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Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Interpretive Panels Installed in Fort Griffin Visitor’s Center

by Eric Abercrombie, assistant site manager at Fort Griffin State Historic Site

After many months of planning with THC staff, local historians and the 106 Group, we have new interpretive panels on display in our visitor’s center and throughout the site. The panels outside of the visitor’s center were placed to provide interpretation of the buildings and locations of significance. We’re thrilled to have new displays that will help tell the real story of the rich history of Fort Griffin.
The planning for these interpretative panels began in May 2009, with the visitor experience in mind. Covering a broad range of subjects allows visitors to see the big picture of the fort’s history and use. Each subject falls under one of four themes: the natural resources of the area, the regional center and local economy, the daily life of the military and soldiers, and the military outpost. Each theme is represented by a different color, which is consistent throughout the site.
Fort Griffin has a long history with many different stories to be told. Beginning as a lonely military outpost on the western frontier of Texas, the fort grew in significance when a thriving, Wild West town developed nearby. Years later, after the threat of hostile Indians had been eliminated and the fort and town abandoned, the site became a place for the skilled work of Company 3803 of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC worked on restoring what was left of the old fort. Shortly afterward, the site became a state park and eventually the home of the Official State of Texas Longhorn herd. Each time period provides great stories, and our new interpretive panels attempt to share a few of them in a brief and concise format.
In addition to the new panels, other improvements were made to the interior of our visitor’s center. They include new wood shelves and countertop, a large floor map of Texas illustrating the location of forts and trails, and overhead displays with photos and symbols. Overall, the new displays and panels will tell the real story of this real place and add tremendous value to the visitor experience.
**The Fort Griffin State Historic Site is located 15 miles north of Albany on U.S. Hwy 283 in the Texas Forts Trail Region.

1 comment:

  1. These look really, really nice. From what the pictures show, I like the scale of the visuals and it looks like mural work on the walls? Nice! I hope to be able to visit sometime soon and look forward to a new learning experience.