Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fort Bragg

Mendocino County, July 29, 2010

The fort had a seven year run with the purpose of both controlling and safeguarding Mendocino Indians. In September of 1864 many of the military units in the Humboldt region were ordered south, including this encampment. The reservation was dissolved in 1866 and lands offered for sale a few years later. As in other military operations in northwestern California, the Army ended up spending most of their time policing the behavior of some settlers and Native Americans, and with the Army relying on volunteers for much of their manpower, and those very volunteers being the source of problems, it was hard to accomplish their mission.

During the Civil War there was a movement to change the name of the fort for it was felt Braxton Bragg became a traitor by joining the confederacy, even though he had left the Army prior to his enlistment. 

About the coolest thing one can do while in Fort Bragg is to hop on the Skunk Train and head back in time on a route over and around the Noyo River through the coastal mountains with their redwood forests and inland over to the town of Willits …considered one of the ten most scenic train rides in North America.

Originally the railroad was built for logging but steam passenger service began in 1904 and ran till 1925 when they came up with a cheaper solution; self powered rail cars. These contraptions ran on gasoline and folks said ‘you can smell ‘em fore ya see ‘em’ …..hence the name ‘Skunk Train’. No extra charge for brain damage from carbon monoxide. 

Back then, people were spoiled by steam locomotives for passenger trains running fairly clean smokeless coal, and with the windows down, go down the track not wearing black. You might remember the pop singer Phoebe Snow, well the name she took was actually an advertising character that a rail line first to use smokeless coal had. Phoebe wore white.

Plaque inscription: NO. 615 FORT BRAGG - The fort was established in this vicinity June 11, 1857 by 1st Lieutenant (later Brigadier General) Horatio Gate Gibson, 3rd Artillery, U.S. Army, who named it in honor of his former company commander, Braxton Bragg, later General, CSA. The fort was abandoned in October 1864.
Location: 321 Main St, Fort Bragg 95437
GPS 39.444984,-123.806144

No comments:

Post a Comment