An early stagecoach stop near here provided the foundation for a frontier community. In the mid-19th century, stage lines were a primary means of moving people, mail and supplies through the region. John Butterfield, president of the Overland Mail Company, won a Federal government contract in 1857 to take and deliver mail twice weekly in both directions between the Mississippi River and the Pacific coast, linking the eastern and western states. Stations, positioned several miles apart, typically had a simple shelter and a corral for horses or mules, and provided a meal and brief rest for the stage drivers and passengers.
Waterman Ormsby, a report for the New York Herald, was the lone passenger on the inaugural run along the Butterfield Trail from St. Louis to San Francisco in the fall of 1858. Heading southwest from Fort Chadbourne (Coke Co.), Ormsby wrote of arriving at a station on Grape Creek, "A fine stream, and also near some fine timber - two desirable things not to be found everywhere in Texas." Henry Roylan was in charge of a small contingent living in tents within the corral that was built of upright rough timber staked in the ground. The Butterfield Company later completed a more permanent facility, with a building and a palisade fence. Joel Pennington ran a store in conjunction with the station.
The Grape Creek station was open until the spring of 1861, when the Butterfield route moved north out of Texas.
Mount Nebo School, forerunner of Grape Creek schools, opened near the station by 1861. The stagecoach stop was the beginning of one of Tom Green County's oldest settlements.