Back in the day — 1852, to be exact — Fort Clark (now Fort Clark Springs) was a bustling headquarters for the C and E companies of the U.S. First Infantry Regiment under the command of Major Joseph H. LaMotte. Nestled in Kinney County, it was meant to guard the Mexican border and protect the military road to El Paso.
During its heyday, it was home to officers like Gen. George S. Patton, Major General William Rufus Shafter (otherwise known as Pecos Bill), Gen. John Lapham Bullis, and Gen. Jonathan Wainwright.
The fort saw action in the Civil War, the Indian Wars, and World War II before being shuttered in 1946. The town the fort is in, Brackettville, was a popular stagecoach stop, but travelers became scarce once the railroad came — 10 miles away from the town.
Nowadays, it’s a tourist destination, having first been bought in 1946 by the Texas Railway Equipment Company of Houston, who later used it as a dude ranch. In 1971, North American Towns of Texas bought the land and developed the fort into a private recreation and retirement community.
And it’s an attractive lure today. A large spring feeds the Las Moras Creek and an adjacent swimming pool — which maintains a 68-degree year-round water temperature. Below the spring, seven miles of woods line the creek, and a picnic area can be found in the shade of trees that emigrants bound for California once camped.
The Fort Clark Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, and the commanding officers quarters was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1988. The Fort Clark Guardhouse became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1962, and the officer’s row quarters became one in 1991.
And now Realtor ReAnna Hay of Tejas Properties has one of the quarters, built in 1874, up for grabs. One of eight officers row duplex quarters, it still boasts a lot of its original features, Hay said.
Eighteen inch rock walls and original oak floors downstairs and pecan floors upstairs are steeped in history.
“Enter the first floor of this home through a screened porch which consists of two large living areas with two fireplaces,” Hay said. The first floor also features a butler’s pantry with access to a large screened porch (making it a great office space as well), a kitchen with an open breakfast area, a full bathroom with a — swoon — clawfoot tub, and a downstairs laundry room.
Two separate staircases lead to the second floor which has four bedrooms with window units and two full bathrooms, one with a clawfoot tub.
Hay says the electrical wiring has been upgraded, and there is a new privacy fence; and one car garage and one car carport. It also has a new roof.
“This amazing home is located on one large lot located in the Fort Clark Springs Historic District — walking distance from the third largest spring-fed pool in Texas, par 3 golf/frisbee golf course and adult center,” Hay said.
All told, the home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 2,968 square feet of listing space, and is listed for $197,000. Of course, it could use a little TLC on the inside, but for the price, this historical treasure could be a real home-away-from-home.