Grayson County Historical Markers

Texas Lakes Trail Region
Map of Grayson County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County | Old Cedar Community | Coffee, Trading Post of Holland | Colbert's Ferry | Eisenhower Birthplace State Historical Park | Eisenhower, Birthplace of Dwight D. | Fairchild, Oliveann Oatman | Fink | First Site of City of Sherman | Fort Johnson, Site of | Grayson County | Grayson County Frontier Village | Grayson County, C.S.A. | Courthouses of Grayson County | Kentucky Town | McCoy, Joseph G. | Metz House | Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad | Ninth Texas Cavalry | Park of Old Settlers Association of Grayson County | Pilot Grove | Porter, Sophia | Pottsboro | Preston Road/Shawnee Trail | Red River Historical Museum | Sand Springs | Van Alstyne Historical Museum
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Fort Coffee | Fort Preston
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites.
Little Henry Davis

Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County

Marker Title: Butterfield Overland Mail Route Through Grayson County
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1999
Marker Location: Grayson County Courthouse lawn, Lamar & Travis
Marker Text: In the mid-19th century, mail traffic between the eastern United States and the western states and territories was accomplished via Panama and Cape Horn. In 1857, Congress authorized the postmaster to contract a new overland mail service. The successful bidder for the southern route was John Butterfield, who agreed to convey mail twice weekly in 25 days per run. The "Oxbow Trail" originated at St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, then merged at Fort Smith, Arkansas. The stagecoaches traveled through Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) and across northern Texas to Tucson, Arizona, and on to Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, traveling 2,795 miles from St. Louis. The trail entered Grayson County by crossing the Red River at Colbert's Ferry and proceeding into Sherman. It crossed the county toward Gainesville in Cooke County en route to Franklin (later El Paso). The citizens of Sherman are credited with especially courting the mail route to use Colbert's Ferry instead of entering Texas near Preston (8 mi. upriver). Sherman became a distribution point in 1858, bringing mail service to Texas settlements. Waterman L. Ormsby of "The New York Herald" was the first through passenger on the Butterfield Trail in September 1858. He described Sherman as "a pleasant little village of about six hundred inhabitants," and chronicled the remainder of his trip across Grayson County, writing "our course lay across a fine rolling prairie, covered with fine grass, ...the beautiful moonlight lit up the vast prairies making its sameness appear like the boundless sea and its hills like the rolling waves." The southern route was terminated in March 1861. The course of the trail is still visible in a number of locations in Grayson County. (1999)

Old Cedar Community

Marker Title: Old Cedar Community
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: east of Luella and Sherman, at church on corner of Campground Road and gravel road, near Cedar Cemetery
Marker Text: Settled in 1848 by Grayson County pioneers, who reclaimed land from wilderness, raiding Indians and hardships of frontier life soon created need for a cemetery, established the same year. The plots were free to any person. Many noted settlers are buried here, including one Union and 18 Confederate veterans of the Civil War. Of some 400 graves, half are marked. After community was well established, a school-- Cedar Academy -- was organized in 1871. D.H. Dumas gave the land for a 3-acre campus. Enrollment reached 79 in 1872. Here, besides the usual subjects, students learned how to make ink and split goose-quills for pens. Later name was changed to Cedar High School. It merged with the Tom Bean District in 1937. Cedar Methodist Church was organized in 1871. The congregation worshipped in a log house on property deeded by J.G. Vestal and Col. J.R. Cole. A half-mile south of Church of Whitemound-Cedar Road, a 7-acre tract donated by Mr. and Mrs. B.M. Carr was used as a camp ground for revivals. Each summer people would come for miles, pitch their tents there, and attend services under a brush arbor. A frame church built in 1891 was destroyed by a tornado in 1960.

Coffee, Trading Post of Holland

Marker Title: Site of the Trading Post of Holland Coffee
City: Pottsboro
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: FM 120 at Preston Cemetery, about 8.5 mi. north of Pottsboro
Marker Text: Established about 1837 for trade with the Indians of the Red River region and the western plains. Here many white captives of the Red Men were redeemed. From its vicinity the Snively Expedition set out for New Mexico on April 25, 1843. Abandoned after Coffee's death in 1846.

Colbert's Ferry

Marker Title: Colbert's Ferry
City: Denison
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: U.S. 75, 5 miles N of Denison
Marker Text: Established about 1853 by Benjamin F. Colbert. Across it came thousands of immigrants into Texas in the fifties. The stages of the Southern Overland Mail Line, which provided mail and passenger service between St. Louis and San Francisco, crossed there, 1858 to 1861. Abandoned in 1931 when a highway bridge spanned the Red River.

Eisenhower Birthplace State Historical Park

Museum Name: Eisenhower Birthplace State Historical Park
City: Denison
Zip Code: 75021 4821
Street Address: 208 E Day
Area Code: 903
Phone: 465-8908
County: Grayson
Museum Classification: Historic Site, Non-Historic Structure, Museum Building Type: Historic Structure

Eisenhower, Birthplace of Dwight D.

Marker Title: Birthplace of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Address: Lamar at Day St.
City: Denison
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Text: Thirty-fourth president of the United States; born here Oct. 14, 1890, third son of David J. and Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower. Dwight Eisenhower graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, 1915; in 1943, during World War II, was appointed commanding general of Allied Forces in Europe; served as president of Columbia University, 1948-1952; was President of U.S., 1952-1960; active elder statesman later.

Fairchild, Oliveann Oatman

Marker Title: Oliveann Oatman Fairchild
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker
Text: (1837-1903) Captured in Arizona at age 13 (1851) by Yanapan Indians, who massacred 6 members of family. Sold to Mojave Indians, she was treated kindly but bore mark of a slave-- blue, cactus needle tattoo on chin -- for rest of life. Ransomed by army at Fort Yuma, 1856. Lived in California, then New York. There she married J.B. Fairchild in 1865. About 1872 moved to Sherman, where husband founded city bank. Resided in Sherman until death in 1903.

Fink

Marker Title: Fink
City: Pottsboro
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: 3 mi. north of Pottsboro on FM 120 at Georgetown Rd. (FM 406)
Marker Text: A community grew up near Fort Johnson on the Texas Military Road (also known as the Shawnee Trail) in the 1840s. Earlier called Georgetown and Reevesville, the settlement became known as Fink when a post office (500 feet north) was established in 1897 and named for Fiedrick Finke (1858-1920), a German immigrant who had come to Grayson County in 1884. The post office was discontinued in 1908. Never incorporated, Fink was eventually included within the boundaries of Pottsboro. In the 1960s local residents began annual Fink celebrations.

First Site of City of Sherman

Marker Title: First Site of City of Sherman
City: Sherman
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: US 82, 4 miles west then 1/2 mile north on Preston Rd. to Cherokee Trail Marker Text: When Grayson County was created on March 17, 1846, by the first Legislature of the State of Texas, the act named the county seat in honor of Sidney Sherman (1805-73), an heroic leader at the Battle of San Jacinto and in the affairs of the Republic of Texas. Commissioners to select possible courthouse sites within 3 miles of center of the county were Micajah Davis, George C. Dugan, Richard McIntire, James Shannon, and James G. Thompson. This site on the old Cherokee Trail and the road to important river crossing at Preston Bend won approval of the voters. Townsite lots were auctioned late in the year 1846. Chief Justice James G. Thompson supervised building of courthouse under a contract awarded in Jan. 1847 to M. L. Webster. Completion of the structure called for special celebration in a Fourth of July picnic with barbeque, a barrel of whiskey, music, and dancing. Water and wood for public use were scarce at this site, called "a bald prairie". State Representative James B. Shannon (one of the original county seat commissioners) secured new legislation; he and Samuel Blagg, his business partner, on Nov. 23, 1848, deeded from their holdings to the county commissioners an 80-acre Sherman townsite 5 miles to the east. Incise on back: Sponsored by the Grayson County Historical survey committee and erected by the Sherman city council as a memorial to the pioneers of this area.

Fort Johnson, Site of

Marker Title: Site of Fort Johnson
City: Pottsboro
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: Established by William G. Cooke in 1840 as a part of the defense of the Military Road from Red River to Austin. Named in honor of Colonel Francis W. Johnson (1799-1888). Commander of the Texas army at the capture of San Antonio, December 10, 1835. Place of rendezvous for the Snively Expedition which set out April 25, 1843. The settlement in the vicinity was known as Georgetown.

Grayson County

Marker Title: Grayson County
Address: Courthouse lawn
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1969
Marker Text: In the mainstream of Texas history for more than a century, this area was, in 1837, the site of Colonel Holland Coffee's Trading Post, a landmark structure at the Preston Bend crossing of the Red River. It was a focal point, beginning in 1842, for settlers of the important Peters' colony. In 1846 the county was created from part of Fannin County by the 1st State Legislature. It was named for Peter W. Grayson, who immigrated to Texas in 1830, served in the Texas revolution, and was attorney general in the Republic. Also in 1846 the county was organized and Sherman was made county seat. The original townsite was 5-1/4 mi. W of here. It was moved to its present location, 1848. Honoree of the town name was Colonel Sidney Sherman, a hero of the Battle of San Jacinto. The place is distinguished for having had at least five courthouses and for its superior schools of the 19th century. It was once known as the "Athens of Texas." In 1858 the famous Butterfield Trail crossed the county and in the same period and later, a number of cattle trails and early railroads traversed the area. Today Lake Texoma, created 1939-1944, is a county approved tourist attraction. The Sherman-Denison region was named a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, 1967. Incise on back: Erected by Grayson County Historical Survey Committee.

Grayson County Frontier Village

Museum Name: Grayson County Frontier Village
Mailing Address: Rt. 1 Box 273 C
City: Denison
Zip Code: 75020
Street Address: Lay Lake Road
Area Code: 903
Phone: 463-2487
County: Grayson
Area Code: 903
Phone Number: 465-9447
Museum Classification: History

Grayson County, C.S.A.

Marker Title: Grayson County, C.S.A.
Address: Courthouse lawn
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1962
Marker Text: (Star and Wreath) Military, defense and supply center in Civil War. 11th Texas Cav. Regt., raised in this and area counties, May 1861, removed immediate danger from North by capture Forts Washita, Coeb, Arbuckle in Indian Territory. Beef for these posts was supplied by local contractor. Men and boys served in 16th, 20th Tex. Cav. Regts., the Border Regt. and State Militia. The 9th Tex. Cav. Regt. that became part of famed Ross' Brigade was organized Oct. 1861 at Brogdon Springs. Fort Preston; 17 mi. N. on Red River, was used by Confederate and state troops as a post on defense line along river to prevent Indian raids and Federal invasion. Supplies brought to Ft. Preston by boat were sent by wagon to other frontier forts. Regional depot was set up in Sherman 1861 to receive clothing for soldiers. A commissary supplied food to passing troops, families and widows of soldiers. Col. William C. Quantrill, C.S.A., and his notorious guerilla fighters - including future members of the James and Younger gangs - camped near here in 1863-4. He is credited with stopping cattle thefts from across Red River and persuading a "mob" of war widows not to storm the commissary for coffee and tea. However, he had to flee to escape Confederate arrest because of practice.

Courthouses of Grayson County

Marker Title: Courthouses of Grayson County
Address: 100 W. Houston St.
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 2001
Marker
Text: From pioneer log cabins to a native Texas limestone structure, Grayson County courthouses have taken many shapes and sizes since the county's establishment in 1846. The first courthouse, a frame building on bald prairie a few miles west of the current county seat, was completed in 1847 for a cost of $232. It served for one year, until Sherman was relocated to this site, and the commissioners court ordered the construction of a log cabin on the southeast corner of the square. Neither it, nor the third courthouse (a two-story frame building on the north side of the square), nor the 1853 brick fourth courthouse were in service for any substantial period of time. An 1859 courthouse, intended to provide the county with a large and structurally sound facility, fell into disuse by the early 1870s. Thus, by the time the Houston & Texas Central Railroad reached Sherman in 1873, Grayson County had seen five courthouses in fewer than 40 years. The coming of the railroad was a boon to the local economy, and the availability of better building materials led to the construction of the majestic 1876 courthouse - a two-story edifice with tower supporting a cupola containing a clock and a bell - which served the county until it burned in 1930. Due to the Depression, it was six years before the current limestone courthouse was built, in part with federal grants and loans. As centers of politics and government, Grayson County's seven courthouses have played a significant role in the county's history. (2001)

Kentucky Town

Marker Title: Kentucky Town
City: Whitewright
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: SH 11 at Kentucky Town Rd., about 3 mi. west of Whitewright
Marker Text: When first settled in 1830s was known as Annaliza. Renamed by Kentucky emigrants in 1858. Unique layout gave town protection against Indian attacks. On freight and stage routes. "Sacred Harp," a robust frontier gospel style of singing and composition, began here. During Civil War was Quantrill gang rendezvous.

McCoy, Joseph G.

Marker Title: Joseph G. McCoy, Promoter of Chisholm Trail
City: Denison
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: 300 block of E. Johnson St. at RR tracks
Marker Text: (1837-1915) Livestock broker from Illinois, whose pioneering in cattle markets helped Texas rebuild the economy which had been wrecked in 1861-1865 by Civil War. Cattle had increased greatly in wartime. Texas had no market; long drives were necessary, so that until Texas could get better railroads her $5 longhorns could be sold in the north at $25 to $30 or more. McCoy founded first adequate market for Texans, by securing cattle cars and building loading pens at the railroad in Abilene, Kans. This was near upper end of trail started by Indian scout and trader Jesse Chisholm, and used by Texans on drives through Oklahoma to Kansas. He had part of Chisholm Trail surveyed and marked to aid the cattlemen. This was the best known of several cattle trails from Texas over which some 10,000,000 beeves were driven from the state during the years 1866-1884. The M.K.T. Railroad reached Denison in Dec., 1872, giving Texas its own north-bound cattle shipping outlet. McCoy moved here 1873 and helped establish on this site the Atlantic & Texas Refrigerating Co., to benefit ranchers by shipping dressed beef. The state of Texas owes much to the initiative, vision, courage and leadership of Joseph G. McCoy.

Metz House

Marker Title: Metz House
Address: 506 S. Crockett St.
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Text: Edward Metz (1854-1913) came to Texas from Michigan as a young man to join his brother, Charles, in a leather goods business. In the 1870s, they built a profitable trade, buying buffalo hides and other furs from Indian tribes in Oklahoma to sell to eastern markets. Metz is credited with helping keep peace between the Indians and settlers in Grayson County. In 1883 he built this house, with Victorian fish scale siding, as a present for his bride, Lillian (Craycroft). Occupied from 1909 to 1939 by prominent local physician Dr. J.D. Meadow, it was restored in 1975-76 by Byron Rice (b. 1957). Recorded Texas Historic Landmark 1976

Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad

Marker Title: Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad
Address: Main and Houston
City: Denison
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1975
Marker Text: In 1865 the Union Pacific Railway southern branch was incorporated to build a railroad from the St. Louis-Kansas City area to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1870, with construction completed to the border of Indian Territory, the line was renamed the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad. This title was often shortened to M-K-T, which led to the familiar nickname by with the line is best known -- "The Katy." Following the route of an old cattle trail, the Katy became the first railroad to cross Indian Territory, now the state of Oklahoma, and enter Texas from the north. On Christmas Day 1872, over 100 passengers rode the first Katy train into Denison, a new townsite named for M-K-T Vice President George Denison. The construction and acquisition of branch lines soon extended the Katy east to Greenville, west to Rotan and Wichita Falls, and south to Galveston and San Antonio. By 1904, the system had over 1,000 miles of track in Texas. The railroad transported cattle, cotton, and other crops to market. It also carried passengers on such trains as the "Texas Special" and the "Katy Flyer" before passenger service ended in 1965. Today (1975) Denison is a division headquarters on the M-K-T and the home of about 600 railroad employees.

Ninth Texas Cavalry

Marker Title: Ninth Texas Cavalry
Address: Courthouse lawn
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Text: The Ninth Texas Cavalry consisted of about 1,000 mounted volunteers from Grayson, Tarrant, Hunt, Hopkins, Cass, Red River, Titus, and Lamar counties. They gathered about 15 miles northwest of here at Brogdon's Springs on October 2, 1861, and were mustered into Confederate service under Colonel William B. Sims. Under Colonel Sims the Ninth Cavalry saw considerable action in the Indian Territory of present-day Oklahoma before joining General Ben McCulloch's army in Arkansas in late January 1862. Colonel Sims was wounded during the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862 and Lt. Colonel William Quayle took command. The Ninth Cavalry numbered 657 men in late spring 1862 when they marched to Mississippi to join the Third, Sixth, and Twenty-Seventh Texas Cavalry units and formed a cavalry brigade under the command of Lawrence S. Ross. For 15 months Ross' Brigade saw almost continual action in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. They participated in the assault that captured and burned the Federal gunboat "Petrel" in 1864. By November 1864 the Ninth Cavalry consisted of only 110 men. Ross' Brigade surrendered to Federal troops at Jackson, Mississippi, on May 4, 1865. Veterans of Ross' Brigade formed an association in 1878. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995

Park of Old Settlers Association of Grayson County

Marker Title: Park of Old Settlers Association of Grayson County
Address: 1519 N. Grand Ave.
City: Sherman
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Text: A public-spirited group dedicated to preservation of history and enrichment of contemporary life. Founded in 1879, when oldtimers traveled by wagon and camped near Sherman to reminisce about days of Republic of Texas, the frontier, and the southern Confederacy. Speakers at first meeting included Mrs. Julia Shannon King (daughter of donor of part of Sherman townsite) and Mrs. Sophia Porter, who came to Grayson County in 1838 as a bride of Holland Coffee, owner of Indian trading post at Preston Bend. The association was incorporated on Oct. 3,1 1898. Having met in various groves, it purchased this popular and accessible site in 1899 as permanent headquarters. Financing was hampered by adversities (bad weather, smallpox, power failure on commuting streetcar line), but purchase cost was paid by 1909. The auditorium, named for the veteran association secretary Jesse Loving, was built in 1923. Noted orators at annual conventions have included statesmen Joseph Weldon Bailey, James S. Hogg, Roger Q. Mills, Sam Rayburn, John H. Reagan, Morris Sheppard. Used for years by Red River Valley Fair, and now by civic and youth groups, this park serves as a reminder of the foresight of pioneer citizens.

Pilot Grove

Marker Title: Pilot Grove
Address: FM 121 at Pilot Grove Rd.
City: Pilot Grove
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Text: Founded in early 1850s. On Bonham-McKinney Stage Line. Called Lick Skillet; renamed, 1858, for J. P. Dumas' Ranch. Site of Lee-Peacock feud, 1865-1871, between ex-Confederate Capt. Bob Lee with his gold and Union supporter Lewis Peacock. Although Lee was killed in 1865, his followers carried

Porter, Sophia

Marker Title: Sophia Porter
City: Pottsboro
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: FM 120 at Preston Cemetery about 8.5 mi. north of Pottsboro
Marker Text: (1813-1899) Settled 1839 at Glen Eden, a site now under Lake Texoma, north of here. Husband, Holland Coffee, early trader, built fine home, welcomed 1845-60, U.S. Army officers including Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. During Civil War, wined and dined passing Federal scouts, found out they were seeking Col. Jas. Bourland, Confederate defender of Texas frontier. While guests were busy, she slipped out, swam her horse across icy Red River, warned Col. Bourland, helped prevent Federal invasion of North Texas.

Pottsboro

Marker Title: Pottsboro
Address: Friendship Park on FM 120E
City: Pottsboro
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1994
Marker Text: Caddo and Wichita Indian tribes occupied this area before Anglo settlement began in the 19th century. Among the early settlers was James G. Thompson, whose daughter, Sarah Virginia, married James A. Potts (1838-1905), a Confederate veteran, rancher, and land developer who moved to Grayson County in 1868. Recovering from a long construction delay caused by the Civil War, railroads began building lines through this area of Texas in the late 1870s. James and Sarah Potts deeded land for a right-of-way to the Denison and Pacific Railway, a subsidiary of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, in 1878. James Potts is credited with drawing up the plat for the new railroad town named in his honor. Within a decade Pottsboro boasted homes, churches, general stores, grist mills, a cotton gin, post office, hotel/saloon, and school. The town was incorporated on June 19, 1885. Pottsboro sustained serious damage from major fires in 1892, 1923, and 1924, but the citizens rebuilt and the town prospered. United States government construction of Perrin Army Air Field and Lake Texoma during the 1940s brought additional economic benefits to the town, which continues to play a vital role in the history of Grayson County.

Preston Road/Shawnee Trail

Marker Title: Preston Road/Shawnee Trail
City: Pottsboro
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1998
Marker Location: FM 120 E in Friendship Park, Pottsboro
Marker Text: In 1840, authorized by an 1838 act of the Congress of the Republic of Texas, Col. W. G. Cooke and the Texas First Infantry Regiment laid out a military road from Austin north through what became Dallas to the Holland Coffee Trading Post on Red River (later covered by Lake Texoma). Coffee developed the town of Preston near the trading post, and Cooke's military route became known as Preston Road between the Red River and Dallas. Immigrants came from Missouri and Arkansas through Indian Territory (Oklahoma) into Texas along Preston Road. In one six-week period in 1845, roughly 1,000 wagons crossed the river into Texas. From the mid-1850s the road marked the route for Texas' first cattle drive. Later known as the Shawnee Trail, it probably was named for a Native American village called Shawneetown north of what became Denison. Cattle swam the Red River at Rock Bluff Crossing, a natural rock formation that served as a chute into the water, later the site of the city of Sherman's water intake station on Lake Texoma. This remained the principal route to the north for Texas cattle until the Civil War. The last large herds moved through Grayson County in 1871. The old route remains visible at Rocky Point on Lake Texoma, and along Hanna Drive. The overall passage is followed by parts of Preston Road in Grayson County, a farm-to-market road and State Highway Route 289, and Preston Road in Dallas. (1998)

Red River Historical Museum

Museum Name: Red River Historical Museum
City: Sherman
Zip Code: 75090
Street Address: 301 South Walnut
Area Code: 903
Phone: 893-7623
County: Grayson
Museum Classification: History

Sand Springs

Marker Title: Sand Springs
City: Denison
County: Grayson
Year Marker Erected: 1972
Marker Location: NE corner of Loylake Rd. at Park Rd.
Marker Text: A noted watering place on pioneer trails, known as early as 1840 to settlers and prospectors who camped near the strong currents of water boiling up at the foot of a rocky bluff. The sandstone of the bluff's face became an inscription rock, in which travelers carved names or initials and dates of their visits, sometimes to assure friends or relatives who were to follow later over the same trail. A campsite for prospectors, including California-bound gold seekers passing this way, 1849-1850s, the spot was mapped in 1857 as a watering spot for the Southern Overland Mail coaches of John Butterfield, racing from Saint Louis to San Francisco. After the Civil War (1861-65), many cattle herds passed this way for water while being driven north to market. When Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad was built to Denison townsite in 1872, Sand Springs gained new importance, feeding Waterloo Lake, built in late 1800s and used for many years (prior to 1908) as city's main water supply. But the old campsites were inundated. Other steps in man's progress reduced flow of the water. The area remained a popular picnic ground for years. Its history is revealed by the weathered carvings still visible on the inscription rocks.

Van Alstyne Historical Museum

Museum Name: Van Alstyne Historical Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1552
City: Van Alstyne
Zip Code: 75495
Street Address: 214 E. Jefferson
County: Grayson
Museum Classification: General, History

Fort Coffee

The following excerpt is from the book, Texas Forts, by Wayne Lease.

Holland Coffee operated a trading post in the area of Preston Bend (which is now under Lake Texoma). He was rumored to have traded guns and whiskey to the Indians, an act that was forbidden by law. In 1837, Coffee was called before the government and "made a satisfactory explanation of his actions." His fort, consisting of a tall fence made of pickets, was said to have been more to prevent the Indians from stealing livestock than protection from raids. Nearby Coffee's Crossing was a landmark when the Republic of Texas built a Military Road linking Central and North Texas. The fort became a station when the Butterfield Mail stages passed through the area in the late 1850s.

Fort Preston

The following excerpt is from the book, Texas Forts, by Wayne Lease.

The town of Preston and Fort Preston is now located under Lake Texoma in Grayson County. Fort Preston may have been named for Captain William Gilwater Preston who accompanied the Texas' Military Road expedition of 1840-41 and established a fort at that time. Captain R.B. Marcy passed through ass they returned from El Paso in 1849 after establishing the route for westward bound settlers going to the California Gold Rush. Then in 1852, the depot provided the supply and transport for Captain Marcy's expedition that explored the upper Red River looking for the sites to establish Indian reservations. The supply depot closed during early May 1853 after the army decided to supply Forts Belknap and Phantom Hill through Indianola through Austin.


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