Fort Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas

Fort Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas

Fort Wolters has had several names and served a variety of services over the last 90 years. It started out life as a Texas National Guard Training Camp in 1925 and ended its life as a civilian industrial park with abandoned warehouses, barracks, and other military structures scattered throughout the base’s old property lines sometime after the base was decommissioned in 1975.

A Brief History of Fort Wolters

As I mentioned before, Fort Wolters once served as a Texas National Guard Camp (Camp Wolters). The camp was mostly used a training facility and a small portion of the old training camp still supports current Guard training.

Then in 1941, Camp Wolters was turned over to the U.S. Army for Infantry Replacement Training and was one of the largest U.S. Army training facilities during World War II. But was deactivated in 1946 and a portion of the base was purchased by a local business group in 1947. The land and structures were converted to civilian use.

In 1955, the U.S. Army resumed control of the base and in 1956, the U.S. Army Primary Helicopter School was activated.

Then in 1963, Camp Wolters became Fort Wolters, Texas and the dedication ceremony was held on July 4th, 1963 and served as the U.S Army Primary Helicopter Center/School until the school was transferred to Fort Rucker, Alabama in 1973.

After the school left, there wasn’t much reason to keep the base up and running. So the U.S. Army deactivated the base in 1975 for the last time. At some after 1975, Fort Wolters was renamed to Wolters Industrial Park.

Fort Wolters as it Stands Today

Back in June, my wife and I spent a late afternoon Saturday exploring Fort Wolters, Texas. This article is part two of the North Texas Road Trip June 2013–Anna, Texas, Celina, Texas, Pilot Point, Texas, and Mineral Wells, Texas. Since the fort is a historical marker and important part of Army’s history, we decided it was time to document the property and share our findings.

Fort Wolters is located just east of Mineral Wells, Texas on Highway 180. You really can’t miss it, The old Fort Wolters Air Base sign has been restored and hangs over the entrance into the area.

The base is a place you might want to reserve more than just a few hours there. We were there just  a few hours and only stopped at a few places to shoot. But there are buildings and other things in the area to explore.

What I mostly found were abandoned barracks or barracks being used for storage. Everything that I looked at were in rough shape. Fort Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas

I only stopped at one barrack grouping near the Camp Chapel and everyone single one of them was stripped down and used for storage. The buildings were ranged from needing paint job to burned out to the foundations.

Fort Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas

When I was walking through one of the barrack foundations I found an old soda bottle that must have been hidden in the bushes near the building’s foundations for decades and was uncovered when I found it sitting in some overgrown bushes and weeds. Fort Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas

But the main attraction for photographers and Urbex Explorers is the Fort Wolters Beech Army Hospital that has been abandoned for the better part of at least two decades. Fort Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas

The first time I visited the hospital, it was overgrown and the broken down cars on the roads near the hospital made me think of a post apocalyptic movie scene. But now, the grass has been cut and lot of the trash has been cleaned up.Fort Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas

Fort Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas

At some point, I plan on returning to Mineral Wells and to Fort Wolters. At that point, I want to dedicate a complete history work up with current pictures of the abandoned structures and current military buildings still in use.

These images were processed with adobe Lightroom 3 and post processed with Topaz Clarity and/or Converted to black and white with Topaz B&W.

For more information and a full history of Fort Wolters, check out these great sites.

The Fort Wolters Gate
Fort Wolters

About James

James spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to Wordpress, social media, and technology. You can reach him on his personal website, Evolutionary Designs Blog, Do not forget to follow him on Twitter @element321

Comments

  1. One of the few living WWII Vets which trained at Camp Wolters Texas heavy weapons training

  2. Patricia says:

    My twin sister and I were born at Nazareth Hospital in 1956 while my dad was stationed at Camp Wolters. My dad played the trumpet in the army band there. We lived in the house (at the time, it was a duplex), across the street from the Dairy Queen. My husband and I went back there about 10? years ago, and that duplex was in pretty rough shape. There were what appeared to be homeless looking people hanging across the street from the Nazareth Hospital. We drove into the old Fort Wolters Army base to take picturs, and a big lady dressed in a guard uniform started yelling at me that I “wasn’t allowed to take pictures as it was a (prison)”.

  3. My dad was stationed at Camp Wolters for his basic training before being shipped off to Europe during WWII. I am putting a scrapbook together of his war years and am interested in getting a picture of Fort Wolters during the 1940’s. Could you direct me to how I can get one?

  4. Victor Wadsworth says:

    Beach Army Hospital was opened in March of 1957, I was born there April 3rd 1957 one of the first babies born at this hospital.

  5. I was stationed at Fort wolters 8n the 60’same with the 864th engt, batt. We built stage fields for the primary helicopter school. Any body else there during that time?

    • Cleve Bartley says:

      I was stationed at Ft. Wolters (Beech Army Hospital) in 1666 as a Bio-Med Equipment Maintenance Tech, and our 2nd child was born there as well.

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