Mason County News
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Fort Mason - 160 Years Ago!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 • Posted July 20, 2011

On July 6, 1851, two companies of U.S. Army cavalry from the Second Dragoons arrived at a spring and set-up a tent camp one-quarter mile below and north of the high hill which became the site of Fort Mason. On that date the fort was officially established by Co. A. Second Dragoons from Fort Croghan (Burnet) under the command of Captain Fowler Hamilton of New York, and Lieutenant Horace F. DeLano of Conneticut; Co.B from Fort Martin Scott (Fredericksburg) was under Major H.W. Merrill who had scouted the area during the spring in search of another fort site. This scouting group located this place and gave the name of Fort Mason for one of its officers first killed in the Mexican War on April 25, 1846, near Brownsville.The soldiers began construction immediately of a fort on Post Hill. “The first building was of logs with two rooms. The officer’s quarters were built of stone; two rooms on each side with a hallway between and a lean-to at the side-back with verandas across the front and back.” An outhouse and kitchen were on the back side of the two officer’s quarters. (Come visit the reproduced building at the top of Post Hill).“The powder house was built of stone; the barracks of logs.” (Reports of Post Returns found in National Archives by Margaret Bierschwale)Monthly Reports were hand-written in triplicate and sent to San Antonio and Washington. Supplies came from Austin and San Antonio. Bids were made for forage to feed the many horses, about 100. Food was needed for the 150 soldiers, 20 being officers. Scouts were sent out weekly since protection from the Indians was a major purpose of the West Texas forts. This duty may have been a relief especially during the summer months when every day detail required continued construction of the buildings which became Fort Mason.Help us celebrate the 160th year of the fort during July. We hope you got to see our fort float in the Round Up parade, and that will encourage you to come up the hill for a visit!

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