"Caney Run: Early trade, mail route of ‘Golden Gulf Coast"

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   “Today there are no more dense canebrakes and wild grains growing in the river bottoms. Caney no longer flows an even course, but bobs up spasmodically here and there.”
   Long ago, Caney Creek (Canebrake River) began its winding course from Southeastern Colorado County near Eagle Lake and flowed to the Gulf of Mexico. 
   The bamboo cane (Arundinaria) grew in an area 40 miles wide and 75 miles long. It grew as high as 35 feet and formed impenetrable growth through which the Caney and Bernard rivers flowed.  
   Often a person on horseback could not get through and a person on foot went in circles.  
   The cane was used for fishing poles, cattle feed, fencing, flooring and matting. Its greatest value was that it made the soil fertile by its yearly decaying and renewing.
   The “Sugar Bowl” in Texas was the fertile land between the Colorado and Brazos rivers and especially the land on either side of Caney Creek, from the source near Eagle Lake to where it terminates near Sargent.
   During the days of Stephen F. Austin, sugar mills dotted the creek from Hawkinsville to Egypt and the trail which transversed the Sugar Bowl came to be known as “Caney Run.”  
   The canebrakes which grew along Caney Creek, once known as “Canebrake River,” were very dense, often 35 feet wide.  
   Scarcely a tree was to be found in this ocean of cane, which received the name “Great Prairie Canebrake.”  
   Mail routes, established by the Republic of Texas in 1838, ran from Matagorda to San Felipe and later to Columbus and used the same Caney Run with stops at Cook’s Island, Isham Phillips, Caney Crossing, Preston, Peach Creek and Egypt.
   This road was the chief way to get products to market, as railways were not constructed until the 1900s and Caney Creek was often blocked as a waterway.  
   Today, paved highways have replaced the old “Caney Run” and follow the creek from Eagle Lake to Sargent and on to the Gulf of Mexico.

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