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Author-Texas Storyteller
Ghostryder Publishing

Where Is Palo Pinto, Texas ?
Can you keep a secret? If you'll come along with me, we can keep this paradise to ourselves. No, it's not a well known place among the 'Jet-Set' group with all their fast paced destinations.

And, you won't find a ski slope or the sandy beaches of an 'Ocean Get-Away' in Palo Pinto County. What you WILL find is a beautiful wooded and mountainous region, a sportman's paradise, and a vacation to remember.

Find your way on the map below and then read some of the highlights about Palo Pinto. There's something for everyone, and Palo Pinto is where you will always remember that a good time was had.
Hwy 281 is the SnowBird corridor through Texas where there's always a warm playground for many who want to escape the harsh winter conditions.

Hwy 281 is the preferred route over Interstate 35. I35 has been assigned the NAFTA corridor, which is heavily laden with trucks and large transport vehicles. The traffic on I35 has forced many of us to use Hwy 281, and the switch was worth it.

The scenery along Hwy 281 displays an array of natures beauty deep in the heart of Texas. The highway winds through small towns and sleepy villages that were lost in time from many years long ago.

But, this was by their own design. They left behind the 'Jet Set' lifestyle of the big Texas cities like Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.
Follow the yellow line on the map (below) where Hwy 281 cuts along the eastern portion of the County in a 2 lane highway
Hwy 281 extends North and South through mountains, rolling hills, and scenic valleys.
Palo Pinto is the old communities, like Palo Pinto, Gordon, Mineral Wells, Santo, Brazos, and many others that have retained that 'down home' lifestyle. Which to most country folks, isn't a style at all.

Palo Pinto is home of one of the oldest Jail Houses in use. However, the old Jail House is only used as a Museum of History and not for it's original purpose. It's open to the public in the city of Palo Pinto during the summer months.

Palo Pinto is the rugged beauty of a high desert aired climate

Palo Pinto is the kind of good feeling that you can't describe. But you know whatever that feeling is, it was somehow lost in the big cities.

Palo Pinto puts you close to nature with the relaxing contentment that only nature provides.

Palo Pinto is traveling the many scenic back roads and the majestic beauty of mountain trails

Palo Pinto is the simple pleasures in life you had forgotten, especially when you share them with someone you love.

Palo Pinto is a peaceful walk along the shores of Buck Creek.

Palo Pinto is the personal warmth of small-town folks when they ask you; "How are you doing?" and they really want to know.

The old communities of Palo Pinto welcome everyone with the same warm handshake and smile, no matter where you're from. They've never met a stranger, and they value the relationship of a passing acquaintance, or a long lost friend. These old communities of Palo Pinto are on the back roads of the  USA  where they keep the true   red white and blue   Americana that you've always wanted to see.

After the War of Northern Aggression,
Confederate veterans of the 34th Texas Cavalry returned home to their families in Palo Pinto. It was Confederate veterans like Captain William Metcalf who carved roadways through the forest and over mountains he called Metcalf Gap in 1865. Today it's called Texas Hwy 80.

Private Frank Bailey of Co. 'K' 19th Mississippi Infantry brought his carpentry skills to Palo Pinto building homes, business and church buildings. Ranch-land under Possum Kingdom Lake, once owned by Pvt. Mathis Costello Co. “E” 1st Virginia Infantry, is where today we enjoy fishing off Costello Island.
Pvt. Steven Strawn, of the Palo Pinto Confederate Minutemen Militia was builder and founder of the city of Strawn.

Pvt. Cicero Smith, Co. 'K' 4th Georgia Cavalry funded the construction of businesses, homes, church buildings, banks, and recreational parks.
photo right - Wearing Confederate uniforms, two brothers, Cicero and John Smith are immortalized in granite at Elmwood Cemetery in the city they built, Mineral Wells

Reibe, McAdams, Perry, Goodnight, Hubbard, Dillahunty, Sparks, Mitchell, Newberry and hundreds more are recognizable surnames of Palo Pinto Confederates - Confederates who became ranchers, farmers, and businessmen to pioneer a rugged and desolate land.
photo left - Private Charles Goodnight of the Confederate Minutemen Militia became a famous cattle rancher and forged the ledgendary Gooodnight Loving Trail cattle-drives to New Mexico territory.

These were poor men of little means who brought nothing with them but their hopes and dreams. Yet, they dreamed BIG, and by the 1870s these Confederate Founding Forefathers had built Palo Pinto County into a cattle empire known as,
The Cradle Of The Cattle Industry
Palo Pinto is breathtaking views of rugged mountains and scenic prairies

Palo Pinto is shopping for crafts on a cool October day at the Crazy Water Festival

Palo Pinto is named for the spotted trees that grow wild in the area. The name was bestowed upon the region in the 1500's by Spainards during the Coronado expedition.

Palo Pinto is the rich history of the 1930's Holywood Scene when the Baker Hotel hosted famous people of the day, natorious gangsters, and some of Holywood's greatest actors and actresses such as,

Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Carole Lumbard, Audie Murphy, The Three Stooges, Will Rogers, Herbert Hoover, Ronald Regan, Bonnie and Clyde, and others.

Palo Pinto is family fun and recreation in numerious lake shores

Palo Pinto is wrangling in a five pound bass on Possum Kingdom Lake

Palo Pinto is the site where one of the largest Comanche encampments was built where Eagle Creek feeds into the Brazos River

Palo Pinto is the ledgend of Hells Gate and the trapper's demize at the hands of hostile Comanche Indians. Now a historic site and recreational area known as Possum Kingdom Lake

Palo Pinto is where legends like Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight carved the Goodnight Loving Trail from Palo Pinto to New Mexico Territory in the 1850s.

The cattle trail opened the West to a new trade route through hostile Indian territory and played a major role in making Palo Pinto County the,

Goodnight made his ledgendary death march from New Mexico Territory through Palo Pinto to bury his beloved friend, Oliver Loving, as depicted in the movie, Lonesome Dove.

Palo Pinto is Old Style" hunting wildlife on a cool crisp morning in the Palo Pinto Mountains

Palo Pinto is the Outlaws hideout in old Robbers Roost. A winding maze of rock cliffs and pinnacles that stretch for miles across rugged terrain in the Eastern portion of Palo Pinto County.

Notorious Outlaws such as John Dove, Sam Bass, and John Wesley Hardin among many others used the hideout. Rock climbers find this place a haven as well as campers, and RV enthusiasts at what is now, Mineral Wells State Park

Palo Pinto is where the West was born. Who cares where it begins. Come to Palo Pinto and enjoy a true WESTERN EXPERIENCE

Follow The SnowBirds To
Palo Pinto County, Texas
Scenic Highway 4 in Palo Pinto. Only a few miles North of Santo, Texas, the road winds along Palo Pinto Creek in a spectacular view of nature
The Baker Hotel - Mineral Wells, Texas - See where the legends of the 1930's Hollywood stars made their home and registed under an alias to ensure that they remainded incognito.
Scenic Highway 4 in Palo Pinto. Said to be one of the most beautiful drives in the continental United States.
4th of July fireworks at Hell's Gate. Boats by the hundreds gather on Possum Kingdom Lake and await the fireworks display - a spectacular show and MUST SEE event
In the 1850's, Longhorn Cattle was made famous in Palo Pinto by Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight. And ever since, Palo Pinto has been known as the CRADLE OF THE CATTLE INDUSTRY
Robber's Roost in Palo Pinto Texas - camp in the same hideout Sam Bass used in the 1870's at Mineral Wells State Park.
Sometimes, folks stay and never return from whence they came. It can't be explained, but you feel like you're at home... Palo Pinto feels that way to all of us... The people and places seem to grow on you with an irresistible urge to plant roots and prop your feet up for a long time... Maybe for good!

Why visit Palo Pinto? More reasons than I can say!
Randall Scott
Ghostryder Publishing
2528 Live Oak Road
Santo, Texas 76472
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