Big Bend Chat

Big Bend Community => What's Happening => Topic started by: BigBendHiker on February 10, 2008, 10:22:41 AM

Title: Fort Davis View
Post by: BigBendHiker on February 10, 2008, 10:22:41 AM
In today's San Antonio Express-News:

Quote


Fort Davis view at risk

Web Posted: 02/09/2008 11:05 PM CST

John MacCormack
Express-News

The online listing by Texas Mountain Realty for a rocky 39-acre plot a few miles from Fort Davis brags of "incredible views bordering the natural historic site." And if anything, this is an understatement.
Offered for $504,000, the brushy knob in the Davis Mountains directly overlooks the old cavalry fort established in 1854 to protect frontier travelers from the Apaches and Comanches.

Now a national historic site, it draws about 50,000 visitors a year, including thousands of school children.

And few out here think development of the hilltop will add to the local aesthetic.

"It's just got everyone freaked out. Stand there looking at that fort and imagine condos above it. It's just frightening," said Bob Dillard, a former Jeff Davis County judge who publishes the local newspaper.

Just west of the fort is Davis Mountains State Park and federal land, except for the 39-acre site. The McDonald Observatory is a few miles away.

"Scenery is our main drawing card," said George Grubb, the current county judge.

"We don't have a fishing lake or a golf course. Some people are concerned that if you ruin the scenic beauty, you'll hit all three of our money-makers," he said, referring to the local tourist attractions.

The property was put on the market recently after quiet efforts to find a buyer who would donate it to the park or historic site came to nothing, according to its owner, Chris Jaynes of Seguin.

"I don't want to see anyone subdivide it and put houses all over it. I think it would be best for the state or the park to acquire it," said Jaynes, who believes the asking price is fair.

The controversy erupted the same week Fort Davis was praised and honored by the National Trust For Historic Preservation as one of America's distinctive vacation destinations.

"With no traffic lights or chain stores, Fort Davis is a gateway to an unspoiled terrain, offering an extraordinary blend of majestic scenery, abundant wildlife and cultural resources that bring to life the history of the 19th-century Western frontier," read the Thursday news release by the trust.

Chuck Hunt, the superintendent of the federal historic site, said he and others worked for about a year to arrange to keep the private land from being developed, but a proposed deal with the Texas Conservation Fund didn't materialize, he said.

"We've tried to line up folks who might be willing to buy it until the state park or the federal historic site can acquire it. It takes a long time for the federal government to respond to something like this," he said.

"The beauty of it now is that half our view-shed is protected in perpetuity, so our grandkids can enjoy the same historic scenery," he said.

Sometime after buying the property, Jaynes built a road to it to allow access, changing the dynamic.

"I don't think people were nervous until there was good access to it. Now there is," Hunt said.

Among those working behind the scenes to find a sympathetic buyer is Suzanne Dixon of the National Parks Conservation Association.

"The views at Fort Davis are just as much part of the experience for visitors as the fort itself. Any structure on the bluff would greatly impair the sense of history the fort now offers," she said.

Tammy King, the agent who is listing the property, is still hopeful that a conservation-minded buyer will emerge.

"I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. This is my view that I want to protect, but at the same time, the seller wants a return on his investment," she said.

"On the personal side, I've been working two years to try and find a buyer to protect it, but if someone who wants to build his dream home shows up tomorrow with a half million bucks, I'd have to sell," she said.

Jaynes, who owns other property in the area, said he is trying to do the right thing.

"If someone came today and wanted it, I would ask them what they were going to do with it. If they said put 10 mobile homes up there and rent them out for the weekend, I wouldn't allow that to happen," he said, while acknowledging there are no deed restrictions on the land.

"I want to know who I'm selling it to. I can understand why everyone is concerned. I have a lot of respect for the land," he said.



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jmaccormack@express-news.net

Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: fartymarty on February 17, 2008, 11:04:07 AM
   If only I had $1,000,000.  :eusa_pray: Spend say $500,000 (hopefully I could negotiate the price down $4000) for the land. That would leave me $400,000 to build
an earth sheltered home on the west side of the hill below the ridge line (out of view from town).  The remaining $100,000 to drill for water, and if any $ is left over
I could spend it on local PR in Fort Davis so people wouldn't hate me. For the daily view, I think I'd do it. But alas $1,000,000 hasn't appeared in my piggy bank.  :eusa_boohoo:

Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: STARLITDARKNESS3 on February 17, 2008, 12:13:56 PM
Beautiful scene marty.  Looks like a fine painting more than a picture.  I like it.
Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: fartymarty on February 17, 2008, 12:46:01 PM
Beautiful scene marty.  Looks like a fine painting more than a picture.  I like it.

   Thanks, the original is for sale only $1,000,000.  :rolling: :rolling:
Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: STARLITDARKNESS3 on February 17, 2008, 02:54:19 PM
Beautiful scene marty.  Looks like a fine painting more than a picture.  I like it.

   Thanks, the original is for sale only $1,000,000.  :rolling: :rolling:

Don't like it that much...  :icon_eek:
Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: okiehiker on February 17, 2008, 05:38:38 PM
Careful Marty... in the case of a photograph.... the "original" is what you photographed.... looks like several tens of thousands of acres in the pic.  Someone might just come up with the million!
Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: fartymarty on February 17, 2008, 11:38:05 PM
Careful Marty... in the case of a photograph.... the "original" is what you photographed.... looks like several tens of thousands of acres in the pic.  Someone might just come up with the million!

    Well I thought it was clear that I meant the original photograph, but if that can be legally construed to mean the real estate in the photo (?) so be it. I will gladly sell my interest
in all the land that is visible in the photo. Someone wanting clear title may decide to shop elseware.  :icon_lol: :icon_lol:

 I had the land in question earlier book marked, ( http://www.texasmountainrealty.com/photos.php?property_ID=110  (http://www.texasmountainrealty.com/photos.php?property_ID=110) ) but the realtor's website ( http://www.texasmountainrealty.com  (http://www.texasmountainrealty.com) ) has been dead all afternoon. Maybe the news stories have brought it too many hits and it cratered?  :icon_eek:


Don't like it that much...  :icon_eek:
               :rolling: Can't say I blame you, but thanks anyway.
   
Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: SHANEA on March 20, 2008, 06:38:08 PM
Outstanding news. 

Hills behind West Texas' historic Fort Davis will be conserved (http://www.star-telegram.com/local/story/527413.html)
Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: fartymarty on March 20, 2008, 10:49:35 PM
   ....Spend say $500,000 (hopefully I could negotiate the price down $4000) for the land... For the daily view, I think I'd do it.


      There now, see how a small threat from me can move things right along?? Without my help this could have dragged on for many months. :icon_lol:

   
Outstanding news. 

     Thanks Shane for the info and I heartily agree, it is outstanding news. :eusa_dance:
Title: Re: Fort Davis View
Post by: presidio on March 21, 2008, 07:33:26 AM
Hills behind West Texas' historic Fort Davis will be conserved (http://www.star-telegram.com/local/story/527413.html)

This article perpetuates a myth...

'Fort Davis is considered one of the best-preserved frontier military posts in the Southwest.'

If anyone considers a lot of reconstruction by the NPS and numerous foundation ruins as 'best preserved' then they haven't gotten around much. In contrast to the arrested decay of Ft Davis, the 1855 Ft Stanton in south central NM is probably the best example anywhere of a frontier military post. Abandoned numerous times and even unsuccessfully burned at one abandonment, it never really fell into ruin and is in mothballed use today, largely intact. The state of NM, which owns it, recently, finally, declared it a monument. Of course since it is still in light use and isn't in a park, maybe that's the difference.

It has served as a mental hospital, was a WWII POW camp where German non-combatant seamen were interned, and figured prominently in the Lincoln County War of Billy the Kid fame. The post cemetery still is in use and contains frontier, German and other burials, right up to this year. The fort is situated in an incredibly scenic spot with an unobstructed view of Sierra Blanca and is about 10 miles from the town of Lincoln. The post is surrounded by BLM land which, in turn is surrounded by USFS, so the setting is virtually unchanged from the 1850s.

If you're really interested check out www.fortstanton.com

You can see a small snippet of the fort in the TV series 'Into the West' where it was used as the Pennsylvania Carlisle Indian School.