|The Camp Verde
General Store and Post Office
Gibson, February 2011
a Pecan Shell
The post was opened
in 1855 on the banks of the scenic Verde Creek. It is most famous
for the experiment
with camels that was the brainchild of U. S. Secretary of War
Jefferson Davis. It wasn't a bad idea considering the climate and
terrain of the San Antonio
to El Paso
road. In fact, it would've succeeded, had it not been for one unforeseen
factor - other animals panicked when they smelled the scent of the
One of the few relics of this period is on display in the Frontier
Museum in Bandera - a
pillow stuffed with camel hair. A pair of socks knitted from camel
hair was sent to then President Franklin Pierce. We regret we have
no information on his response.
The general store opened in 1857 and served the soldiers of the Camp.
The store's owner was mostly only open the few days immediately following
payday. The post office opened in 1887 - long after the war.
Today the store is picturesque in its solitude, but has lost some
of its quiet dignity with all the signs and banners. There's a nice
roadside park facing the store on Verde Creek.
The camp was captured by Confederate
forces in February of 1861. They inherited the camels and a few Egyptian
handlers and put them to work hauling cotton
to Mexico to trade to the British for much needed supplies. The camels
multiplied and reportedly were sold to a circus. Actually, they were
dispersed to many circuses, a few zoos, and two men from Bastrop County
even employed them in a another failed venture to haul mail to Mexico
Nearby was a canyon that was used as a makeshift Prisoner of War
Camp for nearly 600 Union prisoners in the early part of the war.
The post was totally abandoned in 1869, although a Company of Texas
Rangers used the remains of the fort as a campground for some time.
Camp Verde was also the post for the Confederates responsible for
the lynching of 8 men near the Camp in 1862. (See Bandera
"Old Camp Verde is on Verde Creek Road about a mile west of Camp
Verde. The Old Camp is closed to the public." - Barclay
|Site of Camp
Verde Centennial Marker
Photo Courtesy Barclay
Gibson, February 2011
Site of Camp
a frontier post by the United States Army, July 8, 1855
Headquarters in 1856 for 40 camels, sent by Secretary of War Jefferson
Davis, to be used in a system of overland communication with the west,
which proved impracticable.
Surrendered to the Confederate government in 1861
Reoccupied in 1865 by the United States Army
Abandoned April 1, 1869.
L - Camp Verde
R -The Camp Verde General Store in 2001
Bandera Pass Marker
South on Highway 173 will bring you to an obvious gap in the hills
- and a granite marker from 1936 - telling the history and significance
of Bandera Pass. This is also the dividing point of Bandera
and Kerr Counties.
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact