Fort Tejon History
Built as a small adobe post to replace Fort Miller. The mission was to control the Indians on the Sebastion Indian Reservation and to guard the Tejon Pass in the Tehachapi Mountains. More than 40 military buildings were built and a small community formed to the south of the post. The fort was initially garrisoned by Company A of the 1st U.S. Dragoons who were later joined by Company H and I. The average complement was about 225 men. The 1860 Census listed 960 soldiers and civilians in the community.
1st Lt. Thomas F. Castor, who initially established the post, died at the post 8 Sep 1855 and is buried at the Fort Tejon Military Cemetery along with 7 other souls.
In 1857 the fort was severely damaged by one of most severe earthquakes to ever hit California. In 1859 Fort Tejon received 28 camels as a part of an experiment to determine their usefulness in the southwest.
Fort Tejon was abandoned 15 Jun 1861 by regular Dragoons who were withdrawn to Los Angles as the U.S. Civil War began. The post was regarrisoned by California Volunteers on 17 Aug 1863 and abandoned finally 11 Sep 1864.
Fort Tejon State Historic Park. Several reconstructed and restored buildings with period displays.
Location: Tejon State Historic Park, Kern County, California.
Maps & Images
Lat: 34.874137 Long: -118.894408
- Hart, Herbert M., Tour Guide to Old Western Forts, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder CO, 1980, ISBN 0-87108-568-2, page 36
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 96
- North American Forts - Tejon Tejon
- Wikipedia - Fort Tejon
- California State Parks - Fort Tejon
- Find a Grave - Lt. Thomas F. Castor
Visited: 8 Mar 2010
Fort Tejon Picture Gallery
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