REd River Bridge


The Stark Ranch resides along the Red River just North of Gainesville, Texas.  Many spots provide a “birds eye” view of the Red River Bridge as it sits today. 


The forgotten “war between the states,” when the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma became an armed camp...

At the beginning of America’s Great Depression, Texas and Oklahoma armed up and went to war over an old toll bridge that connected their states across the Red River.  It was a two–week affair marked by the presence of National Guardsmen with field artillery, Texas Rangers with itchy trigger fingers, angry mobs, Model T blockade runners, and even a Native American peace delegation.  Traffic backed up for miles, cutting off travel between the states.

This conflict entertained newspaper readers nationwide during the summer of 1931, but the Red River Bridge War was a deadly serious affair for many rural Americans at a time when free bridges and passable roads could mean the difference between survival and starvation. This confrontation had national consequences in that it marked an end to public acceptance of the privately owned ferries, toll bridges and turnpikes that threatened to strangle American Transit.

Source:  Rusty Williams, “The Red River Bridge War – A Texas-Oklahoma Border Battle”, First Edition/College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2016

 

More photos and history coming soon!