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History of Coppell #1 - Mustang Grapes Letterbox Hybrid

Hidden : 12/29/2016
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Geocache Description:

I like geocaching and Hubby likes history, hence.... a series of caches detailing a little history of Coppell.

To find GC6YKK6 - History of Coppell - Bonus Reward Cache!... please make note of the letter and number on back of log sheet in this cache!

The other 5 caches in this series with letters and numbers inside are: GC6YMYG, GC6YMYQ, GC6YMYX, GC6YMZ0, GC6YMZ5.

There are 3 items that must remain in this cache. Please do not take them! They are... the log book, the stamp, and the ink pad.

Mustang Grapes

Mustang grapes (Vitis mustangensis) are a species of grape that are native to this area. It produces small clusters of hard green fruit that ripen into soft ¾ inch dark purple berries in August-September. The fruit can be potentially irritating to the skin when picked or eaten, and are mildly unpleasant to eat because of bitterness and high acidity content.

The grape has a culinary use as jelly and grape juice, both of which are typically sweetened with sugar so as to be palatable. Red wine made from the grapes is called Mustang Wine.

This geocache is located near the western boundary of Coppell on Grapevine Creek which was named after the mustang grapes that are found here. The creek was originally named Tah-Wah-Karro Creek. The creek flows to the northeast to Grapevine Springs and then eastward where it empties into the Elm Fork Trinity River.

In October 1843, General Sam Houston and fellow Republic of Texas Commissioners camped at Grapevine Springs to meet with leaders of 10 Indian nations. They stayed there for a month where they hunted buffalo. This meeting later culminated in the signing of a treaty of "peace, friendship, and commerce" at Bird’s Fort which opened the area for homesteaders. The farmland around Grapevine Springs sits on the Grape Vine Prairie and has been described as “the most productive land in all the state of Texas.”

Early History

The grapes, which are native to the area, were first described by Athanase de Mézières on March 23, 1778 on his expedition from Waco to Spanish Fort on the Red River. He was the first European to set foot in this area.

He described the grapes that he found: “the ….country affords an extraordinary number of vines, which, though wild, yield in their season a fruit little inferior, as experts think, to that of Castile.”

He described the area: “The attractiveness of the lands which I have traversed for the distance of eighty leagues is inexpressible, with the respect to the numerous springs and creeks which encourage the irrigation of the adjacent plains, the woods that beautify their banks, the rocks which, making their bottoms firm, facilitate the construction of the dams that may be undertaken, and finally, the abundance of buffalo that feed in their neighborhood."

After Louisiana was ceded to Spain in 1762, many French soldiers offered their services to Spain. In 1769, De Mézières was appointed lieutenant governor and traveled extensively throughout Texas to negotiate treaties with various Indian tribes. In 1779 he was appointed governor of Texas but unfortunately died a few months later due to injuries from falling from a horse.

On his expedition in March of 1778, he departed from Waco and traveled northwest up the Brazos River and then northward through present day Fort Worth along the western edge of the Eastern Cross Timbers forest to the Red River.

During the 1700’s, the total population of Spanish Texas was only 3,200 people and included the Indians who had chosen to enter mission settlements to live with Spaniards at San Antonio, La Bahia (Goliad), and Los Adaes (Natchitoches).


Per R.E. Moor & Texarch Associates, the counties around what is now Dallas Ft. Worth were a mixed buffer area that no one tribe ever really claimed. The Wichita, Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee and other smaller tribes all lived in and passed through this area.

In addition to the Wichita tribe, there were independent Wichita subtribes (or bands) that spoke the Wichita language and shared the Wichita culture. The bands included the Wacos, Tawakonis, Taovayas, Tawehash, Yscani and the Kichai . They all lived the Wichita lifestyle.

It is believed that there are Caddo burial mounds located in Coppell at the north end of North Lake near the old power plant.


The Republic of Texas began in 1836 when independence from Mexico was declared during the Texas Revolution. It ended when Texas was annexed by the United States and became a state officially in 1846.

Painting by George Catlin: Caddo Indians Chasing Buffalo, Cross Timbers, Texas, 1847

Peters’ Colony was a venture established by a group of twenty American and English investors in July of 1841. The Republic of Texas granted large tracks of land to the venture which extended from the Red River south to below present day Dallas and Fort Worth. Their hope was to attract large numbers of settlers to the area. By 1844, however, there were only 197 families and 184 single men in the colony.

In 1844, there was a store called Hallford’s Store operating northeast of Grapevine and southwest of Lewisville and probably initially supplied by the Peters Colony.

In 1848, James Parrish married Eliza Record and was issued a land grant for 650 acres. They were the first land owners in what would later be named Gibbs in 1887, and then officially named Coppell in 1892. The land was located near the intersection of present day E. Bethel School Road and S. Moore Road.

The last buffalo that was killed in this area was in 1856 at Grapevine Springs.

For more information on the history of Coppell, and it's residents, these books are available on Amazon:

  • 'Coppell, Texas: A History (Brief History)' written by Jean Murph and Lou Duggan
  • 'Legendary Locals of Coppell' by Shaun M. Jex.

The Coppell Historical Society meets regularly at the Kirkland House and can be contacted by email at Their website can be found at

About the cache: Ammo can, camouflaged.

There are 3 items that must remain in this cache. Please do not take them! They are... the log book, the stamp, and the ink pad.

Congrats to arlingtontrains7 for FTF!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Nzzb pna ng onfr bs gerr, ba gbc, ba gur evtug fvqr, pnzbhsyntrq.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)