“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Brackettville in Kinney County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Fort Clark Guardhouse

Fort Clark's Guardhouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William F Haenn, May 1, 2012
1. Fort Clark's Guardhouse Marker
Inscription.  Established in 1852, Fort Clark was manned by varying troop strengths over the years. This guardhouse was built in the 1870s during a period of fort expansion. A new stockade was built in 1942 to relieve overcrowding, and the guardhouse became headquarters for the military police. Built of limestone blocks, the building reflects an adoption of military design to local materials and climate, and retains its 1930s appearance.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1962

Erected 1962 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 1976.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1852.
Location. 29° 18.304′ N, 100° 25.139′ W. Marker is near Brackettville, Texas, in Kinney County. Marker is at the intersection of McClernand Road and Crockett Road, on the right when traveling east on McClernand Road. Marker is located on Fort Clark Springs in the Fort Clark National Register Historic Distric and is accessible to the public. Follow the signs for
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the Old Guardhouse Museum. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brackettville TX 78832, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. New Cavalry Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker); Palisado Building Kitchen / Mess Room (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Juan A. Avila 1921-2008 (about 500 feet away); Fort Clark Historic District (about 600 feet away); Fort Clark Post Theater (about 600 feet away); Army Service Club (about 700 feet away); 1873 Infantry Barracks (about 700 feet away); Fort Clark (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brackettville.
Fort Clark's Guardhouse (now the Old Guardhouse Museum) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William F Haenn, May 13, 2012
2. Fort Clark's Guardhouse (now the Old Guardhouse Museum)
The Old Guardhouse Museum actually began during the Brown Foundation’s “Guest Ranch” era 1950-1971 as a storage building for a collection of World War II aircraft nose art. The Fort Clark Community Council restored the building in 1976. When the Fort Clark Historical Society was chartered in December 1979, the same month the Fort Clark Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the old guardhouse seemed the appropriate place to display the growing number of Fort Clark artifacts being donated to the Society by veterans, visitors, and local residents. It was retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Donald A. Swanson who, as curator from 1986-1996, took the museum to the next level of care by meticulously cata-loging the collection and markedly improving the museum’s displays. His singular effort in establishing the museum’s archives created an invaluable resource for genealogists, researchers, and military history buffs.
Historic view of Fort Clark's Guardhouse image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Old Guardhouse Museum, circa 1896
3. Historic view of Fort Clark's Guardhouse
A lone sentinel of the guard stands at attention in his white helmet and white duck trousers, while his fellow soldiers gather on the porch. The Guardhouse was finished in 1874 as part of the expansion of the post. This building was the heartbeat of the garrison, as it never closed. Most soldiers who served at Fort Clark experienced this building while on guard duty or more unluckily as a prisoner. In the center of the picture is a caisson, further left a field piece, and the square building to the rear is a company sink or latrine.
20th century historic view of Fort Clark's Guardhouse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Carl Ekmark, circa 1930s
4. 20th century historic view of Fort Clark's Guardhouse
The Guardhouse served two functions, to house the soldiers on guard duty and to hold prisoners. The building has a central guard room were the soldiers on guard duty slept and ate, a prison room where soldiers accused of minor offenses were held, a cell block where prisoners with more serious crimes were confined, and an office for the officer and sergeant of the guard.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 16, 2012, by William F Haenn of Fort Clark (Brackettville), Texas. This page has been viewed 764 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 16, 2012, by William F Haenn of Fort Clark (Brackettville), Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 18, 2024