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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 Odessa in Ector County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Caprock

 
 
The Caprock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
1. The Caprock Marker
Inscription. A range of flat-topped ridges and cliffs stretching from Texas panhandle to 20 miles south of this point and extending into New Mexico. The name also refers to tough limestone that caps ridges. Rising sharply 200 to 1,000 ft. above plains. This section, Concho Bluffs, marks western edge of Caprock escarpment. Called the "Break of the Plains" because it divides the Staked Plains from the North Central Plains of Texas.

Observed by Coronado's expedition, 1540-1541, provided shelter in storms, but delayed entrance of settlers to Staked Plains. Herds of stampeding cattle at times plunged over its edge. In the area, the Caprock blocked eastbound wagons, including some from California gold fields in 1850's. Because of scarce surface water, Staked Plains were too dry for farming or ranching until wells were drilled and windmills installed.

Ridges and canyons here hindered railroad building. In 1881 workmen earned $2.50 a day-highest wages ever paid until then on a Texas railroad job-at "Colt's Big Rock Cut" (the mile-wide, 17-ft. chasm visible here). A tragic accident with dynamite injured several of Colt's men and killed three. Their graves, known to the pioneers around Odessa, were on a hill northeast of the tracks, but cannot now be found.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1967
The Caprock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
2. The Caprock Marker

 
Erected 1967 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 5299.)
 
Location. 31° 45.272′ N, 102° 33.284′ W. Marker is near Odessa, Texas, in Ector County. Marker is on Interstate 20 at milepost 104, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in the eastbound weigh station. Marker is in this post office area: Odessa TX 79763, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Odessa Meteor Craters (was approx. 2.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Penwell (approx. 3.5 miles away); Odessa Meteor Crater (approx. 4.5 miles away); Ector County Discovery Well (approx. 4.8 miles away); Well's Point (approx. 10.2 miles away); The Henderson House (approx. 12.3 miles away); Odessa (approx. 12.5 miles away); Ector County Public Schools (approx. 12.5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Odessa.
 
Categories. EnvironmentRailroads & Streetcars
 
The Caprock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
3. The Caprock Marker
I-20 eastbound weigh station.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 9, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 212 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 9, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.
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