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CAMP VERDE, TEXAS
& Old Camp Verde

Texas Ghost Town
Kerr County, Texas Hill Country

FM 480 and Highway 173
Just North of Bandera Pass
7 miles from Center Point
10 miles from Kerrville
10 miles from Bandera
52 miles NW of San Antonio
Population: 137 (2010)

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TX - Camp Verde General Store & Post Office
The Camp Verde General Store and Post Office
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011

History in 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 camels.

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 City.

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 Tragedy Tree)
TX - Sign to Camp Verde General Store & Post Office
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
TX - Camp Verde General Store & Post Office
The Camp Verde General Store and Post Office
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
More Texas Post Offices | Texas Stores
TX - Camp Verde General Store & Post Office logo
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
TX - Camel in Camp Verde
Camel
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
TX - Camp Verde Cemetery

Camp Verde Cemetery
(Between Camp Verde and Old Camp Verde)

Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
More Texas Cemeteries

Old Camp Verde:

Photographer's Note:
"Old Camp Verde is on Verde Creek Road about a mile west of Camp Verde. The Old Camp is closed to the public." - Barclay Gibson
TX -  Old Camp Verde Entry
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
TX -  Old Camp Verde Centennial Marker
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
TX -  Site of Camp Verde Centennial Marker
Site of Camp Verde Centennial Marker
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
TX -  Site of Camp Verde Centennial Marker
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
1936 Centennial Marker:

Site of Camp Verde

Established as 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.
TX -  Old Camp Verde Entry
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2011
More Texas Centennials
Camp Verde Creek
L - Camp Verde Creek
R -The Camp Verde General Store in 2001
TE photos
Bandera Pass Marker
Bandera Pass Marker
TE Photo
Continuing 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.
Kerr County TX 1907 Postal Map
Kerr County 1907 Postal Map showing Camp Verde
(near Bandera County line)

Courtesy Texas General Land Office
Camp Verde, Texas Area Towns:
Kerr County Towns >
Center Point
Kerrville
Bandera
San Antonio
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