Calhoun County Commissions Silhouette to Commemorate
"The Great Camel Experiment" that began in Texas at Indianola
Where Hwy 316 starts near the State park at Indianola,
a new metal art silhouette now stands to commemorate the beginning of the
"Great Camel Experiment". Supported in Congress by Secretary of
War, Jefferson Davis, the first load of 34 Camels landed at Indianola on
May 14, 1856
The camels created quite a stir among the residents at
this once prosperous frontier seaport. Several weeks later the camels made
a trek on foot to their headquarters at Camp Verde near Kerrville, Texas.
More camels arrived later and several expeditions into the desert southwest
were made to test their endurance. One major expedition crossed NM and AZ,
and arrived at Ft. Tejon, CA in 1857.
The steel silhouette sculpture at Indianola, titled "On
a New Shore", by artist Brian Norwood of Jal, NM, was commissioned
by the Calhoun County Historical Commission (CCHC) in 2011. "While
the "Great Camel Experiment" was considered a success by many
directly involved", said Gary Ralston, CCHC member. "the beginning
of the Civil War effectively brought an end to that chapter of camel history
in Texas. Still, today, from Indianola to Camp Tejon, historical markers
and monuments mark the way of this bold experiment across the American west
that started at Indianola."
Generously working with the Calhoun County Historical Commission
to install this sculpture at Indianola were the Texas Dept. of Transportation,
Calhoun County Pct. 1, the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority, and Adventure
Machine & Fabrication in Port Lavaca, Texas.
Left to right: Steve Koch (CCHC), Roger Galvan (Pct
1 Commissioner), Gary Ralston (CCHC), Tommy Schulte (GBRA), Wesley Abraham
(TXDOT), and Mary Belle Meitzen (CCHC).