Mountain Press Publishing Missoula Montana

Roadside History of Texas


Series: Roadside History
Media: Paperback

Item #: 261   Price: $20.00
ISBN: 0-87842-294-3
Pages: 464   Size: 6 x 9

Distributed by Mountain Press for:


"The best book thus far in an altogether excellent series, a cornucopia of beautiful, often funny, anecdotes and data on every corner of the vast state."--Rocky Mountain News

"As any resident of the Lone Star state will tell you--probably unasked--the United States is composed of TEXAS and a jumble of satellite lands of no particular distinction.

Leon Metz, a proud TEXAN (by way of West Virginia) has brought together a book which certainly will be applauded by his co-staters--as well as one which would be most interesting to us outsiders looking in.

Metz, known by his peers as a meticulous researcher, has done a monumental job of fact assembly to fill this fast-paced volume. He begins with highlight "Facts About Texas"--geography, highway system, chronology.

Comes next a 24-page history of the state, with the conclusion, 'Unearthing that (Texas) past and enriching your present is the purpose of this book. So get behind the wheel and let's drive.'

He has divided the state into eight regions; each section is preceded with a review of the geology of the area to be reviewed, its flora and fauna, and targeted history. Then comes concise reports on the region's cities, towns and hamlets.

With no wasted words the history of each is mentioned, the derivation of its name in most cases, sights to see, places to visit.

And the reader will learn many interesting side bars, i.e., during the Mexican Revolution, 50,000 soldiers were encamped at Fort Bliss. One day the band of a Michigan detachment passed by the tents of a troop from Georgia, and whether by carelessness or deliberation, started playing "Marching Through Georgia."

Then came 'the largest mass fist fight in United States military history.' And something we bet you didn't know. In 1942, in the region Metz calls Hill Country, in the middle of Texas, experiments were conducted on a plan to use bats as weapons of war.

The idea was that one ounce devices capable of burning an incendiary flame for eight minutes would be attached to masses of bats. The bats were to be air dropped from canisters at 1,000 feet. They eventually would land, so went the theory, and start thousands of fires.

The Navy leased four bat-filled caves for the experiment, guarded by Marines. But for reasons unknown, the project was terminated in 1943.

Who brought the first cold beer to Austin? The International and Great Northern Railroad is who.

Following the long but rapid drive through Texas, Metz, a former President of the Western Writers of America, lists 'some' of his favorite books about the state. Only 82.

The author certainly has had his eyes on Texas." --Wallace E. Clayton, The Tombstone Epitaph