History Comes Alive on Fort Croghan Day
No visit to Burnet County is complete without a visit to Fort Croghan Grounds and Museum. This month, as the fort prepares to close for the season, it holds its annual Fort Croghan Day, which is Saturday, October 12. Re-enactors will be on hand from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. demonstrating life in the Hill Country in the mid-1880s when the fort was established.
No need to book a reservation for a visit. Admission is free and you can visit any time. In fact, after finding where you want to stay this coming weekend, plan your stay around Fort Croghan Day, and OctoberFest, which runs October 9-12. The event begins with a plein air art competition through out the week. A free concert cranks up the excitement Friday night, followed by a day of activities on the Burnet Courthouse square and a tickets only concert Saturday night featuring Stoney LaRue.
Visiting the fort in full regalia will be re-enactors representing the Buffalo Soldiers, an African-American cavalry from the 1800s, along with Confederate and Union soldiers from the Civil War era, fur trappers, Native Americans, and pioneers.
Demonstrations include cooking, basket making, and butter churning. A blacksmith will be hard at work with his hammer, chisel, and anvil, while mill workers will be grinding corn into meal.
Visitors get in on the action by helping make rope, quilts, or cornhusk dolls. You can also churn some butter, spread it on a biscuit cooked in a wood stove, and enjoy!
Fort Croghan was built and occupied by the U.S. Army 2nd Dragoons in 1849. It was one of four forts set up along the Texas frontier to protect settlers streaming in from the East. The fort included a barracks, a bakery, a munitions shed, and a hospital.
About 130 men first lived in the fort, which was only active for six years, the last two on a skeleton crew. Fort Croghan’s presence helped stimulate business in the area. After the fort closed, the town that formed around it was named Hamilton. It changed to Burnet in honor of Texas Governor David G. Burnet when the town requested a post office, as there was already a Hamilton, Texas, on the books.
Fort Croghan Day closes the season for the museum, which is open Thursday-Saturday from the first Saturday in April to the second Saturday in October. Hours on regular museum days are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is always free.
Fort Croghan Grounds and Museum is located at 700 Buchanan Drive (Texas 29) in Burnet. For more information, visit the museum’s Facebook page @fortcroghan.