Two Rivers "Sandbar Histories"
THE PATHFINDERS FIND NAVASOTA…July 20, 1911
by Betty Dunn
Henry Mayo, chairman of the Brazos County Historical Commission, tweaked our interest in the Pathfinders of 1911 in his “This Week in Brazos County History” newsletter.
A search of the July 1911 weekly issues of the Navasota Examiner-Review on microfilm at the Navasota Public Library revealed the Pathfinders, after finding Bryan and College Station, found Navasota. The Examiner-Review devoted a front page column and a half in its July 20, 1911 issue about the Pathfinders.
The Pathfinders, as Mayo said, “were the early road map makers” searching for a route from the Red River to the Gulf of Mexico. The citizens along the way urged them to make their way over “crooked roads”, “uncleared land”, and “swampy trails” to “their” towns. The Pathfinders were hired by automobile tourism groups such as Rand McNally, AAA and tire manufacturer B. F. Goodrich to create road maps.
The cars on this search included a Buick Model 16, and a Brush one-cylinder runabout, and were often joined up by the few local car owners in the towns the Pathfinders found.
The Pathfinders left College Station that hot July morning at 7 o’clock, according to the Examiner-Review reporter: “the run to Navasota over various and peculiar kinds of roads; Anderson was supposed to be the next stop, but when it was discussed it was decided to eliminate Anderson from the calculations for the highway, as it is too far from the main road. To include Anderson as one of the points along the Red River to Gulf highway would be too much of a detour. Out of College Station there was some sand before Wellborn was reached…from Wellborn to Millican the road was full of crooks and turns…part of the route lay through uncleared lands, and the trees with hanging moss formed a barrier on each side of the path. The road could be easily improved if the proper effort is made and it could be at little expense. The Pathfinders reached Navasota in an hour and a half at 8:30.”
The lead Pathfinder was a Buick Model No. 21. One of its passengers was Robert J. Potts, associate professor of civil engineering at A & M College, in charge of the division of highway engineering. Car No. 2 was a Maxwell 30, with passenger George W. Baker of Dallas, president of the Texas Automobile Association and the Dallas Automobile Club. The 3rd car was a Buick Model 16 and the 4th car was a small Brush one cylinder ‘runabout.’
The Associated Press ran a story that day saying the Pathfinders ‘nooned’ at Hempstead and would reach Houston by evening.
Above is from the "Two Rivers Sandbar Histories" on sale from Two Rivers Heritage Foundation. There are 134 articles in the book offering an incite into the early years of Grimes County.
Contact Betty Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Lynn Hildebrandt at email@example.com to reserve copies. (Mail orders will be $23.50 each.)
Each week we will endeavor to showcase excerpts from each of the writings from the book. So check back often to see portions of the 'treasures' it contains.
NOTICE: BEST MUSEUM at the Horlock House
1215 Washington, Navasota, Texas 77868.
Any organization or individuals who would like to visit the newly organized Best Museum by the Two Rivers Heritage Foundation are welcome.
Exhibits, at this time, include the City of Navasota’s historical collection of the Horlocks, Christian Becker, Jesse and Herbert Youens, Schumachers, and Texas Rangers; as well as the Two Rivers’ exhibit of the ”Railroads that built Navasota.”
Mance Lipscomb exhibit, Navasota's world known blues singer, guitarist, songster. Those wishing to see the Best Museum please contact E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Rivers Heritage Foundation
Officers & Board of Directors
Chairman: Kathy Cave Wells
Vice-Chairman: Betty Dunn
Secretary: Lynn Hildebrandt
Treasurer: Baker Goodwin
John Henry Botkin
Margaret Van Wagner Eppler
Honorary Director: Mildred Edwards
Two Rivers Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 66,
Navasota, TX. 77868
June 15 - Charles Swanlund
July 6 - Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell
July 20 - William Hardt - Methodist Archivist
August 3 - Bronwyn & Bettie Bowen
August 17 - Tina Henderson talks about Female Buffalo Soldiers
September 7 - tba
September 21 - Justice Ken Wise of Wise About Texas Podcast
For the time being the Two Rivers ‘mixers’ are being held at the New Hope Church on Hwy 105 1 blk East of Hwy 6 every month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:45. There is adequate space to meet the present protocol regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.
Revisit the video section of the www.tworiversheritagefoundation.org website. The Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin presentation “Grimes County, A Journey in Time” this past February, is first up under the video tab of the website along with many others that can give you a look back in history.
Betty Dunn, Newsletter Coordinator, 281-507-1671, (Please leave a voicemail)
Two Rivers Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit
Membership in our Two Rivers Heritage Foundation is appreciated in the support of helping Two Rivers’ mission of preserving history.
Click the button below to see our membership form. Print the form, fill it out, and mail it along with your payments to:
TWO RIVERS HERITAGE FOUNDATION
P. O. Box 66, Navasota, TX 77868-0066
🌎 🔔 We are now accepting dues for the 2021 year. Dues are $20 each adult. Mail dues to P. O. Box 66, Navasota, Tx. 77868. We are preparing to update the Membership Book. We appreciate your being a part of Two Rivers Heritage Foundation in support of our mission to preserve our history. If you are a new member, please fill out the membership form and mail. Thanks!
🎅 Remember that we are trying to raise money 💲 for our Development Fund by selling our Sandbar books... $20/each... they make great gifts! 🌝 The cover art is by local artist Nikki Sullivan. Contact Betty Dunn at email@example.com or Lynn Hildebrandt at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve copies. (Mail orders are $23.50 each.)
TWO RIVERS “SANDBAR HISTORIES” BOOKS
Two Rivers Heritage Foundation’s “Sandbar Histories” books are available for purchase. If you are looking for a fascinating gift idea these historical books will make a great gift!! The books contain over two years of the “Grains from the Sandbar” columns that have been complimentarily offered to the Navasota Examiner weekly newspaper since August 2015 through the years 2016 and 2017. The price is $20. This is a fund-raising project for the Two Rivers Heritage Foundation’s Development Fund. The cover art is by local artist Nikki Sullivan. Contact Betty Dunn at email@example.com or Lynn Hildebrandt at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve copies. (Mail orders are $23.50 each.)
Check out our website: www.tworiversheritagefoundation.org
Betty Dunn, Newsletter Coordinator, 281-507-1671