In 1837, after a savage Indian battle, the remnants of a Texas Ranger scouting expedition camped in a lovely spot along “the creek with all the turtles.” These survivors were the first recorded Anglo-Americans in the area that is now known as Highland Park. Years later, this creek would become known as Turtle Creek, offering breathtaking park vistas for area residents.
A year later, an old Caddo Indian trace was surveyed by the Republic of Texas to become part of a National Central Road to run from Austin to the Red River. This route was also used as a segment of the old Shawnee Trail for cattle drives to Missouri. Today that trail is known as Preston Road. It is easy to imagine the founder of Dallas, John Neely Bryan, walking through the one-day-to-be Highland Park as he traveled Preston Trail on his way to the founding of Dallas.