Fort Griffin

Continuing my series of visits to Texas’ Frontier Forts, over the weekend I took a short road trip out west to Fort Griffin.  Ft. Griffin continued the line of frontier forts that extended from Fort Richardson in the north to Fort Davis in the south.

Today, the fort is essentially in the middle of nowhere.  It’s not something that you’ll pull off the side of the interstate to see on your way somewhere else; that is, unless you are traveling on TX 283 between Albany and Throckmorton.

Ft. Griffin sits on a high bluff overlooking the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside.  Today, there are but hints of what once was – some reconstructed barracks and mess hall, and the ruins of several nice sized stone structures.

I arrived at the Fort near 4pm in the afternoon and had the entire place all to myself, save the staff at the park.   Walking into the mess hall, which was all shuttered up, was an absolutely terrific experience.  The wind was blowing quite strongly and the creaking sound of the shutters and door was nearly magical, transporting me back in time.  Again, as I had the place all to myself, it was something to be soaked up and relished.

The following couple of images are of what’s left of the sutler’s store.  From the Fort’s brochure:
“Here, settlers and soldiers could buy such items as canned tomatoes, canned peaches (a favorite item), fruits, oysters, (Borden’s Eagle Brand) milk, dried fruits, whale oil candles and powder and shot….”

Sutler's store I

Sutler's store II

I tried a new trick with these images… some time ago I remembered reading in Outdoor Photographer that one item that every landscape photographer needs in his kit is a warming polarizer.  Went to my favorite camera store, Arlington Camera and talked with them about it, where I learned that if you adjust your white balance to cloudy while using a standard polarizer, you get the same effect….  which is what I did here as the light at 4pm was pretty damn harsh and bright.


~ by Derrick Birdsall on August 30, 2010.

2 Responses to “Fort Griffin”

  1. Historical sites from frontier days can be fascinating places to spend time. Any more photos coming from Fort Griffin?

    Interesting about the polarizer and white balance. I never heard that, though I’m pretty new to digital. Thanks for passing it on.


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