‘Marking’ history at the pass, mountain
Okay, Ray Ochoa, Joe Ochoa and John Oranday aren’t Cochise of Geronimo but their period dress, and Apache blood in their ancestry, rang true.
Texas Histor ical Commission markers at Apache Pass, and Sugarloaf Mountain near Gause, were unveiled in well-attended ceremonies organized by the Milam County Historical Commission.
Both sites are key “places of interest” on the El Camino Real (ECR) National Historic Trail.
APACHE PASS—The Ochoas and Oranday, in authentic period dress, were featured at the afternoon ceremony, with Ray Ochoa presenting a detailed summary of Apache life and history.
Others on the program were: Johnnielynn Brown, county historical commission chair; Rockdale Boy Scout troop 790, and Joy Graham and Dr. Estell, ECR trail board members.
Others on the program included: Gause 4- H club, posting of colors and pledges to American and Texas flags; Kelly-Lee Cooper, national anthem; Rev. Kenneth Byrd, invocation; Pete Lawson, state song; David Kaufmann, benediction; Brown, Burnett, Graham and Dr. Estell.
HISTORY—Apache Pass is just that, a pass (crossing) over the San Gabriel River, used to ford the stream for centuries.
Sugarloaf also has a Native American past. It was near the site of a large Native American village known as the Rancheria Grande and was an important landmark for settlers who came streaming into the area that would later be known as Milam County.