The historic Fort Travis Park is located on Bolivar Point at the western end of the Bolivar Peninsula. Encompassing 60 acres of military bunkers and batteries, this Galveston County gem provides visitors a glimpse into Texas history. As early as 1816, various forces sought to establish footholds in the area, with earthworks and fortifications built by Jean Joseph Amable Humbert, Henry Perry, and Francisco Xavier Mina. Dr. James Long led 300 men in an attempt to liberate Spanish Texas in 1818, constructing fortifications known as Fort Las Casas before venturing further inland. During that fateful winter of 1820-1821, his wife Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long remained behind to give birth to a daughter, earning her moniker “The Mother of Texas.”
Construction on Fort Travis began in April 1898 and finished in October 1899; named after the legendary William B. Travis of Alamo fame. The site expanded over the decades through purchases and military projects to include various batteries and fortifications. It served as an active base through World War II, with barracks housing some 2,500 troops at its peak.
After closing as a military installation in 1949 and transferring to county control in 1973, Fort Travis Park now serves the community as a public recreational and camping area with covered picnic spots, wetland overlooks, and historical remnants of its storied past.
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