Anyone with ancestors who migrated to Texas in the years before the Republic will be interested to know the route they likely took from northern states into Texas was Trammel’s Trace. Sam Houston and David Crockett rode down Trammel’s Trace on their way into Texas history.
Trammel’s Trace, named for Nicholas Trammel, ran from the Red River near Jonesborough (now a ghost town near Pecan Point) to Nacogdoches where it meets the Camino Real de los tejas.
“Making those journeys a little more real and present for readers today is one of the goals of my book, 'Trammels Trace: The First Road to Texas from the North,'" stated author Gary Pinkerton.
Pinkerton’s book tells the story of this early road from Arkansas to Texas. By the early 19th century, Trammel’s Trace was largely a smuggler’s trail that delivered horses and contraband into the region. It was a microcosm of the migration, lawlessness and conflict that defined the period.
Evidence of Trammel’s Trace remains across seven Texas counties. Pinkerton and a group of fellow “rut nuts” are actively engaged in educating and informing landowners to enlist their support in preserving this part of history.
Pinkerton is an East Texas native and the Trace crosses family land near Mount Enterprise. He stated, “It was about 2005 when my father mentioned Trammel’s Trace and I asked, 'What is that?' He told me it was that rut across the pasture and through the woods that I used to play in as a youth. When I googled it, I began to learn what it was about. That, and my curiosity and persistence is what led to the book. There was even a historical marker mentioning it in front of my grandmother’s church and cemetery. It didn’t register with me either. It became personal and present, and when history does that, interest begins.”
Pinkerton will be guest speaker at the Walker County Historical Commission’s regular meeting on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the County Museum/Gibbs-Powell House, located in Huntsville at 1228 Eleventh Street at Avenue M. The public is invited to attend. Pinkerton’s book will be for sale immediately following the meeting.
For more information, contact the Walker County Historical Commission at (936) 435-2497 or (936) 438-1400.