Posts Tagged ‘ american trails ’

Historical Cities-Chicago, Illinois is now available on Google Maps

Explore over 70 historical sites and landmarks with accompanying background text through Google Maps.  This guide and others are available at Autotrails.net

Advertisements

Slow Travels-Oatmeal, Texas

Oatmeal, Texas (5.6 miles southwest of Bertram on FM 243)

A German family reportedly named Habermill came into the area in 1849 and spent a season or two in the vicinity of the headspring of the stream now known as Oatmeal Creek. The town name is either an alteration of the name of a Mr. Othneil, who owned the first gristmill in the area, or a supposed translation of the name Habermill (Haber is a German dialect word for Hafer, “oats”). An Oatmeal post office was established in 1853, and the first schoolhouse was built in 1858. A second school, marked by a state historical marker and still used as a church in 1990, was erected in 1869. The first orchard in the county was located in the community, and the first and only cheese press in the county operated there. A gin built by George Naguler in the 1870s served as a local landmark until 1907, and the community at one time had a general store. A cemetery plot was deeded in 1871, though burials had occurred there as early as 1854. After the American Civil War a colony of former slaves settled in the eastern part of Oatmeal. They built homes along a straight lane, constructed a building for use as a church and school, and established the only all-black cemetery in the county. The settlement, known as Stringtown (among other names), ceased to exist by the 1920s. TSHA Online

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elijah Bullion was born Oct. 24, 1809, in Franklin Co., Georgia, and died October 19, 1888, at Oatmeal in Burnet County. He was buried in Oatmeal Cemetery. On January 29, 1839, he was married in Itawamba Co., Mississippi, to Elizabeth Mariah (Betsy) Bumgardner.

 

 

America’s Lost Highway-Missouri’s U.S. Highway 66 is Now Available on Google Maps

Explore 120 Historical Sites and Landmarks along Route 66 through the Show Me State.

Autotrails.net List of U.S. Google Maps

Retracing A Segment of Oklahoma’s U.S. Highway 70

In Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State, on which this guide is based, the travel route of U.S. Highway 70 is indicated as turning south at the junction with U.S. 277 on D1990 Road.

 

US 70 crosses over a long bridge spanning a wide expanse of river-bed sand and a narrow stream to the TEXAS LINE, 268.5 m., at a point 2.5 miles northeast of Burkburnett, Texas (see Texas Guide).

 

This earlier route of U.S. Highway 70, 277, and 281 connected with Oklahoma Highway 36 at that highway’s current junction with E1990 Road, south of the present Kiowa Casino. That earlier route then continued to the present intersection of Oklahoma Highway 36 and Interstate Highway 44 (Exit 1).  The current route of Interstate Highway 44 and U.S. Highways 277 and 281 south from Exit 1 to the Red River bridge follows the earlier route of U.S. 70 into Texas.

Today’s traveler can follow D1990 Road southwest from Randlett southwest to a point at the east side of Interstate Highway 44.  However, that highway bisects the old route and the traveler turns south, parallel to the current expressway, to an intersection with E1990 Road, 0.7 miles east of Oklahoma Highway 36.

The aerial photo below clearly shows the earlier curved route of the highway beyond Interstate 44 to Oklahoma Highway 36.

Aerial US 70

The portion of the Rand McNally map of Oklahoma (1927) below shows the earlier route of U.S. Highway 70.

RandMcNally 1927

This map was created prior to the designations of U.S. Highways 277 and 281, and predates the designation of Interstate 44 on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike by 55 years.  On March 3, 1945, the route of U.S. Highway 70 from Randlett was realigned to follow Oklahoma Highway 32 west to Davidson, Oklahoma, before turning south with U.S. Highway 183 to Oklaunion, Texas.  U.S. Highway 277 still followed the previous route to Burkburnett.

1948 Highway Map

Forgotten Landmark-Blue River Highway Bridge, Old U.S. 70, Blue, OK

Blue River Highway Bridge, Old U.S. Highway 70, southwest of Blue, Oklahoma

U.S. Highway 70 parallels the route of the St. Louis & San Francisco (Frisco Railroad).  Prior to the creation of the Federal Highway System in 1926, this route was referred to as the Bankhead Highway, a segment of the Rand McNally Auto Trails system.  The Bankhead Highway traversed the southern United States, beginning in Washington D.C. and traveling through Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas, and Phoenix to San Diego. West of Little Rock, Arkansas, the Bankhead Highway ran in two parallel routes.  The northerly route followed U.S. 70 from Little Rock to Roswell, New Mexico.

 

 

The highway bridge in the photos below is located along a portion of the old U.S. Highway 70, whose route travels south of the current route between Bokchito and Hugo.  This bridge was constructed in 1921 by the General Construction Company of St. Louis under the direction of the Federal Aid Project.  During 1921, 162 miles of highway were constructed by the state under the Federal Aid and 32 miles were built by counties.  The total estimated cost was $4,847,000.

 

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2090) at Blue River

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2090) at Blue River

 

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2090) at Blue River

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2090) at Blue River

A similar bridge was constructed over Caddo Creek, east of the town of Blue (photos below).

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2080) at Caddo Creek

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2080) at Caddo Creek

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2080) at Caddo Creek

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2080) at Caddo Creek

American Trails Revisited–Texas’ Chisholm Trail (Introduction)

The following is a portion from a new travel guide, Texas’ Chisholm Trail, in my American Trails Revisited series (available for the Amazon Kindle and other eBook formats).   In the coming months, I will post portions of this guide as I develop it for publication.

Background from Texas-A Guide to the Lone Star State (published in 1940 by the Federal Works Agency, Work Projects Administration, and Texas State Highway Commission):

“The first cattle known to have entered Texas were 500 cows brought by Coronado in 1541. Many of the explorers, fearing a food shortage in an unknown land, brought livestock. Some of these cattle escaped and wandered through the wilderness, to become the nucleus of vast wild herds. The Spanish colonists found a natural pasto, or pasture, covering southwest Texas. Reynosa, in 1757, with a population of 269, had 18,000 head of cattle. De Mezieres (1779) reported that a fat cow was worth only four pesos, yet the ranches flourished. Herds were driven to market in Louisiana by Spanish ranchers in defiance of customs laws. Thus, probably the first smuggling in the State was that of cattle. Owners marked their stock when possible, but most of the cattle were unbranded. The wild herds were not molested by the Indians, who preferred the meat of the buffalo.

It was in east Texas that modern ranching began. James Taylor White, the first real Anglo-American cattleman, established the first ranch of the modern type near Turtle Bayou in Chambers County.  Other ranchers followed White to east Texas. They drove their herds to New Orleans to market, using the Old Beef Trail and others. Hides and tallow still had more value than beef. The most important event to pioneer Texas cattlemen was the introduction of Brahma or Zebu cattle from India, a variety scientifically designated as Bos Indicus and differing radically from the European variety of Bos Taurus. It was not until after the Civil War that Brahmas were secured in large numbers. The first record of a successful crossing of these cattle with native stock was in 1874 when Captain Mifflin Kenedy experimented with his herds. Fever ticks had been a barrier to the introduction of Hereford, Shorthorn and other beef breeds in the coastal and southern area. The Brahmas and cattle produced by crossing them with other breeds proved to be immune from tick fever, and were also better beef cattle. As ticks have never been eradicated from some sections, Brahma blood is still essential to the State’s livestock industry.

By 1860, there were more than three million head of cattle in Texas. The Union blockade prevented the shipment of large herds to supply the Confederate army, and at the close of the Civil War the State was overrun with cattle, many of them wild. Longhorns were almost worthless in 1866. Range animals sold for $3 and $4 a head, although in the North butchers were paying from $30 to $40 a head for beeves. Everyone had cattle and nobody had wealth.

And in Texas, especially in the brush country, wild native stock had flourished. Here the Texas cowboy had emerged. There also were    (cowpunchers, from vaca, meaning cow), who were Mexicans. Both of these classes of cowboys had learned to pursue “strays” through the densest thickets. The term “maverick” had come into being as a synonym for unbranded cattle, and there were countless herds of longhorns, too valueless to be branded. Obviously, the thing to do was to drive the herds to shipping points. Yet the nearest railroads were in Kansas and Missouri, 1,000 to 1,500 miles distant.

A few adventurous spirits led the way across those untried miles to the railheads, in the late sixties. Trails, some of them bearing the names of the men who blazed them, came into being, such as the Chisholm Trail. Abilene, Kansas, became a roaring cowtown, followed by Dodge City and other shipping points that sprang up in the wake of the mighty movement of cattle. No other industry in the Southwest had such economic significance or such picturesque aspects. The driving of herds caused towns, customs, and a distinct type of people to grow up beside the trails. About five million Texas cattle were driven to market during the 15 years of trail driving, yet when the railroads reached Texas and the drives were no longer necessary, there were more cattle in the State than when the drives began.”

1873_Map_of_Chisholm_Trail_with_subsidiary_trails_in_Texas

New Release–American Trails Revisited-Texas’s Old San Antonio Road

The Old San Antonio Road was, for two centuries,
the main artery of travel between San Antonio and Nacogdoches. Religion was the
strongest influence during the era of the rule of Spain (1519-1821). Missions
and presidios were built at strategic locations, and the homes of the settlers,
usually of palings or stone, clustered near their walls. Beside the El Camino
Real (The King’s Highway), the Nacogdoches Road and other dim highways of the
wilderness, isolated settlements sprang up. However, the failure of the east
Texas missions caused Spanish colonization to center in the area between San
Antonio and the Rio Grande, and the eastern towns of San Augustine and
Nacogdoches soon became Anglicized.

 

This historical travel guide explores
approximately 250 historic sites and landmarks along the route of the Old San
Antonio Road, from the Louisiana State Line at the Toledo Bend Reservoir to the
city of San Antonio, including the cities of Nacogdoches, Crockett, San Marcos,
and New Braunfels.  Reference maps and
GPS Coordinates for listed sites are included.

$2.99

Smashwords

Amazon Kindle