Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Feature Friday & Frontier Forts

Today's Feature Friday will be featuring blogs that begin with the letter "F"! I'm feeling a little Sesame Street right about now...

Feather Stone is the author of The Guardian's Wildchild. She talks about writing and interviews/features authors and/or their books, but she also has a very peaceful way of looking at things and talks about things like meditation and caring for yourself.

At Feed me a Stray Cat M. Hufstader does short movie reviews. There are some good movies on there!

At Fiction and Film Kate Larkindale talks about writing and her career in cinema management.

At Finding Joy in the Journey Indie author Sheri L. Swift talks about day-to-life and the writer's life. Her book cover is a must-see!

Joyce from From This Side of the Pond talks about travels, writing and life, and does the Wednesday Hodgepodge Blog Hop.

The team at From the Write Angle give you tips and information on writing. They are currently holding an anniversary flash fiction contest!

Sarah Allen writes about writing on From Sarah, With Joy. Her "B" post was about blog incest, which amuses me, though the point was valid.

orts of the Wild West Frontier:

For the purpose of this post, forts are defined as permanent buildings that were created by the U.S. military.

Quick, why were military outposts, or forts, put up in the west? If you said to protect settlers from the Native Americans, you're wrong! As a matter of fact, they were put up to try to cultivate relationships between the Natives and white settlers, and to try to keep the whites from encroaching on Native lands. They also served to try to create peace between warring Native tribes.

Forts of the west were often built out of stone, wood logs or adobe, depending upon the location. They rarely had large defensible walls, despite what you may see in the movies, as they were rarely attacked.

Unfortunately, the encroachment of white settlers, prospectors and trappers on Native territories spawned the Indian Wars, resulting in new forts being built with defense in mind, or the modifying of already existing forts. This is when they became closer to Hollywood's definition of a fort. They were used as Indian Agencies, in some cases, during and after removals of the Native population to reservations.

Some forts you may have heard of (note: not all of these were established by the military; some were established as trading outposts first):

Fort Apache, Arizona
Fort Bowie, Arizona
Fort Defiance, Arizona
Fort Bragg, California
Bent's Old Fort, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Fort Sumner, New Mexico
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
The Alamo, Texas
Fort Hood, Texas
Fort Mason, Texas
Fort Stockton, Texas
Fort Douglas, Utah
Fort Duchesne, Utah
Fort Bridger, Wyoming
Fort Laramie, Wyoming

Three forts you might not have known were forts:

Fort Yellowstone, Wyoming
Fort Alcatraz, California
El Presidio, California

Visited any neat old forts? Do you already follow the featured blogs? Discover any new ones?

May you find your Muse.

*Letter F courtesy of NanoMobile at
**Fort Bowie, Arizona, 1880, courtesy of George Rothrock (from english Wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
***Apache Prisoners at Fort Bowie, Arizona, 1884, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Wikimedia Commons
****Bents Old Fort, Gentlemen's Lodging, By Billy Hathorn (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
*****Fort Yellowstone, Wyoming, By Underwood & Underwood -- Publisher [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Horst Peters said...

We have a fort about 20 minutes north of our city - Lower Fort Garry.


for images see:

Gossip_Grl said...

Love the post. After reading I can't get John Wayne out of my head several of his movies had them. I have never been to visit one though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We've been to Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
Will have to check out the movie blog!

Matthew MacNish said...

Lots of great F blogs! Thanks, Shannon!

loverofwords said...

Have you had dinner at The Fort restaurant outside of Denver? It is a small replica of Bent's Fort. It's a treat to go there, especially with friends from out of town, but then again, you have the Broadmoor :).

shelly said...

I visited an Indian reservation once about 25 years ago. No forts though.

And I follow Sarah's blog. She's very sweet and postive. Cute, too!


Rekha said...

Have visited a lot of forts in India given that till 63 years ago, she was divided into kingdoms ruled by Maharajas and Nawabs. There are a few colonial British too. Some are well maintained and some inaccessible and crumbling...most of them built on hills had soldiers and civilians living within and at the foothills.

Tracy MacDonald said...

I think forts are so cool, and actually think I would have been fun to live during that time. Crazy, I know; I live for my washing machine. Love the F post, and now I have some other blogs I want to visit. Happy A to Z-ing!
A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

Anonymous said...

I wish I remembered the name of the fort my family went to but it was so long ago. It's funny that most assume forts did there job of keeping settlers safe and yet it sounds like they failed at keeping them out of native land.

xoxo Lloralye @ Adorning Schemes A to Z

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post. I've heard of some of the forts you mentioned. Years ago my husband and I went to an old fort in Michigan.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I've never visited a cool fort, but always wanted to. I'm a sucker for history... even if a lot of that history is the white man destroying the Native Americans.

Looks like I have some new blogs to check out!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I've lived my whole life in the American West and have always been a big fan of visiting forts.
There is a feeling there. History has a feeling.

Cat Lavoie said...

I will definitely check out the featured blogs! I've never had the chance to visit a fort... they sound pretty cool!

Susan Kane said...

Never been to a fort, but would now love to see some. I loved the analysis of the forts' purposes, and how it all changed.

Chuck said...

Ya know I have lived about 4 hours north of the Alamo for 23 years and have never made the trek to see it? Somehow that now is irritating. And I loved building forts as a kid. Guess I need to plan the trip, huh?

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

I just visited the Alamo for the 12th time this past weekend and it'still amazing.

Christine Rains said...

I've never visited any of the forts in the West yet. All my visits have been ones in the east. Great idea for Feature Friday!

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks so much for the shout out for From the Write Angle!! :)

Forts are fascinating :) The one on Mackinaw Island in Michigan is awesome!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Used to visit Fort Washington when I was a kid. Fun place to explore. My dad hauled us to a lot of old forts in our cross country treks. :-)

While in California, I visited Fort Ross, Presidio, and Fort Bragg. I just looked across the bay at Alcatraz. I didn't have a desire to visit.

Yay, I did know your three forts.

Interesting post and loved the pics!


Sandra Tyler said...

this is great, thank you!

Ladydragonfly1958 said...

Wow! Great information here. Thanks!
I have another fort that I have visited a few times. Fort Steuben is in Steubenville, Ohio (the home of Dean Martin by the way)

Bushman said...

Neat blog! Here from the A to Z. Looks interesting. I've got you earmarked for a thorough investigation once this challenge is over and I can devote more time.

Unknown said...

I've heard of a couple of forts from the podcast "Hardcore History". It was a really interesting podcast about the tensions between the Apache tribe and the American-European invaders.

Fellow A-Z bloggy buddy
Mithril Wisdom

Sonia Lal said...

I am thinking they built forts in the west because they were needed there and not other places.

Julie Flanders said...

How interesting that Yellowstone started out as a fort. I had no idea! I love the pics, I always love old photos so much.

And now I'm really curious to go read about blog incest LOL.

Nicole @ The Daily Dish said...

My kids are involved in a group that does historical re-enactments so we get the opportunity to visit several forts a year, and its so cool, they are fascinating.

Loved your F blogs list - great ones!

RaShelle Workman said...

I have found some amazing new blogs. Thanks for the links. I'll have to check them out. =D

Andrew Leon said...

Well... technically, The Alamo wasn't a fort; it was a mission church. It was just the closest thing they had to a fort when the Mexican army was coming in.

And, man, is it so much smaller than you'd actually think. Or, maybe, that was just me. I was really into the history of the Alamo when I was a kid; it was weird going there as a teenager and finding that I could basically look over the tops of the walls.

A. K. Fotinos-Hoyer said...

Thanks for all the great blog links :)

I've been to Fort Bragg and the Alamo, but I think that's about it. Maybe I'll get around to checking out some more one of these days when I'm back in the states ;)

Unknown said...

Thanks for all the links and another entertaining history lesson :)

Unknown said...

Been into most of those blogs, except Feather Stone - and now I've been there. Thanks for the recommendations! I love the names and places of those forts: Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado! Wild West.

Jessica L. Celaya said...

It's neat to learn about forts. I never would have thought they were first used for peace. I always picture the Hollywood style forts. Thanks for sharing!

Jane of JaneZworld said...

Very book which is the excerpts I am using for the AZ challenge is set (mostly) in Colorado Territory mid to late 1850s
I found you through the
A-Z 2012 Challenge.
Here is my link.
I have Google problems

Lindi said...

I've been to some forts on the east coast--but I haven't been west!

Alison Miller said...

Great links! And great info too! Thanks!

Libby said...

Lots of cool links to check out!

Sarah Allen said...

Thank you so much for the shout out :) I really appreciate it. You've got some awesome A-Z stuff here :)

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Shannon Lawrence said...

Horst, cool!

Gossip Grl, true, there were a bunch of forts in Wayne's movies, and I'm willing to bet some were the real deal.

Alex, that would be a cool one to visit. I always get it mixed up in my head with Fort Sumner in New Mexico.

Matthew, thanks!

Loverofwords, I never have! I didn't even know it existed. Ah, the Broadmoor is a bit pricy for out of town guests, haha. Would you believe I've never eaten there?? I did attend a charity gala at one of its buildings, but have never been in the main part.

Shelly, she definitely is!

Rekha, I wonder if those were more defense-related ones then? More like what the movies depict for around here. I bet they are interesting to visit!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Tracy, I do, too! I know it would have been hard, but it was definitely an interesting time.

Lloralye, yeah, whatever their purpose, they didn't work so well!

Susanne, neat! I'm sure people would recognize others, but those were the names that popped for me when I was reading down the list. There are so many.

Beer B/B, I'm a sucker for history, too. If we didn't have history, we'd just make the same mistakes over and over...wait...

Shelly, I couldn't agree more.

Cat, neither have I, but we have one soooo close that I will have to, probably this summer.

Susan, thanks! I hope you get to visit one.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Chuck, definitely! No time like the present.

Debra, oh, jealous! I'd love to visit it sometime.

Christine, I'm betting those ones are cool, too! I don't know what their specific purposes were, though.

Jemi, oh, I bet! And no problem!

Sia, you did! I'd like to visit Alcatraz. Some day.

Sandra, thank you!

Ladydragonfly, cool!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Bushman, I hope you like what you see when you return! Thanks for stopping by.

Jamie, I bet those were interesting for sure! The Apache were a driven tribe.

Sonia, good point!

Julie, I know; just draws you in, LOL. I had no idea about Yellowstone before this post, either.

Nicole, what a cool opportunity!

RaShelle, that is the awesome thing about this challenge!

Andrew, that's crazy! And yeah, a lot of the forts started out as things like that, such as trading posts. They became forts when needed.

Shannon Lawrence said...

A.K., that is more than I've visited, though I'm willing to bet I went to one on the east coast when I lived there, but don't remember it was a fort.

Damyanti, thanks!

Susan, thank you! Gotta' love the Wild West!

Jessica, I had no idea, either.

Jane, oh, that sounds interesting!

Lindi, any fort is a cool fort!

Alison, thank you!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Libby, thanks!

Sarah, my pleasure!