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Guide to the Fort Tejon State Historic Park Collection 1845-2009.


Abstract.

Fort Tejon State Historic Park is located in the San Emigdio Mountains near the top of the Grapevine Canyon, on the west side of Hwy 5 near the city of Lebec, California. The park was established in 1940 and contains 647 acres of oakwooded hillsides, grassland, wetlands, riparian vegetation, restored and reconstructed buildings, and the ruins of Fort Tejon. The Fort Tejon State Historic Park Collection is arranged in sixteen series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Histories, 3. Ranger Logs, 4. Interpretation, 5. Subject Files, 6. Legal Documents, 7. Financial Documents, 8. Facilities Documents, 9. Maintenance Records, 10. Publications, 11. Ephemera, 12. Cartographic Material, 13. Photographic Material, 14. Media, and 15. Reports. Items span the years 1845-2009 with the bulk of the material falling between 1980-1991.

Administrative History.

Fort Tejon State Historic Park is located in the San Emigdio Mountains near the top of the Grapevine Canyon, near the city of Lebec, California. Established in 1940, the park contains 647 acres of oak-wooded hillsides, grassland, wetlands, riparian vegetation and the ruins of Fort Tejon.

The U.S. Army established Fort Tejon in 1854 to replace Fort Miller, control the Indians living on the Sebastian Indian Reservation, and to protect both the Indians and white settlers from raids by regional Indian groups. From 1854-1864 various regiments manned the Fort, including the 1st U.S. Dragoons. On September 11, 1864 the Federal government abandoned the Fort; the property became privately owned ranchland.

During the Fort's ten years of operation the Dragoons campaigned against the Indians, maintained civil order, and transported goods and people throughout the area. An interesting feature of the Fort was the U.S. Camel Corps. In the 1850s the U.S. Army experimented with the use of camels for transport across the arid south west. The project was quickly scrapped after the first official test in 1860 between Los Angeles and Fort Mojave. Prior to the Army's purchase, the camels were used to haul supplies for Edward F. Beale, former California Superintendent of Indian Affairs and Samuel Bishop, Tejon Ranch owner.

The site of the fort is also well known for the grave marker of Peter LeBec, an early frontiersmen and fur trapper, mauled by a bear. Little further evidence of LaBec has surfaced but many fantastical stories have circulated creating a mysterious and exciting past for the man buried under LeBec Tree. In 1936 Fort Tejon was listed as California Historic Landmark #129 (not dedicated until 1954). In 1940 Tejon Ranch donated seven acres of land to the state for the establishment of the park. Between 1940 and 1955 Tejon Ranch donated an additional 199 acres. The Department of Parks and Recreation owns the majority of the area associated with the garrison portion of the Fort Tejon complex. Portions of the site — including the quartermaster facilities and storehouses — are not state owned property.

In June 1962 the park was officially classified and renamed Fort Tejon State Historic Park. Since then small portions of the original fort complex have been reconstructed or preserved. The buildings at the park feature a number of interpretive displays where re-enactors teach park guests about the daily lives of the soldiers stationed at the fort. Other museum exhibits cover topics of army life and local history. The park features a campground, picnic area, hiking trails, and civil war re-enactments. The fort was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. In the mid-2000s a second donation of property from a private landowner added an additional 442 acres to the park.


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TEJON CATEGORIES:
• Fort Tejon
• Rancho Castec
• Tejon Ranch
• Tejon Indians
• Tejon Indian Tribe
• Tejon Ranch Development (21st Century)

FORT TEJON

Inventory of State Park Collection


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Hotel Plan 1858

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Ruins (Mult.)

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Rancho La Liebre STORY 1929

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Postcard 1930s

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Flying A Gasoline 1938

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Home Movie 1939

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Book: Old Adobes (Cullimore 1949)

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Travelogue 1949

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Old Gate Pre-1950

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Enlisted Men's Barracks 2001

• 1857 Earthquake (1)
• 1857 Earthquake (2)
• 1857 Earthquake (3)
• 1857 Earthquake in Harpers Weekly


PETER LEBECK

• Peter Lebeck Story


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Peter Lebeck Exhumed 1890

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Lebeck Story 1901

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Lebeck Oak ~1960s

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Lebeck Oak & Grave Marker x7

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Lebeck Bark x2

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Lebeck Sculpture x3

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