Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Texas Brazos Trail Region

Map of Reagan County

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
City of Big Lake | Grierson Spring | Martin-Castillo Expedition | Reagan County
City of Big Lake

Marker Title: City of Big Lake
Address: US 67 & SH 137
City: Big Lake
County: Reagan
Year Marker Erected: 1967
Marker Location: Intersection of US 67 and SH 137 in Big Lake
Marker Text: The land on which the original townsite of Big Lake was located was owned in 1903 by T.H. Taylor who sold 320 acres to the Orient Land Company, which agreed to build a railroad station and lay out a town to be called Big Lake. The city took its name from a lake created by rain which gathers in a natural land depression about one and one half miles from here. Once filled by spring-fed water, it is now the largest dry lake in Texas. In pioneer days it was the only known fresh water between the Concho River and springs at Fort Stockton and was a campsite for Indians, Mexican traders and cattle drivers. Oldest house in Reagan County, the John Gardner house, is located near its banks. The town was established in 1911. Its first economic activity was a stockpen built by the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad, a hotel, and a grocery store. It grew up around the line of the railroad, and by 1915 had about fifty families. Big Lake was incorporated on May 28, 1923, and in 1925 became the seat of Reagan County. Land additions were made in 1914 and 1925. Today the city is a center for the oil and gas industry.

Grierson Spring

Marker Title: Grierson Spring
County: Reagan
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Text: Established as an outpost to Fort Concho, April 30th, 1878. Stage stand on the Ft. Concho to Ft. Stockton route, 1875-1882. Named in honor of General Benjamin H. Grierson who commanded the Federal troops in the region, April 23, 1875, to July 20th, 1882. Abandoned as a military post in 1882.

Martin-Castillo Expedition

Marker Title: Martin-Castillo Expedition
Address: US 67, Main and 2nd Streets
City: Big Lake
County: Reagan
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: US67 at corner of Main and 2nd, Big Lake
Marker Text: Explored the Concho River, 32 miles north of here, gathering information on Jumano Indians and searching for pearls, 1650. Setting out from Santa Fe, Capts. Hernan Martin and Diego Del Castillo traveled about 600 miles to the Jumano territory, where they stayed for 6 months. Further travels took them to the edge of the Texas nation, where they obtained the first information definitely about the tribe that gave Texas its name. The "discoveries" of their journey -- pearls and the Texas nation -- sparked later important Spanish expeditions to East Texas.

Reagan County

Marker Title: Reagan County
Address: US 67, about 3 mi W of Big Lake
City: Big Lake
County: Reagan
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: about 3 miles west of Big Lake on US 67 in Roadside Park.
Marker Text: Formed from Tom Green County; created March 7, 1903, organized April 20, 1903. Named in honor of John H. Reagan 1818-1905. Indian fighter and surveyor member of Texas Legislature and United States Congress postmaster general of the southern Confederacy. County seat, Stiles 1903-1925, Big Lake since.

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