The next potential road trip spot (particularly for residents of DFW or OKC) is Fort Washita, Oklahoma. Located in the Chickasaw Nation (south-central Oklahoma, just west of Durant), Fort Washita was built in 1842 in what was then the United States’ extreme southwest. The fort’s mission was to watch over land promised to and settled by Chickasaw forcibly removed from the Southeast to the southern Great Plains. The fort changed hands during the Civil War when this United States Army post was occupied by Confederate units. (Although Oklahoma was not yet a state, the Civil War did not pass it by; the region saw terrible fighting between nations allied with either the CSA or USA.) After being burned by retreating Confederates in 1865, the fort’s ruins passed to the control of the Chickasaw Nation. A case of arson in 2010 caused further damage to one of the barracks, but the site remains a significant landmark of nineteenth century Oklahoma, a beautiful location with links to a fascinating cultural history.
(The pictures shown below were taken in March 2019.)