Half-Way Oak - Stephens County, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member WayBetterFinder
N 32° 33.796 W 098° 53.588
14S E 510032 N 3602877
Quick Description: The huge, historic Half-Way Oak is a 200+ year Live Oak at the intersection of US-183 and CR 160 in Stephens County, TX. It is in a Rest Area on the east side of US-183, just southeast of CR 160.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 12/22/2020 9:28:22 AM
Waymark Code: WM13J23
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 3

Long Description:
"On April 29, 2011 ... the Texas Forest Service designated the Half-Way Oak as an official Historic Tree and it was listed in the Historic Tree Registry as a living legend and a testament to all of the history which it has witnessed ..."(1) This tree is also listed on page 130 of the 2015 edition of the Texas A&M Forest Service's "Famous Trees of Texas." It has survived centuries of storms, floods, fires, infestations, civilizations, and modernizations. It was almost cut down so that TxDOT could widen US-183! It is beginning to show its age. Several major branches are now proper up by metal pole supports and its central trunk has cracked open, but it still alive and is still a landmark to Stephens County and its surrounding TX counties.

It is named Half-Way Oak because it is at the halfway mark between Breckenridge, TX to its north and Cisco (and Eastland and Ranger) to its south. This tree was used as one of two designated landmarks on a county map from 1858. It is the largest, tallest, and perhaps only tree along the old stagecoach trail that ran between Stephenville and Fort Griffin since the 1867. It was also used by settlers for shade and sanctuary to the many travelers that migrated north or south in this region of Texas later in the 1880 and on. Of course, the local Indians had been used it as a rest area well more centuries before TxDOT even thought to designate it as such.

(1) Link to TxHTC article on Half-Way Oak historic designation:
(visit link)

Abilene News Reporter article on historic Half-Way Oak:
(visit link)

Texas A&M Forest Service page on Half-Way Oak from 1970 edition of Famous Trees of Texas:
(visit link)
Website: [Web Link]

Historic Event:
Oldest landmark in Stephen County, TX. Used as rest area along military road from Stevenville to Fort Griffin. Used as half-way rest area along stagecoach road connecting Breckenridge to north and Cisco, Eastland and Ranger to south. Indian tribes used tree as rest area/camp sites on their travels across TX. Dallas Historic Tree Coalition nominated Half-Way Oak as historic tree and Texas Forest Service gave the tree a historic designation in 2011.

Year: 2011 designated as a Texas historic tree by Texas Forest Service

Species: Texas Live Oak (quercus virginiana)

Approximate Age: 200

Location: In Stephens County, half way between Cisco, TX and Breckenridge, TX

Visit Instructions:
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WayBetterFinder visited Half-Way Oak - Stephens County, TX 12/23/2020 WayBetterFinder visited it