Big Bend Conservancy
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Buttrill Springs - A HistoryButtrill Springs is located at the base of the North Rosillos Mountains. It is an active spring that drew the attention of some of the first Anglo settlers in the Big Bend. William Buttrill moved to Brewster County with his two sons Lucius (L.F.) and Clyde in 1884. William died in 1895 and L.F. took over the ranch. L.F. married Margaret Simpson and they raised their two daughters on the ranch. By 1901 the Buttrills had constructed a main house of adobe and a two-room lumber structure near the creek created by the spring. The two were connected by a breezeway. L.F. even ran pipes from the creek to the kitchen for running water. He built terraces below the house for fruit trees. Livestock pens and a chicken coop were further down slope of the house and spring. An adobe house and dugout, downhill of the main house, was used to house the ranch handís family. Governesses lived at the ranch until 1910 when the girls went to boarding school. In 1915 Maggie and the girls moved to Marathon. In 1917 the Buttrills sold the ranch to Joe Graham. Joe Graham owned over 132,000 acres in Brewster County. Son Frank took over the ranch in 1918 and grazed sheep, goats and horses. The droughts of 1919, 1921 and 1922 led to overgrazing. The Commonwealth Bank of San Antonio took over the ranch when the Grahams fell behind on their taxes. The ranch changed hands many times until the 1970s when Houston Harte of San Antonio purchased over 67,000 acres in the North Rosillos Mountains, including the Buttrill Springs area. Harte added an air strip, hunting lodge, foremanís house and barn on the flats northeast of the springs. In 1984 the Harte family approached the National Park Service about donating the land to Big Bend National Park. The land was then donated to the Nature Conservancy to be held until legislation was passed to add it to the park. The Conservancy sold 10,495 acres to Albert Fay to obtain the Brushy Springs area to add to the park. The Harte addition of 56,720 acres was turned over to the park on December 22, 1987. The Fay in-holding was purchased for $395,000 from Fayís heirs and added to the park on October 13, 1993. Today this section of the park is accessible by a county dirt road and cross country hiking. Friends of Big Bend will explore sections of this new addition, including a hike to Buttrill Springs. The two mile round trip hike is considered moderate, travels over an old road that is uneven and rocky with a gradual uphill climb. Please see accompanying article for details of the entire member event.
That's cool, I'm currently planning to be in the park the day of the tour, but probably out on the Dodson somewhere. Plans can change though.
Buttrill Springs - A HistoryButtrill Springs is located at the base of the North Rosillos Mountains.
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