BRIDGE STREET HISTORY CENTER
Cody Martin grew up in Granbury, graduated from Tarleton State University and lived and worked in the DFW Metroplex for over 20 years. He moved back to Hood County about 23 years ago and currently resides in DeCordova Bend Estates with his wife Mary Martin. They have two adult children and three step-grandchildren..
As a youngster growing up on a cliff overlooking the Brazos River in Granbury (Doyle Springs Road in particular), my friends and I would sometimes look down and see an ‘arrowhead’ which we would casually pick up, put in our pocket and then carry on. to explore, build a fort, or conduct other important business.
This was the mid-1960s before video games, the pre-lake era, so pretty much every time we weren’t in school or doing chores, we were playing outside and running along the river. We decided at some point that finding arrowheads was cool, so we started looking for them, biking to remote places like the mouth of Rough Creek (near where Stumpy is now ) or even sneaking over Comanche Peak multiple times.
As we got older, school sports, girls, and cars became more important than finding sharp rocks, so we moved on – but the curiosity about who left them behind never went away and it grew. turns out that a few of these sharp rocks were made by some of the first humans to visit North America.
Archeology is an ever-evolving field and new discoveries present new theories about who the first inhabitants of North and South America were, and when and how they got here, but some theories are well accepted by the most experts.
The people known as the Clovis culture were among the earliest humans in North America around 11,000 – 13,000 BP (before present) and evidence of their presence known as the distinctive Clovis point has been found along the Brazos River from its source on the plains of western Texas to the Gulf Coast. The Horn Shelter (Google for more information), a rocky overhang located on the Brazos about a mile below the Lake Whitney Dam is the site of one of the oldest known burials in North America and there are a major Horn Shelter exhibit at the Bosque County Museum in Clifton created with the help of the Smithsonian.
One plausible theory is that the Brazos River was a highway for Paleoindians migrating from the Lower Rockies region to the Gulf Coast of Texas, providing game and water on their journey. Much of the water in the Brazos River becomes undrinkable due to the heavy salt deposits it picks up from its headwaters source in West Texas (which is why Granbury has a desalination plant and branch s called The Salt Fork of The Brazos). Most of the old campsites along the Brazos are located near a junction with freshwater creeks and/or streams originating from the cliffs along its course, such as the relics we found around streams that will become more later known as Doyle Springs which provided a reliable source of drinking water. .
Over time the style of stone tools changed as different cultures evolved and migrated to this area, some of the Paleoindian relics that have been found within the current city limits of Granbury are of types known as Plainview, Scottsbluff, Wilson, San Patrice and others. , so if you ever find yourself along a creek or creek near the Brazos River or present-day Granbury Lake, look occasionally and if you see a sharp piece of chert (aka flint), you’ve come maybe to find something left behind by one of the first ancient humans to explore this part of North America.