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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Grape Creek in Tom Green County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Butterfield Stage Station at Grape Creek

 
 
Butterfield Stage Station at Grape Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2016
1. Butterfield Stage Station at Grape Creek Marker
Inscription.  An early stagecoach stop near here provided the foundation for a frontier community. In the mid-19th century, stage lines were a primary means of moving people, mail and supplies through the region. John Butterfield, president of the Overland Mail Company, won a Federal government contract in 1857 to take and deliver mail twice weekly in both directions between the Mississippi River and the Pacific coast, linking the eastern and western states. Stations, positioned several miles apart, typically had a simple shelter and a corral for horses or mules, and provided a meal and brief rest for the stage drivers and passengers.
     Waterman Ormsby, a report for the New York Herald, was the lone passenger on the inaugural run along the Butterfield Trail from St. Louis to San Francisco in the fall of 1858. Heading southwest from Fort Chadbourne (Coke Co.), Ormsby wrote of arriving at a station on Grape Creek, “A fine stream, and also near some fine timber - two desirable things not to be found everywhere in Texas.” Henry Roylan was in charge of a small contingent living in tents within the corral that was built of upright rough
Marker in Front of Grape Creek High School image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2016
2. Marker in Front of Grape Creek High School
timber staked in the ground. The Butterfield Company later completed a more permanent facility, with a building and a palisade fence. Joel Pennington ran a store in conjunction with the station. The Grape Creek station was open until the spring of 1861, when the Butterfield route moved north out of Texas.
     Mount Nebo School, forerunner of Grape Creek schools, opened near the station by 1861. The stagecoach stop was the beginning of one of Tom Green County’s oldest settlements.
 
Erected 2008 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15503.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsEducationRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Butterfield Overland Mail series list.
 
Location. 31° 34.115′ N, 100° 32.839′ W. Marker is in Grape Creek, Texas, in Tom Green County. Marker is on Grape Creek Road 0.1 miles south of Tomahawk Lane, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Angelo TX 76901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sheep and Goat Industry in Texas (approx. 2˝ miles away); The Butterfield or California Trail (approx. 2.6 miles
View to North from Grape Creek Road image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 13, 2016
3. View to North from Grape Creek Road
Marker is on right (east) side of road
away); Anti-Tuberculosis Colony No. 1 (approx. 6.8 miles away); The Old Chicken Farm Art Center (approx. 8 miles away); Congregation Beth Israel (approx. 9˝ miles away); City Hall (approx. 9.6 miles away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. 9.6 miles away); Emmanuel Episcopal Church (approx. 9.7 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Butterfield Overland Mail - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on July 18, 2016.)
2. Butterfield Overland Mail. From the Texas State Historical Association’s “Handbook of Texas Online”. (Submitted on July 18, 2016.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 18, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 18, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 410 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 18, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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Aug. 3, 2020