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Archaeological studies at Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge show that prehistoric people were present as much as 8,000-10,000 years ago. These people probably visited the area to hunt big game. By approximately 3,500 years ago, the valley was being used by prehistoric farmers to grow corn.

In 1832, on land that would later become part of the Refuge, Fort Davy Crockett was built for trading with native tribes. Later, the area was settled by ranchers, and it was frequented by outlaws.

Although most of the evidence of these early inhabitants is archaeological, there are a number of historic log cabins still standing. For example, Lodore School and 2-Bar Ranch are listed on the Register of National Historic Places. For more information on Refuge history, please visit the Refuge Headquarters.