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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Eagle Lake in Colorado County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Navigation of the Colorado River

 
 
Navigation of the Colorado River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, April 2, 2010
1. Navigation of the Colorado River Marker
Inscription. Because overland travel in early Texas was an enterprise often fraught with hardship, frustration, and danger, many individuals looked to rivers for a solution to the problem. From 1829 to the Civil War, optimistic Texans attempted to ply the area's long, meandering rivers, but met repeated disappointment.

The most serious drawback to navigation of the Colorado was "the raft." This was a series of timber masses - some floating, some sunken - choking off the river about 10-25 miles above its mouth. The length was variously given as 3-8 miles. In spite of this, the keelboat "David Crockett" became the first boat to navigate the river, in 1838. After that, flatboats brought cotton, hides, lumber, and pecans down as far as the raft, but there the goods had to be taken off and hauled laboriously by wagon to Matagorda.

The Republic of Texas incorporated 2 companies to clear the river and the State authorized the construction of a new channel around the raft, but the obstruction remained an impediment and hazard.

Although shallow-draft boats managed occasional trips, the more-efficient railroads eventually took away much business. After the Civil War, Texas Rivers ceased to be an important factor in transportation.
 
Erected 1969 by Texas State Historical Survey Committee.
Location of Navigation marker image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, April 2, 2010
2. Location of Navigation marker
(Marker Number 3558.)
 
Location. 29° 35.357′ N, 96° 22.735′ W. Marker is near Eagle Lake, Texas, in Colorado County. Marker is on U.S. 90A, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Eagle Lake TX 77434, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Town of Eagle Lake (approx. 2.7 miles away); Rice Culture in Colorado County (approx. 2.7 miles away); Lakeside Sugar Refinery (approx. 3.3 miles away); Frazarville (approx. 8 miles away); Alleyton C.S.A. (approx. 10.4 miles away); Benjamin Beason's Crossing (approx. 12.3 miles away); Beason's (Beeson's) Crossing (approx. 12.3 miles away); Joseph and Rachel Rabb Newman (approx. 12.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Eagle Lake.
 
More about this marker. Marker is in a roadside picnic area that has been closed to vehicles for some reason.
 
Also see . . .  Colorado River. Article in the Handbook of Texas Online that describes the logjam or "raft" in more detail. (Submitted on April 18, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas.) 
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 765 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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