Salt Creek Butterfield

Lately, rains fell and Salt Creek flows, shallow water pools form and grass sprouts from the bank.

Near Abilene, the Butterfield mail and stage line crossed the semi-arid desert, terminating in San Francisco.  Behind this historical marker, my friend Blu Cooksey leases the pasture for cattle.  Near where the Butterfield stables stood, nails, mule shoes and horse shoes may still be found after a hard rain.

I must mow the lawn about the ranch house since rains have come this spring.  Last year, I mowed only twice because of the drought.


Filed under Dusty Blu, Salt Creek

10 responses to “Salt Creek Butterfield

  1. At The Place between Kerrville and Medina, hard rains would leave old stone chips visible around the cooking mound near the creek – sometimes, an arrowhead or scraper would show up.

    I’ve never heard of the Butterfield mail and stage. Now that I have, and know it terminated in San Francisco, I can’t help but wonder if some of your Butterfields ended up as forebears of Paul Butterfield, he of blues band fame. Since you have to go out and mow, I’ll leave you with a great Butterfield piece – Work Song .

    • The Place — is that your family’s land? Love walking after hard rains, finding chips, scrapers, bones. I listened to Work Song. Harmonica is strong and beat is sound. Most likely, Paul Butterfield is from the stagecoach family.

      • Oh – The Place. No, not family land. It was 23 acres of undeveloped land out on the old Spicer Ranch southwest of Kerrville a few miles off TX16. There was a cabin, but no utilities. Life there was Coleman lanterns, wood-burning stove, water from the springs. At one point “improvements” were made. A submersible pump in a hand-dammed pool lifted water up the hillside to a 50 gallon barrel in a tree that fed into the cabin, and we found a two-burner propane apartment stove that made us right uptown. And there were screens on the windows.

        The best part was, it was at the end of an almost invisible road, and down in the valley. The folks from Houston, Dallas and San Antonio built high for the view, and left us and the critters alone.

        Gee. Can you tell I miss it? 😉

      • Yes, I can tell you miss it. Maybe you will go back? Coleman lanterns, the wood-burning stove. I know those objects well. Neat on the “improvements.” I love those undeveloped places, parcels that have not been plowed or cleared or whatever “progress” is has done to it. Those almost-invisible roads: they are there. Find them.

  2. I love walking around in historic areas imagining the life that our hearty pioneers lived. Finding artifacts is always an added bonus. Will check out the history of the Butterfield and mail and stage line. And, thanks to shoreacres for posting Work Song. Love harmonica.

  3. Rubia

    Jack, it is so good to see you are still here at Sage to Meadow! Did the Butterfield stables stand somewhere in the location of the field you photographed?

    • I believe that the stables were in the background, just to the right of marker, perhaps at the far end of the field. Blu wishes to take me to the site. I’ll go one day. Thank you for the welcome back, Rubia. Sometimes the magic works to walk in the Grove and write, and other times all the magic in the world will not bring the muse to my desk, my grove, my field, to me. That’s a take-off on Old Lodge Skins in Little Big Man, a movie you should, we all should, watch. “Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t.” — English translation from Lakota. Of course, that quote can apply to many contexts.

  4. I would not mind only mowing the lawn twice in a season! I seriously am looking into alternatives to lawns where we have to mow at least once a week or else it looks like a hayfield. I only have about an acre of grass but its on a steep hillside and the mowing is grueling. Too steep for a garden tractor so its all done with a walk behind mower.

    I love the notion that you have adequate water, so far, this year. That must be a load off your mind.

    • Yes, it is a load off my mind, Bill. That is grueling to mow on the hillside like that. An acre of grass is plenty large, I know. I estimate I have one-half acre to mow, including around the barn. I’ve had rains since I mowed a few days ago and I imagine I will mow in one to two weeks. I don’t mind this year since the dry weather last year.

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