Back to Big Bend Photographs
|The origins of La Jita (Lajitas) name
|La Jita on Reed Plateau
This is where the name of Lajitas Texas all began.
No buildings, only a creek and a river in a rough mountainous desert.
Tracks of horse hoofs and travois, leading to tinajas of fresh water.
Use your imagination. You are from Mexico, and you have befriended the Comanche, and are allowed
to camp beside their camp, although you speak Spanish and only a few words of Comanche. Later, you tell
the U. S. Military that you camped at a particular Indian Camp site, between the Creek that flowed
into the Big River, ( La Lingua, or the tongue of water flowing into the river), and where
the San Carlos crossed the Rio Grande, (present Lajitas). You describe it as you saw it.
Like in this photograph.
Even during the 19th century, the Rio Grande flowed muddy. Here the water was fresh, drinking
Although this area was known to have good water by Echols in his expedition of 1859, it was dry when
he arrived to it. Look at the layers of rock, once horizontal depositions, now turned 90 degrees, acting
like an underground dam, capturing and retaining water from the rains for the early Big Bend inhabitants.
See the Echols Map of 1859 in the Historical Map page for La Hita, or the 1902 Terlingua District for Coltrin's
Camp. Both are the same location.
See the link below for maps.
At the location of La Hita as seen in the map of Echols' 1859 Camel expedition, or in Coltrin's Camp
in 1902 map, this Tinija has an ancient mortar right above where the water flows over this fall, and would
have accumulated in a pool. The area is on private land, and permission is advised