Big day for El Camino Real
Thursday just could be the biggest day for the historic El Camino Real trail near Rockdale in about 250 years.
The third annual membership meeting of the El Camino Real National Historic Trail Association will be held, beginning at 9 a.m. at Apache Pass and continuing through the afternoon.
That evening, a nationally renowned photographic exhibit, featuring sites along the trail, will have its unveiling at a reception in the city library.
Christopher Talbot, a professor at Stephen F. Austin State Univer- sity, traveled the trail, made the photos and will be present at the exhibit, which begins at 7 p.m.
MEET ING— Former State Historian Dr. Frank de la Teja will be the keynote speaker during the morning session at the Apache Pass restaurant.
A lso spea k ing w ill be Dr. Susan Boyle, histor ian w ith the National Park Service.
Honored at this meeting will be the late Dr. Kathleen Kirk Gilmore, an archaeologist who is credited with extensive research on the San Xav ier Missions located at the Apache Pass site.
AFTERNOON— During the afternoon session, participants will be able to experience the Trail as they watch flintknapping, hear stories told, watch reenactments or go on a hayride to a Nature Trail located in the area. Authentic Indian dances will be performed as will reenactments of historic events in this area.
Participants may have their photos made on historic Worley Bridge.
Board member Mark Stine of Austin has organized a bike ride for interested persons.
Indian dances led by Chief Rufus Davis, head of the Adai Caddo nation will close the day with a special ceremony at the at the Apache Pass prayer circle.
There is no charge for any event but registration is required to guarantee a seat for the morning session. Lunch will be available for $10 per person.
PHOTOS— Talbot’s photographs include swales, acequias, river crossings, forts, missions, presidios and other significant sites along the trail.
El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail was designated by Congress in 2004 to commemorate the significant historic routes extending from the international border of the Rio Grande to the easternmost province of Texas in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.
The Spanish used these trails to reach areas where they established missions and presidios. The San Xavier Missions near San Gabriel were one such site.
The reception for this opening is sponsored by the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce, Rockdale Downtown Association, the Linwood Acres Garden Club and the Rockdale Historical Society.