Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Texas Frontier


The history of the Texas Frontier begins almost 500 years ago in...Jamaica? Spanish explorer and cartographer Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, on behalf of the Jamaican governor (and his treasury), drew the first map of the Gulf Coast including the Texas coastline and, as a result, created the earliest known document in Texas history. Before Penida's map, prehistoric Texas existed as an unknown to outside influences, populated by many native peoples where no distinct culture dominated as far as we know. But Pineda only defined the limits of what would one day become Texas, not its depth. That would be left to a succession of French, Spanish, and American explorers to decipher.

The advent of the true Texan, however, arose from the desire for social and political freedom rather than a push for exploration. The Texas frontier provided an ideal opportunity for the individual to flourish or fail by his or her own free will and, history tells us, we did plenty of both. We also made sure our frontier challenges and triumphs could be revisited by documenting them in the literature, music, art, and architecture we created over the course of the last several centuries. Our Texas frontier survives. It's just a lot easier to get to these days.

Upcoming Events

  • August 2, 2017 - 9:30am to 10:45pm

    Taylor County History Center
    133 N. William Street
    Buffalo Gap  Texas  79608
    United States

    Experience what life was like during the pioneer days.

  • August 19, 2017 - 9:00am to 11:30am

    Fort Griffin State Historic Site
    1701 N US Hwy 283
    Albany  Texas  76430
    United States

    Fort Griffin has quite an extensive history that involves both the military fort, as well as the nearby Wild West town, known as The Flat, that at one time was bigger than Fort Worth and Austin....