Lining the strategic waters of Port Bolivar and Galveston Bay, Fort Travis possess an embattled history of fortification, destruction, and renewal. The Republic of Texas first installed fortifications at the site in 1836 as a means of marine defense, and named the site after William Barret Travis, commander at the Alamo. Confederate and later Union forces also fortified the area, though remnents of these structures no longer remain.
Construction on the present Fort Travis began in 1898—and was completed in 1899—as federal construction of Port Galveston commenced. During World War I Fort Travis garrisoned troops defending the Port of Galveston and the bays and channels that connect the port to the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1942, the fort was enlarged and 2,500 troops were stationed in the fort's barracks. Several anti-aircraft and anti-destroyer guns were installed in the reinforced concrete bunkers lining the contiguous shipping channel. When World War II ended, Fort Travis was declared surplus property, dismantled, and in 1949 sold to private interests. The 60 acre park was acquired through a Moody Foundation grant in 1976 and is operated by the Galveston County Beach and Parks Department. Today, the park includes the seawall, broad grassy areas, oleanders, winding roads, well equipped play grounds, picnic tables and bar-b-que grills, and interpretive signage recounting the site's military history.
Watch the following video to learn more about Texas's World War II naval legacy. This video was produced for inclusion in the World War II on the Texas Home Front mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel mobile app. Learn more about the tour and the app on the World War II theme page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-world-war-ii
Fort Travis Park
8 AM - 8 PM Daily