Purple Martins in 1865

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G Saner
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: TX/Kerrville
Martin Colony History: Fort Worth, TX (1967-1976), The Colony, TX (1981-1985), Carrollton, TX (1986-2013), Kerrville, TX (2015-present).

Two SuperGourd poles (12 gourds on each) at River Point Assisted Living Center.

I have been reading a history of the county I live in and found a reference to purple martins. Kerr County is about 50-60 miles northwest of San Antonio and was settled by Europeans in the 1850s. Here is the reference about one settler:

"About the close of the Civil War.....he built a cabin of pickets, covered with boards, put up a martin box and began to keep house."

I think the mention of a martin box was to signal he would not be moving again and it got me thinking. A large number of settlers that moved to this county followed a North Carolina to Tennessee to Texas route. They probably brought their familiarity with martins with them as they moved west. However, the martins around here had probably never seen a martin box in 1865. I am not positive but I think the Indians in this area were more nomadic than the North Carolina Indians that hung gourds in their villages.

This makes me think the martin transition to human provided housing moved west with the pioneers and is more recent than I thought.
G Saner
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