Brewster County Historical Markers

Texas Lakes Trail Region

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Ancient Rocks Boundary | Big Bend National Park | Brewster County | Brewser County Courthouse | Brewster, Texas Confederate Colonel Henry P. | Burgess' Water Hole | Comanche Trail | Denuded Ouachita Rock Belt | Double Mills | Fort Pena Colorada | Hallie Stillwell Hall of Fame Museum | Harman, Colonel Lewis Given | Los Caballos | Marathon | Museum of the Big Bend | Ritchey Hotel, 1886 | Ross, Texas Confederate General Lawrence "Sul"

Ancient Rocks Boundary

Marker Title: Ancient Rocks Boundary
City: Alpine
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: From Alpine; take U.S.90 east about 8 miles to the junction of US 90 & US 67.
Marker Text: The mountains toward the east are limestone reef beds deposited in the Cretaceous and Permian seas about 135 million years ago and 250 million years ago; respectively. The limestone reefs overlie deformed rocks in the Ouachita Fold Belt, which is visible along the highway to the east, near Marathon. To the south are younger limestone beds deposited about 125 to 135 million year ago. They also rest above the Ouachita Fold Belt (so named for the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas-Oklahoma, where formation was first studied by geologists). Toward the west, northwest, and southwest are layers of lava and associated volcanic rocks 25 to 35 million years old. These were thrust upward, into and over most of the older sedimentary rock layers. Many of the molten rock masses cooled and hardened underneath, while vast quantities poured over the surface in the form of lava flows and volcanic debris up to a mile in thickness. Subsequent erosion has sculptured these highlands by removing much of the younger volcanic rock, and cutting deeply into the older sea deposits. Out of the lower, ingenuus hills grow yucca and other cacti, contrasting with juniper and pinon on the higher elevations. (1970)

Big Bend National Park

Museum Name: Big Bend National Park
Mailing Address: Big Bend National Park
City: Big Bend
Zip Code: 79834
Area Code: 915
Phone: 477-2251
County: Brewster
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Science, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Brewster County

Marker Title: Brewster County
City: Alpine
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Alpine, take US 90 about 8.1 mi, east - roadside
Marker Text: Brewster County formed from Presidio County. Created February 2, 1887. In 1897 the territory of Buchel and Foley counties was added to Brewster. Named for Henry Percy Brewster 1816-1884 soldier and statesman, a hero of San Jacinto. Murphyville county seat, 1887, name changed to Alpine, 1889. Largest county in area in the state.

Brewser County Courthouse

Marker Title: Brewser County Courthouse
City: Alpine
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: 5th St., Alpine
Marker Text: Courthouse Building erected in 1887 when Brewster County was created. Served Buchel and Foley County until these areas where added to Brewster County . Courthouse Square still is community center for various events. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. 1965..

Texas Confederate Colonel Henry P. Brewster

Marker Title: Texas Confederate Colonel Henry P. Brewster (1816-1884)
County: Brewster
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn, 5th St., Alpine
Marker Text: County named for Texas Confederate Colonel Henry P. Brewster, 1816-1884. South Carolinian; came to Texas, 1836. Attorney General, State of Texas, 1847-49. When South seceded he was instrumental in recruiting post office personnel, gathering property, arms, munitions of war from Texas for the Confederacy. Appointed Adjutant and Inspector General under General Albert S. Johnston. Assigned special duty under General John B. Hood. Buried 60 fathoms deep in the Gulf of Mexico at his request. A memorial to Texans who served the Confederacy Erected by the State of Texas 1963

Burgess' Water Hole

Marker Title: Burgess' Water Hole
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Kokernot Masonul Lodge property, Kokernot Springs, off of SH 223, Alpine.
Marker Text: Burgess' Water Hole, called San Lorenzo by Juan Dominguez de Mendoza,1684. Later Charco Alzate in honor of an Apache chieftain. Water hole honoring John W. Burgess, pioneer freighter who here outwitted the Apaches. The emigrant road to California by the way of Chihuahua passed this place.

Comanche Trail

Marker Title: Comanche Trail
City: Marathon
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Marathon, take US 385 S. about 42 mi, to Parsimmon Gap entrance to Big Bend. Marker is in parking lot to entrance station.
Marker Text: Comanche Trail You are now traveling the Comanche Trail blazed by Comanche Indians, en route from the western plains to Mexico, and traveled later by emigrants and soldiers. It extended south from the Horse Head Crossing of the Pecos by Comanche Springs (Fort Stockton) to the Rio Grande.

Denuded Ouachita Rock Belt

Marker Title: Denuded Ouachita Rock Belt
City: Marathon
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: From Marathon, take US 90 about 1 mi. east to junction of US 90 & US 385 N, in roadside area.
Marker Text: Denuded Ouachita Rock Belt In highway cuts toward the east are excellent exposures of almost vertical rocks layers--part of the Ouachita Fold Belt, a northeasterly trending folded and faulted mountainous range which was uplifted about 275 to 290 million years ago. The deformation is comparable in age to the uplift that formed the Appalachian Range of the eastern United States. The term "Ouachita" for this earth formation comes from the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma. (These were named by the Indians, whose words were rendered into written language by the 16th century French explorers.) In the hillside toward the northeast, the highly deformed strata are overlaid by almost horizontal layers of "younger" rock--formed about 135 million years ago. Erosion wore down the old mountains; and when the area was coverd by the sea, the horizontal layers were deposited on the sea floor. Later uplifting earth movement comparable in age to the forming of the Rocky Mountain range gently elevated this area, exposing it to erosional forces which have shaped the topography seen today. This region abounds in vivid lessons in geology, and is under constant study by scientists.

Double Mills

Marker Title: Double Mills
City: Marathon
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: From Marathon, take US Hwy 385 south about 35 mi, to roadside area at Maravillas Creek.
Marker Text: Double Mills A natural watering place in prehistoric time, as evidenced by artifacts found here. Used later by Indians and Spaniards on roads from northern Mexico. As Maravillas Creek developed from a draw into water channel, old water hole vanished. About 1900 a rancher, George Miller, dug two wells and put up twin windmills. After that site was called Double Mills. Became campsite for ranchers driving cattle and horses from Mexico or the Chisos Mountains to the railroad at Marathon. Also for wagon trains of ore; and for U.S. troops on border duty. (1967)

Fort Pena Colorada

Marker Title: Fort Pena Colorada (Red Rock)
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: From Marathon, take local road 4-5 mi. sw to camp ground & city park.
Marker Text: Established in 1880 as a means of preventing Indian raids into Mexico. Raided by Apaches in 1881. Abandoned in 1893 after Western Texas had been permanently cleared of Indians.

Hallie Stillwell Hall of Fame Museum

Museum Name: Hallie Stillwell Hall of Fame Museum
Mailing Address: HC 65 Box 430
City: Alpine
Zip Code: 79830
Street Address: Stillwell Ranch
Area Code: 915
Phone: 376-2244
County: Brewster
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Local/Pioneer History

Colonel Lewis Given Harman

Marker Title: Colonel Lewis Given Harman (1818-1902)
City: Marathon
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: From Marathon, take US 90 about 1 mi. east to junction of US 90 with US 385 N.
Marker Text: Typical of those who served the South and then moved into new counties of Western Texas. Surveyor, Indian agent, soldier, legislator, Justice of the Peace. Born in Tennessee. Moved to Texas 1838. Fought in Mexican War. Though 43 when Civil War began, immediately joined 11th Texas Cavalry, in swift 1861 campaign to place Confederate forts in Indian Territory. Was Post Commander, Fort Arbuckle, I.T., June to August 1861. Civic leader in Marathon after its founding in 1882. Had town's first Masonic funeral.

Los Caballos

Marker Title: Los Caballos (in core of the Ouachita Structural Belt)
City: Marathon
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: From Marathon, take US 385 about 12 mi. south, in roadside park area.
Marker Text: Highly deformed rocks in the Ouachita Fold Belt, a northeasterly trending range, uplifted about 275 to 290 million years ago. The intricate folding is shown by whitish rock bands--called caballos (the Spanish word for horses)--exposed on both sides of this highway. The Ouachita Fold is comparable in age to the uplift that formed the Appalachians in the eastern part of the United States. The northwesterly trending Del Norte-Santiago range (southmost extension of the Rocky Mountains) forms the southwestern skyline. The rocks of the range were deposited in a sea that coverd the Ouachita Fold Belt after erosion had reduced the highlands and a later submergence lowered the area. Santiago Peak (named for a local man who was killed by Indians and buried beneath the peak) is the high, flat-topped mountain to the southwest. It was once a mass of molten magma that cooled and hardened underneath the earth's surface and was uncovered by later erosion. The Del Norte-Santiago range, uplifted and folded 40 to 60 million years ago, is not half the age of the Ouachita Fold. This is a remarkable fusion of "old" and "young" mountains--and is unmatched at any other site in North America.

Marathon

Marker Title: Marathon
City: Marathon
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: From Marathon, about 1 mi. east on US 90.
Marker Text: MARTHON* Fort Pena Colorada, the last active fort in this area, on the old Comanche Trail, about 4 miles to the southwest was established in 1879. Marathon was founded in 1881. Named by an old sea captain, A.E. Shepard, for the Plain of Marathon, in Greece, of which the hills here reminded him. Cradle of West Texas cattle industry. Among the first noted ranchers here were Mayer M. Halff and brother, owners of the famous Circle Dot brand. Original gateway to the Big Bend National Park.** (1964)****

Museum of the Big Bend

Museum Name: Museum of the Big Bend
Mailing Address: P.O. Box C-210
City: Alpine
Zip Code: 79832
Street Address: Entrance #2 - Sul Ross State University
Area Code: 915
Phone: 837-8143
County: Brewster
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Military, Natural History, Archeology, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Ritchey Hotel, 1886

Marker Title: Ritchey Hotel, 1886
City: Alpine
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Corner of Murphy & S. 4th Sts., Alpine; (fronts tracks)
Marker Text: 1886 frame and adobe. Built facing old cattle loading pens on the Southern Pacific Railway. Lodgings and saloon for cowhands and ranchers in town to ship cattle from widely scattered ranches of the Big Bend country. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965.

Texas Confederate General Lawrence "Sul" Ross

Marker Title: Texas Confederate General Lawrence "Sul" Ross
City: Alpine
County: Brewster
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: Adminstration Building, Sul Ross College, US 90, Alpine.
Marker Text: College named for Texas Confederate General Lawrence "Sul" Ross. Lawrence Sullivan Ross 1838-1898 Entered Confederate service a private in 1861. Made Colonel, 6th Texas Cavalry May 1862. Commended for outstanding role in withdrawal from Corinth, Miss., October 1862. Made Brigadier General December 1863. Led famed Ross Cavalry Brigade composed chiefly of Texans in almost continual action in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee until war's end, with major battles at Lawrenceburg, Harpeth River, Murfreesboro. In 135 engagements, having 5 horses shot from under him. A memorial to Texans who served the Confederacy. Erected by the State of Texas 1963.


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