Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Old Spanish Trail

Last Sunday Tom took me out to this cool building.  He had driven by it on one of his tours of the area and thought that I'd probably really enjoy taking photos of it.  So after our delicious brunch and a tour of a few other neighborhoods, I had him take me out to The Old Spanish Trail. 

He was right, I did like this building.

Come join me on a tour of the outside. 

The Old Spanish Trail is a building (this one) and also a real trail across the United States.  There is an  incredibly interesting history of the trail from St. Augustine, FL all the way to San Diego, Ca.   I found it on the St. Mary's University website, here.  The photo above was borrowed from that website as well.  I never even thought about going across the road to take a photo. Not sure what I was thinking.  Thankfully I did find this photo. 

 Not sure you can see it, but there is a PRIVATE PROPERTY sign on the gate.

So naturally since the gate was open, I walked right in and took this photo.

I didn't want to get too close, that's why the trash bins are in the shot.

Never mind, I needed some close up shots.

In the center section, there are a pair of tennis shoes on the balcony ledge.

Someone was here because there was a car in the back driveway, too.

I decided that I'd risk it and get closer because there was a stairway that I thought might look cool.

AHHH!  I damn near ran into these two.


I still went over to the stairway.

I really liked this angle featuring the old terracotta.

This was the Photo of the Day (POTD) on Tuesday.

I named it something terribly intriguing.  "Cow" was it's title.  :)

I can't help it.

Sometimes the creativity just explodes and I come up with stunners like this.

In the second photograph, above, you can see the two cows, one on each side of the archway.

On the front of the building, above the two big arches, there was a wooden bull with an arrow and a cow with an arrow.  The cow, poor thing, had lost her legs, so I'll just show the bull. 

Then on the far side of the building, through the fence,  I saw this box with a sign over the top of it.

I have a feeling this isn't from the 1920s!

From what I understand, the building that I photographed was a grocery store and resting area for those traveling along the trail.   It was transformed into another business sometime between the heyday of the building in the 20s and 30s and 70 years later, because it's not in terrible condition. 

Once again, I don't have enough answers about this place.  Someone told my husband it was a stage coach stop and someone else said it was a grocery store.  It's such an isolated spot that I'm thinking it's probably been more of a warehouse than a retail space.  I'm hoping that by blogging about it, someone will have answers and let me know.

This map is from the OST Highway Association Archives in Special Collections at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas.

I read nearly all of the OST history from the St. Mary's website and what an adventure that would be to go on the trail, or what's left of the trail.  Road trip anyone??!!

Have a great day!


Keetha Denise Broyles said...

As in OJ Simpson?

LOVE so much about this old building.

And WHY are we still up blogging at this hour??????

Just Breathe said...

Wow, what a special treat that was for you. That building is very interesting. You got excellent pictures. You are very brave.

Ann in the UP said...

Cow----how do you come up with 'em?
But you more than made up for it with this background material. It certainly stimulates the urge to know more!
The building itself is interesting, plus the signs of recent occupation are curious too.
Good job!

42N said...

Great story. I like the old road trails. In fact I live near (a few blocks away)the Lincoln Highway here in 42N country. It would be great to do a photo essay of the Old Spanish Trail and other early roadways one day.

Joynoel said...

I'm a little late commenting on this, but I know that building well. I know the stories of being a stage stop and the bar run by a sheriff, plus the brothel story... In my lifetime this has been a scratch and dent grocery, furniture store, and arts and crafts supply. The cows are from the craft store (the cow in your picture formerly had two paintbrushes, not arrows). It's been without a commercial business for about 15 years now. Sad. The interior upstairs is lovely in a Spanish style, or it was 15 years ago during the furniture store. Hope this info is better late than never.

Ryan said...

Our band JustUs in America

Planning a tour of venues along the OST beginning in St. Augustine all the way to San Diego. Do you have any favorite bars or locations along the original route we should check out?

Kristin - The Goat said...

Ryan, you didn't leave an email address so I can't reply directly to you. I haven't traveled that route, but I know someone who has, several times. Check out