Old Brazos River Bridge from Farm Road 56. (Johnson Co.) Not far from
Eulogy, TX and Brazos Point,
TX." - Photo
courtesy Paula Mc Michael Athey, April 02, 2007
on a Pinhead
In the late 1850s business partners Charles W. Smith and Tom Willingham
saw the Brazos River and saw opportunity. They built a gin, mill and
store for their own interests and in 1860 a school was built followed
by the Brazos Point Community Church nearby. The community was granted
a post office in 1873 and the 1880s seems to have been the town's
high-water mark. The population reached 200 and besides the gin, store
and gristmill, they gained their very own physician. But a few years
later (1896) the population had declined to 75 and the post office
had closed its doors.
The community moved to FM 56 and in 1914 the county contracted with
the Austin Bridge Company to erect a bridge across the Brazos (which
still stands alongside a modern bridge). The population was estimated
at only 50 from 1933 through WWII.
No figures were available after 1947.
|The bridge plaque
showing date 1914 and names
Photo courtesy Paula Mc Michael Athey.
More Texas Bridges
is my mother Trixie Mc Michael at the Old Bridge ... not far from
Brazos Point on Farm Road 56. This picture was taken in the 1930's."
- Paula Mc Michael Athey.
1920s map showing Brazos River & Walnut
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
Point, Texas Forum
"The Old Man's Place"
My brother H.L. Stephenson and his wife Denise first took me to
Brazos Point back in 1970. We all called it "The old mans place,"
for the old farmer who lived there. He ran a campground right on
the river called Braden's Camp. It was just to the left as you passed
over the bridge head'n toward Walnut
For three dollars you could camp all week (and probably not see
anyone else). When I reached driving age it was a favorite destination
of mine. I would take friends and camp all weekend or longer. Sometimes
I'd take a date for a picnic there. It never failed. Everyone loved
the old bridge, the river, and the old man's camp. I have slept
under the bridge on a sand bar and made coffee from Brazos river
water. I camped with friends and loved ones, some of whom are now
gone or I have lost touch with. My best dog Buzzard loved it also.
I could say to her "Wanna go to the river?" and she'd start danc'n.
When we got there she'd run and play for hours, trying to bite us
on the rear as we jumped in the water. I remember her plum tuckered
out with a sunburn on the tip of her nose laying by the campfire.
We'd go every weekend during the summers, and sometimes we'd camp
in winter. Buzzard and I went the most, just the two of us. Brazos
Point has changed, the old man has passed on and his camp is no
more. A new, ugly bridge has been built right beside the original.
Buzzard has been gone for about 15 years now. I have my memory and
lots of pictures and a rock that I carried up from the river floor
when my wife and I were dating. It is in the shape of a triangle
and must weigh well over 100lbs. It's right out the back door of
my house for the last 25 years. I can place my hand on it and I'm
almost there. - Don W. Stevenson, July 16, 2007
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