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    CAMP VERDE, TEXAS

    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: 41 (est)


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    Camp Verde Creek
    Camp Verde Creek
    TE photo
    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.
    Camp Verde post office and general store
    The Camp Verde General Store and Post Office
    TE photo
    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 it's 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 Verde General Store Today
    TE photo
    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)
    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.

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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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