A History of Dinosaur Valley State Park
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: TCU Press
Series: Chisholm Trail Series
Table of Contents
Years ago, I spent countless pleasant hours recording my grandmotherâs stories about traveling the Texas Hill Country. My grandparents, Joe and Laurie Sanders, enjoyed many Sunday drives. During the course of poring over scads of mementos and photographs with my grandmother, a strange and amazing...
Chapter One: The Changing Face of North Central Texas
The crystal green waters of the Paluxy River dance through a carved valley of limestone cliffs that rise above the stream. In the distance, cedar-clad hills profile the rugged landscape, checkered with broad grassy pastures tossed here and there like blankets. For decades the river influenced the lives of the valley's...
Chapter Two: Fountains of Youth
In the 1830s the land of North Central Texas remained a wild country of expansive prairies and wooded streams, but as settlement marched north and west, colonizers eyed this wilderness. In 1831 Stephen F. Austin and Samuel May Williams proposed to homestead eight hundred families on a large grant...
Chapter Three: Making Tracks
At the dawn of the twentieth century, Glen Rose trumpeted its Northern Hill Country to a growing flock of recreation seekers and health advocates as it entered its heyday as a resort town. With a seemingly limitless water supply and a pleasant climate, county residents utilized the natural resources the countryside had to offer. Somervell County's 3,498...
Chapter Four: Work and Play on Paluxy âCreekâ
As the effects of the stock market crash in October 1929 settled upon Somervell County, to residents, the slogan "For Health and Pleasure" didn't ring so true as "for survival." Crop markets and decent prices dried up. Cotton that had sold for as high as forty cents a pound in 1920 brought only five cents a decade later...
Chapter Five: The Dinosaur Hunter and the Texas Village
The November sun angled golden ribbons across Dillard Wilson's field. The air breathed crisp, with a whiff of smokiness that fingered through the cedar hills and down the valley. Thanksgiving was coming, and Christmas would follow. Doyle Wilson busied himself with chores, but his thoughts strayed to the coming...
Chapter Six: In the Footsteps of the Dinosaurs
R.T. Bird drove into Glen Rose to the astonishment of all, his Buick's roof adorned with a most unusual ornament- the giant cast of the sauropod track. Residents had recognized the county's acclaimed theropod prints as items of curiosity and commerce that boosted the area's tourist appeal, however, most...
Chapter Seven: The Fight for Dinosaur Valley
Around the Lanham Mill community, the hoopla of the dinosaur track quarry in 1940 soon died down on the eve of great upheavals in the world and on the homefront as well. World War II took many Somervell County sons away, including several of the Wilson boys who served in the army. When Novella May Wilsonâs...
Chapter Eight: To Capture a ParkâLandscape and Riverscape and Trailway
November 1967 loomed over Somervell County's dreams of preserving its dinosaur tracks as part of a park. While the option deadline for purchasing the land marched closer, residents looked for a champion to come forward. They would find two....
Chapter Nine: Growing Pains for Dinosaur Valley State Park
Somervell County citizens pinned their hopes on their new state park and believed that Dinosaur Valley symbolized the dawn of a new era of tourism for Glen Rose in 1970. For one of the smallest and poorest counties in the state, securing a portion of the Paluxy Valley for posterity represented an amazing feat...
Chapter Ten: Maintaining the Dinosaur Highway and "The Dinosaur Waltz"
"Dinosaur hunters" young and old make tracks to the Paluxy riverbed to spy traces of the ancients. They follow in the footsteps of several generations that have traipsed along Somervell County's as streambeds to see for themselves a piece of the region's past set in stone. Floods and drouths, farmers, nuclear...