Spring 2019 – April 26-27 – Dallas

Fall 2019 – Sept. 20-21 – Alpine

Spring 2020 – Houston

Fall 2020 – Arlington

October 5-6, 2018 – Arlington, Texas

2018 Garrett Save the date

Click Here to Register



Paths to Highways: Routes of Exploration, Settlement, and Commerce
October 4-6, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

  • Speakers and attendees arrive in Arlington
  • 6:30 p.m.        Dinner at Arlington Hilton Hotel for VGL Committee and VGL/TMS speakers
  • 6:30 p.m.        Philip Lee Phillips Society dinner and fall meeting, Dallas

Friday, October 5, 2018

Virginia Garrett Lectures on the History of Cartography

  • 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – Registration, coffee and light breakfast
  • 9:00 – 9:15 a.m. – Welcome
  • 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. – Dr. David Buisseret, UT Arlington and the Newberry Library, Mapping the Indigenous Trails around Chicago.
  • 10:15 – 10:30 a.m. – Break
  • 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Jason Wiese, Historic New Orleans Collection – Chemins des Voyageurs: Pathways and Stories from Three Early Maps of Louisiana

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Will Bagley – One Great National Highway Across the Continent: Maps and the Overland Road, 1821-1912.

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.           Break

  • 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. – Wes Brown – Taken from Texas: How the 1859 Gold Rush Put Colorado on the Map.

3:15-3:30 p.m. – Break

  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Dr. Glen Ely – Overland Routes through Western Texas, 1850 – 1890 and the Role of Maps in Promoting Exploration and Exploitation of Natural Resources.
  • 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.         Exhibit tour:  Paths to Highways Map Exhibit

5:15 – 6:00 p.m.          Wine and Cheese Reception

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.          Dinner and Keynote Presentation:  Dr. David Buisseret, UT Arlington, and the Newberry Library – Reflections of a Beleaguered Historian.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Texas Map Society Meeting

  • 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – Registration, coffee and light breakfast
  • 9:00 – 9:15 a.m. – Welcome
  • 9:15 – 10:00 a.m. – Wayne Ludwig. Maps and the Chisholm Trails
    • The first organized cattle drive from Texas occurred in 1779. Early Anglo settlers drove Texas cattle to New Orleans and developed a thriving local economy along the route. Prior to the Civil War, Texas cattle were driven north to markets in Missouri, the Midwest, and as far east as New York. The public perception later focused on the post-Civil War cattle trailing era, generally from 1866 to about 1887. The Chisholm Trail is only one of the cattle trails that developed during this period. The Chisholm eventually overshadowed the other trails; mostly a result of legend and lore. Ask a dozen different people about the location of the Chisholm Trail and expect as many different answers. Maps with provenance to the trailing era, the existence of which might have been unknown, were rarely cited by previous historians. A comparison of modern maps with maps from the 1870s–1880s reveals the real location of the Chisholm Trail.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.       Break

  • 10:15– 11:00 a.m. – Gary and Margaret Kraisinger. The Texas Cattle Trail to Abilene, Kansas (It’s Not What You Are Thinking).
    • After the Civil War, Texas was poverty stricken, but the southern triangle of the state was teaming with millions of longhorns, and the northern markets badly needed beef.  Thus, in the spring of 1866, cattlemen trailed 260,000 head into southeastern Kansas and western Missouri over the old familiar cattle trail that had been used two decades before the war—the Shawnee Trail.  In the mid-summer of 1867, Joseph McCoy, a flamboyant stockmen from Illinois, rode the recently laid union Pacific Eastern Division Railroad tracks to Abilene, Kansas, built loading ramps and stockyards accompanied by the fineries to entertain buyers from the East, and announced to Texas cattlemen that Abilene was now open for business.  This famous cattle trail to Abilene was not the Chisholm Trail as the history books tell you, and the route that the trail drivers used to reach this destination is not what is shown on maps today.  Gary and Margaret will show you via maps the actual history of this Joseph McCoy-Abilene Trail saga.

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.         Break

  • 11:15 a.m. – Noon – Dan Smith.  Texas Highway No. 1: The Bankhead Highway in Texas.
    • Dan Smith’s first encounter with the Bankhead Highway occurred while bicycling on back roads in Parker County near Aledo.  The narrow country road seemed to belie the nearby street sign which identified it as the Old Bankhead Highway.  Few seemed to know much about the old road, and even less was known about the Bankhead Highway.  Years later the author began his research which soon revealed the historical significance of the unassuming road.  Originally referred to as Kuteman’s Cutoff, the overgrown country lane he encountered had once been part of Texas Highway No. 1 and was a link in the nation’s first all-weather transcontinental highway.  Travelers in the 1920s and 1930s also knew it as part of the “Broadway of America” and U.S. 80.   The Bankhead Highway in Texas adds to the documentation of one of America’s most significant early highways.  It also provides a guide to the earliest Bankhead route across the state.  All along the way are remarkable stories yet to be told about the people who built and traveled the long road.   Enjoy the drive.

Noon – 1:00 p.m.        Lunch

  • 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. – Dr. Marcel Brousseau – Signs and Numbers: Rand McNally’s 1917-1926 Auto Trail Maps and the Emergence of the Encoded Highway.
    • In this presentation, I discuss the standardization of geographic semiotics as based upon the automobile infrastructure of the early-20th-century United States. In particular, I focus on Rand McNally’s Auto Trail Maps, developed by the cartographer John G. Brink. Conceived in conjunction with the rapidly expanding network of roadways crossing the midwestern U.S., the Auto Trail Maps revised the cartographic image of the Midwest–and ultimately of the United States–by shifting cartographic focus from railroads and county lines to highways. Rand McNally’s nascent road maps did not merely compile and reflect data; the company itself coordinated with state governments and automobile clubs across the U.S. to physically mark–or “blaze”–“auto trails” with numbers, painted colors, and stenciled logos, in order to establish a coherent system for automotive navigation. As Jim Akerman has observed, this capacious mapping initiative refocused the “common national geography” around the figure of the motorist. Furthermore, this revised landscape of auto-mobility correlated, in the words of Bernhard Siegert, to the “invention of a new geographical signworld,” in which local, historic “trails” were recodified according to standard numbers and symbols. In this new signworld, I argue, Rand McNally used the new technology of the road map, which was rapidly editable and massively distributable, to exercise unprecedented political authority in shaping the communicative landscape. By blazing, charting, and describing the global transition from trails to roads, Rand McNally defined the power of the map as nothing less than the regulation of the meaning and mechanism of movement itself.

1:45 – 2:00 p.m.           Break

  • 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.         David Finfrock’s “My Favorite Map”
  • 3:00 – 3:30 p.m.          Texas Map Society annual meeting
  • 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.          Exhibit tour:  Paths to Highways Map Exhibit

For further information on the Garrett Lectures, please contact Ben Huseman ( or Brenda McClurkin (

Other Events