“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Bliss in El Paso County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Initial Construction Period

1891 - 1899


óFort Bliss Main Post Historic District ó

Initial Construction Period Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 13, 2016
1. Initial Construction Period Marker
Inscription. At the close of the Indian Wars in the late 19th century, the U.S. Army consolidated a number of small posts into larger, more permanent installations. As part of this consolidation, construction of a new post at the present location was ordered in 1890. Fort Bliss was chosen over Fort Selden, New Mexico, because of its strategic location on the U.S.-Mexico border at the confluence of five railroads. The citizens of El Paso donated 1,266 acres of the present site to the Army, and construction began in 1892.

Captain George Ruhlen, Assistant Quartermaster, was officer-in-charge of construction. The layout was standard for frontier posts – officers quarters along one side of a parade ground and barracks, mess hall, and hospital opposite, an arrangement that reflects military organizational principles of hierarchy and uniformity.

Although the guardhouse (Building 241) and several other structures were built to standard Army plans, Captain Ruhlen designed many of the postís earliest buildings, including the Queen Anne style officer quarters and headquarters, mess and barracks along the Parade Field, all constructed of brick. Quartermaster warehouses, granaries, and stables in the 2000 Area were built of local blue limestone and situated north of Officersí Row, next to the tracks of the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad.

Initial Construction Period Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 13, 2016
2. Initial Construction Period Marker
Close up of the picture on the marker.
facilities provided for a garrison of four infantry companies. The widespread use of durable materials signaled that this post was to be permanent. This location, the postís sixth, would be the Fort Blissís final home.

The original parade ground was used for drill, reviews, and ceremonial function. It was large enough for a body of 500 men and long enough to front a full complement of officers quarter. A bandstand and a 100-ft flag pole in the center of the parade were the focal point of the cantonment until after World War II.
Erected by Fort Bliss.
Location. 31° 48.622′ N, 106° 26.209′ W. Marker is in Fort Bliss, Texas, in El Paso County. Marker can be reached from Sheridan Road near Pershing Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. On the side of the crossover road between Sheridan Road and Pershing Road. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Bliss TX 79916, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Quarters 236 Sheridan (within shouting distance of this marker); First Expansion Period (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Historical Building 241 - The Guardhouse, 1893 (about 500 feet away); Joshua Micah Mills
Initial Construction Period Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., April 13, 2016
3. Initial Construction Period Marker
(about 600 feet away); Colonel George Ruhlen (about 700 feet away); William Wallace Smith Bliss Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Polk House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Abrams House (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Bliss.
Categories. Military
Credits. This page was last revised on May 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 12, 2017, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 112 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on February 12, 2017, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on May 6, 2017, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
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