Mason County is home to rich Texas history. If you are interested in exploring a historical building that has stood for centuries and played a unique part in the history of this nation, check out Fort Mason. Fort Mason was established in 1851, in pre-Civil War Mason, Texas. It served as the home fort for future commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee. The location was created to be used as a front-line fort for protection against Kiowa, Lipan Apache, and Comanche tribes. The fort closed temporarily in 1854 after an attack and subsequent horse theft by Native Americans. Fort Mason was reopened in 1856. The Confederate Army took control of Fort Mason in 1861, and the United States Army did not establish control again until 1866, under the command of General John Porter Hatch. The Reconstruction period took a toll on the citizens and military within Fort Mason, as well as the surrounding area. Fort Mason closed briefly again in 1869, but was reopened in 1870. A century later, in 1975, residents of Mason County worked to restore the fort, which now belongs to the Mason County Historical Society. This structure has endured through war, economic turmoil, attacks, illness, raids, and finally, neglect. Now that is has been restored and is open to the public for tours, Fort Mason is worth a visit. It is located only five blocks south of the Mason County Courthouse.