Fort McKavett State Historic Site

By: Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: October 1, 2016

Fort McKavett State Historic Site, (formerly Fort McKavett State Historical Park) is twenty-two miles southwest of Menard in southwestern Menard County. It is the site of Fort McKavett, a military post built in 1852 as Camp San Saba (not to be confused with Camp San Saba in McCulloch County). The post closed in 1859 but reopened in 1868 as Fort McKavett. It was named in honor of Capt. Henry McKavett, who was killed at the Mexican War battle of Monterrey.

The fort was abandoned in 1883 after the threat of Indian attacks had diminished, and the buildings either fell into disrepair or were purchased by area residents. The state of Texas acquired the old school and one of the barracks in 1968 and placed them under the control of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The restoration project continued as more former building sites came under state control; by 1990 seventeen buildings had been restored. Fort McKavett State Historical Park covers about eighty-two acres. It is a day-use park and has picnic facilities and a visitor center. In 1993, because of budget cuts, the park was taken over by a nonprofit firm, Texas Rural Communities, Incorporated. Effective January 1, 2008, operational control of Fort McKavett State Historic Site was transferred to the Texas Historical Commission.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “Fort McKavett State Historic Site,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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October 1, 2016