Rock Creek Trail
The Rock Creek Trail links the museum parking lot to the Lake Mineral
Wells Trailway that runs between Weatherford and Mineral Wells, Texas, allowing bikers,
runners and walkers to visit the various gardens on the museum site.
The trail was named for the village of Rock Creek, once a small, successful
coal-mining town that was built on the land adjacent to the south side
of the museum site
in northwestern Parker County, Texas. Settlement of the town began in the late
Originally, the village of Rock Creek served as a church community
for nearby farmers and ranchers. Later, it adopted the name Rock
Creek, after the railroad that reached the area in the 1880s. In 1891, a
post office branch opened to serve the estimated seventy-five residents.
But, by the mid-1890s, Rock Creek had been transformed into a thriving
mining community. The population reached 400 in 1896 and was estimated
at 1,500 during the first decade of the twentieth century. Mining and
coal shipments peaked between 1900 and 1910, but after 1910, the cost of
recovering the coal became prohibitive and the mines soon closed.
Over the next few years, more and more residents left
and businesses closed, until all that
remained was the town's cemetery. All of the buildings in town
were subsequently dismantled for the materials or moved intact to new
locations. During World War II, nearby Camp Wolters was extended to cover the original
town site of Rock Creek.
Information for the above article was
supplied from a book by Henry Smythe, Historical Sketch of Parker
County and Weatherford (St. Louis: Lavat, 1877; rpt., Waco:
Above excerpted from an article by
David Minor that appears in the
Handbook of Texas
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