The Old Beef Road

The Old Beef Road (HM20WK)

Location: Wiergate, TX 75977 Newton County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 5.513', W 93° 43.551'

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Early 19th Century trade routes across the Sabine River were few, and served all travelers and traders. The Beef Road, which replaced earlier "Zavala Road", was an important route by 1840, crossing this area. Named for cattle trade, it began in Huntsville and Liberty regions, and ran through Zavala, Jasper, and into present Newton County, where it forked near this site, forming three routes. The northern fork, to Natchitoches, crossed the Sabine at Bevil's Ferry (later Haddon's); The middle route, to Alexandria, led to Hickman's Ferry (later Burr's); The southern branch, to Opelousas, crossed at New Columbia. The cattle were corralled at night in "beef pens", located at points along the trails, including Week's Chapel and Toledo.

During the Civil War, the Beef Road was an important supply artery to the Confederate States, until the Federal Army gained control of the Mississippi River in July 1863. This halted the eastern cattle drives. Sabine River crossings were fortified against attack, as the roads would be a necessity for an invading force, but he expected invasion never came.

Railroad expansion into Kansas, in the late 1860s, diverted the cattle drives to the north, and led to decline of Beef Road as a major cattle trade route.
HM NumberHM20WK
Year Placed1973
Placed By1973 by State Historical Survey Committee
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, August 18th, 2017 at 1:05pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 430771 N 3440011
Decimal Degrees31.09188333, -93.72585000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 5.513', W 93° 43.551'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 5' 30.78" N, 93° 43' 33.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)409
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near County Rd 1100, Wiergate TX 75977, US
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