Buffalo Gap, Texas

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Buffalo Gap is an incorporated town in Taylor County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Abilene, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 463 at the 2000 census. It is the former county seat of Taylor County, having been supplanted in 1883 by the much larger Abilene to its north. Abilene won the referendum to be the county seat by a vote of 905-269.[3]

Buffalo Gap was settled at the site of a natural pass through which bison herds traveled. It was a point on the Great Western Cattle Trail. The community has a few restaurants and art handicraft shops and caters to tourists coming from Abilene, thirteen miles to the northeast.[4]

Buffalo Gap is the home of the large Buffalo Gap Historic Village, open year-round to visitors.

Contents

History

Buffalo Gap is located at the intersection of Farm-to-Market roads 89 and 1235. It was established in 1857 and procured a post office in 1878. The Callahan Divide, a topographic boundary between the Brazos and Colorado river basins, crosses Buffalo Gap from east to west. Elm Creek once provided a watering hole for buffalo. The Buffalo Gap Highway (Farm Road 89) was surveyed in 1774 and followed the old Center Line Trail, which extended from El Paso to Texarkana on the Texas-Arkansas boundary.[5]

Another major road passed through Buffalo Gap in the direction of the abandoned Fort Phantom Hill north of Abilene. The road forked at Buffalo Gap; one branch led southwest to Pecos County, and the other south to Tom Green County, which includes the county seat of San Angelo. Taylor County history centered upon the gap in the Callahan Divide, where during the 1860s and 1870s, buffalo hunters made winter camp and transported their hides to Fort Griffin northeast of Abilene.[5]

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