Trammel’s Trace was the first road into Texas from the United States to the north. Around 1813, Indian trails were adapted for smuggling horses out of Spanish Texas through Nacogdoches into markets east of the Sabine River in New Orleans and Natchez. When Mexico opened Texas for immigration in 1821, Trammel’s Trace was used by hundreds of people moving into the territory from Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. Covering almost 200 miles from the Great Bend of the Red River at Fulton, down to Nacogdoches, Trammel’s Trace remained a primary route for trade and immigration through early Texas statehood.
Today, remains of the trail in the form of well worn ruts bring that history alive. Research into the route of Trammel’s Trace across Bowie, Cass, Marion, Harrison, Rusk, Panola, and Nacogdoches counties offers local governments and tourism groups opportunities to conserve that history and interpret it for visitors, landowners, and local citizens. In connection with the effort around interpretation of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, a focus on Trammel’s Trace is both timely and symbiotic. This session will define the location of Trammel’s Trace and offer ideas about its protection and interpretation.
Learning objectives include:
- Demonstration of how historic maps can be combined with GIS systems, satellite images, and online resources to create maps that can locate and define historic roads and trails.
- Discover the value of locating historic roads and trails with regard to local history, tourism development, and community involvement.
Examine how other historic trails have been developed through cooperative relationships between landowners, historical associations, and local governments.
Gary Pinkerton is an Independent Researcher/Writer who is currently completing a book about Trammel’s Trace and has a website www.trammelstrace.org. He frequently speaks to historical groups, professional associations, and genealogical organizations.
He is an editorial board member of the East Texas Historical Journal; a Contributing Author, Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture; and author of numerous articles and book reviews
He holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston.