Towash LbNA # 45882
|Placed Date||Mar 3 2009|
|Last Found||Mar 3 2011|
Towash was a settlement on Towash Creek fifteen miles west of Hillsboro in extreme west central Hill County. The area was originally settled by a band of Hainai Indians, who moved from Louisiana to the east bank of the Brazos River in 1835. Anglo-American traders and soldiers referred to the settlement as Towash Village, for the name of the Indians' leader. The arrival of substantial numbers of Anglo-American settlers in 1850 forced the Hainai to move again, this time to a site further upriver. The white pioneers apparently established a settlement, which they called Towash, at the site of the former Indian community. Prominent among the newly arrived settlers were brothers Simpson Cash Dyer and James Harrison Dyer, who in 1854 received permission from state authorities to construct a stone dam on the Brazos River at Towash to power a gristmill. In 1860 the Dyers added a wool-carding machine to their water-driven industrial plant. During the early years of the Civil War, women reportedly traveled from as far as 100 miles away to have wool carded at Towash for use in clothing and blankets for Confederate soldiers. A flood destroyed the dam in 1863, but it apparently was rebuilt and a cotton gin established by 1866, the year in which a local post office began operating. This post office closed in 1881, reopened in 1899, and closed permanently two years later. Between 1860 and 1870 Towash had a number of stores and wagonyards, a blacksmith shop, and a ferryboat system. The community began to decline during the late 1870s, however, as the growth of nearby Whitney drew away settlers and businesses. In 1905-06 the white school at Towash had sixty-five students and the black school, fifty. In 1908 a flood destroyed the dam, mill, and gin. The area was permanently inundated as a result of the construction of Lake Whitney in 1951, and today, when the lake is up, Towash lies 50 feet below water.
This letterbox is located at L A K E W H I T N E Y S T A T E P A R K in Hill County, Texas. Take I-35 to Hillsboro. Take State Hwy. 22 west 14 miles and follow the signs to the park. Pay your fee then continue straight on the entry road. Towash may be a little hard to find. My box is not very mysterious, just a little elusive.
To the Box:
Pass the group Facility Building and the road to the boat ramp. Bear right at the rest rooms and park across the road in front of the historical marker. Be sure to read it so you can recognize Towash when you see it, then find the trail behind the swings and walk down toward the lake. After about 90 steps from the beginning of the path, you’ll find yourself at a narrow spot between cedar trees and the path will begin to slope ever steep down to the lake. Stop here and take a bearing of 215 degrees. You’ll see a small oak tree off the trail about 30 steps away. Walk toward it, but start around it on the lake side and look down to the left for a small pile of white rocks. There you’ll find Towash. Be sure to build the pile back the way you found it to hide the box.