Exactly 180 years ago, Fort Parker was raided by Native Americans and several of the inhabitants were killed. Some of the women and children were roped and dragged off, including 9-year-old Cynthia Parker. Her father was one of the men killed and she never saw her immediate family again, until many years later when the Texas Rangers rescued her as a grown woman and forced her to reunite with relatives in East Texas. So imagine as a young child abducted, and dragged off for miles from everything you knew. Cynthia found herself immersed into the strange languages and customs of the Comanches and eventually married the Chief in her teens. She later bore him three children, one whom became the great warrior chief, Quanah.
As you stand in the exact spot of the fort, you can get a glimmer of insight on the security and lack of, due to the size of the cabins, height and depth of the walls --- and the fact that the only thing that separated your bed from the outside was a cedar log. Not to mention, the vulnerability of fire.
But what compromised their safety that morning on May 19, 1836, was the opening of the gate for a "white flag" bearing group of Native Americans and a pale faced man who was requesting assistance for food and water. Just so happened that the bulk of the settlers were not at the fort, but were working the fields, leaving the remaining women, children, and the senior Parker clan vulnerable.
This fort is a great way to capture the grand scope of things and to get your family talking about Texas History, not to mention, to gather a higher respect for the dangers that our ancestors has faced.
If you would like to learn more about the old fort, you can read from their website as well as learn about future events - parties, history reenactments, and for reunions.
Don't forget to BRING CASH. They do NOT accept debit/credit cards. $2 admission for adults
Shooting range outside of fort for events
Inside the visitor center are history books, some local crafts for sale, artifacts, photos, as well as bathrooms, and guest desk to ask questions.
Don't forget to visit the FORT PARKER STATE PARK just down the road! Admission for the State Park is separate.