During the 1930s and early 1940s, the Old Spanish Trail was highlighted as a tourist route and scenic trail.
Historical Marker Reads:
Old Spanish Trail
The Old Spanish Trail was a significant route from San Antonio through Bandera Pass, Camp Verde, Kerrville, Ingram and Mountain Home. For centuries, it was used by Native Americans, including Comanches and Lipan Apaches. Spanish colonists living in the San Antonio area asked for protection from the Lipan Apaches, and in 1732, Juan Antonio Bustillo y Cebalos won a victory against the Apaches at Bandera Pass on the trail. A short period of peace was followed by further violence. In 1739, Captain Jose de Urrutia used the Old Spanish Trail to push into San Saba River country, where his soldiers surprised an Indian camp and seized a number of captives. Other expeditions were made between 1753 and 1756, possibly using the Old Spanish Trail among other routes through this area. In 1757, the Spanish established Santa Cruz de San Saba Mission and Presidio San Luis de la Amarillas, several miles apart, along the San Saba River near present-day Menard (Menard Co.). Activity in the San Saba area and along the Old Spanish Trail continued sporadically over the following decades, with the allure of nearby silver mines attracting adventurers. Nicholas de Lafora mapped this route in 1771. Traffic continued even after the presidio and mission closed in 1772. In 1828, noted Swiss botanist Jean Louis Berlandier traveled this route with Comanche guides. In 1855, Camp Verde was established at the junction of the Comanche Trail and the Old Spanish Trail. Camp Ives was established in 1859, four miles north of Camp Verde. Soldiers from both posts used the Old Spanish Trail in patrolling duties.The trail later became part of a military road leading from San Antonio to Fort Terrett (Sutton Co.). Today, the Old Spanish Trail is remembered as an ancient road that played a significant role in shaping the settlement, culture and history of Kerr County.
Marker Year 2009