East Texas landmark remembered by
motorists from the last century has been given a long-deserved facelift at Crockett.
Anyone over fifty who traveled down El
Camino Real, known today as Texas Highway 21, probably remembers stopping
at the Davy Crockett Spring and sampling its cool water.
For children, it was an easy-to-digest lesson in Texas
history. Some told their friends in school, “I drank water where Davy Crockett
Thanks to a renovation effort, the spring site now includes a mural
depicting a reunion between Davy Crockett and A.E. Gossett, a old family friend
from Tennessee, as Crockett made his way across East
Texas in 1835 on his way to the Alamo
in San Antonio.
A log cabin,
perhaps similar to the one Gossett built near Crockett
when he settled in what is now Houston County, is being moved to the site from
Davy Crockett Memorial Park, also in Crockett.
fort will also be built in the middle of the park, along with a “snake tail” fence
of the type used by pioneers in East Texas.
spring fountain, which has stood at its site for longer than most people can remember,
was cleaned and spruced up. And a creek bed has been cleared of debris.
Another addition will include banners of Davy Crockett along El
Camino Real along a route from East Houston Avenue though the town square
to the park for tourists to follow.
Created by local artist Lucas Short,
the colorful mural captures Davy and Gossett meeting in a woodlands setting in
late 1835. Three months later, Crockett and about 180 other Alamo defenders died
at the Alamo, becoming symbols for
When Houston County was created by the Republic of Texas in June
of 1837, A.E. Gossett donated land for a county seat and, because of his donation,
he and his father Elijah were given the privilege of naming the county and the
Since both Gossetts had served at the Battle
of San Jacinto in April of 1836, they named the county for Sam
Houston, who led the troops during the battle, and the county seat for Elijah’s
boyhood friend from Rutherford County, Tennessee.
When the Gossetts settled in East Texas,
it was so remote that when they wanted a pound of coffee or other supplies, someone
had to ride a horse to a trading post at Nacogdoches,
more than sixty miles away.
It was a journey of two hard days and required
A.E. Gossett to leave his wife and children alone at home. But friendly Indian
women often stayed with the family as Gossett made his way over a dim, rough woodland
you’re in Crockett, be sure
you stop at Davy’s spring. You, too, can boast that you drank water where Davy
October 8, 2007 Column,
updated May 20, 2012
Bob Bowman's East Texas
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers