A Summary of the Old San Antonio Road Route

Summary of the Old San Antonio Road Route

Also see Summary of the Old San Antonio Road Markers


In 1915, surveyor V.N. Zively, working on behalf of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the state of Texas, surveyed the historic Old San Antonio Road from the Sabine River to the Rio Grande. Many parts of the route Zivley surveyed were still in use at the time, while other parts had been abandoned and were vanishing, or had vanished.

There were few paved roads and no state highways when this survey was made, but a few years later, the state of Texas created a state highway system and began laying down paved highways. In many places, the new highways were laid on top of the Old San Antonio Road. Sometimes the path was changed, however, to accommodate the higher speeds required by automobiles, to install larger bridges over water crossings, or to account for new towns or population centers. In many places where the route changed, the original route was left intact, and it continued to serve as a county road or city street. In other places, the original route was abandoned and became private property.

From 2013 to 2015, Mr. David Carson of TexasCounties.net conducted a project to document the entire length of Zively/DAR route of the Old San Antonio Road. The goal of the project was to include identify every public road that preserves part of this historic route, as well as to identify the places where the historic route is now on private property, or is otherwise no longer driveable.

This page presents a summary of our findings as they pertain to the Old San Antonio Road as a whole. If you are more interested in learning about the Old San Antonio Road in a specific county, you can go back to the index and choose the county you want, or you can begin our county-by-county tour of the Old San Antonio Road in Sabine County.

Map: The King's Highway

Summary Information

Zively's route of the Old San Antonio Road - or "Kings Highway," as he preferred to call it - is 539.4 miles from the Texas-Louisiana state line at the Sabine River to the U.S.-Mexico boundary at the Rio Grande. It passes through, or along the boundary of, a total of 21 counties in east, central, and south Texas.

The OSR can be considered as consisting of two adjoining roads - the eastern road, between Louisiana and San Antonio, and the western road, between San Antonio and Mexico. The eastern road was sometimes known in the early 19th century as the Camino Arriba, or Upper Road, while the western road was known as the Lower Road or Lower Presidio Road. Historically, the name "Old San Antonio Road" referred exclusively to the eastern road, but ever since the DAR's project, the name has been adapted to refer to both roads as a whole. (Other roads making up El Camino Real in Texas, such as the Camino de los Tejas and the Upper Presidio Road, were not surveyed by Zively and are not included in the road called Old San Antonio Road or the TexasCounties.net project. See our article, The History of El Camino Real de los Tejas, for more information on the routes of El Camino Real.)

Description of the Route

(Click here to jump to our interactive map on this page.)

The OSR begins on State Highway 21 at the Toledo Bend Reservoir in Sabine County. It passes through San Augustine in San Augustine County, Nacogdoches in Nacogdoches County, and Alto in Cherokee County, and skirts around Crockett in Houston County. While Highway 21's faithfulness to the OSR is good, it is by no means exact, for it has many deviations, some of which are quite significant.

Soon after crossing the Trinity River, Highway 21 departs from the OSR. The historic route is picked up north of Midway in Madison County by State Highway OSR, a highway built specifically for the purpose of preserving Zively's route. Following the Leon-Madison County line, Highway OSR crosses Interstate Highway 45 and passes through Normangee. It then follows the Brazos-Robertson County line, then curves round the northwestern outskirts of Bryan in Brazos County. Highway OSR's faithfulness to Zively's route is nearly perfect, but not completely perfect.

A short distance east of the Brazos River, Highway OSR terminates at Highway 21, which resumes the role it has in east Texas as the main preserver of Zively's route. It passes through Caldwell in Burleson County and several small, unincorporated communities in Lee County. It crosses the Colorado River at Bastrop, in Bastrop County. From there, it goes on to Niederwald and Uhland, on the Caldwell-Hays County line. Highway 21 ends east of San Marcos. Once again, Highway 21 makes many deviations from the historic OSR.

The last leg of the Camino Arriba is preserved by a string of county, local, state, and federal roads. It follows Old Bastrop Highway/Old Bastrop Road on the south side of San Marcos in Hays County. Upon entering Comal County, it coincides with a few miles of Interstate Highway 35. It hops from one city street to another in downtown New Braunfels, then leaves town on Farm-to-Market Road 482. The route is preserved in southwest Comal County and northeast Bexar County by Nacogdoches Road/FM 2252, which ends in Alamo Heights. The last section of this leg, from Alamo Heights to San Pedro Springs Park in downtown San Antonio, is unpreserved.

The Lower Road begins at San Pedro Springs Park in San Antonio. It hops around several local streets, including S. Flores Avenue, Laredo Street, Mission Road, and Espada Road, on its way out of the city. Pleasanton Road preserves the OSR in southern Bexar County and for a few miles in Atascosa County. Zively's route is largely unpreserved from here to the Rio Grande. In Atascosa County, it passes east of Poteet and west of Jourdanton. It runs generally south of and parallel to State Highway 97, past Charlotte, then crosses Highway 97 and cuts across the southeast corner of Frio County. It crosses Highway 97 again about 10 miles west of Fowlerton in La Salle County. It then makes a sharp turn west and goes into Cotulla, again parallel to, but well to the south of, Highway 97. A few miles of streets in Cotulla preserve the route. The OSR crosses the Nueces River on the south side of Cotulla on Business Interstate 35. It makes a relatively straight line from there to Catarina in Dimmit County, then continues mostly westward into the southern tip of Maverick County, finally reaching the Rio Grande about 30 miles south of Eagle Pass.

Nacogdoches CR 706 and Texas SH 21
Above: Nacogdoches County Road 706 (left) - a curving, unstriped, one-lane road - preserves the Old San Antonio Road's low-water crossing at Yseleta Creek, while State Highway 21 crosses straight over the creek on a modern two-lane bridge (right).

Summary by Type of Road

For this analysis, we have divided the Old San Antonio Road into 158 individual segments and determined whether each of them is preserved by a public road and, if so, what type of road it is. We have grouped the results into four categories:

  • State and federal - This category includes federal interstate highways, U.S. highways, Texas state highways, and Texas farm-to-market roads. These roads are engineered for heavy and/or high-speed travel and are generally well-maintained. They are always surfaced with concrete or asphalt, are always striped, and frequently have shoulders and/or drainage ditches. They are also posted with signs indicating major intersections, speed limits, and other pieces of information. They are usually easy to find on a map. In short, these roads are dependably good - ongoing construction projects notwithstanding. With the exception of Texas State Highway OSR, they are always given a numeric designation.
  • County and local - These roads are sometimes designated with numbers; i.e. "County Road 301," sometimes with names; i.e. "Old Bastrop Highway," and sometimes with both numbers and names. They rarely have shoulders, are usually unstriped, and signage is hit-and-miss. Their surfaces run the gamut from concrete to dirt, and their conditions vary from excellent to terrible, depending on which political jurisdiction is responsible for maintenance. County roads in larger, more urban counties, such as Bexar County, tend to be just as good as Texas farm-to-market roads. Some rural counties maintain their roads well (e.g. Cherokee County), while others are sorely lacking (e.g. La Salle County).
  • Private - Some segments of the OSR still exist as roads, but they are on private property. At best, these are graded dirt roads that are on par with some public local roads. Some of them, however, have degraded into pairs of tire tracks through the brush, which a 4-wheel-drive pickup could traverse slowly.
  • Not preserved - Some segments of the OSR can be seen on satellite photos as traces on the ground, and some clearings, raised roadbeds, or footpaths may be visible on the ground, but there is nothing there that could be called a road. This category also includes segments that are gone without any trace whatsoever.

The table below summarizes the preservation of the OSR according to the type of road. As the table shows, 66 percent of Zively's route of the Old San Antonio Road is preserved, but there is a great difference when comparing the Camino Arriba to the Lower Road. The Camino Arriba is 83 percent preserved, and most all of that is by state or federal roads, but the Lower Road is only 27 percent preserved, and the majority of that is by county or local roads.

Table: Preservation of the Old San Antonio Road by Type of Road

State or Federal County or Local Private Not Preserved Total
Miles% Miles% Miles% Miles% Miles
Camino Arriba
Sabine River to San Antonio
267.372.4 38.110.3 3.00.8 60.916.5 369.3
Lower Road
San Antonio to Rio Grande
1.50.9 29.717.5 14.58.5 124.473.1 170.1
Total 268.849.8 67.812.6 17.53.2 185.334.4 539.4

Summary By Road

The following roads preserve at least 10 miles of Zively's route

  • State Highway 21 - 175.8 miles. This is 33 percent of the total route and 47 percent of the eastern portion from the Sabine River to San Antonio. SH 21 does not preserve Zively's route in one long stretch, however; it leaves and then re-enters Zively's route a total of 23 times. It preserves parts of Zively's route in ten counties: Sabine, San Augustine, Nacogdoches, Cherokee, Houston, Brazos, Burleson, Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, and Hays. 116.1 miles of SH 21 have an exact or high degree of conformance with Zively's route. 41.1 miles have a medium conformance with Zively's route, and 13.3 miles only follow Zively's route in general, with little exactness.
  • State Highway OSR - 59.2 miles in Madison County and on the Leon-Madison and Brazos-Robertson County lines. This road has a very high, but not exact, conformance with Zively's route from end to end. The segment of SH OSR from FM 1119 in Elwood to the Navasota River, at 29.8 miles long, is the longest contiguous segment of Zively's route that is preserved by a modern road with a high degree of conformance.
  • Nacogdoches Road/Old Nacogdoches Road/FM 2252 - 18.7 miles in Comal and Bexar Counties. This road has a high degree of conformance with Zively's route from FM 482 in Comal County to Lovelace Blvd in San Antonio, except at Garden Ridge, where the local road, "Nacogdoches Loop," is the historic route.
  • Old Bastrop Highway/Old Bastrop Road - 11.9 miles. This road in Hays and Comal Counties has a high, but not exact, conformance with Zively's route from end to end.
  • Pleasanton Road/Old Pleasanton Road - 10.7 miles. This road matches Zively's route exactly in Bexar County from Mitchell Lake to the Medina River and from FM 2537 in Bexar County to Hickory Lane in Atascosa County.
map legend
TexasCounties.net's interactive map of Zively's route of the Old San Antonio Road.
Zoom in to show granite markers, survey posts, and site photographs.

Summary By County

The number of total miles and the number of preserved miles of the Old San Antonio Road are shown in the table below. Note that, for the purposes of this table, segments along the Leon-Madison County line are considered as Madison County, segments along the Brazos-Robertson County line are considered as Brazos County, and segments along the Caldwell-Hays County line are considered as Hays County.

County Total
San Augustine21.416.175.2%
La Salle44.319.944.9%

Table of the OSR Segments

Our list of all 158 individual segments of the Old San Antonio Road is shown below. Each segment has a link to a tour page that relates the history of that segment and the area it traverses.

Segment County Follows From To Distance Conformance Notes
1SabineSH 21Sabine RiverSH 877.5Medium
2SabineSH 21SH 87Kings Road4.3High
3SabineKings RoadSH 21dirt trail2.7HighSegment ends where Kings Road makes a 45-degree angle.
4Sabinedirt trailKings RoadSH 210.4HighOn private property; some parts impassable.
5SabineSH 21dirt trailHight Lane1.7HighSegment begins 0.2 mi east of County Line Road.
6Sabineroute lostSH 21 at Hight LaneSabine-San Augustine line0.5-
7San Augustineroute lostSabine-San Augustine lineSH 21 just west of FM 11.4-
8San AugustineSH 21just west of FM 1CR 1274.6High
9San Augustineroute lostSH 21 at CR 127SH 147 at Price Drive3.1-0.4 miles of SH 21 from FM 3483 to SH 147/Clark St are on Zively's route.
10San AugustineSH 147Price DriveAyish Bayou0.4Medium
11San Augustineroute lostSH 147 at Ayish BayouSH 21 at CR 2801.2-
12San AugustineSH 21CR 280CR 2783.9LowParts of CR 280, CR 220, and a clearing for a gas pipeline may represent the exact route.
13San AugustineSH 21CR 278CR 2542.9High
14San AugustineSH 21CR 254Attoyac Bayou3.9Medium
15NacogdochesSH 21Attoyac Bayouapprox. CR 3952.0MediumSegment ends where SH 21 turns from W to SW.
16Nacogdochesroute lostSH 21 at approx. CR 395SH 21 at OSR Marker #112.2-
17NacogdochesSH 21OSR Marker #11FM 32767.3High
18NacogdochesSH 21FM 3276CR 3020.7Medium
19Nacogdochesroute lostSH 21 at CR 302CR 302 at OSR Marker #148.7-Zively's route may be "lost" because it never existed; CR 302 is the only known historic route for this segment.
20NacogdochesCR 302OSR Marker #14SH 70.3High
21NacogdochesSH 7CR 302SH 211.0High
22NacogdochesSH 21east SH 7 merge pointCR 7063.7High
23NacogdochesCR 706SH 21SH 210.6High
24NacogdochesSH 21CR 706CR 8254.0Medium
25NacogdochesCR 825SH 21Hayter Ranch0.3High
26NacogdochesPrivate road & clearingCR 825CR 8291.7HighOn Hayter Ranch and inaccessible to the public. A private road preserves part of the route.
27NacogdochesCR 829Hayter RanchSH 210.5High
28NacogdochesSH 21CR 829east of Douglass4.9HighSegment ends where SH 21 turns from W to SW.
29Nacogdochesroute lostSH 21 east of DouglassCR 31.0-
30NacogdochesSH 21CR 3Cherokee-Nacogdoches line3.6MediumThe Angelina River has moved and is now 0.25 mi east of the county line.
31CherokeeSH 21Cherokee-Nacogdoches lineCR 2610 east intersection3.0Medium
32CherokeeCR 2610SH 21 east intersectionSH 21 west intersection1.7High
33CherokeeSH 21CR 2610 west intersectionCR 29056.6High
34CherokeeSH 21CR 2905CR 29071.6Low
35CherokeeCR 2907SH 21CR 29160.9Low
36CherokeeCR 2916CR 2907right turn close to the Neches River0.8High
37Cherokeeroute lostCR 2916 where it makes a right turn close to the Neches RiverNeches River0.3-A private dirt road may preserve a small portion of this segment.
38Houstonroute lostNeches River northwest of SH 21SH 21 at FM 227N6.8-This segment followed the south banks of the Neches River and San Pedro Creek. About 400 feet of it is preserved as a clearing in the brush in Mission Tejas State Park. The rest of this segment is on private property, and it is assumed that very little of it is preserved in any form.
39HoustonSH 21FM 227NFM 318715.8High
40Houstonroute lostSH 21 at FM 3187SH 21 at CR 30157.4-Crockett was founded 1.25 miles from the OSR. After new roads were built to the town, the old route was lost.
41HoustonSH 21CR 3015FM 29677.0LowSections of SH 21 and CR 3060 preserve this segment, but much of it is lost.
42HoustonSH 21FM 2967Trinity River13.3High
43Madisonroute lostSH 21 at the Trinity RiverSH OSR at FM 11197.6-SH 21 and CR 242/Burns Road loosely approximate the historic route.
44MadisonSH OSRFM 1119I-4510.2High
45Leon-Madison lineSH OSRI-45Navasota River19.6HighSH OSR becomes the Leon-Madison County line about 0.5 miles east of I-45.
46Brazos-Robertson lineSH OSRNavasota Rivereast of FM 19401.7LowPart of this segment is visible in satellite photos as a clearing in the trees.
47Brazos-Robertson lineSH OSReast of FM 1940SH 619.6High
48BrazosSH OSRSH 6SH 218.1HighSH OSR leaves the Brazos-Robertson County line and enters Brazos County 0.2 miles southwest of SH 6.
49BrazosSH 21SH OSRCash Road1.9LowThe modern highway is a few hundred feet north of the actual route. Zively's route forks approximately at SH 21 and Cash Road.
North or west fork over the Brazos River, labeled "The Kings Highway"
50Brazosroute lostSH 21 at Cash RoadBrazos River at Shoal's Ford1.8Low
51Burlesonprivate roadBrazos River at Shoal's Fordnorth corner of CR 2160.9Medium?This segment is currently inaccessible to the public.
52BurlesonCR 21690-degree turn at north cornerCR 2132.4High
South or east fork over the Brazos River, labeled "Road Now Used"
53BrazosSH 21Cash RoadBrazos River at Mosely's Ferry0.8-
54Burlesonroute lostBrazos River at Mosely's Ferrynorth corner of CR 2210.3-
55BurlesonCR 22190-degree turn at north cornerSH 211.7Medium
56BurlesonSH 21CR 221CR 2131.5High
57BurlesonCR 213SH 21CR 2160.5High
The forks rejoin at CR 216 and CR 213.
58BurlesonCR 216CR 21south corner0.3High
59Burlesonroute lost90-degree turn at CR 216 south cornerangle in SH 210.2-The road that is now CR 216 originally continued straight into Cooks Point. This segment was removed when SH 21 was built.
60BurlesonSH 21angle between FM 1362N and FM 1362SFM 2000 (approximately)4.9High
61Burlesonroute lostSH 21 approximately at FM 2000Old San Antonio Road and Shaw Street in Caldwell1.6-A few feet of this segment near Shaw Street exist as a dirt road. Part of the segment remains on maps as a property boundary.
62BurlesonOld San Antonio Road in CaldwellShaw StreetHull Street1.4High
63Burlesonroute lostOld San Antonio Road and Hull Street in CaldwellSH 21 approximately at the southwest Caldwell city limits0.3-
64BurlesonSH 21Southwest Caldwell city limitsEast Yegua Creek10.0High
65LeeSH 21East Yegua CreekCR 440 east intersection8.8High
66LeeCR 440east intersection with SH 21west intersection with SH 211.0High
67LeeSH 21CR 440 west intersectionnortheast of CR 4540.6HighSegment ends 0.2 miles northeast of CR 454.
68Leeroute lostSH 21 northeast of CR 454Bend in CR 327 near US 770.8-
69LeeCR 327bend near US 77near-90-degree turn0.2HighSegment consists of the section of CR 327 that runs approximately north to south.
70Leeroute lostnear-90-degree turn in CR 327SH 21 near FM 16241.6-
71LeeSH 21near FM 1624Bastrop-Lee line7.9HighSegment begins approximately 0.2 miles northeast of FM 1624.
72BastropSH 21Bastrop-Lee lineGonzales Street north of Paige2.6High
73Bastroproute lostSH 21 at Gonzales StreetSH 21 at Old Texas Highway 20 west of Paige0.8-
74BastropSH 21Old Texas Highway 20 west of PaigeNortheast of Circle D-KC Estates5.1HighSegment ends at a point between Lazy Horse Trail and Squirrel Run.
75Bastroproute lostSH 21 northeast of Circle D-KC EstatesSH 21 west of Power Plant Road5.0-Segment ends 0.2 miles west of Power Plant Road/Pinehill Drive.
76BastropSH 21west of Power Plant Roadfurther west of Power Plant Road0.4HighSegment end 0.6 miles west of Power Plant Road/Pinehill Drive.
77Bastroproute lostSH 21 west of Power Plant Roadnortheast corner of Pine View Loop0.6-
78BastropPine View Loopnortheast cornernorthwest corner0.3High
79Bastroproute lostnorthwest corner of Pine View LoopCreek crossing on Hoffman Road southwest of South Shore Road0.5-This segment and the following three segments may not have been part of the historic Old San Antonio Road. Although they were surveyed by Zively, his sketch suggests he may have transposed Chestnut Street, which is the route usually celebrated as the OSR, and Hill Street.
80BastropHoffman Roadsmall creek crossing southwest of South Shore RoadSH 951.7High
81Bastroproute lostHoffman Road at SH 95Hill Street at Spring Street0.8-
82BastropHill StreetSpring StreetPine Street0.2High
83Bastroproute lostHill Street at Pine StreetWater Street at Emile Street0.3-
84BastropWater StreetEmile StreetJasper Street0.2High
85Bastroproute lostWater Street at Jasper StreetOld Austin Highway west of Grady Tuck Lane0.9-
86BastropOld Austin Highwaywest of Grady Tuck LaneSH 211.0High
87BastropHighway 21/71Old Austiin Highway west endUnion Chapel Road3.8High
88BastropUnion Chapel Roadeast end at SH 21/71west end at SH 210.6MediumThe eastern half, which is on the historic route, is closed to through traffic. The western half, though driveable, is not historic.
89BastropMt. Olive Road/CR 79SH 21 east intersectionSH 21 west intersection2.6High
90BastropSH 21Mt. Olive Road/CR 79Bastrop-Caldwell line11.0MediumPortions of the historic route totaling about 3.5 miles have been straightened and shortened.
91CaldwellSH 21Bastrop-Caldwell linemerge with Hays-Caldwell line5.4MediumSome places where the modern highway diverges from the historic route are still visible on satellite photos.
92Hays-Caldwell lineSH 21merge with Hays-Caldwell lineHays CR 1262.8High
93Hays-Caldwell lineHays CR 126/Rohde RoadSH 21angle in CR 1260.1High
94Hays-Caldwell lineno roadangle in Hays CR 126/Rohde RoadSH 21 at Brushy Creek1.5-The old roadbed still exists on private property and marks the county line.
95Hays-Caldwell lineSH 21Brushy CreekOld Spanish Trail east of Uhland1.0High
96Hays-Caldwell lineOld Spanish TrialSH 21 east of UhlandSH 21 west of Uhland2.7High
97Hays-Caldwell lineSH 21Old Spanish Trail west of Uhlandentrance to Quail Creek Golf Club6.9High
98Hays-Caldwell lineroute lostSH 21 at entrance to Quail Creek Golf Clubnorth end of Old Bastrop Highway0.2-
99Hays-Caldwell lineOld Bastrop Highway/Hays CR 266/Caldwell CR 101north end near Gary Softball ComplexSan Marcos River1.9High
100HaysOld Bastrop HighwaySan Marcos RiverComal-Hays line8.5HighThe road is non-contiguous at SH 123 and diverges somewhat from Zively's route for approximately a 1-mile stretch west of there.
101ComalOld Bastrop RoadComal-Hays lineIH-351.5High
102ComalIH-35Old Bastrop RoadPost Road5.3High
103ComalPost RoadIH-35Church Hill Drive1.2High
104ComalChurch Hill DrivePost RoadBroadway0.05High
105ComalBroadwayChurch Hill Drivedead-end at SH 46/Loop 3370.05High
106Comalroute lostBroadway dead-end east of SH 46/Loop 337Broadway dead-end west of SH 46/Loop 3370.2-This segment followed the section of Broadway that is now gone.
107ComalBroadwaydead-end west of SH 46/Loop 337Guadalupe River0.5High
108Comalroute lostBroadway at the Guadalupe RiverNacogdoches Street at the Guadalupe River0.3-
109ComalNacogdoches StreetGuadalupe RiverElliot Knox Blvd.1.1High
110ComalElliot Knox Blvd.Nacogdoches StreetIH-351.1High
111ComalIH-35Elliot Knox Blvd.FM 4821.3High
112ComalFM 482IH-35Old Nacogdoches Road4.5High
113ComalOld Nacogdoches Road/FM 2252FM 482Nacogdoches Loop5.1High
114ComalNacogdoches LoopFM 2252 east intersectionFM 2252 west intersection0.8High
115ComalOld Nacogdoches Road/FM 2252Nacogdoches Loop west intersectionCibolo Creek1.7High
116BexarNacogdoches Road/FM 2252Cibolo CreekTuxedo Avenue11.9MediumThe degree of this segment's conformance to Zively's route degrades west of Lovelace Boulevard.
117Bexarroute lostNacogdoches Road at Tuxedo AvenueN Flores Street at Weymouth Street3.7-La Jara Blvd in Alamo Heights approximates Zively's route for about five blocks.
118BexarN Flores StreetWeymouth StreetN Laredo Street at E Fredericksburg Road0.4High
119BexarN Laredo StreetN Flores Street at E Fredericksburg RoadN Santa Rosa Street at San Pedro Creek1.0HighParts of this segment are shown on some maps as Pecos Street or La Trinidad Street.
120Bexarroute lostSanta Rosa Street at San Pedro CreekS Laredo Street at El Paso Street0.9-Three blocks of this segment still exist as S Laredo Street, between W Houston Street and W Nueva Street.
121BexarS Laredo StreetEl Paso StreetIH-35 at W Cevallos Street0.6High
122BexarIH-35S Alamo StreetUS 901.1Low
123Bexarroute lostIH-35 at US 90Mission Road at E Hart Ave.1.8-This segment was probably never part of any route of El Camino Real, and is simply where Zively cut across from the Laredo route (today's Laredo Street and IH-35) to the "Lower" route (today's Mission Road).
124BexarMission RoadE Hart Ave.Roosevelt Ave./Mission Pkwy.1.2High
125Bexarroute lostMission Road at Roosevelt Ave./Mission Pkwy.Mission Road at Huizar Road0.3-Through the grounds of Mission San Jose.
126BexarMission RoadHuizar RoadStinson Municipal Airport1.8HighIncludes approximately 300 feet of SE Military Drive/SH 13.
127Bexarroute lostMission Road at Stinson Municipal AirportEspada Road 0.1 mi south of Ashley Road0.4-
128BexarEspada Road0.1 mi south of Ashley RoadSE Loop 410 access road N0.6High
129BexarEspada RoadSE Loop 410 access road NOld Espada Road/OSR Marker #860.3HighThis segment is severed by IH 410. Its ends are connected by a highway overpass that takes a different route.
130BexarEspada RoadOld Espada Road/OSR Marker #860.3 mi south of Mission Espada0.7HighThe historic route went through Mission Espada; now Camino Coahuilteca curves around the mission.
131Bexarroute lostEspada Road 0.3 mi S of Mission EspadaPleasanton Road at the east end of Canvasback Lake3.6-This segment was probably never part of any route of El Camino Real, and is simply where Zively cut across from the Lower Road to the Laredo/Pleasanton Road.
132BexarPleasanton RoadEast end of Canvasback LakeMedina River2.4High
133Bexarroute lostPleasanton Road at the Medina RiverLaredo Road at Leal St.0.1-
134BexarLaredo RoadLeal Street90-degree turn at S end0.2High
135Bexarroute lost90-degree turn at S end of Laredo RoadPleasanton Road at FM 25370.5-This missing segment follows the line made by extrapolating the existing portion of Laredo Road in a straight line all the way to FM 2537.
136BexarPleasanton RoadFM 2537Atascosa-Bexar County line7.5High
137AtascosaOld Pleasanton RoadAtascosa-Bexar County lineHalfway between Hickory Ln and Camelot Ln0.8High
138Atascosaroute lostOld Pleasanton Road halfway between Hickory and CamelotCR 301 at CR 304E12.7-
139AtascosaCR 301CR 304ERight-angle turn near SH 1731.4High
140Atascosaroute lostCR 301 right-angle turn near SH 173Spur 162 0.6 mi east of SH 972.3-
141Atascosaroute lostSpur 162 0.6 mi east of SH 97CR 319 0.4 mi south of Bluntzer Road4.2-
142Atascosaroute lostCR 319 0.4 mi south of SH 97Atascosa-Frio County line 0.8 mi south of San Miguel Creek16.9-There is an unexplained gap of 1.5 miles between the end of the previous segment and the beginning of this one.
143Frioroute lostAtascosa-Frio County line 0.8 mi south of San Miguel CreekFrio-La Salle County line 3 mi west of the Atascosa-Frio County line4.2-
144La Salleroute lostFrio-La Salle County line 3 mi west of the Atascosa-Frio County lineNear intersection of Brown Road and Altito Road23-
145La SalleAltito Roadnear Brown RoadFM 6249.1MediumThis is now a private ranch road, which degrades to a cleared trail at its eastern end.
146La SalleGuadalupe StreetFM 624Martinez Street0.7High
147La Salleroute lostGuadalupe St at Martinez StBusiness 35 at the Nueces River south bank1.4-0.2 mi of this segment may be on Lane Street in Cotulla.
148La SalleBusiness 35South bank of Nueces RiverCochina Ranch Road remnant0.4High
149La SalleCochina Ranch RoadBusiness 351 mile west of I-35, where the road turns to the northwest1.4HighThe eastern end of the road has been cut off by Interstate 35 and is now a private driveway.
150La Salle Cochina Ranch Road1 mile west of I-35, where the road turns to the northwestDimmit-La Salle County line8.3LowThe western end of this segment is on private property, and the public part of the road is barely driveable.
151Dimmitroute lostCochina Ranch Road/Briscoe Ranch Road at the Dimmit-La Salle County lineeastern side of Catarina14-
152DimmitSan Hilario AvenueIsabella St.Esperanza St.0.4Medium
153Dimmitroute lostSan Hilario Avenue at Esperanza St.western city limits of Catarina on Cemetery Road1.2-
154Dimmitroute lostwestern city limits of Catarina on Cemetery Roadoriginal location of OSR Marker #12110.0-Traces can be seen on satellite photos.
155Dimmitroute lostoriginal location of OSR Marker #121eastern end of private road on Faith Ranch, near original OSR Marker #122 location8.0-The evidence that this segment of Zively's route was actually part of El Camino Real is weak.
156Dimmitprivate ranch roadNear original OSR Marker #122 locationNear current OSR Marker #123 location5.4High
157Dimmitroute lostNear current OSR Marker #123 locationDimmit-Maverick County line6.8-Small sections may be preserved by private ranch roads.
158Maverickroute lostDimmit-Maverick County linePaso de Francia on the Rio Grande12.1-Two short sections are preserved by private ranch roads.
Zively Sketch Page 1
The first sketch page from Zively's 1916 book of sketches and field notes.


The primary resource for identifying the Old San Antonio Road for this project was Mr. Zively's book of notes and sketches, which he presented to the state of Texas in 1916. This book consists of 114 pages of sketches, where Zively drew the route at a scale of 3,000 feet to an inch. The sketches also include representations of county lines, rivers, creeks, and landmark buildings, plus additional notes inserted by the surveyor. Each sketch is also accompanied by a Zively's surveying measurements in feet and degrees.

Our starting point for interpreting Zively's sketches was to lay each of them over a modern map at the same scale. In places where the historic road is well-preserved, this made it easy to see where an existing road conforms with his route and where it varies from it. Often, some small adjustments had to be made to make the sketches fit. Such adjustments included stretching or compressing one axis of the sketch slightly, or rotating it a few degrees. Obviously, the tools and instruments Zively used to produce his sketches in 1915 were not as precise as today's computer-generated maps, but the sketches of the road segments are, nevertheless, generally highly accurate.

Usually, the additional markings and notes Zively made on the sketches enhanced our ability to interpret them, but sometimes, they introduced confusion or error. Whenever Zively drew a river, railroad, or another road crossing "The Kings Highway," he sometimes showed the intersection occurring at the wrong place. For example, he may show a railroad and a river as being only 300 feet apart, when they are actually a half a mile apart. Because of discrepancies such as these, we took anything that Zively drew on his survey except for the Kings Highway itself with a grain of salt.

Unfortunately, the detailed measurements in feet and degrees that Zively provided with his sketches were generally illegible, and therefore of limited use.

Once we knew which existing roads preserved a particular segment of the historic route, the next step was to find any evidence of Zively's route for the other segments. County maps from the late 1800s and early 1900s were a huge help; they would often confirm that a road once existed where one no longer does. Aerial and satellite images may reveal that a clearing through the brush still exists where the Old San Antonio Road once used to be.

Last, but not least, David Carson did extensive field work to document Zively's route. This field work allowed him to see evidence of Zively's route that could not be seen on any map or satellite photographs, such as a raised roadbed, a swath of asphalt road material mixed into the earth, and leftover concrete pilings from an old, torn-down bridge. Each public road that preserves the Old San Antonio Road was identified and driven on from end to end. Each segment was photographed, and overall observations about the road construction and condition (type of surface, number of lanes, existence of striping, etc.) were recorded. Where Zively's route crosses private land, Carson did his best to obtain permission to enter it or, failing that, to photograph it from across the fence.

Some of the observations presented in these articles - like whether a public highway has two lanes or four - may seem like overkill for the purposes of tracing Zively's route and documenting where the Old San Antonio Road used to be, but we feel that it is important to be a comprehensive as possible. The Old San Antonio Road has changed dramatically over the last hundred years, and it is going to continue to change. Roads will be widened; bridges will be moved. Any changes in the modern roads could affect how well they preserve the historic road, so the more we document about the modern roads, the better. The information presented on this page and on this web site will preserve help Zively's route for future researchers even after the highways have moved and the clearings in the brush have completely disappeared.

Page last updated: October 28, 2015