Forts Trail Region


The community we know as Menard, with its dense history dating back to the 1700s, mixes plenty of history with legend, keeping history exciting and helping to make our public conversation about the state’s grand past lively. The Menard community legacy began when it received a Franciscan mission and an armed presidio to protect it during the mid-1700s, both instruments in Spain’s attempt to conquer and control the local inhabitants (primarily Native American groups) and enrich the Spanish crown in the process. Although short-lived, the Mission and Presidio San Sabá have since inspired history, mystery, and intrigue across the subsequent centuries, a compelling part of the valuable heritage found in and around Menard today. A primary attraction is the stately Art Deco courthouse, restored through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. The building’s architectural plan served as the prototype for two other Texas courthouses designed by Elmer G. Withers of Fort Worth, known for his many Art Deco designs. The Menard community also serves as gateway to Fort McKavett State Historic Site, a frontier post established in 1852 to provide protection for west Texas settlers and California-bound immigrants. The Fort’s remains include 19 restored buildings across 80 acres, exhibits exploring the Fort’s military and post-military history, and stone ruins of the barracks, once considered the longest building west of the Mississippi River. Spain in the New World, frontier remains and the Deco architectural era provide a big picture of Texas history when visiting Menard area sites.