March 11, 2014

This Day in Texas History:

It is Tuesday March 11, 2014. It is the 70th day of 2014. There are 295 days left in the year. General Sam Houston arrived at Gonzales, Texas on March 11, 1836. He took command of the Texas Army. While there word reached him of the battle of the Alamo and its fall. In a few days he would learn of a second defeat, Goliad. He had on 374 men. From here he began a 41 day adventure. It was combination retreat, recruitment and training adventure. It would all come to an end with an 18 minute battle at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. The result was the defeat of Santa Anna and the independence of Texas.

Pioneer Plaza:
Located just north of the Dallas Convention Center is Pioneer Plaza. It is a large public park in the Convention Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas. The center piece of the Pioneer Plaza is large sculptures. It is a heavily visited tourist site. Located next to Pioneer Park Cemetery which features the Confederate War Memorial, the two offer the largest public open space in Dallas’ central business district.

Background of Pioneer Plaza:
The land was once railroad and warehouse property. Built on land cleared as part of the failed Griffin Square development, developer Trammel Crow gets credit for the idea behind the sculptures and plaza. He wanted an iconic “Western” sculpture in the City of Dallas. He assembled a group to give the sculptures. Begun in 1992, the $9 million project started on 4.2 acres of land donated by the City of Dallas. $4.8 million of the cost came from private funds raised from individuals and local businesses.

The large sculpture celebrates the nineteenth century cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail. It was the earliest and easternmost route by which Texas longhorn cattle moved to northern railheads. The trail passed through Austin, Waco, and Dallas until the Chisolm Trail siphoned off most of the traffic in 1867.

Artist Robert Summers of Glen Rose, Texas created 70 bronze steers and 3 trail riders sculptures. Each steer is larger-than-life at six feet high. All together the sculpture is the largest bronze monument of its kind in the world. Set along an artificial ridge, man-made limestone cliff the native landscaping with a flowing stream and waterfall creates a dramatic effect.

Maintained by the adjacent Dallas Convention Center, Pioneer Plaza is the second most visited tourist attraction in downtown Dallas.

I took these pictures of the sculptures in December 2008. Click on them and they will enlarge.














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Creative Commons License
Longhorns at Pioneer Plaza in Dallas, Texas by Jimmie A. Kepler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

Taken by Jimmie A. Kepler in December 2008 at the Pioneer Plaza near the Dallas Convention Center in downtown Dallas the photo is of the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive. Created by artist Roberts Summers of Glen Rose, Texas, it consists of bronze pieces – 40 longhorn cattle herded by 3 cowboys on horses.

Source: Additional information on Pioneer Plaza can be found at:

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