Mart Texas History:
Settlement in the Mart area began after the Civil War ended in 1865. By 1870, the community of Willow Springs had been established. The town was renamed Mart when the post office was established in 1880. By the mid-1880s, Mart had two steam gristmills and cotton gins, two schools, a church and approximately 150 residents. Area farmers primarily raised cotton and wheat. In 1900, the International and Great Northern Railroad completed a track between Marlin and Waco via Mart, enabling Mart to become a shipping center for area farmers and ranchers. Mart incorporated in 1901. Mart was hurt during the Great Depression when the railroad eliminated passenger services and retained only limited freight services. The population dropped from a high of 3,800 in 1929 to 2,953 in the early 1930s as almost 1,000 residents left to seek work in larger cities. In the 1960s, the remaining rail service was discontinued. Mart is located at the intersection of SH 164 and FM 939, 21.5 miles east of Waco, approximately 10 miles east of the Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir, 48.8 miles southeast of Hillsboro, 34 miles southeast of West, 26 miles south of Hubbard, 30 miles southwest of Mexia, 18 miles slightly northwest of Groesbeck, 39.7 miles northwest of Hammond, 21 miles northeast of Marlin, and 51 miles northeast of Temple, Texas.
WPA Post Office Murals History:
During the Great Depression FDR created the New Deal Program to provide jobs for out of work American men by funding construction projects to build post offices and other buildings, and state and local parks. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created in May, 1935, under the New Deal Program. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture, later known as The Section of Fine Arts, put artists to work by funding Post Office Murals to be placed in the new post offices. Though the majority of the post office art consists of oil paintings on canvas, other art mediums were also used. The murals are located in every state. Post Office Murals Photos
Mart WPA Post Office Mural, 1939:
The mural "McLennan Looking for a Home" was painted by Jose Aceves in1939. This mural features county namesake Neil McLennan and his family in a covered wagon looking for a homestead site. The mural is located at 301 Texas Avenue. (254) 876-2771.
Birding - Texas Prairies and Pineywoods west Birding Wildlife Trail:
Chisolm Trail Loop:
Valley Mills, Crawford, McGregor, Waco, Hewitt, Gatesville, Moody, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Killeen, Temple, Belton, Salado
Texas Bird Checklist with Photos
Oaks & Prairies & Osage Plains Bird Checklist
Limestone County Bird Checklist with Photos
Fort Hood Bird Checklist,
Mother Neff State Park Bird Checklist,
Due to budget constraints, TX-DOT no longer maintains a website offering spring wildflower sightings. Information is available at the Texas Highways Magazine
Battle Lake Golf Course, 18-Holes:
Amenities include a pro shop and practice facilities. The golf course hosts leagues and offers golf lessons and cart rentals. (254) 876-2837. 4443 Battle Lake Road, Mart, Texas 76664.
Battle Lake, 30 Acres:
The lake is located on Battle Lake Road and at the southwest end of Middleton Road between Waco and Mart, Texas.
Lake Waco Information:
Construction of the original Lake Waco Dam on the Bosque River began in 1928, and lake impoundment began in 1929. Construction of a new dam began in 1958 and was completed in 1964. In 2003, impoundment began to raise the lake level 7 feet. Lake Waco has 60 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 90 feet. The lake is located within the city limits of Waco, Texas. For more complete lake information, go to the Lake Waco Home Page
. From IH-35, exit on SH 6 and go west towards Meridian. SH 6 will take you directly across Waco Lake. Current Lake Level Lake Facilities Map
Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir, 2,010 Surface Acres:
The lake is located on Tradinghouse Creek
which rises five miles west of Prairie Hill in northwest Limestone County and flows southwest for sixteen miles to its mouth on Tehuacana Creek, six miles east of Waco. Tradinghouse Creek was named after Torrey’s Trading Post. The average reservoir depth is 19 feet with a maximum lake depth of 42 feet. Predominant fish species include largemouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, red drum, and white and black crappie. No lake maps are available. Two good public boat ramps with parking are located on the south side of the lake; take SH 6 east from Waco to Hallsburg; go left on FM 2957 and follow it to the lake. Boat Ramps, McLennan County: (254) 757-5065. The reservoir is controlled by TXU: (214) 812-8699, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, Texas 75201. The lake is located on FM 2957, 15 miles east of Waco. Lake Records Stocking History Latest Survey Report
Lake Limestone Information:
The 12,533 surface acre Lake Limestone was formed in 1978 by the construction of the 8,385 foot long Sterling C. Robertson Dam on the Navasota River, 15 miles southeast of Groesbeck and near Limestone, Texas, in Leon, Robertson and Limestone Counties. Maximum lake depth is 43 feet. Recreation facilities include parks, marinas and boat ramps. Lake Limestone is located off FM 937 and FM 3371, 12 miles southeast of Groesbeck, Texas. Current Lake Level Lake and Facilities Map TPWD Access Facilities Map
Lake Mexia Information:
This 1,048 surface acre lake was impounded on the Navasota River in 1961. The maximum depth is 20 feet. Lake amenities include a marina, a park and a public boat ramp. Predominant fish species include largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, and channel and blue catfish. The lake is managed by the Bistone Municipal Water District andis located 7 miles west of Mexia. Take U.S. 84 to FM 2681. Lake Location Map Current Lake Level TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Fort Parker State Park Information:
This 1,458 acre park is located between Groesbeck and Mexia on land donated by the City of Mexia and three local landowners. In the late 1930’s, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)
constructed the recreational facilities, and built a dam across the Navasota River, creating the 700 acre Fort Parker Lake which is totally located within the park boundaries. The 2 acre Springfield Lake is also located within the park. The park was named for Fort Parker, a nearby historic 1833 settlement well known for the 1836 Comanche Indian Raid in which Cynthia Ann Parker was captured. In 1936, the CCC constructed a replica of Fort Parker. The historic town of Springfield, Limestone County’s first county seat, was established on current park grounds in 1838; only the cemetery remains today. From March through June, the park grounds are a riot of color with flowering Indian blanket, standing cypress, phlox, ladies’-tresses, evening primrose and wine cups. This beautiful park is extremely popular for family reunions and other events. The Confederate Reunion Grounds are located a few miles away. Park entrance and camping fees apply. The park is located 7 miles southwest of Mexia and 5 miles northeast of Groesbeck at the intersection of SH 14 and Park Road 28. For more complete park information, read the Park Brochure
, and watch the Park Video
. Texas Forts History
Old Fort Parker State Historic Site Information:
In 1832, theologian Daniel Parker received permission to settle in Texas. He organized his followers into the Predestination Baptist Church. They left Illinois in July of 1833, and eventually settled near the present city of Elkhart, where a replica of their Pilgrim Baptist Church still stands in their memory. In December, 1833, Elder John Parker and three of his sons began construction of Parker's Fort.On May 19, 1836, Noconi Comanche Indians attacked the fort. Five settlers were killed and 5 were captured. The surviving 21 settlers moved to the Palestine area. One of those captured was a young child named Cynthia Ann Parker. She grew up among the Comanche, married Comanche Chief Peta Nocona, and had three children by him. In 1860, a party of Texas Rangers (including Charles Goodnight) rescued her and her infant daughter, Prairie Flower. Cynthia begged to be returned to her husband, but her request was refused. She died within a short period of time after her rescue. Her son Quanah Parker became the last Great War Chief of the Comanche. This 37.5 acre park on Fort Parker Lake was deeded to TPWD by private owners in 1936, and opened to the public as a state park. It is not longer under TPWD management. The reconstruction of the original fort, the construction of park buildings, and the building of the dam on the Navasota River to create Fort Parker Lake was completed by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)
in 1936. The fort was reconstructed again in 1967. The Fort Parker Cemetery is located 2 miles from the fort. The cemetery contains the graves of the people killed in the 1836 Comanche Raid, and is still used for burials. This historic site is available for event rentals.(254) 729-5253. 866 Park Road 35, Groesbeck, Texas 76642. Email
Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site Information:
In 1888, Civil War Veterans and their families from Limestone and Freestone counties began gathering for annual reunions. In 1899, they formed the “Joe Johnston Camp No. 94 - United Confederate Veterans.” In 1892, they purchased 20 acres of the land at the junction of Jack’s Creek and the Navasota River. They next year they platted the land, naming the main streets Lee Avenue and Jackson Avenue, and built an eight sided dance pavilion which still stands today. Until 1946, the veterans and their descendants gathered at the campsite to listen to speeches and concerts, share war stories, and fire their Old Val Verde cannon at dawn and at dusk each day. The dance pavilion is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Also located on the 77 acre site are the 1872 Heritage House, the Old Val Verde cannon, and two scenic footbridges spanning Jack’s Creek. For more complete information, read the visitor guide
. From Mexia, take SH 14 South to RM 2705; go west on 2705 for 2.5 miles to the entrance.
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updates
on Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903. Calendar
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program, and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened up, and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences.
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations