Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Fort Bowie

The 1½ mile trail to Fort Bowie (pronounced Booey) is accessed from Apache Pass road it’s a nice hike passing some interesting historical sites.

Including the remains of the Butterfield Stage Station, it took 25 days for the mail to travel the 2,800 miles from St Louis to SanFrancisco.

On this part of the trail, the celerity wagon was used as it was lighter and quicker than the concord wagon used on the other sections.

Further along are the remains of the Chiricahua Apache Indian Agency governed by Thomas Jeffords who was a friend of Cochise.

There is also an example of an Apache encampment further along the trail.

Apache spring is a perennial water source and was the cause of all the trouble between the Apache and the military and guarding both it and the pass was the reason for Fort Bowie’s existence.

The smaller Old Fort Bowie was established in 1862 and completed in under 3 weeks.

It was used for 4 years before a more substantial fort was built 300 yards away on a plateau in 1868.

A heliograph station used to relay messages by mirror was situated on the Bowie Peak overlooking the fort.

Once Geronimo surrendered in 1886 there was no longer the need for the fort, but it remained an active military post for another 8 years until it closed in 1894 when the last troops were withdrawn.

Have fun, we are!

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