El Paso County Historical Markers

Texas Lakes Trail Region

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
3rd Calvary Museum | Bataan Memorial Trainway | Butterfield Trail | Camino Real | Camino Real | Camino Real (The King's Highway) | Site of Camp Concordia and Fort Bliss | Chamizal National Memorial | Chamizal Settlement | Concordia Cemetery | Corpus Christi de la Ysleta | Old County Jail | Death of a Marshal | El Paso | El Paso | El Paso County, C.S.A. | El Paso del Rio del Norte | El Paso Lower Valley Missions | El Paso Museum of History | City of El Paso | Espejo-Beltran Expedition | Fort Bliss | Fort Bliss Museum | Fort Bliss, C.S.A. | Four Men Shot Dead | Fusselman Canyon | Hardin, John Wesley | Hueco Tanks | Oldest Mission in Texas | Site of First Mission in Texas | Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion Del Socorro | Mount Cristo Rey | Juan de Onate Expedition | Pass of the North | Pioneer Plaza | Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition | San Antonio de Senecu | San Elizario | San Elizario | San Lorenzo | Socorro | Socorro Mission La Purisima

W.W. Mills gives his first-hand account of 1858 El Paso.

3rd Calvary Museum

Museum Name: 3rd Calvary Museum
Mailing Address: Attn: ATZC-DPT-MM
City: Fort Bliss, El Paso
Zip Code: 79916-5300
Street Address: Building #2407
Area Code: 915
Phone: 568-1922
County: El Paso
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Photos, Historical, Archives

Bataan Memorial Trainway

Marker Title: Bataan Memorial Trainway
Address: 500 San Francisco Ave.
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 2002
Marker Location: 500 San Francisco Ave., El Paso
Marker Text: Bataan Memorial Trainway With the arrival of the railroads to El Paso in 1881, the train tracks marked the northern boundary of the city. As El Paso grew, the tracks divided downtown and created a time-consuming barrier for pedestrians and motorists. In the early 20th century, a trainway was proposed to place the city's main railroad tracks below street level. In 1948, eight major contractors and 22 subcontractors began work on the project. Robert E. McKee General Contractor did the largest portion of the work-regrading the railroad lines, digging the entire trench and laying new tracks. A significant work of civil engineering, the trainway cost $5,500,000 and took more than three years to complete. Over 4,500 gondola cars of dirt were excavated and eight bridges were built over the tracks. A 1,700-foot overpass across cotton street, several blocks east of the trainway, completed the project. The trainway was named in honor of prisoners of war who died in enemy camps during World War II. The name Bataan was chosen to honor those soldiers-both Filipino and American-captured by the Japanese army after the fall of the Bataan Peninsula. Many of the American prisoners, including thousands from New Mexico and Texas, had trained at nearby Fort Bliss. The trainway was officially dedicated on August 21, 1950, and Southern Pacific's "Sunset Limited" became the first passenger train to operate on the newly completed trainway. With the completion of the Bataan Memorial Trainway, traffic flowed freely and safely through downtown, aiding the city's growth and prosperity. (2002)

Butterfield Trail

Marker Title: The Butterfield Trail
Address: Mt. Franklin Scenic Area - Mesa St. exit off IH-10, 1 mi. N to Rim Rd., 1 mi. E to Scenic Rd.
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: from westbound IH - 10 exit #19A onto Mesa Street proceed north (right) about 1 mile, turn east (right) onto Rim Road follow Rim Road until it merges into Scenic Road continue east on Scenic Road to Mount Franklin Scenic Area, El Paso.
Marker Text: Eastward U.S. Highway 62-180 in places parallels the famous Butterfield Overland Mail Route, which ran from Tipton, Mo. to San Francisco. Traveling 1200 miles in 14 days, the first stage arrived in El Paso September 30, 1858. Out some 25 miles on this same route is Hueco Tanks, an early day Indian rendezvous and watering stop, while 154 miles from El Paso is the world renowned Carlsbad Caverns National Park, discovered in 1901. 1962

Camino Real

Marker Title: Camino Real
Address: 1720 W. Old Paisano
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Text: For more than 200 years the Camino Real, or Royal Road, was the major route for transporting commercial goods from Mexico City and Chihuahua to Santa Fe and Taos. First traveled by Juan de Onate during his 1598 expedition to New Mexico, the Camino Real followed the San Elizario, Socorro, and Ysleta Road, crossed the Rio Grande west of present downtown El Paso, and continued north into New Mexico. When the Rio Grande was established as the U.S. - Mexico boundary in 1848, this section of the old Camino Real became part of the United States. 1983

Camino Real

Marker Title: Camino Real
Address: 328 S. Nevarez
City: Socorro
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Location: at Socorro Mission La Purisima; one block north of Intersection of Navarez and FM 258; Socorro.
Marker Text: For more than 200 years the Camino Real, or Royal Road, was the major route for transporting commercial goods from Mexico City and Chihuahua to Santa Fe and Taos. First traveled by Juan de Onate during his 1598 expedition to New Mexico, the Camino Real followed the San Elizario, Socorro, and Ysleta Road, crossed the Rio Grande west of present downtown El Paso, and continued north into New Mexico. When the Rio Grande was established as the U.S. - Mexico boundary in 1848, this section of the old Camino Real became part of the United States. 1983

Camino Real (The King's Highway)

Marker Title: Camino Real (The King's Highway)
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: corner of Mills and Oregon; southwest corner of San Jacinto Plaza; downtown El Paso.
Marker Text: The regal highway extending between his Catholic majesty's far flung kingdoms of New Spain, from Mexico City to the Kingdom of New Mexico, passed here. From 1581 onward it was the route followed by conqueror, padre, merchant, adventurer and settler. Along its course passed ox-cart and mule-train and the traffic of the new realm. 1936

Site of Camp Concordia and Fort Bliss

Marker Title: Site of Camp Concordia and Fort Bliss
Address: 4001 Durazno Street
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1982
Marker Text: When the U.S. Army returned to this area after the Civil War, conditions proved undesirable at the prewar post, Fort Bliss at Magoffinsville. In 1868 the garrison moved to this location, then part of the Concordia Ranch. The new post was named Camp Concordia. Two barracks and other adobe structures were built. In 1869 the camp was renamed Fort Bliss. Despite poor living conditions it remained active until 1876. Troops were then withdrawn, only to return within a year. This is the third of six sites of U.S. Army posts in the El Paso area. 1982

Chamizal National Memorial

Museum Name: Chamizal National Memorial
Street Address: 800 S. San Marcial
City: El Paso
Zip Code: 79905
Area Code: 915
Phone: 532-7273
County: El Paso
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Natural History, Interactive, Historical, Local/Pioneer History

Chamizal Settlement

Marker Title: The Chamizal Settlement
Address: Mt. Franklin Scenic Area - Mesa St. exit off IH-10, 1 mi. N to Rim Rd., 1 mi. E to Scenic Rd.
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: from westbound IH-10 exit #19A onto Mesa Street proceed north (right) about 1 mile, turn east (right) onto Rim Road, follow Rim Road until it merges into Scenic Road, continue East on Scenic Road to Mount Franklin Scenic area, El Paso.
Marker Text: A change in the course of the Rio Grande in the 1860s in the vicinity of El Paso - Ciudad Juarez transferred less than one square mile from the south side of the river to the north side, yet it resulted in an international land dispute as tough and thorny as its namesake, the native Chamizo bush. It was the subject of international arbitration in 1911. This 100 year old "Chamizal" dispute was settled by treaty between the United States of America and the United Mexican States signed August 29, 1963, and proclaimed January 16, 1964. The president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson and the president of Mexico, Adolfo Lopez Mateos, met and commemorated the settlement in El Paso on September 25, 1964. The treaty provides for relocation of the channel of the Rio Grande as shown on the map, to effect a net transfer to Mexico of 437.18 acres, which is the area concluded to have been awarded to Mexico by the 1911 arbitration. The relocation also affects a transfer to the United States of 193.16 acres on Cordova Island, formerly an enclave of Mexican territory on the north side of the river channel, in exchange for an equal area downstream from the island. The relocation and appurtenant work will be performed by the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico. 1965 Presented by the State National Bank of El Paso, 2-6-65

Concordia Cemetery

Marker Title: Concordia Cemetery
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1984
Marker Location: marker is located at entrance on westbound IH-10 feeder road; cemetery is bounded by Stevens, Yandell and Crocketts Streets, IH-10 feeder road, El Paso.
Marker Text: Known as Concordia during the 1840s, this area was the home of Chihuahua trader Hugh Stephenson. In 1856 his wife, Juana (Ascarate), was buried in what is now part of Concordia Cemetery. The graveyard gained widespread use in the 1880s when El Pasoans drove three miles to Concordia to bury their dead. By 1890 various sections had been purchased by different groups and were designated Catholic, Masonic, Jewish, Black, Chinese, Military, Jesuit, city, and county. Buried here are gunfighter John Wesley Hardin, and numerous civic leaders, pioneers, and war veterans. 1984

Corpus Christi de la Ysleta

Marker Title: Corpus Christi de la Ysleta
City: Ysleta
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: located at entrance to Corpus Christi de la Ysleta Del Sur Mission, Ysleta (US 80).
Marker Text: First mission and pueblo in Texas. Established by Don Antonio de Otermin and Fray Francisco Ayeta O.F.M. in 1682. Maintained by Franciscan missionaries for the civilizing and Christianizing of the Tigua Indians, Pueblo revolt refugees. 1936

Old County Jail

Marker Title: Old County Jail
City: San Elizario
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: One block southeast of Central Plaza; San Elizario
Marker Text: This structure was built about 1850 of adobe bricks (sun-dried mud and reeds) and cottonwood logs around steel cell blocks. It served as official county jail 1850-66 and 1868-73, when San Elizario was the first and then third El Paso county seat. It housed both jail ("carcel" in Spanish) and courtroom ("juzgado"). According to legend, William Bonney, famed outlaw Billy the Kid, freed the only man ever to escape from this jail, his cohort Melquiades Seguro. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1970

Death of a Marshal

Marker Title: The Death of a Marshal
Address: 109 S. El Paso St.
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Text: In the spring of 1881, Dallas Stoudenmire became marshal of El Paso and vigorously enforced the law, thereby bringing on the hatred of the Manning brothers, who operated a saloon and gambling hall on this site. They hired one Bill Johnson to ambush Dallas, but he was killed by the fast-drawing marshal. A venomous truce followed, which was broken on 18 September 1882 when, after drinking in the Acme, Stoudenmire went to the Manning place and met Doc Manning and both went for their guns. Doc's first shot struck the marshal's breast pocket wallet; his second hit him in the left shoulder as Stoudenmire shot Manning's gun from his hand. Doc then threw his arms around Dallas so he could not fire again. They reeled around the barroom in a waltz of death and on out onto this sidewalk where brother Jim Manning, firing twice, killed Stoudenmire. He was later acquitted. Presented by The State National Bank of El Paso, Texas. 11 February 1967

El Paso

Marker Title: El Paso
City: Anthony
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: (rest stop) grounds of Anthony Tourist Bureau, I-10 East, Anthony.
Marker Text: Largest U.S. city on the Mexican border. Named for the mountain pass. Historic gateway for Indians, priests, gold-seekers, traders, stages. Federal troops occupied this area longer than any other in Texas during the Civil War. Agricultural, industrial and military center. Texas Western College, Spanish missions. 1964

El Paso

Marker Title: El Paso
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1991
Marker Location: Pioneer Plaza, Mills Ave. at El Paso St.
Marker Text: Inhabited by various Indian tribes prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century, El Paso has played an important role in the history of Mexico and the United States. Its four centuries of recorded history span periods of Spanish colonization, Mexican rule, and Anglo railroad building and industrialization. Early settlements were established on the south side of the Rio Grande at El Paso del Norte (the pass of the north). After the Rio Grande became a boundary between the United States and Mexico, a settlement called Franklin grew up on the north side of the river and eventually took the name El Paso. The original El Paso del Norte settlement on the south side became Ciudad Juarez. The establishment of Fort Bliss in 1854, the arrival of the Butterfield Overland Mail route in 1858, and the building of the railroads in the 1880s brought an economic boom and increased population. The flourishing frontier community became the seat of El Paso county government in 1883. Its proximity to mining areas in northern Mexico, New Mexico, and Arizona, combined with its geographic location on the international border made El Paso a multi-cultural, multifaceted city unique among Texas communities. 1991 1991

El Paso County, C.S.A.

Marker Title: El Paso County, C.S.A.
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: northeast San Jacinto Plaza; corner of Mesa and Main, downtown El Paso.
Marker Text: Voted 871 to 2 for secession. At start of Civil War Minutemen were organized to provide frontier protection. The San Elizario Spy Company was mustered into Confederate service on July 11, 1861. El Paso was the springboard and supply point for 1861-2 Arizona - New Mexico campaign to give South a Pacific outlet. These troops retired back into Texas and by July 1862, the last Confederate forces left El Paso. Many citizens who favored South went with them, others moved across the river and established a colony in Juarez. In mid-August, Union troops arrived. Martial law was declared and military occupation - longest in any part of Texas - continued until war's end. (Back of El Paso County, C.S.A.) The number of federal troops occupying El Paso never exceeded 2 or 3 companies. Open pro-southern feeling was squelched during the war. There were recurrent rumors that the Texans were about to return and drive the federals out. Henry Skillman and his band of armed men operated courier service from unoccupied part of state to Confederate colony in Juarez. His men spread invasion rumors and acted as spies, which kept Union forces wary. It took two years before Skillman could be tracked down and killed. Most private property was seized and operated during occupation. Most food and fodder came from Mexican side. Other goods either came down the river from Santa Fe or were manufactured locally. Local elections were watched over by military. El Paso was represented during war in the Texas Legislature by pro-Confederates under a law allowing citizens of occupied areas to vote wherever they resided. Erected by the State of Texas, 1963

El Paso del Rio del Norte

Marker Title: El Paso del Rio del Norte
Address: 1720 W. Paisano
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: Through this old pass, the lowest snow-free feasible route from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Rocky Mountains, extend today the great trunk lines of telegraph and railroad. The city of El Paso marks the place and perpetuates the name. 1936

El Paso Lower Valley Missions

Marker Title: El Paso Lower Valley Missions
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: from westbound IH-10 exit #19A onto Mesa Street, proceed north (right) about 1 mile, turn east (right) onto Rim Road, follow Rim Road until it merges into Scenic Road, continue east on Scenic Road to Mount Franklin Scenic area, El Paso.
Marker Text: Ysleta Mission --1681. Ysleta, the oldest community in Texas, claims the most steadily cultivated plot of land in the U.S. Socorro Mission -- 1682. Regarded as the oldest active parish church in the U.S. Has a unique burying ground and descansas. San Elizario -- where domestic animals were first introduced and military garrison established in the now continental U.S. by Don Juan de Onate in 1598. The presidio chapel was founded in 1777 and El Paso's first courthouse in 1850 and the first county jail west of San Antonio, where Billy the Kid was once confined. Here is reportedly the oldest building in Texas, the once vice-regal palace and seat of Spanish government. The Salt War monument marks a short and bloody civil conflict. Presented by the State National Bank of El Paso, 1962

El Paso Museum of History

Museum Name: El Paso Museum of History
Street Address: 12901 Gateway West
City: El Paso
Zip Code: 79927
Area Code: 915
Phone: 858-1928
County: El Paso
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Military, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Other More

City of El Paso

Marker Title: The City of El Paso
Address: Mt. Franklin Scenic Area
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: from westbound IH-10 exit #19A onto Mesa Street, proceed north (right) about 1 mile, turn east (right) onto Rim Road, follow Rim Road until it merges into Scenic Road, continue follow Rim Road until it merges into Scenic Road, continue East on Scenic Road to Mount Franklin Scenic Area, El Paso.
Marker Text: Before you stands THE CITY OF EL PASO in the valley of the Rio Grande and across is CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO. To the far right is the river's southern exit through the famed Pass of the North from which El Paso takes its name. This is historic ground. Here primitive men, from immemorial time, marched along the course of the Rio Grande's life giving waters. Here at this stony pass questing men in the wilderness found the most accessible and strategic gateway through the southmost reaches of the Rocky Mountains huge continental ridge. The importance of the pass was recognized by the Spaniards who named it four centuries ago. They settled here with the natives and much later came the Americans. This drowsy, stagecoach village was aroused when the railroads came through the pass in 1881 linking the far oceans. El Paso sprang to life, and became a busy city of destiny. To the strong men who explored and pioneered this west, to the strout-hearted men and women who founded and built El Paso, this tablet and the descriptive markers to the right and left are proudly dedicated by: The State National Bank of El Paso, Texas on the 81st anniversary of its founding in 1881. 1962

Espejo-Beltran Expedition

Marker Title: Espejo-Beltran Expedition - 1582-1583
City: San Elizario
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1981
Marker Location: Central Plaza; San Elizario
Marker Text: Following the Rodriguez - Chamuscado Expedition of 1581 there was increased interest in the area now known as New Mexico and Texas. There was also concern for the safety of Fray Rodriguez and Fray Lopez, who had stayed in the area. In 1582 a Franciscan priest from Santa Barbara, Mexico, Fray Bernadino Beltran, formed an expedition to find the missionaries. His military escort was led by Antonio De Espejo, a former Santa Barbara merchant and rancher living in voluntary exile over a legal dispute with the Spanish authorities. The expedition departed the mining outpost of San Bartolome in November 1582. By the following January they had reached the El Paso area. In present New Mexico they learned that Fray Rodriguez and Fray Lopez had been killed by Indians. Fray Beltran led a small party back to Mexico, but Espejo and several companions stayed to check the Indian stories of silver mines and wealthy pueblos. On their journey the Spaniards became the first explorers in the region from the Pecos River Valley to the Junta de Los Rios, the junction of the Concho River and the Rio Grande. The reports of their explorations further heightened the interest in the area. 1981

Fort Bliss

Marker Title: Fort Bliss
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: from westbound IH-10 exit #19A onto Mesa Street, proceed north (right) about 1 mile, turn east (right) onto Rim Road, follow Rim Road until it merges into Scenic Road, continue east on Scenic Road to Mount Franklin Scenic area, El Paso.
Marker Text: The post of El Paso was created in 1848 and after four moves, came to its present location in 1893. In 1854, the post was named Fort Bliss for Lt. Col. W. W. S. Bliss. His remains are buried there and a monument stands in his name. Early day troops protected caravans and settlers from the Indians, and its garrisons also served valiantly in the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II and the Korean conflict. It is now the home of the great U.S. Army Air Defense Center. 1962

Fort Bliss Museum

Museum Name: Fort Bliss Museum
Mailing Address: ATTN ATSA MM
City: Fort Bliss
Zip Code: 79916 5300
Street Address: Pershing & Pleasonton
Area Code: 915
Phone: 568-4518
County: El Paso
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Art, Military, Aviation, Interactive, Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives, Other

Fort Bliss, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Fort Bliss, C.S.A.
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: near intersection of Pershing and Pleasanton Roads on Ft. Bliss Museum grounds, El Paso.
Marker Text: Surrendered with property and $20,000 to Texas Confederates on March 21, 1861. From old fort, the South launched the New Mexico-Arizona campaign. Later, Confederates abandoned and destroyed most of fort and equipment, except for hospital and medical supplies left for their sick and wounded. Federals occupied fort, July 4, 1862, and later escorted the recovered patients by horseback and ambulance over 500 miles down the Rio Grande to Fort Clark. Federals held the trans-Pecos area longer than any other part of Texas. (1964)

Four Men Shot Dead

Marker Title: Four Men Shot Dead
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1966
Marker Location: southwest corner of South El Paso and West San Antonio, El Paso.
Marker Text: Here, on April 14, 1881, four men were shot dead in about five seconds. El Paso, then, was the wildest twenty-four hour town in the old west and east of Suez. Johnny Hale, gunman and cattle rustler, was suspected of the murder of two young Mexican ranchers near Canutillo. An inquest, ordered by the district attorney, was in progress nearby with Gus Krempkau, ex-Texas Ranger, acting as interpreter. At recess, Hale, enraged by Krempkau's interpretation of Mexican testimony, shot and killed him. Immediately, capable Dallas Stoudenmire, city marshall, went into action. His first shot killed a Mexican bystander; his second got Hale, and his third dispatched George Campbell, a Hale supporter and former marshall of El Paso, who had drawn his gun. Presented by The State National Bank of El Paso, Texas 4 August, 1966

Fusselman Canyon

Marker Title: Fusselman Canyon
Address: Loop 375
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 2002
Marker Location: Loop 375, eastbound, at mile marker 17.4
Marker Text: Fusselman Canyon Below is Fusselman Canyon, which follows the Fusselman Canyon Fault, a major natural cut into the Franklin Mountains. For centuries it has served as a natural corridor for the movement of people, goods and livestock between the river valley to the west and the desert basin to the east. The canyon also served as a source of seasonal water, plants and animals for the many Native Americans who inhabited this region. It is named in honor of Charles H. Fusselman (1866-1890), Texas Ranger and U.S. Deputy Marshal. In the late 19th century, El Paso was a booming town, but outlying areas were still plagued by frontier conditions. On April 17, 1890, local rancher John Barnes reported that his horses and cattle had been stolen. Later that day, Charles Fusselman was deputized and led Barnes and city policeman George Herold into the Franklin Mountains to chase the rustlers. The thieves intended to drive the horses and cattle through the canyon (along the path of today's Woodrow Bean Trans Mountain Road), through Smuggler's Gap at the top of the canyon, and then into the Rio Grande Bosque near Canutillo, Texas. Fusselman's party captured one of the rustlers before encountering the outlaws' camp. There they were met with a barrage of gunfire, and Fusselman was shot and killed. The outlaws escaped after the outnumbered Barnes and Herold left their prisoner and fled the scene. Fusselman's body was later recovered and taken to Lagarto, Texas, where he was buried. For the next ten years, lawmen pursued the rustlers. Geronimo Parra, the outlaw leader, was finally arrested, tried and found guilty of Fusselman's murder. He was legally hanged in January 1900 in El Paso. The canyon became known as Fusselman Canyon in honor of the slain deputy and ranger. (2002)

John Wesley Hardin

Marker Title: John Wesley Hardin
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1998
Marker Location: Concordia Cemetery, Colpa exit of IH-10, bounded by Stevens, Yandell, and Crockett streets.
Marker Text: (May 26, 1853 - August 19, 1895) Born in Bonham, Texas, John Wesley Hardin was named for the founder of Methodism. "Wes" Hardin grew into a family man, cowboy, and outlaw who claimed to have killed more than 30 men. An unusual sort of gunslinger, Hardin considered himself a pillar of society who killed to save his own life. Hardin served 15 years in state prison for murder, was pardoned, then opened a law office in El Paso in May 1895. He was killed 3 months later by John Selman, an El Paso city constable. (1998)

Hueco Tanks

Marker Title: Hueco Tanks
City: Hueco
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Hueco Tanks State Park about 35 miles East of El Paso
Marker Text: One of the most historic spots in the Southwest. Famous watering place for Indians, emigrants, and travelers. Near here on many occasions the Apache challenged the right of the white man to pass through and disturb his country. Here was a station of the Southern Overland Mail Line which linked St. Louis with San Francisco, 1858-1861. 1936

Oldest Mission in Texas

Marker Title: Oldest Mission in Texas
City: Ysleta
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Just north of Ysleta on Alameda; El Paso
Marker Text: Originally founded in 1613 at Isleta Pueblo, in New Mexico, and dedicated in 1621 as San Antonio de Isleta. Removed to El Paso area, 1680 (during Pueblo Revolt), by Tigua Indians who brought along the patron saint as they accompanied fleeing Spaniards. Re-established here in 1682, it has been named successively: Sacramento de Los Tiguas de Ysleta; Corpus Christi de Los Tiguas de Ysleta (1691); San Antonio de Los Tiguas de Ysleta (1744); and Nuestra Senora Del Carmen (1874). Present chapel has walls and bells of 1744 building. Still ministers to the Tiguas. (1970)

Site of First Mission in Texas

Marker Title: Site of First Mission in Texas
Address: entrance to Ysleta Mission
City: Ysleta
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: Located at entrance to Corpus Christi de la Ysleta Del Sur Mission; Ysleta.
Marker Text: Application info: Spanish type mission, with oldest cultivated plot of land in US adjacent. Originally buitl 1681, partially restored. Still in use as church. Site of annual dances of Tigua Indians, who helped padres built it. School in conjunction Years before the missions of California and Central Texas were even considered the Ysleta Mission was serving scores of worshippers in what is the oldest community in Texas -- Ysleta.

Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion Del Socorro

Marker Title: Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion Del Socorro
Address: 328 S. Nevarez
City: Socorro
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1963
Marker Location: one block north of Intersection of Nevarez and FM 258
Marker Text: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Socorro Established in 1680 by Brother Antonio Guerra for Piros Indians, refugees from Old Socorro, N.M., this and 1682 mission at Ysleta (located 3.7 miles west) are among oldest continuously occupied settlements in the Southwest. By 1750, town had 498 Indians and 54 Spaniards. Present church, built about 1840, exhibits Indian influence on basic Spanish mission style. Adobe brick walls are several feet thick. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1963

Mount Cristo Rey

Marker Title: Mount Cristo Rey
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Location: from westbound IH-10 exit #19A onto Mesa Street proceed north (right) about 1 mile, turn east (right) onto Rim Road, follow Rim Road until it merges into Scenic Road, continue east on Scenic Road to Mount Franklin Scenic area, El Paso.
Marker Text: High above the point where the states of Texas, New Mexico and Chihuahua intersect stands an impressive monument at the summit of Sierra de Cristo Rey, portraying Christ on the cross. The dream of the small parish of San Jose Del Rio Grande was realized when this fifty-three foot high cross was dedicated in 1940. Presented by the State National Bank of El Paso, Texas

Juan de Onate Expedition

Marker Title: Juan de Onate Expedition - 1598
City: San Elizario
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1981
Marker Location: Central Plaza; San Elizario
Marker Text: Spanish interest in the territory known as New Mexico increased during the 1580s and 1590s. Although reports of mining and missionary possibilities were significant, King Philip II of Spain was also concerned about New World explorations of rival England. As a result, Don Juan de Onate was commissioned in 1595 to lead an expedition to claim and colonize the New Mexico region in the name of the king. After many delays, Onate and his party of 400 men and members of their families left Santa Barbara, Mexico in January 1598. Instead of following earlier routes, they crossed the Chihuahua Desert to reach the El Paso area. In a formal ceremony at this site on April 30, 1598, Onate issued a proclamation, known as La Toma, taking possession of the region for Spain. Included was all land drained by the Rio Del Norte, the Rio Grande. Proceeding north, Onate established headquarters near present Santa Fe and founded the province of New Mexico. As Governor, he directed exploration of the area until he resigned in 1607. Onate's expedition and La Toma brought Spanish rule to the American Southwest and preceded colonization efforts of other European nations on the North American continent. (1981)

Pass of the North

Marker Title: The Pass of the North
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Paisano Drive and East Wald Kip Way, El Paso
Marker Text: Historically a major trade and travel artery for North America because it is the northernmost Rocky Mountain pass that stays snow-free throughout the year. Indians used pass long before Spaniard Cabeza de Vaca, thought to be first white man in area, crossed it about 1536. Juan de Onate brought first cattle into U.S. through the pass in 1598. Route was heavily traveled during California gold rush, 1849, and in later years important stage lines and railroads crossed Rockies here. Today the pass lies on one of three major travel routes across the continent. (1968)

Pioneer Plaza

Marker Title: Pioneer Plaza
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: corner of El Paso Drive and San Francisco; (Pioneer Plaza); El Paso.
Marker Text: Pioneer Plaza was the center of public activity in early El Paso. A United States military guard was posted here in the late 1870s to defend citizens from Apache Indian attacks, and military bands performed in the plaza. An irrigation ditch flowed along the south boundary of the plaza and nourished a line of trees which shaded the area. Among the trees was an ash known as the "Newspaper Tree" on which public notices were posted. Major roads and trails passed through the plaza. El Paso Street led southward to El Paso Del Norte, Mexico, and San Francisco Street led westward from the plaza to connect with trails to California. The Butterfield overland stage route crossed the southwest corner of the plaza. Pioneer Plaza was the site of many parades and public events. United States President William H. Taft and Mexican President Porfirio Diaz each passed through the plaza with their entourages while en route to the Chamber of Commerce building for their historic meeting on October 16, 1909. Due to its small size, Pioneer Plaza was replaced by San Jacinto Plaza as the center of activity. (1988)

Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition

Marker Title: Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition, 1581
City: San Elizario
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1981
Marker Location: Central Plaza, San Elizario
Marker Text: Inspired by Indian stories of settlements in present New Mexico and authorized by the Spanish Viceroy, Fray Agustin Rodriguez, a Franciscan priest, led a missionary expedition to the area. Accompanied by Fray Juan de Santa Maria, Fray Francisco Lopez, nine soldiers, and nineteen Indian servants, he left Santa Barbara, Mexico, on June 5, 1581. The military escort was led by Francisco Sanchez, who, because of his red beard, was known as El Chamuscado, "The Singed." Following the Rio Grande, the expedition reached El Paso Del Norte. Proceeding through the pass, they spent the remainder of 1581 exploring the vast region from present western New Mexico to the Texas Panhandle. After Indians killed Fray Santa Maria in September 1581, plans were made to return for a report to the Spanish authorities. Despite the hostile environment, the two remaining missionaries chose to stay. Chamuscado led the others back through the Pass of the North, but died before reaching Santa Barbara. Believed to have been the first Spanish expedition to use the Pass of the North, the Rodriguez-Chamuscado Expedition marked the beginning of Spanish influence in the area. Their exploration opened the region, now the American Southwest, to later colonization. (1981)

San Antonio de Senecu

Marker Title: San Antonio de Senecu
City: Ysleta
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: from Ysleta go north on Alameda approximately 2 miles to intersection of Finita and Alameda on island.
Marker Text: Approximate site of the mission and pueblo. Established by Don Antonio de Otermin and Father Fray Francisco Ayeta, O.F.M. in 1682. Maintained by Franciscan missionaries for the civilizing and Christianizing of the Piro and Tompiro Indians.

San Elizario

Marker Title: San Elizario
City: San Elizario
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1985
Marker Location: Central Plaza
Marker Text: San Elizario was established in 1789 on the former site of Hacienda de Los Tiburcios as a Spanish colonial fort known as the Presidio de San Elceario. The Presidio was moved from its original location (approx. 37 mi. s) in response to requests from settlers for military protection from Indian raids. It operated as a Spanish post until 1814, when troops withdrew during the Mexican War for Independence (1810-1821). During its years as a part of Mexico, the Presidio de San Elceario (now San Elizario) was occupied periodically by Mexican troops. A reduced military presence resulted in the fort's decline. American control of the area began in 1848, with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which established the Rio Grande as the border between the United States and Mexico. When the county of El Paso was organized in 1850, the town of San Elizario was chosen first county seat and served as such until 1873. In 1877 it was the scene of a crisis known as the Salt War, in which local businessmen attempted to control the salt market that had operated since colonial times. Although San Elizario was bypassed by the railroad and has become a rural farming community, it remains an important element in the region's rich heritage. (1985)

San Elizario

Marker Title: San Elizario
City: San Elizario
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: next to Los Portales, in the central plaza.
Marker Text: Site of the Presidio de Nuestra Senora Del Pilar y Glorioso Senor San Jose established by Don Domingo Jironza Petriz de Cruzate in 1683 near Mision de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in present Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Located on this site in 1773 and renamed Presidio de San Elzeario. Its chapel was served by Franciscan missionaries.

San Lorenzo

Marker Title: San Lorenzo
City: El Paso
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: in traffic island near intersection of Alameda and Buena Vista Streets, El Paso.
Marker Text: Established by Don Antonio de Otermin and Father Fray Francisco Ayeta, O.F.M. in 1682. Maintained by Franciscan Missionaries for the civilizing and Christianizing of the Zuma Indians.

Socorro

Marker Title: Socorro
City: Socorro
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: 328 South Nevarez; one block north of intersection of Nevarez and FM 258.
Marker Text: Site of the mission and pueblo of Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion Del Pueblo de Socorro established by Don Antonio de Otermin and Father Fray Francisco Ayeta, O.F.M. in 1683. Maintained by Franciscan missionaries for the civilizing and Christianizing of the Piro, Thano and Gemex Indians, refugees after the pueblo revolt in New Mexico.

Socorro Mission La Purisima

Marker Title: Socorro Mission La Purisima
City: Socorro
County: El Paso
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Location: 328 South Nevarez, Socorro; one block north of intersection of Nevarez and FM 258.
Marker Text: During the pueblo revolt of 1680, Gov. Don Antonio de Otermin and Father Francisco de Ayeta led Piro Indian and Spanish refugees out of New Mexico into this region, establishing a settlement they named Socorro after the home they had left. The town's first permanent adobe church was built in 1691 and was called Nuestra Senora de la Limpia Concepcion de Los Piros Del Socorro (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of the Piros of Socorro). Construction of the present structure began following a destructive 1829 flood and was completed in 1840. The flood changed the course of the Rio Grande from north of Socorro to south of the townsite. When the river was declared the U.S. - Mexico boundary, Socorro became part of the United States. Under the administration of Franciscan Monks for 172 years, the church was later governed by Diocesan priests as well as by Italian and Mexican Jesuits. Its history spans the time of the region's occupancy by Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Although Socorro Mission La Purisima, as it is now known, has been overshadowed by urban growth in nearby El Paso, it remains one of the oldest continuously occupied settlements in the southwest. (1983) More


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