Marker [047-1]
Preston Road / Shawnee Trail
(FM 120 E., in Friendship Park, Pottsboro)


In 1840, authorized by an 1838 act of the congress of the Republic of Texas, Col. W. G. Cooke and the Texas First Infantry regiment laid out a military road from Austin North through what became Dallas to the Holland Coffee Trading Post on Red River (later covered by Lake Texoma).

Coffee developed the town of Preston near the trading post, and Cooke's military route became known as Preston Road between the Red River and Dallas. Immigrants came from Missouri and Arkansas through Indian territory (Oklahoma) into Texas along Preston Road. In one six-week period in 1845, roughly 1,000 wagons crossed the river into Texas.

From the Mid-1850s the road marked the route for Texas' first cattle drive. Later known as the Shownee Trail, it probaly was named for a native american village called Shawneetown north of what became Denison. Cattle swam the Red River at Rock Bluff crossing, a natural rock formation that served as a chute into the water, later the site of the city of Sherman's water intake station on Lake Texoma. This remained the principal route to the north for Texas cattle until the Civil War. the last large herds moved through Grayson County in 1871.

The old route remains visible at Rocky Point on Lake Texoma, and along Hanna Drive. The overall passage is followed by parts of Preston Road in Grayson County, Farm-To-Market and State Highway 289 route, and Preston Road in Dallas.