Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Abiline, TX 9/21/14

We are slowly working our way south to the Balloon Festival.  We just came out of 2 weeks at Lake Texoma Texas, where we did not snap any pictures, yet had a great time.  While there, Ryan our son drove in from Louisiana, with 3 kayaks and numerous fishing poles.  We fished and kayaked the lake with him and had a great time.  We caught catfish and stripper fish, had BBQ with him and wonderful visits too.

Abiline Texas, we did in a day as this was a stopover point for us.  Somehow, we expected to see more people here, but we also discovered that the city is very spread out.  We visited 3 sites and had some very delicious Fried Chicken at Belle's Chicken house for lunch (with enough leftovers for dinner too) Belles-Chicken-Dinner-House.  It was some very memorable Fried Chicken for sure.  They brought it to us family style with homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cream corn and yeast rolls.  Homemade cream corn is so different than the canned stuff for sure.....made from fresh shucked corn.  Worth trying if you have never had.......yum! 

Our first site we visited was Fort Phantom.  The fort was established 11/14/1851.  Conditions were very difficult at the fort-there were numerous Indian raids and water was scarce.  Due to these ongoing issues permission was given for the fort to be abandoned on 4/6/1854.  First lieutenant Givens before leaving the fort was said to have set it on fire.  He was acquitted at his first related court martial hearing and was given a nine month suspension in the second.  Although there was extensive fire damage, the fort continued to be a gathering point and used by the Overland Mail from 1858-1861.

The fort would be used once again during the Civil War and in 1871 it was a sub-post for Fort Griffin (Albany, Texas).  A town grew up around the ruins but by 1890 the fort was completely abandoned. 

What remains for visitors to explore today is the stone guardhouse, a partially intact commissary, the stone powder magazine and numerous stone chimneys.  More details can be read at: Fort Phantom

Next we were off to Buffalo Gap Historic Village.  The village had over 20 structures and numerous artifacts.  There were many interesting things to visit- The old Taylor County Court House, log cabins, a barber shop, a post office, bank, Texaco Gas station, the railroad station (with separate waiting areas for blacks and whites) and more.  We were surprised by all they had here and it was interesting for sure.  There is a lot more details to read about for those interested with more pictures too at: Buffalo Gap Village

Our last stop for the day in Abilene was Frontier Texas.  A worthwhile place to visit.  Their use of holograms to tell the history of Texas in the frontier days and the buffalo hunt days was excellent.  A worthwhile stop for sure. 

Fort Phantom Chimney Remnants
Fort Phantom Guard House
Fort Phantom Commissary
Fort Phantom Powder Magazine
Cactus growing though the Fort Phantom
stone wall (5 feet up)
Buffalo Gap Historic Village-
Magnolia Gas station later Texaco Gas Station
Gas Station
Buffalo Gap Historic Village-
Construction of Taylor County
Courthouse and Jail (1879)
Jail Construction
Buffalo Gap Historic Village-Clyde Railroad Depot
Frontier Texas-
Original Comanche
Buffalo Headdress


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