Tri-fold brochure, 8½x11 inches overall. Design, layout and illustration by Ron Warr for California State Parks.
Note: Information current as of 1996:
This self-guided trail begins and ends at the visitor center, traveling in a half-mile loop around the historic area of the old fort grounds.
The area you will be walking through is only half of the original army post. The rest of the fort, including the main jail, stables, sutler's store, and quartermaster buildings continued where the freeway and Tejon Ranch buildings currently stand.
Each of the fenced-off areas represent structures that made up the post. At each station, try to visualize the Dragoons in their sky-blue uniforms going about the task of constructing a large fort in the "wilderness" of early California. Try to picture men on the parade ground marching and drilling with their sabers. Listen for the sound of the bugle near the barracks. Close your eyes at the bakery and smell the aroma of fresh baked bread.
Feel the strength of the laborers in the bricks of the adobe walls. By using your senses, Fort Tejon will come alive for you.
Enjoy your visit, and please come again.
Fort Tejon State Historic Park is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
The Fort Tejon State Historic Park Volunteers present a variety of special events throughout the year, including hands-on interpretive living history demonstrations of everyday life of the common soldier and civilian men, women and children at this frontier U. S. Army post. Check with the park for the date and time of the next event. The Fort Tejon Historical Association presents battle reenactments and skirmishes that demonstrate the tactics used in the eastern United States during the Civil War. The battles reenactments take place on the third Sunday, April through October, at 10 a.m., 12 noon, and 2 p.m.
For further information about these events, or how to become a volunteer at Fort Tejon, please contact the park staff.
Fort Tejon is located at the top of the Grapevine Pass in Grapevine Canyon (Cañada
de las Uvas) on the Rancho Castec. It was garrisoned by the United States Army on Aug. 10, 1854,
in order to control Native Americans on the 75,000-acre Sebastian (aka Tejon) Indian Reservation
— which Edward F. "Ned" Beale, then Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California and Nevada, was setting up
17 miles northeast on the original Rancho El Tejon — and to guard against raiding parties from other tribes.
The first military fort in California's interior, Fort Tejon was abandoned in just 10 years,
on September 11, 1864, as a cost-cutting measure by the U.S. Army, which needed to save money to fight the South.
Structures at Fort Tejon were arranged in a quadrangle around the parade grounds and were constructed
at various times throughout the army's occupation of the fort. Some, including the enlisted men's barracks,
were destroyed and rebuilt after a major earthquake, epicentered at the fort, struck at 8:13 a.m. on Jan. 9, 1857.
Many more were lost and never rebuilt after an earthquake a century later, in 1957.
LW3575: Download individual files here