Oňate Crossing / Hart’s Mill / Old Fort Bliss
1720 West Paisano Dr.
El Paso, El Paso County
A tract of land on the Rio Grande in El Paso holds archaeological and architectural evidence of many layers of history. From the 1598 crossing of Juan de Oňate along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (a World Heritage Site in Mexico), to the development of Simeon Hart’s mill in the 1850s, to the construction of adobe officers quarters at Old Fort Bliss between 1878 and 1893, the story of colonial settlement and subsequent development in Texas can be told here.
Modern intrusions obscure this history, including elevated highway ramps, roads, parking lots, river channelization, modifications to the Hart’s Mill building, and the construction of a pedestrian fence by the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, plans for highway improvements will impact this site as well. Partnerships at the local, state, regional and national levels can ensure that historic resources here can be protected and stewarded while minimizing impacts from new construction.