For over five years, award-winning photographer Geoff Winningham photographed Buffalo Bayou, the Houston Ship Channel, and the landscape along the way. As he hiked the course of this historic stream, he found stretches of the bayou untouched by the encroaching city of Houston. In addition, he found areas where the nature and those of the growing city seemed to struggle for supremacy. He revisited sites of historic importance, such as Allen’s Landing and the San Jacinto Battlefield. In Along Forgotten River, Winningham has sequenced eighty of his photographs following Buffalo Bayou. As a counterpoint to his photographs, there are passages from the written accounts of early travelers of Houston.
Impelled by curiosity, diverse travelers came along the roads of Texas in the preceding centuries. For instance, Spanish friars, preachers, prospective settlers, refugees, adventurers, exiles, and naturalists. Some travelers came with their families, looking for a place to settle. Mrs. Dilue Harris was one of these who came to Texas in the early 1830s. In her “Reminiscences,” she recalled a night on Buffalo Bayou: “We were surrounded by wolves and water. There was a large sycamore tree that stood in the water near us, and it was as white as snow. The buzzards roosted in it. We could hear owls hoot all night. Mother said it was a night of horrors. . . . She said the owls were singing a funeral dirge, and the wolves and buzzards were waiting to bury us. . . .”