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Volume 7068

DUM-DUM 2019: WILLCOX, ARIZONA
9. FORT GRANT III
Entering the New Site
Now A Peneteniary


FORT GRANT :: THE EARLY DAYS
Fort Grant, now a state prison, was United States Army fortification located on the southwestern slope of Mount Graham about 50 km from Willcox. The post was named for Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States, Fort Grant was strategically placed so as to protect settlers who were constantly harassed by Apache warriors. It played a prominent role in the Apache Wars of the 1880s.

Henry McCarty, better known as "Billy the Kid", reportedly settled in the vicinity of Fort Grant in 1876, working as a ranch hand and tending sheep nearby. In 1877, McCarty killed a local blacksmith at a saloon and gambling house that is now called the Bonita Store, located a few miles from Fort Grant. McCarty was taken into custody at the Fort Grant stockade, but escaped to the New Mexico Territory before he could be tried.

Edgar Rice Burroughs was stationed at Fort Grant in 1896 as an enlisted man after not qualifying for the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was discharged in 1897 after being diagnosed with a heart condition that made him ineligible for a commission. The fort was repurposed in 1900 as a staging point for soldiers going to the Philippines to fight in the Philippine–American War. Fort Grant was abandoned by the Army in 1905.

In 1912, Arizona gained statehood, and the fort was occupied by the State Industrial School for Wayward Boys and Girls, which modernized most of the buildings. In 1968, the state of Arizona officially assigned the site to the Department of Corrections, and in 1973 Fort Grant became a state prison for male convicts. Fort Grant no longer has a visitor area or museum. Visitors are not allowed on prison property unless it is to visit an incarcerated inmate.

FORT GRANT TODAY
http://www.erbzine.com/mag34/3471.html

Nestled in the shadows of Mount Graham, just two miles from the town of Bonita, sits the secluded community of Fort Grant. Those who live inside the gates of Fort Grant work, attend classes, participate in sports and can even join one of eight bands that regularly perform. What makes residents of Fort Grant unique is that every one of them is a convicted felon. Fort Grant is a unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex-Safford. Its residents are inmates.

Once an outpost for Apache scouts in the cavalry days of the early 1800s, the unit is full of history. Although most of the original buildings are gone, one remains. A building, once the Quartermaster's Storehouse and now called Brown's Folly is the oldest standing structure at the prison.


THE FORT GRANT THAT TROOPER ED BURROUGHS SAW IN 1896
A B-Troop, US 7th Cavalry Fort
For more descriptions and photos see our coverage at
www.ERBzine.com/arizona


ERB's personal sketch of the stage coach
in which he rode from Willcox Station to Fort Grant
See more of Ed's sketches at:
www.erbzine.com/mag34/3470.html


Activity Outside the Fort

Soldiers making Adobe brick of dirt for Fort Grant buildings


"Hog Ranch" and Saloon at Bonita outside of Fort Grant


Hotel de Luna


OLD FORT GRANT MAPS
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A Few of the Buildings Inside the Fort
See many more at:
www.erbzine.com/mag34/3472.html

U.S. garrison at Fort Grant

Officers and wives at Fort Grant Officers' Quarters  ~  The Quartermaster's Storehouse

The old Commissary Building

Interior of the only remaining structure of the original fort.

 


APPROACHING FORT GRANT TODAY


FORT GRANT TODAY - AERIAL VIEW


ENTERING THE PRISON GROUNDS
The Support Services

Fort Grant Entrance


Historic Plaque for Fort Grant


Looking Toward Pinoleno Mountains


THE PRISON WALLS

Barbed Wire Surrounding Prison

Reference for some of the photos


DEPARTURE

Fort Grant Unit, Arizona Department of Corrections
formerly U.S. Army Fort Grant ~  Administration Building on Right.


ROAD BACK TO WILLCOX

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For much more on Fort Grant -- then and now -- see our 10-page coverage at:
www.ERBzine.com/arizona


INTRO and CONTENTS

ERBzine 7059
Willcox: Intro/Contents
ERBzine 7060
2. Goodie Bag
ERBzine 7061
3. Journey and Arrival
ERBzine 7062
4. Exploring Willcox
ERBzine 7063
5. Huckster Room 
ERBzine 7064
6. Presentations
ERBzine 7065
7. Exploring Willcox II
ERBzine 7066
8. Fort Grant I
ERBzine 7067
9. Fort Grant II
ERBzine 7068
10. Fort Grant III
ERBzine 7069
11. Wind Up
ERBzine 7070: 
12. Rex Allen Museum
ERBzine 7071: 
13. Marty Robbins Museum
ERBzine 7072: 
14. Chiricahua Museum
ERBzine 7073
15. Billy the Kid
ERBzine 7081
16. Willcox History I
ERBzine 7082
17. Willcox History II
ERBzine 7083
18. Willcox History III
ERBzine 7084
19. Meet Kathy Klump
ERBzine 3469
20. ERB at Fort Grant
ERBzine Arizona
ERB in Wild West



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