MAVERICK MOUNTAIN. Maverick Mountain (at 29°19' N, 103°31' W) is a high, lone-standing butte just to the east of the settlement of Study Butte in southwestern Brewster County. The mountain's name supposedly derives from its standing off by itself like a maverick steer. It is a long, broad, flat-topped mountain about a mile long from end to end on an east-west line straddling the boundary of Big Bend National Park. It towers some 900 feet above the surrounding desert floor and reaches an elevation of 3,493 feet above sea level. Maverick Mountain is one of a number of similar volcanic formations in the Big Bend area. The igneous rocks of which it is made have proven far more resistant to erosion than the surrounding sedimentary materials, which have worn away to produce the distinct topography of the mountain. Maverick Mountain has been the site of mercury mining (the Study Butte Mine), which occurred episodically between 1903 and 1947. The rugged contours of the mountain support a variety of vegetation, including such desert shrubs and semisucculents as lechuguilla, sotol, ocotillo, and creosote bush.
Virginia Madison and Hallie Stillwell, How Come It's Called That? Place Names in the Big Bend Country (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1958). Roger D. Sharpe, Development of the Mercury Mining Industry: Trans-Pecos Texas (Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, 1980).
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Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.