While the Wild West is often associated with wandering cowboys and pioneer settlers, the establishment of U.S. military forts played a crucial role in the westward expansion of the Lone Star State. Fort Phantom Hill, located near Abilene, was one of these forts, helping to protect travelers and maintain peace in the region. Discover this fascinating chapter of Texas history at Frontier Texas!, a museum dedicated to the tall tales of the Old West in downtown Abilene. As the hub of the Texas Forts Trail, Frontier Texas! also houses a regional visitor center. Plan your visit to learn more about the rich military history of the Wild West.
Learn about Texas’ forts and the people who served in them in the interactive Military on the Frontier exhibit. While you’re here, check out the Guns of the West exhibit, home to the Fort Phantom Hill Firearms Collection that charts the development of guns from early muzzle-loading rifles to rapid-fire Colts and Winchesters. Earlier in your adventure in the Old West, you’ll encounter interactive exhibits that outline the history of the Comanche Empire, the trade of buffalo hides, and how settlements were founded on the edges of civilization. At the end, you’ll leave with a deeper understanding of how frontier military forts helped win the west.