Details for Crossing of Old Ox-Cart Roads

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5297003893


Marker Number 3893
Atlas Number 5297003893
Marker Title Crossing of Old Ox-Cart Roads
Index Entry Ox-Cart Roads, Crossing of Old
Address US 281, 4 mi. N. of George West
City George West
County Live Oak
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 583858
UTM Northing 3138401
Subject Codes roads
Marker Year 1968
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark No
Marker Location from George West take US 281 about 4 miles north to marker on east side of highway
Private Property No
Marker Condition In Situ
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text From the early days of spanish colonial Texas well into statehood, the only "Highways" in the area were primitive dirt roads. Although many had names, others were simply called "ox-cart roads" for the sturdy mexican carts so frequently seen on them. In the 19th century this site was a junction for two of these roads, one extending from Brownsville to San Antonio, the other from Laredo to Goliad, then over to Indianola on the Gulf Coast. This strategic location helped Oakville grow into a thriving town and become county seat of Live Oak County in 1856. Ox-carts were unique in being constructed entirely of wood, fastened by wooden pins and rawhide thongs. The two wheels stood taller than a man and the bed was usually 15 feet long, covered by a thatched roof. To stop the deafening squeak of the wheels, drivers greased the hubs with prickly pear leaves. Pulled by several yoke of oxen, the carts usually traveled in groups. Their arrival meant fresh coffee, beans, salt, and sugar for isolated settlers. Although gradually replaced by wagons, carts were for two centuries almost the only freight vehicles in Texas. Reminders of their former importance long remained in the names of these two old roads.

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