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April 17, 1863: Fort Tejon

April 17, 2013

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Fort Tejon; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

[Today] we got up, put on our wet clothes, got some breakfast, saddled our wet animals, and started. It still rained some. We came up the canyon four miles to this place, Fort Tejon. The canyon is wild and picturesque and rises rapidly. At about four miles from the entrance it widens into an open, wide valley, and here, surrounded by mountains, is the old Fort Tejon. A pretty grassy valley, at an altitude of about three thousand feet above the sea, covered with scattered oaks of venerable age and size and of great beauty, with mountains rising around to the height of perhaps seven thousand feet, the valley and hills green—picturesque, beautiful, quiet—such is the site of old Fort Tejon.

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Purchasing records, Fort Tejon; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

The buildings, some fifteen or twenty, are neatly arranged, all built of adobe, but many are already falling to ruin. The old stables are crumbling, the corrals are down. After Uncle Sam had located here and had built buildings costing at least $60,000 to $80,000, spending here in all over half a million, of course it turned out that it is on a Spanish grant, and is private property. Under the virtuous reign of Buchanan the proof was got, and the grant was confirmed to a political friend—now a rank Secessionist—a Mr. Bishop, who got the buildings all built to his hand. As there was no further use for the fort, it was vacated two or three years ago.

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