Blair's Fort, the largest western family fort, a nonmilitary installation, was west of Desdemona in Eastland County. Only folk stories remain about C. C. Blair, an early rancher, who built the fort in 1860; however, accounts reveal that his ranch had been previously victimized by marauding Comanches and Tonkawas, the presumed reason for the installation's existence. Between 1857 and 1862 the Indians were unusually active along the frontier; although their main objective was to steal horses, they killed and burned residences on the slightest provocation. Settlers were forced to come together for mutual protection, and forted ranches were established. At Blair's Fort twelve log cabins were built; tents were stretched around an open square, and all was enclosed by a fence eight or ten feet high. During the time the fort was used eight families found protection there. The fort was also a frequent stopping place for Texas Rangers on their journeys; large supplies of food and ammunition were kept on hand. Later a road opened between Stephenville and Fort Griffin, which passed through Blair's Fort. Blair's Fort stood for five years, 1860–65. A Confederate Memorial Marker was placed at the site on July 14, 1965.
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Eastland County Historical Book Committee, Gateway to the West: Eastland County History, Vol. 1 (Eastland, Texas, 1989). Carolyne Lavinia Langston, History of Eastland County (Dallas: Aldridge 1904).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Jeanne F. Lively,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 10, 2019