"Hamilton County: I love it. Most travelers have no clue what
really lies off the paved roads of Hamilton
County. My hat is off to the first settlers having to hack a pathway
for the first time before the advent of TX36 and TX22. There is some
kind of thorn or
thistle vine undergrowth that must have been quite a barrier for
horse, cow, wagon and person trying to pass through this
part of Texas. We have nothing to compare like it out west.
Its thorns are much like that of a rose bush but it grows on a vine
about the thickness of a pencil. Thankfully, I like to wear a pair
of old but comfortable pants on these trips. The thorns tore them
up doing damage to my legs and arms. Even my old boots are scarred.
Only biker's leathers might survive this stuff.
Going this time of year avoids the usual crawling, flying and biting
critters that commonly inhabit the area. My problem is, going through
these photos, I want to go right back and do it all over again."
Gibson, March, 2008
Thorns & More
|A note to
Hamilton County Bridges
"Let me say, first off, that I love your site;
I live in east Tennessee now but I grew up in north central TX (rural
counties) and your magazine/website is one of the first places I turn
to when I am feeling deeply homesick. Please keep doing what you're
Anyway, I do have a specific reason I am writing to you today. I was
looking at the series your photographer, Barclay
Gibson, did of bridges in Hamilton
County, TX, which are lovely. His comments on the thorny undergrowth,
in particular, made me smile. We just called them briars, growing
up; I believe they are a Smilax species but I'm not certain. Anyway,
it is indeed a tenaciously evil plant. He should try to remove some
sometime! You can't just cut them down and expect them not to come
right back, and their root system consists of these hard, woody tubers...
heh, sorry, thinking about them got me carried away. Here on this
side of the Mississippi, we have kudzu, which is a nightmare as far
as invasive plants go, but those briars are native, and those thorns
are vicious and I'd honestly rather try to stop kudzu. :)
But yes, I suppose if you could pass my appreciation on to Mr.
Gibson, and to your other contributors,
I'd be obliged." - Regards, Tracey A. Jones, May 11, 2009
County 1907 postal map
From Texas state map #2090
Texas General Land Office
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and vintage or recent photos, please contact