Historical marker honors Native American legacy

© Comanche tribe members said they were able to learn more about their heritage because of a marker tree in Holliday.
© Comanche tribe members said they were able to learn more about their heritage because of a marker tree in Holliday.
© Comanche marker tree was made a historic marker by the Texas Historical Coalition.
© Comanche marker tree was made a historic marker by the Texas Historical Coalition.

HOLLIDAY, TX (KAUZ) - A historical marker was placed next to a more than a century-year-old tree in Holliday during a ceremony on Friday. It is not an ordinary tree and that is not because of its age or odd shape.

It is a Comanche marker tree. The tree could be called the original GPS navigation system for the Native American tribe.

"If you lived 150, 250 years ago, your priorities were food, water shelter, but also direction," Steve Houser an arborist from the Texas Historical Commission said.

Several Comanche tribe members in attendance for the ceremony said they did not know it existed until the marker tree was found in December 2010.

"I was amazed because I have never heard my parents talk about marker trees," Robert Atchavit said. "As a Native American, seeing some of our culture that I was not aware of is heartwarming."

Photos and samples of the tree were sent to Houser. After he conducted extensive research, the next year it was certified as a marker tree.

"I've been doing this 24 years now and have had more than 600 trees have been submitted to our organization," Houser said. "Out of 24 years and 600 trees, we have nine trees that have been officially recognized which this is one." Several of the nine they found in the last six years no longer exist.

Houser said he has noticed other trees in the area that look similar. It means this tree may be one of many on a trail but he said more research is still needed.

The historical Comanche marker tree is located at Stonewall Jackson Park.

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