No NPS? No Problem! Fort Tejon State Park Ghost Walk!
The national park closures have turned out to be great for the state park systems. I live in California, and our local news featured several interesting events at our state parks themed for Hallowe’en.
California is a big place, and Lebec isn’t exactly in my area, but it is one of the few Civil War sites we have, and it is a very special place. It was garrisoned intermittently until 1864, and was home to the 1st U. S. Dragoons (cavalry) until the eastern outbreak of hostilities in June, 1861. The fort was re-occupied by California volunteer troops in 1863. Those units included Companies D, E and G of the 2nd California Volunteer Cavalry from July 6 to August 17, 1863, and Company B of the 2nd California Volunteer Infantry, which remained there until Fort Tejon was abandoned for good on September 11, 1864.
It was also the western terminus of Jefferson Davis’s experimental U. S. Camel Corps, which used camels to carry supplies across southwestern deserts.
Restored adobes from the original fort, a lovingly restored officers house and barracks, and stunning oak trees that are over 400 years old grace this little park . . . during the day (heh, heh, heh).
But at night? Ah! That is a different story! On October 19, from 4-9:30 PM, things change. This is the night for this year’s Fort Tejon Candlelight Ghost Walk, and a fun evening it is. As the sun sets, the candles are lit and patrons are escorted on a spooky tour of Fort Tejon’s hidden secrets of life and Death.
- Witness the military funeral of 1st Lieutenant Thomas Castor, the first soldier to die at the fort.
- Creep into the commanding officer’s house and learn about how the Victorian era soldiers mourned their dead.
- Slither into the soldier’s barracks and hear stories about how some of the Fort’s dead inhabitants “live” on, even today.
Ticket prices are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. Peter Lebec and his grizzly just might make an appearance, and there is a spooky barbeque priced separately. Proceeds go to the further reconstruction of historic Fort Tejon.
Here is a link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1400363996858547/ and my personal endorsement. It isn’t Gettysburg, but it is certainly worthwhile. If you are anywhere near, google it up and check it out.