SECOND TIME’S A CHARM
It took several tries (and several names) to kickstart the Texas Forts Trail community of Jacksboro. A small agrarian colony along the banks of Lost Creek got things rolling in the mid-1850s and as it grew residents began to refer to their home as “Mesquiteville”. Selected as Jack County seat in 1858, the first year the Butterfield Overland Mail Stage established its route and set up a local change station, Mesquiteville felt the need for a new name to accompany its prestigious position and the adoption of Jacksboro helped make it official. Located in one of the few counties to vote against secession, Jacksboro suffered the abuse of both secessionists and raids by local Native American groups, and by the end of the Civil War the community consisted mostly of ruins and remains. The construction of Fort Richardson nearby in 1868 increased the chances of the community’s survival and, as new settlers moved in, Jacksboro became the primary trade center for the county as business owners constructed handsome stone buildings around a commercial district square.
Jacksboro’s western charm includes the restored Gulf, Texas & Western Railroad Depot, now a Tourism and Visitor Center with a historical marker testifying the site’s original Butterfield Stage stop. Learn how the local “Corn Club” became Texas first 4-H at the Jack County Museum and visit Fort Richardson, now a state park and historic site for tours of the handsomely preserved Fort buildings and grounds.