Ride to Fort Griffin and the Icehouse Restaraunt

  • April 5, 2014 · 7:30 AM
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KSU 8:00am

Shaunissy's Saloon in Fort Griffin is where my cousin, Wyatt Earp first met his friend, Doc Holliday.

Though there is little left of the old fort, and even less of the settlement that formed below the bluff, Fort Griffin was one of the wildest places in all of the Old West. Built on the rolling hills between the West Fork of the Trinity River and Clear Fork of the Brazos River, the area was a dangerous place as settlers made their way into Texas, conflicting with the Plains Indians who had long called the area their exclusive hunting grounds. Though Forts Belknap, Phantom Hill and Camp Cooper had already been built in the 1840’s, they were not enough to protect new settlers. However, the Civil War interrupted any additional fort building until it was over. Then, afterwards, the government began to build forts once again, including Forts Griffin and Richardson.

  Work began on Fort Griffin in 1867 when Lieutenant Colonel Samuel arrived with four companies of the Sixth Cavalry on July 31st. The outpost, which was first called Camp  Wilson, was built upon a hill overlooking the Clear Fork of the Brazos River.  Later the name was changed to Fort Griffin in honor of the late Major General Charles Griffin, Commander of the Texas Army Department and who had originally made the plans for building the new fort. By the time it was finally complete, the fort would accommodate up to six companies of soldiers and included an administration building, a hospital, officers' quarters in eleven buildings, numerous barracks, a guardhouse, a bakery, a powder magazine, five storehouses, forage houses, four stables, a laundry, and a workshop.

Almost immediately after the fort was completed, a new settlement began at the bottom of the hill, first called "The Bottom,” "The Flat” or "Hidetown,” before it took on the name of the fort. In addition to the honest pioneers who settled the area for legitimate reasons of ranching,  agriculture, and commerce, in flooded a number of ruffians and outlaws.

When more and more people continued to arrive, the Indian attacks increased across northern Texas, keeping the soldiers busy in what was called the Red River Campaign, the battles of which continued until 1874, when the Texas Army defeated the Kiowas and Comanches at Palo Duro Canyon.

In the meantime, the settlement below the hill was bustling with buffalo hunters, business men, cowboys, outlaws, gamblers, gunfighters, and "painted ladies,” quickly gaining a reputation for lawlessness.

Some of these many people would later become well-known in the annals of history, including Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, who first met in Fort Griffin. Also there were Big Nose Kate; famous lady gambler, Lottie Deno; lawman, Pat Garrett, and gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin. "Marshaling” the lawless town was outlaw/lawman John M. Larn as sheriff, and his deputy, John Selman who, in the mid 1870’s, were working both sides of the law by controlling the vigilantes and rustling cattle. John Larn; however, would be killed by those same vigilantes inside his own jail in Fort Griffin. Selman, on the other hand, quickly disappeared and almost two decades later would kill John Wesley Hardin. During these lawless times, the settlement was so decadent that it was labeled "Babylon on the Brazos".

Keep reading about Fort Griffin at: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/tx-fortgriffin.html

Old Fort Griffin Administrative Buidling

Old Sutler's Store at Fort Griffin

Icehouse Restaraunt

KSU 8:00am 

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  • Mike and J.

    Great ride with great friends! Thank you Gary for planning and leading us. Good times and memories made!

    2 · April 7, 2014

  • bob H.

    Very good, lots of fun

    2 · April 7, 2014

  • Gary

    This was a really terrific trip with a great bunch of people. I enjoyed the country side on both legs with lots of twists and turns. Thanks to everyone who went and thanks for the help with the navigation. I had my cheat sheets taped to my bike and all of a sudden the wind just whisked it away. Oh well! We made it anyway in spite of the fact that the bridge was closed and we had to drive about 15 miles around to come in to Albany from the west. It makes for a great story. Sorry we didn't get to see the old Fort because it was closed for renovations but Old Fort Griffin town was fun and I especially enjoyed seeing it with all those good friends. I'm sorry that so many didn't go on this one. They really missed out on the fun.

    1 · April 5, 2014

    • Rick F.

      I agree ,it was a fine fine day. Cold but put on my rainsuit top and I was fine. Donna and I really had a good time.

      1 · April 7, 2014

  • bob H.

    Very very good . Thanks Gary

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Mark Stevens (.

    Had a great time as usual. Fun with a good group. Thanks everyone.

    2 · April 5, 2014

  • bob H.

    I will be there, buy Len wont. She wimped out says it is to cold for her. She does not handle the cold well. LOL

    April 5, 2014

  • Randall S.

    Called out for unit 2. It won't get any better till spring outages are gone. Sorry guys. I gotta go to work

    1 · April 5, 2014

    • Rick F.

      nothing like letting you know well in advance huh Randy. I was really looking forward to riding with you and Terri . Damn spring outages.

      April 5, 2014

  • Wynelle

    Nothing like last minute family arriving from out of town :-/. Won't be there, have a safe fun ride.

    April 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have Class but be safe

    1 · April 4, 2014

    • Gary

      Thanks, Susanda. Wish you were able to join us.

      April 4, 2014

  • Gary

    This is going to be a fun day and a good warm up for the ride to Arkansas.

    April 4, 2014

  • Brian (free pie) L

    Rick. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May god bless you with a speedy recovery. If you need anything. Please do not hesitate to ask.

    April 4, 2014

  • bob H.

    God bless Rick & his family

    April 4, 2014

  • Gary

    Sorry Rick is unable to go. He had an accident yesterday and is in Trauma ICU with a fractured collar bone, seven fractured ribs, a contused lung, and a pneumothorax. I talked to him today and he sounds good and complains of a lot of pain. He is breathing okay and does not have a chest tube as yet. The doctors are watching that. I know we all need to keep him in our thoughts and prayers as well as his family. He is such a very good man and I am thankful that he is alive and can recover.

    3 · April 3, 2014

    • Rick F.

      God watch over Rick and grant him a speedy recovery. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you Brother. NO LAUGHING ,it hurts to much.

      1 · April 3, 2014

    • Craig B

      Rick, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers, get well soon

      1 · April 3, 2014

  • AL M.

    I had a chance to go to the nation wide race at tms Friday night so I am going to that. would never get up early enough for this ride. you all be safe and have a good ride.

    2 · April 3, 2014

  • Wynelle

    I have two questions. 1. IF the ride gets changed north, is there anyone in the Arlington area that would want to buddy ride to the pilot meetup. 2. What is the best guesstimate of our return time?

    April 2, 2014

    • Wynelle

      Thanks Craig. If plan B goes into effect, I will give you a hollar!

      April 2, 2014

    • Gary

      I'm not sure to be honest. It depends on all of us. It's a long ride and the closer we stay to the speed limit and staying to together to avoid getting split up with lights and keeping our breaks and gas stops to a minimum we will most like good time. At 60 to 70 mph we could make the first leg of 152 miles in about four hours. Figure stops every 60 miles for 15 minutes we can be there in four hours. On the way back we will take hwy 180 straight back and that will take about 2 1/2 hours with two rest stops of 15 minutes. So all I can say it is a long ride and it will be a full day but it's gonna be fun!!!

      April 3, 2014

  • Mike and J.

    Can I please have your email again Gary? To send you our ICE information. Thank you

    April 3, 2014

  • Gary

    Just figured the route. The ride to Fort Griffin is 152 miles and the ride home is 138 miles folks. I would like to change the Meetup time to 6:30am and KSU to 7:00am to fit in breaks so that we have time to eat and visit Fort Griffin and get back. It is a long trip. Let me know what you think.

    April 3, 2014

    • bob H.

      I still prefer the 7:30 KSU

      1 · April 3, 2014

    • Gary

      Ok, Jim. I changed it back so come on and let's ride

      1 · April 3, 2014

  • Rick F.

    We will be there Gary. But looks like a few dropped out already. Sorry to say.

    April 3, 2014

    • Gary

      Well I changed it back and hope they will make it.

      2 · April 3, 2014

    • Gary

      Glad you are coming. Want to see the Fort and Old Town.

      April 3, 2014

  • Gary

    Hey Joyce, if it would help, we will going through Grandbury taken the Lipan highway. That's a lot closer for you and would give you both more time to get to the ride. We could meet you somewhere on the route. Let me if that would work for you.

    April 3, 2014

    • Mike and J.

      Gary, I never know where I am, so I will let Mike know and see what he says. That was very nice of you to think of us!

      April 3, 2014

  • AL M.

    okay gary I'm watching the weather . al

    March 31, 2014

    • Wynelle

      so it is still 8am ksu?

      April 3, 2014

    • Gary

      yes

      April 3, 2014

  • Monique

    Gary
    So people drive 1 hr to get there so changing the time at this point my likely cause people to either drop out or reconsider attending. While the venue looks great I'm going to have to skip this ride. Perhaps this ride again when more hours of daylight exist is a thought.
    Have fun to all who go!

    April 3, 2014

    • Gary

      I changed it back so come on and go with us. It doesn't get dark that late now. If we all ride the speed limit and we don't lag back, we can make it in plenty of time, It's no big thing. I'll even meet you and we can drive over together. Think about it.

      April 3, 2014

  • Gary

    Okay, some of you didn't like the time change to an earlier time or it's just too darn long a ride. My bad. So, I moved the ride back to the original time of 7:30am with KSU of 8:00am. With daylight savings time who gives a big whoop, right. We will just get back later.

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • bob H.

    wow pretty early

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • Gary

    The weather is looking good.

    1 · April 3, 2014

  • Jim T.

    I never realized that we have so many meteorologists in the group. I believe that the person who PLANS the ride takes into account the factors that will affect the safety of the group. Believing that I am watching this sort of dialogue in wonder. I have been seeing an entirely different forecast than some of what I am reading here coming out of the National Weather Service. This time of year is very volatile in the land of tornados and weird weather occurrences.

    2 · April 2, 2014

    • Wynelle

      Thank you for reading my thoughts!

      1 · April 2, 2014

  • Jim G.

    Personally I will not be able to join in no matter what the weather does. I will be driving back home from Whitney on Saturday. Hate it when my travels and camping interfere with the rides.

    1 · April 2, 2014

  • Brian (free pie) L

    Wat Jim. Have you never ridden in a tornado before. You should try it. Talk about wind therapy. Hahahahahahaa

    1 · April 2, 2014

  • Gary

    Well, now the weather forecast calls for no rain in the Fort Worth area but it is supposed to rain in Albany west of us and south of us towards Glen Rose. Well, I have a plan. There is not supposed to be rain to the Northeast of us. Just so happens last week we did a little scouting trip up to Celina and had some great food at Lucy's on the Square. The roads are great with sweeping curves, S turns, tight 90 degrees turns with great scenery all the way. The roads were smooth as glass with some of the best country roads I have been on. If you want to know how good it all was, just ask Danny, Charlie, Susan and the others that went. So if it is going to rain, let's not cancel the ride just adapt and change. If we change the ride to Lucy's on the Square, we will change the Meetup location to the Pilot Center on I35 near Cabellas.

    2 · April 2, 2014

    • David

      Would it be sinister and selfish of me to hope your forecast comes true and the meet up and ride is moved back north? If it is, that takes about 2 hours off my trip to and from the ride and that will put me back in the Might be able to attend category. LOL PS anybody who may order the chicken fried chicken or steak better be hungry because the portion is so large it hangs over the edges of the plate.

      April 2, 2014

  • Rick F.

    as of wed. morning chance of rain is 20% for sat night. That means theres 80% chance we won't see rain. I am for the Fort Griffin ride.

    1 · April 2, 2014

    • Gary

      Me to but there is a 30% chance of rain by noon when we get there. Packing a rain suit would be a good idea.

      April 2, 2014

  • David

    Going to have to pull out of this ride. A change in another’s plans has affected mine.
    Was really looking forward to going on this one after having a good time as
    Slacker on the loose last Friday and then seeing the pics from the Paluxy River Ride.
    All, have a great ride and a safe ride.
    Gary Thank you.

    March 31, 2014

    • Gary

      Sorry, David. We will miss you on this one but we try very hard to keep the rides rolling. Next time.

      1 · April 1, 2014

  • AL M.

    gary is ksu at 8:00am

    April 1, 2014

    • Rick A.

      Yes, KSU 8am very bottom of last picture

      April 1, 2014

    • Gary

      Yes, Al. The KSU time was down at the bottom of the very long description of this Meetup. Thanks.

      April 1, 2014

  • Gary

    Weather report now calls for 70's with overcast skies for Fort Worth and Albany. The rain is passing south of us. Yippee!

    3 · April 1, 2014

  • bob H.

    Can anybody tell me how many miles on this ride.

    April 1, 2014

    • Gary

      Bob, it is 122 miles by the direct route to Albany which is about 2 1/2 hours. However, I have planned a more scenic route going with breaks about every hour. We will ride the direct route on the way back.

      1 · April 1, 2014

  • Rick F.

    I am so ready for the Babylon of the Brazos. Just reading the last paragraph of your Fort Griffin story Fires Me Up. I hope that the weekend turns out to be dry and we have a fun and great ride. I say we vote. All in favor for no rain, Crank your Bike !!!!!!!!

    3 · March 31, 2014

    • Gary

      Varooooom!!!!

      March 31, 2014

  • AL M.

    I think this would be a good ride but the weather does not look good yet.al

    March 30, 2014

    • Gary

      Yes, Al it may rain all weekend. Just have to watch the weather. The roads will always be there another time.

      March 31, 2014

  • David

    Is there anybody that lives near Grapevine going on this ride?

    March 27, 2014

    • Gary

      David, call me and we can work on something like maybe at I35 and Western Center where we met for the last ride.

      March 30, 2014

    • David

      Ok sounds good I will call you later, glad I saved your phone number, from reading all the motes sounds like I missed a good ride today.

      March 30, 2014

  • Rick F.

    Wow!, what a great ride we had to Glen Rose yesterday. I am so looking forward to this ride. I will be talking about it all week.

    March 30, 2014

  • Tracy

    Would love to go but.... It's race weekend @ TMS. Have fun!

    March 21, 2014

  • Rick F.

    Well Gary, I hope that they are still serving up a shot of Red Eye. We will turn one up for the EARPs.anmd another one for the Doc.

    1 · March 18, 2014

10 went

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