El Camino Real trail road signs to be placed

Dr. Lucile Estell recently told county commissioners that El Camino Real de los Tejas National Trail Signs are being ordered and plans are being made to install them on roads to route traffic in Milam County to the six areas of “high significance.”

There are four trails routes across Texas, east to west. Milam County has two routes.

An upper trail follows the area from Apache Pass to Cameron and across to Robertson County.

The lower route comes in south of Thorndale along Brushy Creek, through the Nile Community and follows a northeasterly route.

These two original routes of the 1691 trail joined at the confluence of San Gabriel River to Little River.

Routes of the trails follow the nearest county and state highways . Much research, planning, and a lot of documentation went into the Comprehensive Master Plan for this trail.

A two-year project surveyed and documented history in the rural areas of the county and property owned by the county.

Milam County is recognized as a Certified Local Government County by Texas and the National Parks Service.

As the Parks Service began identif y ing areas along this national trail, Milam County’s CLG Survey was used to determine those sites of high significance and importance to the trail.

All of the archeological research that began in 1967 at the San Xavier Mission Sites, led by Dr. Kathleen Gilmore, was used to further document locations of Spanish Missions Ildefonso and Nuestra de Candelaria.

Sixteen signs will be placed on county roads where the original routes crossed. Remember these old trail routes do not follow modern day roads. Local tour routes lead traffic through the county as close to the original routes as possible.

Nineteen local tour route, historic site name, and custom directional and arrow road signs that direct traffic will be placed on TxDOT State Highways and Farm Market roads.

Funding for the sign projects has been donated by: National Parks Service, $5,000; Milam County Preservation Trust Fund, $ 4,000; and the City of Rockdale $2,000.

Funds are needed and have been requested of cities where the signs are located.

Cost of the above-mentioned signs total over $15,000. This does not include the sign poles and hardware which are estimated to run around $450.00 per sign.

If you would like more information on how to support this project, contact Dr. Estell 512- 446-5372 or Joy Graham 512- 446-5563.

Signing the trail through Milam County will market our county to tourists and give cities opportunities to draw customers to their businesses and it may give new business a place to locate.

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2012-07-19 digital edition

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