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Establishment of Fort Teion
 General  Edward  Fitzgerald  Beale,  in  his  ca-
 pacity  of  Commissioner  of  Indian  Affairs  for
 California,  had  recommended  the establishment
 of  a  military  post  about  15  miles  southwest  of
 the  Sebastian  Indian  Reservation  for  the  pur-
 pose  of  protecting  the  friendly  Indians  in  the
 southern  San  Joaquin  Valley.  This  particular
 The  Parade Ground                              Orderly's Building
 location  was  considered  advantageous  since  it
 strategically  controlled  an  important  pass
 through which stolen horses and cattle from the
 San  Joaquin  were  driven  to  markets  in  the
 ing  at  the  post,  and  during  1858  a  Butterfield   discontinued  by  the  army.  Camels  in  varying
 Southwest.  The  construction  of  a  post  on  the   Overland  Mail  Station ·was  established  here  on   numbers  were  stationed  at  Fort  Tejon  from
 Fort's  present  site  was  authorized  June  24,
 the  line  which  extended  from  St.  Louis to  San   November  1857,  until  their  removal  to  Los
 1854.  Six  days later detachments of the  1st U.S.
 Dragoons  were  ordered  to  Fort  Tejon,  which   Francisco.   Angeles  in  June,  1861.   Fort  T ejon  is  one  of  Califor-
 then  became  regimental  headquarters  for  the   U. S. Army Camel Corps   Peter le Beck Tree   nia's outstanding Historical  Mon-
 Dragoons.  Their  activities  carried  them  over   uments.  The  old  post  is  one  of
 much  of  western  America.  It  is  an  interesting   Under  the  direction  of  U.S.  Secretary  of   Standing  in  the  northwest  corner  of the  pa-  the  foremost  remaining  links  in
 fact  that  15  of the  officers  who  served  at Fort   War  Jefferson  Davis,  camels  were  imported   rade ground, the Peter le Beck Oak commemo-  Central  California  to  the  early
 Tejon  during  its  active  period  later  beca~e   into  this  country  in  1857.  The  army  planned   rates  Fort  Tejon's  most  intriguing  mystery.   American  occupation  period.
 generals  in  the  War Between  the  States.  Eight   to  use  them iri  transporting  supplies  to isolated   First  mention  of this  tree  occurs in  R.  S.  Wil-  Fort  Tejon  was  established  by -
 served  in  the  northern  forces  and  seven  with   posts  in  the  arid  southwest,  and  for  patrol  use   liamson's  railroad  route  exploration  report  of   the  United  States  Army  on  Au-
 the south.  After its  abandonment by the  Army   in  controlling  hostile  Indians.  A  group  of  28   1853.  He wrote that one  9f the  oaks  in  Grape-  gust  l 0,  1854,  and  was  aban-
 in  1864,  Fort Tejon  became  a  part of  General   camels was marched to Fort Tejon in California   vine  Canyon on the future  site  of the Fort had   doned  ten  years  later  on  Sep-
 Beale's  Tejon  Ranch  property,  and  the  build-  from near San Antonio, Texas, during the latter   an  inscription  cut  deeply  into  the  wood.  It   -tember  11,  1864.  Located  in
 ings  of the -post were used  as  residences, stables   part of this same  year. The wagon road survey   read:  "Peter le  Beck,  killed  by a  X  bear,  Oct.
 and  sheds  during subsequent years.   party  to  which  the  camels  were  attached  was   17,  1837."  Several  interesting  conjectures  have   Grapevine Canyon, Kern County,
 under  the  direction  of  General  Beale.  The   been  advanced  as  to  the  identity  of  the  slain   on  Highway  99,  it  is  36  miles
 In  1939  the  State  of  California  acquired   man,  but  none  has  yet  definitely  established   south  of  Bakersfield  and  77
 through  a  gift  of  the  Tejoil  Ranch  Company   splendid  performance  of the  camels  during this   just who  Peter le  Beck  was.   miles  north  of  Los  Angeles  near
 five  months  trek  moved  Beale  to  recommend
 title  to  five  acres  on  which  a  number  of  the   to the  War Oepartment that further  camels  be   The  Fort  Tejon  area  is  noted  for  its  speci-
 Fort's  original  buildings  stood.             the  small  community  of  Lebec.
 purchased.  However,  various  factors  tended  to   mens  of Valley Oak  (Quercus lobata), some  of   The  present  highway  runs
 Fort Tejon was the chief military,  social  and   discredit  widespread  use  of camels  in America.   which  are  exceptionally  large.  Because  of  the   through  the original  area of the
 political  center  between  the  San  Joaquin  area   With  the  outbreak  of  the  War  Between  the   background  of  steep  hillsides,  the  size  of  the
 near Fresno  and Los Angeles.  At the  height of   States and the subsequent construction of trans-  trees  may  not  readily  be  appreciated  from  a   old  Fort.  Tejon  is  a  Spanish  and
 its  activity there  were  over 20  buildings  stand-  continental  railroads,  the camel experiment was   distance.   Indian  word  meaning  badger,
                                                 and  was  the  name  given  to  the
                                                 original  Mexican  land  grant  on
 Scenes From Old Fort Teion  Historical Collection
                                                 which  the  Fort  stands  by its  first
                                                 owner,  Ignacio del  Valle.

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