Surrounded by the wide open spaces of West Texas, Fort Lancaster State Historic Site, a Texas Historical Commission property, sits between Sheffield and Ozona in Crockett County. Established in 1855, it was one of several frontier posts that played an important role in westward expansion by providing escorts for mail carriers, wagon trains and settlers on the San Antonio–El Paso Road en route to California. Today, the site contains the ruins of what once constituted a sizable military installation as well as an interpretive trail and a visitors center with exhibits and a gift shop. Self-guided tours of the fort are available along with picnic areas.
The 82-acre historic site was opened to the public in 1969. It was designated a State Archaeological Landmark in 1983 and is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Archaeological excavations from 1966 and 1971 yielded the discovery of artifacts indicating that prehistoric Native Americans lived at the site around 1,000–8,000 years ago.