Event Detail
    Event Status: On Schedule

Houston History Bike Ride

Earliest European and African in Texas and Houston, from  1528 to 1650



Starting time: meet at 1:00 pm, leave at 1:15 p.m.

Starting location: Fonde recreation center, Sabine and Memorial

Duration: total distance about 12 miles, about 3 hours

Coffee: We will end up near The Paper Company on Elder Street, where we have the option to stop for coffee. I may stop there for lunch before the ride. It is a short ride from the start location.


-              ride route map (click on pips for sight information)

-              ride background note on Earliest Texans and Houstonians 1528 to 1650

-              map to starting location


Ride overview

Texas and Houston had some very early visitors and settlers from Europe and one from Africa. Only slight traces remain. We will visit

-          Alvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, the first European in Texas. His Spanish expedition shipwrecked in Florida in 1528. Second in command, Alvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, and others from the expedition made their way to the Texas Gulf Coast and became the first Europeans to set foot in Texas. He was enslaved by Indians, managed to escape and return to Spain. We will learn the remarkable story of his journey. In Houston he is memorialized by a sculpture at Hermann Park.

-          Estevanico, a Moroccan moor, came to Texas as a slave in the same expedition that brought Cabeza de Vaca, the first native African to set foot in North America.  He shared many of Cabeza de Vaca’s hair-raising experiences in the new world. We will visit the one place in Houston where he is memorialized and learn his tragic ending.

-          an English settlement in Houston that lasted from 1632 to 1650, discovered in Houston’s Old City Cemetery in 1986. We will visit this site to see where the English graves and confederate soldier graves were found. We will learn the background of the English settlers, who were protestant Huguenot refugees from religious persecution in France; why they settled in this remote location and how they were identified. 


Along the way we will briefly visit a number of historic and interesting Houston locations, including

- restored historic houses on Austin street from about 1900

- Emancipation Park, acquired in 1872 by the black community to have a place for their annual celebration of emancipation on Juneteenth in 1965, because blacks were excluded from other public parks

- former offices of the Informer, a black community newspaper, where Thurgood Marshall, then lead attorney for NAACP, later the first black on the Supreme Court,in 1944  dictated a brief for a case that  overturned the “white primary law” effectively excluding blacks from voting in Texas

- the whispering gallery at Discovery Green

- historic Union Station, Minute Maid Park and historic Market Square

- the Tennison hotel, last of the railroad hotels from Grand Central Station

Event: Houston History Bike Ride Event Cost: Free
Where: For Members Only Meeting Place: For Members Only
Address: For Members Only Meeting Address: For Members Only
Web Site: For Members Only Meeting Time: For Members Only
Location Phone: For Members Only Parking Cost: For Members Only
Start Date-Time: For Members Only Reg. Deadline: For Members Only
* End Date-Time: For Members Only PrePay Required: No
Event Leader: For Members Only
Event Summary: n/a
Directions: For Members Only
Members: 8 Max Attendance: 20
Guests: 4 Spots Available: 8
Total Attendance: 12    
Overnight: No Kid Friendly: No
Skill Level: n/a Dog Friendly: No

CHECKLIST - Gear Details and Rules
Road Bike
Mountain Bike
1/2 to 1 quart per hour required
* estimated
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