Hill is an interesting stop if you find yourself near Abilene, Texas.  However, it would not really be worth going out of your way to see.   Unless you have a hankering for the supernatural.  Legend has it that area is haunted.  Now we did not see any apparitions.  Though the ruins of an old fort coupled with an old farming community, Native American land, and just the amount of history in place like that. A person would have a pretty good storyline to an old-fashioned horror movie.

For our reviews of other Texas attractions, click here
Post of the clear fork of the Brazos
Fort Phantom Hill
Located at 10818 FM 600 Abilene, TX
Hours Of Operation: Dawn to Dusk 7 days a week 365
Cost as of this Posting: Free
For more information visit their website at http://fortphantom.org/

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