“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Ringgold in Montague County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Highways Paved With Gold

Highways Paved With Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, November 24, 2021
1. Highways Paved With Gold Marker
Inscription.  From the immemorial man has searched for a land where streets were paved with gold. As early as the 16th Century he was in Texas, lured by Indian reports of "Seven Cities of Gold." They never were found. But they provided the basis for legends of untold riches--stories still spun by some Texans.

Surprisingly, perhaps, many of the "tall tales" are more fact than fiction. For instance, both this section of U.S. Highway 81 and a portion of adjacent U.S. Highway 287 are actually paved with gold!

The story began in 1936 when the Texas Highway Department was paving the two highways here in Montague County. Sand for the concrete was taken from a nearby pit, opened three years earlier. The grains glistened with such intensity as they were mixed that a closer examination seemed prudent. So a small supply was sent to a Fort Worth laboratory for assay.

Back came the report: the sand contained gold. The news sent the owner of the pit in feverish search of the mother lode. But in vain. Top assays on his extensive "soundings" came to no more than 54 cents per ton of ore. His ardor was cooled further when he learned the gold
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was not free but deeply imbedded in the sand.

Disheartened, he settled back into routine sand production. From his pit, however, eventually came $250,000 in gold--all part of the sand. It has been reckoned that as much as $31,000 is distributed along 39 miles of roadway. Some $25,000 in U.S. Highway 81 and $6,000 in U.S. Highway 287. The remainder has gone into other construction in the region, including numerous buildings in which concrete has been used.

So it is that today's motorist has discovered the highways paved with gold and the "golden" cities which his predecessors sought in vain.
Erected 1963 by Texas Highway Department. (Marker Number 2479.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1936.
Location. 33° 45.572′ N, 97° 56.106′ W. Marker is near Ringgold, Texas, in Montague County. Marker is on U.S. 81, one mile south of Dutton Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ringgold TX 76261, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Early Trails in Montague County (approx. 4 miles away); Home County of Governor James V. Allred (approx. 14.2 miles away); Montague County
Highways Paved With Gold Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, November 24, 2021
2. Highways Paved With Gold Marker
(approx. 14.3 miles away); First National Bank of Bowie (approx. 14.7 miles away).
More about this marker. When Texas initiated the current historical marker program in 1962, the design of the markers was slightly different than what eventually became the standard design. The markers were larger and featured elaborate scroll work around the text. Approximately 20 of these markers were placed between 1962 and 1964, when the current marker design was adopted. This marker was the 14th marker in that initial series, as designated by the number 14 found on the marker's base. The marker numbers disappeared in new design and the THC eventually went with a completely different numbering scheme for the markers.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. This page has been viewed 483 times since then and 92 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 1, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas.

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Apr. 22, 2024