Roadside Memorials, also referred to as descansos, often dot the traveled roadways across the great state of Texas. Usually in remembrance of a loved one who was killed in an auto accident, roadside memorials take on many forms, but mostly involve the symbol of a cross. In some cases they mark the place where several individual's lives were taken.
Over the years of traveling South Texas highways on business, I have seen numerous roadside memorials erected along the major and rural highways with a few within urban areas. I have recently began to photograph them and will post them on this page in an effort to bring them to a wider audience.
Hopefully these reminders will make us better drivers and keep the roadways a little safer. You can click on the thumbnails for larger images. Then us your browser's back button to return to this page.
These two are located along hwy 2295 between Benavides, TX and a small town known as Gonzalitos. Covered by the wreaths are the names Paul (left cross) and laura (right cross).
This set I found on a return trip from Hebronville at the intersection of hwy 2295 and 1329 marking the spot of Gonzalitos, TX. I couldn't help but think that due to fact they are all the same style, but different sizes that they may represent a family of 3, (father, child & mother)? If you look closely at the second picture you can see a gray granite gravestone base in front of the crosses that at one time supported an upright piece.
This one is fashioned out of a piece of ornamental iron and reflectors making up the cross, and a bed of white marble chippings in the shape of a heart and surrounded by silk flowers. The heart shaped fill seems popular around these parts as you will see in more of the following samples. It is located along hwy 1329 about 11 miles south of San Diego, TX.
Between 1997 and 2000 I worked just outside of Rockport, TX and traveled along hwy 35 bypass which at the time was a newly constructed two lane highway. It was originally planned as a 4 lane divided highway, which it is now. I was told at the time that the state (I believe it was) had run out of funds or did not properly budget to complete the roadway so had to settle on two lanes for the time being. I am not sure if this is correct though.
During the time that I worked there, I recall quite a few fatal accidents that happened along that roughly 10 mile stretch of asphalt. Most of these are along the southbound lane which at the time was the two lane portion of the uncompleted highway. After having a couple of close calls with really, really bad drivers including an Ingleside, TX I.S.D. school bus driver pulling out onto the highway right in front of me (schoolbus full of kids) and resulting in me slamming on the brakes with a tandem load and coming within feet of rear ending the bus, it is not difficult to see whay these roadside memorials exist along this stretch.
This roadside memorial is located along the southbound lane of hwy 35 bypass just outside of Rockport, TX. The name on it reads James Sco..., the last letters were not readable from where I stood. It was shortly after a lot of rain when I took this and the ground in front of the memorial and leading up to the road was saturated with 4-6 inches of water.
Another memorial along hwy 35 bypass just south of the intersection at hwy 188. The person erecting this memorial included a little nameplate with the decedents name and dates.
This one, if I recall correctly, is closest to the South end of the hwy 35 bypass just near Aransas Pass, TX.
Located at the intersection of hwy 35 bypass and CR 1838 (Oak Lane), this one is along the north bound lane just before narrowing down to the two lane highway.
I am not certain if this one marks the death of one or several persons. Its location is at the intersection of hwy 1069 & hwy 35 bypass, just as you turn right from hwy 1069 to enter the north bound lane of 35 bypass.
If I remember correctly, this one marks the place where a little child's life was taken as her parent (I think it was) pulled over into the left shoulder of the the Portland, TX causeway (see second aerial picture for vicinity of the roadside memorial) headed to Corpus Christi, TX.
This hand made wooden cross marks the place of a young boy whose life was cut short on the East bound lane of Hwy 44 between Alice, TX & San Diego, TX. It has many mementos strewn about the white marble chippings which are laid in a heart shape.
This roadside memorial is made from metal piping welded into the shape of a cross and is located on the East bound lane of Hwy 44 between Alice, TX & San Diego, TX.
Located along the same stretch of highway 44 between Alice, TX & San Diego, TX is this ornamental metal cross in a bed of white marble chippings shaped like a heart.
Made from concrete this cross is located on the West bound lane of Hwy 44 between Alice, TX & San Diego, TX.
This wooden cross is also located along the West bound lane of Hwy 44 between Alice, TX & San Diego, TX just West of Hwy 281.
This nicely done cross is made from composite materials, probably resins and aggregate rock, and was probably brought up from Mexico as many memorials made in this manner are. It is located along the North bound lane of Hwy 281 just South of Alice, TX.
At the intersection of FM 735 & Hwy 281 further South of Alice, TX and East of Palito Blanco, TX is this nicely done roadside memorial. Looking closely, it is easy to see the amount of work that went into its creation.
Just South of Corpus Christi, TX along Hwy 286 is this roadside memorial consisting of a simple wreath & easel is positioned among a bedding of marble chippings.
This pair of ornamental steel crosses mark the deathplace of two individuals at the intersection of FM 70 and CR 51 just South of Corpus Christi, TX.
Right in the middle of Corpus Christi, TX just about one mile South of downtown at the intersection of Morgan Ave. & Staples St. is this floral cross that is tied to a telephone pole. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Roadside Memorials below added 1.31.2008
Located on Ennis Joslin Rd. just about 1/4 mile from the S.P.I.D. expressway in Corpus Christi, TX, this roadside memorial consists of a teddy bear and floral easel. Possibly a memorial to a child? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Another descanso that utilizes the white marble chippings, this one is located at the intersection of HWY 44 and CR 337 along the way to Freer, TX.
Also along HWY 44 is this memorial fashioned from cement and in the shape of a tombstone with a crucifix.
Getting closer to Freer, TX is this wooden cross that marks the spot of a roadway death. A simple cross with a recent Christmas wreath hanging around the top. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just before CR 324 on the way to Freer is this painted cement cross adorned with many silk flowers.