On Saturday, October 7, 2006, a long overdue event will occur in Panola County, Texas. A Texas Historical Marker will be dedicated at 2 p.m. at the site of the only international boundary marker located within the continental United States. The marker establishing the boundary between the Republic of Texas and the United States was set in place on April 23, 1841. there were other boundary markers along the Republic of Texas /United States border, but all the others have been lost with time.
The State of Louisiana has done an excellent job of identifying the location of the international boundary marker on the Lousiana side of the State line. However Texas which usually takes such pride in its history and historical sites had never marked the site with a Texas Historical Marker. The Louisiana State historical marker located on Louisiana State Hwy. 765 reads as follows:
Original granite block 10' long
9" square marked the
United States - Republic of Texas
boundary. Date 1840. Set on
April 23, 1841. Only marker of
international boundary known to
exist within the continental U.S.
The Sons of the Republic of Texas International Boundary Marker Committee, chaired by Billy Johnson, working with local historians, the Panola County Historical Commission and the Texas Historical Commission have finally brought about the placement of an official Texas historical Marker at the site of the international boudary marker. The Texas History Page blog would like to recognize Mr. Billy Johnson for his years of tireless service working towards the placement of this important Texas Historical Marker.
In 1977, a small International Boundary Marker Park was dedicated around the site of the international boundary marker. Since then, the site has been registered as National Historic Shrine. In 1980, civil engineers in Texas and Louisiana in a joint project, dedicated a marker under the auspices of the American Society of Civil Engineers at the site of the international boundary marker. Not until the recent placement of the Texas Historical Marker, which will be dedicated on October 7, 2006, had the State of Texas officially recognized this landmark.
The international boundary markers were commissioned by United States President, Martin Van Buren. The only remaining international boundary marker is a granite shaft. On one side, it is engraved "Merid. Boundary Established 1840." On the eastern side, it is engraved "U. S." On the western side, it is engraved "R. T." for Republic of Texas.
The international boundary marker is located by driving east on Texas Farm Road 31 toward the Texas/Louisiana state line. Just before the state line, the international boundary marker is located to the left on the north side of Farm Road 31. See PDF file with specifc directions to the International boundary marker here. Come on Saturday, October 7, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. for the dedication of the Texas Historical Marker for this one of a kind landmark dating from when Texas was an independent country recognized by the United States of America.
Photograph: International Boundary Marker, Courtesy of David Hanover.