Ox-Cart Road (Section of Chihuahua Road) - Helena, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member WayBetterFinder
N 28° 57.046 W 097° 49.234
14R E 614935 N 3203103
Quick Description: This "Ox-Cart Road" Texas historical marker is located at the southeast corner of FM 81 and County Road 302 in Helena, TX. The marker is next to the chain link fence facing FM 81. It is in the parking area in front of the Karnes County Museum.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 4/9/2020 6:46:17 AM
Waymark Code: WM129X5
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 4

Long Description:
The Ox-Chart Road is the local name of the part of the larger Chihuahua Trail that passes from San Antonio TX through Helena, TX on to Goliad, TX. The indigenous Indians followed the buffalo trails, and the Spanish pioneers like the Alarcon Expedition in 1718 followed the Indian's trail as well. Before the railroads, early Mexican and then Texas settlers used the trail to settle the area now known as Texas. Military troops used this Ox-Cart Road and the extended Chihuahua Trail in combination with the El Camino Real de los Texas to move logistics from Texas to Mexico and back during the fight for Texas Independence and the Mexican War. It was used by Confederate Texas to move cotton to Mexica in exchange for clothing and food during the Civil War. But, mostly it was used to move families and commerce of all kinds in all eras to settle the land and exchange goods between Texas and Mexico.

There are three versions of the Chihuahua Trail. The first Chihuahua Trail became more famously known as the Santa Fe Trail route from Chihuahua City, Mexico through El Paso, Texas and on to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The second Chihuahua Trail also went north through New Mexico but did not last long. The third Chihuahua Trail was a commercial success and the fastest of the three iterations of the trail to get goods the the eastern US market.

This third Chihuahua Trail is the one related to this waymark and went from Chihuahua City, Mexico through San Antonio and then on to the port at Indianola, TX on the Gulf Coast. In Texas, there are many named trails used over the ages for transporting commerce and some trails overlapped. In this case, segments of the Chihuahua Trail used the same or similar portions of the El Camino Real de los Texas at selected points in its trail.

The TX historical marker for the Ox-Cart Road, that is a section of the longer Chihuahua Trail, came really close to, if not overlapping, the same path as the El Camino Real de los Texas while moving through this area from San Antonio to Goliad. (There was also an active trade route called the Goliad Road, but it headed a different direction.) However the path was followed, the road known to be the Ox-Cart Road is directly associated with the Chihuahua Trail, whether it overlapped the El Camino Real or not. The THC Atlas #3892 historical marker titled Ox-Cart Road, shows on its location map (if loaded correctly) that a branch of the El Camino Real de los Texas passes very close by to the south of the location of the Ox-Cart Road marker.

Link to explanation of the Chihuahua Trail's changing geography over time and how Texas got the third and last iteration of the Chihuahua Trail:
(visit link)

Map showing path of the third Chihuahua Trail from Mexico to San Antonio,TX, on to Indianola, TX:
(visit link)

Link to TX historical marker, WM129N9, "Ox-Cart Road" is below as the Secondary Reference.

Link to TX historical marker WM129KD, "Helena", a city that boomed along the Ox-Cart Road:
(visit link)

Link to TX historical marker WM129PA, "Thomas Ruckman", a businessman who helped settle Karnes County:
(visit link)
Feature Discription: The anciant animal trace used by buffalos was also use by indiginous Indian tribes to cross from Mexico into Texas. As use of the trace increased over the centuries, the trace became a formal road allowing commerce to move between Mexico and Texas and Mex

Web address for the route: [Web Link]

Secondary Web Address: [Web Link]

Beginning of the road: Chihuahua City, Mexico

End of the road: Indianola, Texas

Visit Instructions:
We ask that if you visit the site, please include a unique picture with your impressions of the location. If possible, and if you are not too shy, please include yourself and your group in the photo. Extra points will be given for your best buffalo imitation or if you are licking something salty.
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WayBetterFinder visited Ox-Cart Road (Section of Chihuahua Road) - Helena, TX 4/10/2020 WayBetterFinder visited it