On Saturday, October 12, 2019 the Rancheria Grande Chapter
of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association
conducted a tour of several significant, certified sites along the El Camino
Real in Milam County.
The tour started in Cameron at 9:00am and ended back in Cameron at the Milam County Museum at 5pm.
Dr. Alston Thoms, Professor of Anthropology at A&M, and
Dave Cunningham provided rich and insightful commentary about Sugarloaf
Mountain and the surrounding area.
The Tour began with an introduction by Dave Cunningham on
the Sugarloaf Bridge as well as a brief history of the area. Sugarloaf Mountain is privately owned and permission is needed for tours/hikes.
Our June Chapter Meeting speaker was Marty Irwin, who had a long and successful career doing range conservation for Alcoa and other companies who performed strip mining for coal in this area. After Gary Johnson introduced him, Marty shared some pretty fascinating details with us, so I thought I’d summarize them for any who were unable to attend. (I was so busy writing that I didn’t get my usual zillions of blog photos. Oops.)
If I get any facts wrong, I apologize in advance. Also, note that his presentation wasn’t compatible with our laptop, so we all imagined what he was talking about as he went along. Thank goodness he was good at describing.
On Saturday, March 9, 2019, thirteen students; their teacher, Dr. Nichole Wiedemann, from the University of Texas School of Architecture; and Steven Gonzales, Director of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association (ELCAT), arrived at Cedar Hill Ranch in Gause to hike a small part of El Camino de los Tejas National Historic Trail.
There they met Dr. Lucile Estell who explained how she and the late historian Joy Graham worked to get the approximately 2580 miles of trail nationally recognized as the 19th National Historic Trail in the United States in 2004 and then subsequently worked to get signage placed throughout most of Milam County. (Dr. Estell has authored/co-authored several books including El Camino Real de lost Tejas (Images of America) and Historic Bridges of Milam County; and served on the board of ELCAT for many years since its beginning, including as president and vice-president.)