sidebar menu icon


METATE CREEK. Metate (Matate) Creek comprises two streams, Metate Creek and East Metate Creek. The intermittent stream rises in central Atascosa County three miles north of Christine (at 28°52' N, 98°28' W) and flows south for twenty-one miles to its mouth on the Atascosa River, one mile west of State Highway 281A and six miles south of Campbellton (at 28°41' N, 98°20' W). The terrain at its source is flat to rolling with steep margins and surfaced by shallow to deep sandy loams that support pecans, willows, and grasses. As the creek flows south, the terrain becomes flat with local shallow depressions. Clay loams and sandy loams support water-tolerant hardwoods, conifers, and grasses along the lower banks. Land in use is predominantly rangeland.

East Metate Creek rises three miles east of Jourdanton in central Atascosa County (at 28°55' N, 98°29' W) and flows south intermittently for 15½ miles before joining Metate Creek six miles east of Christine (at 28°46' N, 98°24' W). The terrain along this branch varies from low rolling hills and prairies surfaced with clay and sandy loams that support grasses and mesquite, to low rolling and flat land where sandy and clay loams support scrub brush, cacti, and grasses. Nears the confluence, the terrain becomes flat with local shallow depressions, and water-tolerant hardwoods and conifers begin to appear along its banks. The land is used for dry-land farming and grazing. Spanish metate, from Aztec, denotes a hand-used grinding stone. Such stones, or a site where they were made, probably figured in the naming of the stream.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "Metate Creek," accessed December 14, 2017,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.