things are more enjoyable to Ruth and I than prowling the Trew Ranch. Now in the
family for over 60 years, the changes wrought by Mother Nature and time continually
Ownership history goes back almost to the end of the Red River
Wars of 1875. The ranch abstracts show where Lewis Carhart, founder of Saint's
Roost and Clarendon, sold land to Sir Alfred Rowe, an English rancher and founder
of the RO Ranch and the town of McLean.
He was also body No. 109 recovered after the Titanic sank in 1912.
north boundary is marked by Old Trails Ridge where Indians traveled from the creek
bottoms of Oklahoma to Tucumcari Mountain. This same ridge was chosen to place
the Rock Island Railroad in 1900 to 1902. Even later, in 1927, the ridge was designated
Route 66, one of the earliest
highway crossings America. One short stretch of land 200 yards wide displays Indian
trails, an old dirt highway, a coast-to-coast fiber-optic telephone line, the
Rock Island Railroad right-of-way, Old
Route 66 and both lanes of I-40.
A number of old homestead sites are
located here and they are marked by concrete foundations and low places in the
soil. A visit to these sites after a hard rain usually reveals bits and pieces
of the past. Repairing fences along the old Railroad and Route
66 sites has yielded a number of tourism artifacts.
A 3-inch rain
two years ago left a buffalo skeleton showing in a cutbank buried about 3 feet
below the surface. It appeared to be a yearling-past with the hump ribs just beginning
to form. We removed the bones but found no evidence of the head.
visit to the head of Bobcat Canyon where we used to see the critters each time
we rode by, revealed a sinkhole 10 feet long, 5 feet wide and about 14 feet deep.
It was located right on the edge of the cap rock and could not be seen from any
distance. The bottom displayed a cow skeleton which proved to be complete with
no broken bones. Now the mystery. Did she fall into the hole or did the soil cave
in with her weight as she walked?
Occasionally we find flint scrapers and
arrowheads. More likely we find piles of flint chips where an Indian lookout watched
over his group camping below in the canyon, while sitting on the cap rock watching
for enemies or settlers.
Another mystery never solved came when we found
several empty, brass .22-caliber cartridges at an old homestead down in Southwest
Canyon. Bois de Arc post stumps mark the lines of a small frame cabin and a crude
yard gate still attached to the only yard post. The cartridge cases were bright
and exhibited a Maltese Cross inscribed on the shell head.
son, Mike, sent the cartridge cases to a known ammunition expert in Colorado.
After months of research he found they had been manufactured in a small
factory in Belgium in the early days but had never been exported out of the country.
Now, how did those cartridges make it around the world and across Indian
land to end up at a settler's shack in our canyon? Sounds like a plot for a novel
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" February 17, 2008 Column
Related Topics: Texas
| Features | Columns
| Texas Towns | Texas