Tag Archives: Trinity River

Today in Texas History – February 5

From the Annals of the Highways –  In 1844, the Congress of the Republic of Texas authorized a commission to oversee the construction of the Central National Road. The CNR was planned to run from the Elm Fork of the Trinity River to Kiomatia Crossing on the Red River in far northeast Texas.  It was intended to become part of a larger international highway ultimately connecting San Antonio to St. Louis.  The Congress provided that the CNR was to be at least 30 feet wide with no tree stumps taller than 12 inches from the ground.  Bridges were to be at least 15 feet wide and built of good substantial materials.  The project was to be paid for with public land grants to contractors building the road. The rate was to be 160 acres of land for every mile constructed.

The commissioners chose George Stell of Paris, Texas, as surveyor for the project.  Surveying work began in April 1844. Stell and his assistant traveled northeast, measuring and marking the exact route, which passed through the present counties of Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Hunt, Fannin, Lamar and Red River. The route largely  utilized existing prairies and natural stream crossings – avoiding densely wooded areas and river crossing requiring bridges.  It is unclear if construction was ever completed.  The CNR appears to have been short-lived and was replaced by the Preston Road and other early routes.


Flood Photos Showing Oil Spills Disappear from Public View

The El Paso Times has been on about concerning many photos taken of flooded areas of Texas which show spills from oil wells and drilling sites.  Despite the clear pictorial evidence, the “watchdog” of the Texas oil and gas industry  – the Texas Railroad Commission – for some reason has records of almost no flood related spills occurring during the massive floods that have occurred in Texas over the past two years.

An example are photos taken last summer by the Civil Air Patrol along the Lower Trinity River.  The photos show lots of oil spilling into the Lower Trinity .  But the Railroad Commission’s oil-spill database does not include any record of a flood-related spill along the Trinity.

And if that weren’t suspicious enough, the RRC along with the Texas Department of Public Safety recently removed all the photos from public view.  The reason – concerns that the photos might show dead bodies of persons whose families had not been notified.  The only problem – there were no dead bodies in the photos.  So what exactly is the RRC attempting to hide?  It’s lax oversight of the industry?  That is common knowledge, so it must be something else.