This morning I stopped at the Pioneer Memorial Library to use the Internet before heading to Fort Martin Scott. The Pioneer Memorial Library is located in what was built as a courthouse in 1882 by San Antonio architect Alfred Giles. It offers a comfortable reading room and free Internet access.
Fort Martin Scott is a restored United States Army outpost on Baron's Creek at the southeastern edge of Fredericksburg. It was active from 1848 until 1853 and was part of a line of frontier forts established to protect settlers within Texas.
The fort was originally established as Camp Houston on December 5, 1848, and quartered Companies D and H, First United States Infantry. In 1850, Indian agent John Rollins, escorted by Captain Hamilton W. Merrill and the Second Dragoons from Fort Martin Scott, negotiated the Fort Martin Scott Treaty with the Indians, which prevented open hostilities.
The Eighth Military Department renamed the camp in December 1849 for Major Martin Scott, who was killed at the Battle of Molino del Rey in the Mexican War in 1847. As the settlers pushed farther west, Fort Martin Scott lost its strategic significance. The Eighth Military Department ordered that Fort Martin Scott close in December 1853.
The site was occupied intermittently by the Texas Rangers and then the Confederate States Army. In September 1866, General Philip H. Sheridan ordered elements of the Fourth United States Cavalry to Fort Martin Scott to secure the frontier once again. By the end of 1866, the fort was permanently abandoned by military units.
It was owned from 1870-1959 by members of the Braeutigam family, who sold it to the City of Fredericksburg in 1959. In 1986, the Fredericksburg Heritage Federation began reconstructing the site as a tourist attraction. The guardhouse, made of cut limestone, is the only surviving building from the original fort.