San Antonio-El Paso Road -- Sonora TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 30° 34.191 W 100° 35.238
14R E 347781 N 3383004
Quick Description: The Sutton County 1936 Centennial pink granite block county marker stands along the Old Spanish Trail along the San Antonio-El Paso Road, east of Sonora on State Loop 467
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 1/11/2017 6:32:50 AM
Waymark Code: WMTVPK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cosninocanines
Views: 3

Long Description:
The San Antonio-El Paso Road (not to be confused with the Old San Antonio Road) was developed in the 1840s to move settlers from the eastern Texas into West Texas. The road passed several towns with established military forts on its way from San Antonio to El Paso. Eventually there were 2 routes identified: one upper, and one lower. Sutton County is located on the lower route of the San Antonio-El Paso Road.

Fort towns along this route included Fort Lancaster, Fort Hudson, Fort Clark, Fort Davis, Fort Terret (near Sonora), and Fort Bliss. Those towns should sound pretty familiar to anyone who has explored much around West Texas.

More than just a road for settlers moving west, when gold was discovered in California, the San Antonio-El Paso Road became a primary route for would-be gold hunters to make their way to the California gold fields.
See: (visit link)

This road was so well-known and well-defended that the Butterfield Overland Mail used the lower route as its regular mail route heading west.

Over half a century later, travelers were still following the San-Antonio-El Paso Road, but this time on automobiles. Several segments of the Old Spanish Trail Auto Route (established in 1916) coincide with the route of the 1840s San Antonio-El Paso Road. One of those segments is here outside of Sonora.

As a commemoration of the Centennial of Texas statehood, the Texas State Highway department commissioned pink granite blocks with bronze plates on top and bronze medallions on the front. 254 of these markers were designated county markers, and contained short facts about the organization dates, namesakes, and sometimes important events that took place in each county. One of these category of markers was placed in each Texas county, either at the county line, at the county courthouse, or in the newly-conceived roadside parks (we know them today as rest areas).

The Sutton County marker was placed along the 1930s alignment of the Old Spanish Trail Auto Route about 4 miles east of Sonora. Every traveler along the OST who passed by here would have seen this distinctive block of pink granite with the Centennial bronze logo in the center, and perhaps they stopped to discover that they were rolling over an even older route.

The historic marker reads as follows:

"SUTTON COUNTY

Has traces of culture at least 20,000 years old, occupied by Apache Indians up to founding of Fort Terrett, 1852. Anglo-Texan settlement began 1879 at Sonora, a trading post on San Antonio-El Paso Road.

Created April 1, 1887, from land then in Crockett County; organized November 4, 1890, with Sonora as the county seat.

Named in honor of John S. Sutton (1821-1862), a member of Santa Fe Expedition, Texas Ranger and Indian fighter, soldier in Mexican War and colonel of Mounted Volunteers, who died of wounds received in Civil War Battle of Val Verde. 1965"
Road of Trail Name: San Antonio-El Paso Road

State: Texas

County: Sutton

Historical Significance:

This route moved settlers West into sparsely populated western Texas, and was also used as a primary route to the California gold fields after 1849


Years in use: Parts of it are still used today

How you discovered it:

I read the historic marker


Book on Wagon Road or Trial:

Fort Clark and Brackettville: Land of Heroes (TX) (Images of America) Paperback – September 10, 2002
by Bill Haenn

We found many books that mentioned this road, but none on specifically the road itself. The san-Antonio-El Paso Road is discussed in many books in the larger context of the history of the forts it served, or the pioneers who rode on it, or the stage/mail lines that operated over it.


Website Explination:

https://www.nps.gov/foda/learn/education/upload/Traveling%20the%20San%20Antonio%20-%20El%20Paso%20Road%20Student.pdf

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio-El_Paso_Road


Why?:

Emigrants and pioneers used this road to go west to new lives or to travel to California, where gold had been discovered. The U.S. Army (and from 1862-2865 the Confederate Army) used this road to travel between several frontier era forts, moving men and matériel as needed. Parts of this old road have now been turned into modern highways, and so are still in use today.


Directions:

From the I-10, exit at State Highway Loop 467 to Sonora. Marker will be on your left about a mile down State Highway Loop 467


Visit Instructions:
To post a log for this Waymark the poster must have a picture of either themselves, GPSr, or mascot. People in the picture with information about the waymark are preferred. If the waymarker can not be in the picture a picture of their GPSr or mascot will qualify. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Pictures must be of high quality (no cell phone pics)
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Benchmark Blasterz visited San Antonio-El Paso Road -- Sonora TX 12/20/2016 Benchmark Blasterz visited it