I meant to write this post weeks ago, but life got in the way. So that means I can’t remember what prompted me to start searching for information about the area that we live in and what evidence of past cultures might be found locally.
But I ran across a couple of interesting items.
The first is that there is an old Indian trace, or trail, that ran just south of where we live. It is called the Caddo trace and my guess is that it was a feeder trail into the Cherokee Trace that I wrote about in an earlier post. It is documented in a map of Upshur County dated 1897. It was neat looking at the old map, but it can be difficult to figure out exactly where things are in relation to what you know now.
Enter a very cool resource, Historic Earth. It enabled me to take the old map and overlay it with a current Google map, so that I could see the location of new roads and have a reference point for objects on the old map. Here is a screenshot of what I’m talking about:
You can see the Caddo Trace as a dotted line running from upper left to lower right on the map. I think I know about where it crosses Rose Trail on the map but there really isn’t any obvious trail there anymore. Which is to be expected, I know. Trails disappear in the undergrowth fairly rapidly once they stop being used. I suspect that the trail may have been used as a basis for part of Begonia Road in Upshur County.
However, the Caddo Indians also left larger evidence of their culture in this area. They were one group of Indians who built mounds as part of their settlements. I found a fairly recent article describing some large mounds located on the Sabine River south of Longview. The location was not given as the mounds are protected and they don’t want them disturbed by souvenir seekers. I also ran across this little tidbit about a place near the community we live in:
From THE MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS OF THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SECOND SESSION OF THE FORTY-SIXTH CONGRESS (Google eBook), c. 1880, pg. 443:
Glasco, J. M.—There are many ancient remains, such as mounds and earthworks, in Upshur and Camp Counties, Texas. One in southeast corner of Camp County, on property of Nathan Lee, three miles east from the town of Lafayette, and a road-bed 8 feet wide and from 1 to 2J feet high leads from this to another about one mile northeast. Still another road leads from the first named to a mound four miles off on the land of W. 11. D. Ware. This road passes through a square inclosed by a bank 18 inches high. There are twenty-five or thirty mounds on the Sarah Powel league in a group. Near a large one is a raised burnt clay floor. Another group is on the property of S. P. Monyhhon, with a burnt place. They are on Walnut and Gum Creeks, tributaries of Little Cypress. A few of the mounds examined indicate a wooden pen covered with soil. Mr. Glasco also mentions rock-carvings and other interesting remains which he has not visited.
Wow! How cool is that? I would love to go hunting for these places and see if any trace of them remains, but not enough to do the sleuthing and finding of property owners that it would require. So it simply remains a curious piece of local information.