“Protecting the Plains” – Fort Griffin State Historic Site
The culturally rich story of Fort Griffin has two sides to be told, and BPI lets them play out in a natural conversation that is enhanced by small-scale reenactment footage and use of archival photographs.
A timeline of history unfolds on three side-by-side monitors in the orientation film, “Protecting the Plains: The Story of Fort Griffin.” Using a combination of archival images, limited reenactments, and interviews with scholars, the story of this frontier fort begins with the Tonkawa and Apache presence on the land pre-1700 and concludes with present-day images of the fort ruins and replicas.
BPI interviewed two scholars with differing viewpoints to drive the story. While one historian cites the influence of the buffalo hunters as one of building commerce and a community, the other, a Kiowa, shares his tribal viewpoint and how the hunters destroyed a way of life. They speak about other significant factors related to Fort Griffin history including settlement, traders, buffalo soldiers, and the frontier military. General narration provides additional context throughout the presentation.
For “Pioneer Stories,” an interactive exhibit at the center, BPI honed in on four individuals presenting audio diaries of a young woman during the frontier era along with a Texas Ranger, a buffalo hunter, and a military commander.