TUNAS CREEK. Tunas Creek rises near Tunas Spring and a vineyard established by the University of Texas Land System in north central Pecos County (at 30°53' N, 102°35' W). It flows northeast for thirty miles to its mouth on the Pecos River, near Farm Road 1901 (at 31°02' N, 102°14' W). The creek is crossed by Interstate Highway 10 near Squawteat Peak thirty-two miles west of Fort Stockton and four miles north of Bakersfield. It was named for tuna, the fruit of the prickly pear found along the creek. Sotol, yucca, catclaw, greasewood, mesquite, and cholla also grow in the area. Archeological reports indicate human occupation along Tunas Creek in prehistoric times. A burial site, potsherds, scrapers, and projectile points were discovered on or near the creek. Two of the projectile points were tentatively identified as a modified Langtry point (2,000 B.C. to A.D. 700–800) and a Fairland point (1,000 B.C. to about A.D. 500). A stage station on the Butterfield Overland Mail route was built at Tunas Spring in 1858. It was moved to its present location near Tunas Creek on Interstate Highway 10 west of Bakersfield and reconstructed in 1936 by the State Highway Commission.
Eunice Barkes, Report on an Archeological Survey of...University Lands, Pecos County, Texas (Midland: Texas Antiquities Committee, 1980). William Curry Holden, "McKensie Cave and Adjacent Sites in Pecos County," Bulletin of the Texas Archeological and Paleontological Society 13 (1941).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article."TUNAS CREEK," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rbtaz), accessed February 12, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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