History

Fort Wolters: Former Military Base is a Treasure Trove for Urban Explorers

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Driving 180 to Lake Mineral Wells State Park will lead you to yet an interesting Texas tidbit from the past—the decaying military base of Fort Wolters. The base was deactivated in the 1970s, but it remains open for military aficionados and urban explorers.

Located four miles outside of Mineral Wells, Texas, this U.S. military installation was an official Army camp for 21 years, from 1925 to 1946. Following World War II, Fort Wolters was abandoned and sat deactivated for a number of years prior to reopening in 1951 as an Air Force base. It served as a site for the training of Air Force engineers and was eventually repurposed numerous times. However, its final deactivation came in 1973.

Fort Wolters: Former Military Base is a Treasure Trove for Urban Explorers

Photo: Facebook/Vickie’s Genealogy Story

Present-day Fort Wolters is home to a training center for the Texas Army National Guard, an industrial park, and a summer camp. For the most part, many of the buildings now left abandoned still attract Army enthusiasts and those with a simple curiosity over Texas’ past. It was named in honor of Brigadier General Jacob F. Wolters of the National Guard. To establish the camp, the town of Mineral Wells donated 50 acres. However, the property grew to entail 7,500 acres. When it was still in service, it could hold close to 25K infantrymen.

Fort Wolters: Former Military Base is a Treasure Trove for Urban Explorers

Photo: Facebook/U.S. Army Aviation Museum

When Fort Wolters was deactivated, this enormous parcel of government property was turned over for disposal to the General Service Administration. Much of the property remained intact, however, resulting from a variety of complications. Subsequently, some of the land was gifted to Weatherford College, Lake Mineral Wells State Park, and public and private-sector businessmen. Today, Camp Wolters is referred to as Wolters Industrial Park and is home to an active aviation business, the Fort Wolters Helicopters Heliport.