AUSTIN, Texas –– The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is embarking on a two-year venture to document the history of the Bankhead Highway, one of the nation’s earliest transcontinental roadways. It ran through Palo Pinto County, traces and pieces of it remaining to this day.
Working with the Austin historic preservation planning firm of Hardy-Heck-Moore, the THC will be taking to the road for a series of public meetings beginning in August to develop a written history and route survey of the Texas section of the Bankhead. The first public meeting is set for Aug. 6 in Texarkana, followed by an Aug. 8 meeting in Mount Vernon, and ending in El Paso in December. All meetings will take place from 5:30–7:30 p.m. and will be posted on the THC website at www.thc.state.tx.us.
Individuals and organizations are encouraged to attend the meetings to share information and bring any visual items (photographs, post cards, or other mementos) for staff to scan or photograph for use in the project.
The Bankhead Highway dates back to 1916 when the Bankhead Highway Association was organized to promote the highway’s development. The roadway extended from Washington, D.C. to San Diego, Calif., and crossed approximately 850 miles of Texas, roughly following today’s Interstate Highways 20 and 30 across the northern part of the state. The study is funded by the Texas Legislature and a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation. For more information, contact Leslie Wolfenden in the THC’s History Program Division at (512) 463-3386.