History

Discover the History of an Eerie, Abandoned Texas Fort

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Correction: a previous version of this article mentioned the fort was on Galveston Island. This mistake has been corrected.

For history buffs, Texas is a great source of abandoned military sites and forts. Once a boon of activity in terms of strategic defense, these are the vestiges of a bygone era. One such site holds a wealth of history, and it’s open for tours. Don’t miss out on your chance to discover Fort Travis on Bolivar Peninsula. After many years since it was decommissioned, its state of preservation alone is a curiosity worth investigating.

Discover the History of an Eerie, Abandoned Texas Fort

Photo: Instagram/garlandfielder

Constructed in 1898, this 120-year-old complex was first used in WWI for the defense of the Port of Galveston. A 17-foot seawall was added on the Gulf side after the devastating hurricane of 1900 struck Galveston. In 1942, Fort Travis was enhanced to accommodate 2,500 servicemen. It was also outfitted with a variety of weapons, including four batteries with firepower ranging from 12-inch guns to 3-inch rapid-fire guns. German prisoner of war were held in the fort. Following the war, the fort was considered to be “war surplus.” As a result, it was purchased by a private company, the M and M Building Corporation. The deal came with a caveat: the old batteries must be available for citizens to use in an emergency hurricane situation.

Discover the History of an Eerie, Abandoned Texas Fort

Photo: Facebook/Theresa Coleman

In the 1960s, following the fort’s declaration as a civil-defense shelter, it was purchased by C. Pat Lumpkin Associates. Finally, in the early 1970s, the Galveston County Commissioners Court became the owners, and the location was made into a truly unique park for the public. Today the park features many grassy areas, picnic spots, a playground, and the seawall. Although visitors aren’t allowed to access the underground bunkers, within the historic walls of Fort Travis there’s so much that remains to be explored.  Families can take advantage of this wonderful place to visit and learn, as well as share quality time together. For more information on Fort Travis and how to plan a tour, visit the website link provided here for the Galveston County Beach and Parks Department.