SHEFFIELD, TX – Quiet Fort Lancaster came alive for Western Frontier Days. On the third weekend in May, we visited and saw a variety of presenters and reenactors. Friendly camels stole the show.
Staff from Fort McKavett gave an overview of the signal corp and the telegraph. Before the advent of electronic messaging, the Army used a signal method called wig wag—the waving of red and white flags to communicate a binary message over long distances. Railroads adopted faster telegraphy before the army. However, troops installed transmission lines to Forts Concho, Stockton, and Bliss before the train would reach El Paso.
Sahawe Dancers of Uvalde performed Native American dance on Saturday. Organized by a scoutmaster in the 1950s, they brought a sixty-year tradition with them. The troop gave a detailed description before each dance.
Visitors encountered a variety of gentle creatures from horses to cattle. However, the camels stole the show. We learned they are stronger than horses and have an energy efficient digestive track. Used on Lower Road as pack animals before the Civil War, they were championed by then US secretary of war Jefferson Davis. However, after the war, Davis landed on the wrong side of history and the program dissolved. The camels we saw were sweet and displayed a gentle disposition.
Fort Lancaster is a window into the history of transportation and the settling of the southwest. The annual Western Frontier Days is a great time to visit.
Texas Camel Corp | Sahawe Dancers | Fort Lancaster
MIDLAND, TX – Texas Heritage Trails Program has much to offer. We went to the Petroleum Musem to see a presentation on the history of the Pecos Trail. As part of HemisFair ’68 held in San Antonio, Texas established ten driving tours to promote tourism in the state. Govoner John Connally championed the project. Today Pecos Trail links frontier forts, state parks, historic homes, museums and more.
texaspecostrail.com | petroleummuseum.org
SHEFFIELD, TX – Mark your calendar—historic San Antonio-El Paso Road will come alive Friday, May 18-Saturday, May 19. See soldiers, pioneers, chuck wagons, camels and a stagecoach at Fort Lancaster.
FORT STOCKTON, TX – From roadrunners to road races, Fort Stockton has much to love. We saw the fort’s old cemetery, talked history with a resident and took pictures. We also stopped at the historical marker for Mr. and Mrs. Isaac J Rude’s stagecoach station. Located eight miles west of town, it offered a vast view of the Trans-Pecos—blue mountains on the horizon. Trucks rumbled on the Interstate.
For more information visit: Annie Riggs Memorial Museum, and Historic Fort Stockton.
FORT DAVIS, TX – Discover a forgotten road. Plotted by the army during the California Gold Rush in 1849, San Antonio-El Paso Road stretched 650 miles over West Texas and allowed trade and settlers to move west over the Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos regions. It served as a mail route to San Diego and vanished when railroads became the primary mode of overland transportation in 1882. Today it links historical sites: Casa Navarro, Landmark Inn, Fort Lancaster, Fort Davis, and Magoffin Home. Visit http://www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites
Continue reading “Travel back in time on the San Antonio-El Paso Road”
STANTON, TX – Like the trains and seasons, life moves at a gradual pace in Stanton. A railroad parallels a highway; storefronts watch the pavement. While farmers bring cotton to the gin, tumbleweeds spin.
Continue reading “Stanton”
MENTONE, TX, 2014 – Pop. 19, Mentone endures in the desert of West Texas. Surrounded by ranches and an oil field, this outpost is the seat of the least populous county in the state. The community consists of a gas station, an abandoned cafe, several houses, and the two-story Loving County Courthouse. Its drinking water arrived by truck until 1988 and students attend school in the neighboring city of Wink. Here, where Highway 302 sees more roadrunners than residents, life persists.