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1840s Route from Dallas/Cedar Springs to Farmers Barnch

Posted by TedACampbell 
1840s Route from Dallas/Cedar Springs to Farmers Barnch
July 09, 2020 04:44AM
I'm interested in the route of the road from Dallas (Bryan) and Cedar Springs (Cole) north to Farmers Branch in the 1840s.

I've seen detail of a Peters Colony map that shows Dallas and Cedar Springs close by with a road between them and then a road heading north-northwest, presumably to Farmers Branch, but the detail breaks off at that point and I don't have access to the larger map.

Would it's route have crossed the present site of Love Field? Presumably Bachman Lake was not there, so I could imagine a route running right through what is now Love Field and Bachman Lake.

Ted A. Campbell
Re: 1840s Route from Dallas/Cedar Springs to Farmers Barnch
July 09, 2020 06:50PM
1852 Henry Hedgcoxe - Map of the Surveyed Part of the Peters Colony Texas

GLO # 3155

When this map was first listed the zoom feature was at a much higher resolution. Now it is barely legible. You can purchase digital images. The printed versions I have of various other maps from this source are not very high quality.

Jim Dunkley's ca 2000 "Early Texas Trails" map appears to be based on the 1852 Hedgcoxe map and I recall he had a large version taped from several pre-restoration printed sections. It shows the trail from Dallas via Cedar Springs to Farmers Branch as part of the Grapevine Springs Trail. It intersected the Bird's Fort Trail from Ft Inglish at Farmers Branch. The Dallas to Preston Trail ran more northerly and intersected the Bird's Fort Trail about 5-6 miles east of Farmers Branch and just west of the 60 Mile Post.

When Hamp Rattan was killed by Indians on X-mas Day 1841 he had come from Bird's Fort to intercept the delayed supply wagons. The site later became Keenan's Crossing, west of Farmers Branch on Elm Fork, near present Valley View Lane.

I have an 1855 Map of the La Reunion Lands in French that shows a trail northwest from Dallas that turns westward at Cedar Springs and crosses the Elm Fork at or near Record Crossing. The Preston Trail departs to the north from this trail about ½ mile east of Elm Fork but Farmers Branch is not shown on the Map.

The Hedgcoxe and LaReunion maps show some of the original surveys so it might be possible to overlay and make a more direct comparison of all the trails - I've just not ever gotten around to it.


Here's a couple of mid-20th century maps based on mid-19th century maps and data. Dunkley's ca 2000 Early Texas Trails is at the bottom in color.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2020 08:48PM by M C Toyer.
Re: 1840s Route from Dallas/Cedar Springs to Farmers Barnch
July 12, 2020 05:50PM
Thank you, M.C.! That's the link I needed, and it does show a fair bit of detail now. It also shows a trail north from Cedar Springs veering a little west then dividing, with the leftmost branch going to Keenan and Cochran (Farmers Branch). I guess the right fork at that point just north of Cedar Springs is the Preston Trail.
Re: 1840s Route from Dallas/Cedar Springs to Farmers Barnch
July 17, 2020 09:46PM
Ted, On the maps that M.C. provided, there are two routes going north from CS. On is the route to FB that you pointed out. The other travels well east of FB, approaching White Rock Creek at one point. The modern Preston Road (SH289) approximates that route, and I believe that is the route to Preston. In fact, on the third map, that route is labeled at the top of the map as being "to Ft. Preston."

Dave McNeely
Re: 1840s Route from Dallas/Cedar Springs to Farmers Barnch
July 18, 2020 07:52AM
Thanks. I see three trails going north from from Cedar Springs on the 1852 Hedgcoxe map, and I have represented them on my map below. The farthest left (farthest west) goes to the Keenan settlement at Farmers Branch and there intersects the Bird's Fort Trail. The second and third from the left may be alternative routes of what became the Preston Road / Military Road. The third (right side of this image) is closest to the current (straightened) route of Preston Road, crossing it at several points.

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