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County
Jack
Region
Panhandle Plains
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Parks
Fort Richardson Texas State Park
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Fort Richardson State Park Information:
In 1936, the Texas Centennial Commission purchased the 41 acre Fort and turned the management of the site over to the City of Jacksboro and the Jack County Historical Society. For many years the Fort had been the center of community activities for Jacksboro residents. Activities included country fairs, baseball games, circuses, rattlesnake roundups, dances, and graduations. In 1963, the National Parks Service declared Fort Richardson a National Historic Landmark. In 1968, TPWD took over the management of Fort Richardson and opened the 454 acre park to the public that same year. Today 7 Fort structures remain including the post hospital which features18 inch thick sandstone walls, a wood frame veranda, two large wards, a dispensary, a surgeon’s office, a kitchen, dining rooms and two washrooms. Other buildings include the Commanding Officer’s quarters, a powder magazine, morgue, commissary, guardhouse, and a bakery which once baked 600 loaves of bread per day. Replica buildings include the officers’ and enlisted men’s barracks. An old section of a railroad bridge is located just inside the entrance to the park. The historic Chicago, Rock Island and Texas Railroad Depot is located on the park grounds. Habitat consists of flat plains with scattered trees, and the 8 acre Quarry Lake. The 385 acre Lost Creek Reservoir is located on the north side of the Park. The 10 mile multi-use Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway runs adjacent to Fort Richardson along Lost Creek to the east side of Lake Jacksboro and Lost Creek Reservoir, connecting Fort Richardson State Park and the Lost Creek Reservoir. For more information read the Park Brochure, watch Park Video, and read Texas Forts History.  Park entrance and camping fees apply. From Jacksboro, travel 0.5 miles south on U.S. 281.   Fort Richardson State Park Facilities Map
 
Fort Richardson History:
This fort was the most northern of the posts stretching from the Rio Grande River to the Red River. The 6th Cavalry initially established Fort Richardson 20 miles north of the current site at Buffalo Springs, but soon abandoned the site due to unhealthy conditions and constant Indian raids. The fort was reestablished at its current location on the south bank of Lost Creek. The soldiers of the Fort were responsible for maintaining the military road connecting Fort Richardson with Forts Griffin and Concho, help local law officers keep the peace, and patrol for Indian raiding parties. One of the fiercest of the Indian battles took place at Little Wichita River in July 1870 against Kiowa Chief Kicking Bird. Though heavily outnumbered, the cavalrymen prevailed. Col. Mackenzie commanded the fort from April 1871 to December 1872, and led 4 major expeditions against hostile Indians. On September, 28, 1874, Col. Mackenzie ended the Indian domination of the southern plains at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon. By 1875, the Texas frontier was relatively secure, and the fort was abandoned in March of that year.  Texas Forts History 
 
History of the Lost Battalion & Reenactments:
In November, 1940, Fort Richardson was the mobilization site for the Battery F, 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery Regiment, and Thirty-Sixth Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard. The unit was at sea when Pearl Harbor was attacked. In 1942, they were captured by the Japanese in Java, where they had been left behind when the Americans retreated to Australia. Called the “Lost Battalion,” they spent the remainder of World War II as Japanese prisoners performing forced labor, and suffering grave hardships and starvation. A Historic Marker commemorates these men. Units from the Texas Military Historical Society periodically offer reenactments of battles using period costumes and weapons.
 
Chicago, Rock Island and Texas Railroad Depot, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Built 1898 of native stone by Risley Brothers of Jacksboro, for the Chicago, Rock Island & Texas Railway, on site bought from F. F. Foscue (1819-1906), a Texas legislator, owner of Fort Richardson lands. In typical railroad architecture, the depot housed waiting rooms and offices. Mrs. Edith Wilmans, a local rancher, Texas' first (1923) woman legislator, often traveled from this station. The Rock Island system sold the structure in 1973 to Texas Export Railroad Company.” The depot is located in Fort Richardson State Park. The marker is located at the end of Depot Street, at the park’s east gate.
 
Lost Creek Reservoir, 385 Surface Acres:
Lake Jacksboro and the Lost Creek Reservoir are called the Twin Lakes. Lost Creek Reservoir, which backs up to the Lake Jacksboro dam, is wider and much deeper than Lake Jacksboro. Some areas are 60 feet deep with 10 feet of clear water. The water temperatures in is in the 70s. The Lost Creek Reservoir was impounded in 1990. Predominant fish species include largemouth bass, white crappie, channel and flathead catfish, and white bass. A 2 lane concrete boat ramp, fishing pier and swimming area are located off SH 59 on the north side of the lake at the Fort Richardson State Park day use area and entrance to the Lost Creek Trailway. This ramp is open year round. A park admission fee applies. A two lane improved boat ramp is located on the south shore of the lake off SH 59. This ramp is open year round; no fees apply. The 10 mile multi-use Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway connects the lake to Fort Richardson State Park. The reservoir is controlled by the City of Jacksboro. (940) 567-6321.
Lost Creek Reservoir Lake Levels
Lost Creek Reservoir TPWD Public Access Facilities Map 
Current Survey Report 
Lake Records 
Stocking History 
 
Lake Jacksboro:
Lake Jacksboro and the Lost Creek Reservoir are called the Twin Lakes. The average depth of Lake Jacksboro is 20 feet. The water temperatures in is in the 70s. Amenities on Lake Jackson include a boat ramp, picnic areas, hiking trail and swimming beach. The lake is located on the right side of SH 59, just past the Oakwood Cemetery.   
 
Fort Richardson State Park Directions:
The park is located 0.5 miles south of Jacksboro, Texas. From Jacksboro, travel 0.5 miles south on U.S. 281.