Beneath the concrete and glass of urban west Houston lie the remnants of a long-forgotten frontier that lay on either side of upper Buffalo Bayou. Settlement began here in 1824, a dozen years before the city of Houston was founded. Ox wagons full of cotton traveled from the Brazos River east to Harrisburg along the San Felipe Trail, built in 1830. Along this same road, Texian families fled eastward during the Runaway Scrape of 1836, immigrant Germans trekked westward to new farms in the 1840s, and newly freed African American families walked eastward toward Houston after Emancipation. Along a part of this old road, Reconstruction-era cowboys assembled herds of longhorns and headed north along a southeastern branch of the Chisholm Trail.
This new book tells the story of the forgotten pioneers who settled rural western Harris County – not the early movers and shakers of the city of Houston, but the everyday men and women who lived on the frontier that lay to its west, in what much later became River Oaks, Post Oak/Uptown, Tanglewood, West University Place, the Memorial Villages and Spring Branch, Briar Forest, Barker and Addicks Reservoirs, and eastern Katy. They were farmers and planters, slaves and freedmen, soldiers and innkeepers, sawyers and cowboys. Urban Houston’s explosive expansion during the twentieth century buried their story, until now.
This site gives more information about the book and its author, and shows where the book may be obtained.