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  • Writer's pictureMichael T. Berger, MBA

Inside410 Historical Marker Love - El Camino Real

We are proud to introduce a new series of historical marker recognition of those locations deemed of historical significance deemed worthy of preservation by the Texas Historical Commission (THC). During this series, we will be focusing on those markers situated Inside410 as these locations and structures have shaped our unique history. The THC has strict criteria for what subjects or structures deserve historical markers or plaques and for Subject Markers, the definition is as follows:

"Subject markers are educational in nature and reveal aspects of local history that are important to a community or region. These markers honor topics such as church congregations, schools, communities, businesses, events and individuals. Subject markers are placed at sites that have a historical association with the topic, but no legal restriction is placed on the use of the property or site, although the THC must be notified if the marker is ever to be relocated."

For the criteria, they use two:


1. Age: Most topics marked with subject markers must date back at least 50 years, although historic events may be marked after 30 years, and individuals may be marked, or may be mentioned in a historical marker text, after they have been deceased for 10 years. The THC may waive the age requirements for topics of overwhelming state or national importance, although these exceptions are rarely granted and the burden of proof for all claims and documentation is the responsibility of the author of the narrative history.

2. Historical significance: A topic is considered to have historical significance if it had influence, effect or impact on the course of history or cultural development; age alone does not determine significance. Topics do not necessarily have to be of statewide or national significance; many historical markers deal with local history and a local level of significance. Age alone is not sufficient for marker eligibility.

With all that said, let's have a look at a historical marker that receives very little attention but is located at a highly trafficked intersection of Nacadoches and Loop410; The Historical Marker of the Route of El Camino Real:

The main thoroughfare of early Texas, The Camino Real, or "King's Highway", followed ancient Indian and buffalo trail. It stretched 1,000 miles from Mexico to present Louisiana. Domingo Teran de los Rios, first Governor of Texas, blessed the central section of the road in 1691. Called the "Trail of the Padres", it linked Monclova, Mexico, with the Spanish Missions of East Texas. Over the centuries, priests, soldiers, traders, and settlers used the Camino Real. The French adventurer T. Denis probably traveled the road from Lousiana to the Rio Grande in 1714. San Antonio was a major stop on this frontier highway. Moses Austin followed the Camino Real to San Antonio in 1820 seeking colonization rights from Spain. Many Anglo-American settlers called it the "old San Antonio Road". It joined this city with Nacogdoches, San Augistine, and other East Texas Settlements. In 1915 the Texas Legislature appropriated $5,000 to mark the historic roadway across the state. The Daughters of the American Revolution, along with other patriotic groups, endorsed the project. V.N. Zivley surveyed the route and indicated the spacing for granite markers every five miles. Today many modern highways follow the path of the Camino Real. (1979)

These markers surround us because we live in a community steeped in history and culture. We are sometimes so inundated with what we have that we end up not taking a minute to enjoy the past that has so enriched our lives and gives our city such a unique and wonderful spirit.

I hope that you enjoy this series and if you have something Inside410 that is dear to your heart and want to see it highlighted here, simply drop me an email as I would love to hear your thoughts.

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