Famous Trees of Texas
Houston Campsite Oak
Historical Period: Republic of Texas (1836-
Historical Topic: Native Americans, Politics & Politicians, Sam Houston
Species: Post Oak (Quercus stellata)
Public Access: Yes
During his final term as President of the Texas Republic, one of Sam Houston’s major
concerns was Indian relations. In 1843, a Grand Council of the Tribes comprised of
Native American chiefs, Texas President Sam Houston, and several of his agents, arranged
to meet at Grapevine Springs, in western Dallas County, to negotiate terms of the
first peace treaty between the Republic of Texas and Native Americans. This council
was supposed to take place months earlier but representatives failed to show. Houston
was anxious this meeting would be a repeat.
Grapevine Springs is an area of rolling topography and native cross timbers woodlands. Scattered trees cast shade along the banks of spring-
Between the campground and the springs, just yards from the stream, a large post oak dominates the landscape. The Houston Campsite Oak is the crown jewel of what is now Grapevine Springs Park. Its leafy canopy filters sunlight, twinkling hues of green and gold.
In the 1930’s the Works Progress Administration built a stone retaining wall around the tree, likely to protect the slope from erosion. The Houston Campsite Oak continues to reign over the landscape as modern Texans hold council beneath its canopy.
Grapevine Springs Park is located at the end of Park Road (Street?) off west Bethel Rd.