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Showing the Way: Indian Marker Trees

Texas Historical Foundation publishes the Texas Heritage magazine quarterly.
Texas Historical Foundation publishes the Texas Heritage magazine quarterly.

Published July 1, 2015 By STEVE HOUSER


The California Crossing Indian Marker Tree, located on the grounds of the National Guard Armory in Dallas, likely signaled a low-water crossing point along the Trinity River. 


Historically, American Indians have lived in complete harmony with their surroundings. Native people relied on nature for all their needs 0 food, shelter, and even travel. Many years ago, moving from place to place required good navigational skills, directions along the way, and a method of marking common trails. American Indians used trees not only to indicate a favored route, but also to signal the presence of important landmarks and resources, some of which were critical for survival.

These natural signposts are now commonly known as Indian Marker Trees. They are also called trail trees, thong trees, and culturally modified trees. Regardless of their names, the trees had the same purpose to guide others to...

To read the full article, please download the PDF below and to the right of the Texas Historical Foundation logo above.

About the author

Mr. Steve Houser

Mr. Houser is a Dallas native with almost 40 years of experience as a consulting arborist and expert tree climber. He is the president and owner of Arborilogical Services, “The Experts Your Trees Deserve.”®

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