THE OL’ LOCAL WATERING HOLE
Visitors to Post Park, a small, pastoral county park five miles south of Marathon, are not surprised to learn that the site served nomadic people for thousands of years. Peña Colorada Springs makes a showing here, surfacing below oddly striated bluffs ridged in novaculite, a milky quartz layer exposed by uplifting. The spring, a year-round source of fresh water, also supplied the U.S. Army post called Camp Peña Colorado in the late 1800s. The Camp was located near the spring and on the road connecting Fort Clark and Fort Davis, helping to create a line of defense along the Texas frontier. Soldiers occupied the camp starting in 1879, performing scout duties, providing escort through the region, and chasing off bandits and horse thieves. In 1884 the Camp’s occupants included the Tenth United States Cavalry, known as the buffalo soldiers. By 1893, the region had become settled enough so that troops could be shifted closer to the border and the Camp was abandoned.
Land adjacent to the spring, owned by the Combs Cattle Company, was donated in 1935 to the citizens of Brewster County by the company’s founder Davis St. Clair Combs, cattle trail driver and Texas rancher. Known simply as Post Park, the idyllic site received a dam courtesy of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the WPA in the 1930s which continues to hold water, creating a pleasant stretch of shady calm, a favorite birding spot for enthusiasts, and weekend picnic location for locals.