Fort Phantom Hill

Panhandle Plains

Boredom rather than combat doomed this 1851 fort along the clear fork of the Brazos River. Fort Phantom Hill was among the outposts constructed to protect settlers on the Texas frontier; it was abandoned just three years later after droves of bored soldiers left it (and the service). Today, visitors will find only a handful of buildings and about a dozen chimneys among the windy, lonely ruins. Fort Phantom Hill is on private land but the site is open during daylight hours. The grounds are 11 miles north of I-20 on FM 600 (a total of 14 miles north of Abilene). Nearby Lake Fort Phantom is popular for picnicking.

In the 1800s time and fires took their toll on the fort and the nearby ghost town – by 1880, 546 people had moved to the settlement, but a letter written to the San Antonio Daily Express in 1892 indicated the town had dwindled to 'one hotel, one saloon, one general store, one blacksmith shop and 10,000 prairie dogs.'

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