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El Camino Connection: History and Birding in East Austin’s Blair Woods

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El Camino Connection: History and Birding in East Austin’s Blair Woods
Thursday, March 4, 2021 | 6-7pm CST
FREE: Held via Zoom

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Join Preservation Austin for this special talk where an uncovered story of early Texas history is found in a present-day birding sanctuary! 

Travis Audubon’s Blair Woods, a 10-acre urban preserve on East MLK, has long been suspected as the site of Fort Colorado, a Republic of Texas-era fort active between 1836 and 1838. This fort was strategically placed to block the travel of Mexican and Native people along what is now the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, a 2,500+ mile network of trails that connected Spain’s Viceregal capital of Mexico City to the first capital of Texas at Los Adaes in present-day Louisiana

In this talk, you will hear from historians and archaeologists Melinda and Sergio Iruegas (GTI Environmental) and Steven Gonzales of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association on their collaborative effort to uncover the long suspected, but largely uncovered history of Fort Colorado. You will also hear about Dr. Frank and Fern Blair, a prominent zoologist from UT Austin and his wife, an avid birder, who lived on the land of Blair Woods and whose stewardship played an important role in the preservation of Fort Colorado’s rich history.

Preservation Austin is proud to have awarded El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association funding from our Grants Program to conduct this historical and archaeological inquiry. Travis Audubon also contributed funding towards the archaeological archival study and shovel test.

This talk is presented in collaboration with El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association, Travis Audubon, and GTI Environmental. 45-minute virtual presentation will be followed by a special Q/A with speakers.