Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ft. Bowie National Historic Site

November 18, 2015

Note to self: when you are going to visit a National Historic Site be sure they are open on the days you will be there. As I said in the 17th's post we stopped here to visit the Ft. Bowie National Historic Site and right now they are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday's.

 There was a wine tasting for Ft. Bowie Vineyards just down the road and we decided to stop. We ended up buying two of their wines. A little sweet for my taste and Tom is not a wine drinker but I am sure our daughter and daughter-in-law will like them.

  We then decided to take a ride over to Ft. Bowie, even though it said it was closed, luckily it only means the visitor center, no passport stamp, is closed you can still walk through the site itself.

Turning off the paved road this is the sign we saw.
Plus a lot of prickly pear cactus.

Following Google Maps we ended up at the Handicap only entrance, did not know this until later when we went down another road and saw the actual entrance to the site.

Looked at the picture and sure enough
 that is what the sign said.

Anyway, it did save us a mile and a half walk and no one said anything.  I am guessing since they were closed it really did not make any difference.

This was the path looking down, I took these on our way back
 to the truck, after the stairs it was pretty much up a hill.
This was, according to the sign, the handicap entrance.

The view of the site from the porch of the Visitor Center.
The picture of Ft. Bowie in 1894 was also on the porch.

For over twenty years Ft. Bowie and Apache Pass were central to US Army operations against the Chiricahua Apaches for control of the region. The Battle of Apache Pass led to the building of Ft. Bowie by soldiers from the 5th California Volunteer Infantry. They started this task on July 28, 1862 and it was named for the regimental commander, Col. George Washington Bowie. Ft. Bowie was built to protect the pass and the Apache Spring. In three weeks the fort was more a temporary camp then permanent post with 13 tents surrounded by irregular stone breastwork thrown up at key positions atop the hill.

In 1868 a less primitive Fort was built on a plateau 300 yards to the southeast. Between 1862 and 1886, Ft. Bowie was the nerve center for military campaigns against hostile Chiricahua Apaches led first by Cochise and then by Geronimo. With Geronimo's final surrender in 1886 this ended both the Apache Wars and Ft. Bowie's military usefulness. It was an active post for eight more years.

When it was abandoned in 1894 Ft. Bowie was a modern post of about 38 structures. These are the ruins we see today. (Information from brochure.)

We did not take the time to walk the whole site but do plan on coming back and doing so the next time we come this way.

Corrals and Stables

Quartermaster and Storehouse.

Guard House 1886

Another view of ruins.

One view from visitor center.

Back to the main road we headed towards Apache Pass and came upon this sign and by this time the road was no longer paved.

Just after this sign there is a parking area,
rest rooms, and information about Ft. Bowie.
This is also were the one and half mile trail
to the visitor center starts.
I did not take pictures of this area but from what we could see the path was very similar to the one pictured above that we took. The difference being about 800 feet versus 1 and 1/2 miles.

Before reaching Apache Pass we came upon this sign.

Apache Pass

The road mentioned in the above information.

This will definitely be a place we will return to. We would need to arrive earlier in the day and be better prepared for the hike. There is a lot of history here and we hope to explore it further.

 "When I was young I walked all over this country,
east and west,
and saw no other people than the Apaches."

No comments:

Post a Comment