Houck, Arizona

Fort Courage

This abandoned bootleg attraction was built to cash in on the popularity of classic TV show, F Troop. 

Built in the 1970s to cash in on some of that sweet F Troop money, Fort Courage is a replica fort built to resemble the one from the classic show. The trading post also included a gift shop, Armco gas station, and coffee house/Taco Bell.

F Troop was a television series that ran from 1965-67, set in the fictional Fort Courage, an Army outpost (and neighboring town) out in the wilderness of the 1860s. The bumbling troop (hey, Larry Storch!) got into all manner of pickles and hijinks during its two seasons, before finally going off the air in 1967. However, the show’s legacy lived on at the roadside attraction Fort Courage… sort of.

The replica fort, while not officially affiliated with the show, did not let this potential legal hurdle stop them, selling official merchandise and proudly displaying actual F Troop props. Because there was only so long that F Troop impersonating could be considered even vaguely financially viable, there was also a general store that sold groceries and Native American arts and crafts.

Also on the trading post property were an Armco gas station and a pancake house, both now, like the fort itself, abandoned. The fort and general store are in remarkably good shape, while the now-fenced-off pancake house looks significantly more desolate. The coffee shop may or may not also have acted as a Taco Bell at one point in its life. A faded sign hangs above the door, but there’s not much else to go by. Similarly, for an attraction with as many signs still dotting the interstate as Fort Courage does, there does not seem to be much in the way of history available for this possibly once mighty tourist trap.

Know Before You Go

Exit 348 off I-40, then down a frontage road.

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