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North America » United States » Texas » Center October 8th 2021

I drove East on Texas Hwy 7 about 50 miles to the downtown Center Square for the Poultry Festival. (Raising chickens is big business here in East Texas.) This small festival is limited to the square dominated by the Shelby County Courthouse Museum. Though a small festival, there were many nice people there to chat with. They had a small group of vendors including food and ride vendors for the children. This was the middle day of a three day festival. (I wish I was there to enter the chicken wing eating contest!) Later that afternoon there would be live intertainment on the square; but I had other places to see. I was happy to see that the Shelby County Courthouse Museum was opem to the public. A nice lady there gave me a guided tour ... read more
Poultry Festival
Poultry Festival
Poultry Festival

North America » United States » Texas » Rusk September 17th 2021

A few years ago I purchased a book on 1891 New Birmingham, Texas. I got pics from that book before I lost the book. The book documents the third year (of five years) that New Birmingham was a national boom town before it went bust in 1893. In 1888 Anderson Blevins and a group of investors aquired the Cherokee Land and Iron Company and 20,000 acres of land with plenty of iron ore to be mined or picked up off the ground. (There was nearby lignite coal to be used for fuel.) In 1889 New Birmingham was incorporated and open for business. They had two 50 ton iron blast furnaces: "Tassie Belle" (named after Blevins wife), and the "Star and Crescent" that provided pig iron and iron pipe for sale. New Birmingham had one of the ... read more
Southern Hotel office
Southern Hotel, Ladies Parlor
Southern Hotel Park

North America » United States » Texas » Rusk September 13th 2021

The unincorporated community of Weeping Mary was founded after the US Civil War by freed Afro-American slaves. This community is located about sevin miles SW of Alto, Texas on Cherokee County Road 2907 by Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. Weeping Mary had its school established in 1896 until World War 2; then the students were educated in Alto ISD. The religious and social life centered at the Weeping Mary Baptist Church. The church was established at a nearby location where it was seriously damaged in a flood. The church was replaced at the current location in 1957. While in the area I had a short tour of Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. completed... read more
Weeping Mary Baptist Church
Weeping Mary Baptist Church
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site

North America » United States » Texas » San Antonio September 9th 2021

Breakfast this morning was to be provided by Wyndham Resorts at our sales pitch. When we got there we were told no coffee because of Covid. Now anyone who knows Terry Wilson knows he needs a cup of coffee to get started each day. I must say he behaved very nicely on only juice. I was hoping this would be short. As soon as we sat down I told the salesman we really weren’t interested in making any kind of purchase, we were only interested in the gifts. He did cut his presentation somewhat short and we were in our way in about an hour. First up was to find a cup of coffee. McDonalds to the rescue!!! We found the McDonalds right around the corner from The Alamo. We then headed off to The Alamo. ... read more
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North America » United States » Texas » San Antonio September 8th 2021

Breakfast at the La Quinta was the best. It was like any other hotel breakfast but, just like any other kid, I LOVED the waffle maker. The waffles were in the shape of Texas! I want a waffle maker that makes waffles in the shape of WV!! We didn’t have as far to travel today, which was refreshing after our long travel day yesterday. This part of Texas was a mostly flat, farming community At one point it was flat and as far as you could see and on both sides of the road were wind turbines. I have never, ever seen so many. I tied to capture it on the camera but you just had to be here!! Getting to San Antonio was easier than we expected. There wasn’t a lot of traffic and it ... read more
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North America » United States » Texas » Sweetwater September 7th 2021

Following breakfast at IHOP, we headed out toward San Antonio. Our goal was Sweetwater, Tx where we planned to spend the night. It was an ambitious goal as it was a 9 hr 10 min drive. That really doesn’t sound too bad but when you factor in pit stops, meals, and traffic it can be a long day. Plus Terry Wilson likes to do all the driving. I do love watching the scenery as we drive along. Sometimes it feels like we’re driving along in West Virginia but most of the time it’s so much different. Today’s drive started out with the mountains and rocks of Colorado, then the dry desert-like fields of New Mexico. Once we got into Texas it was the story of two sides of the car, again. On one side there were ... read more
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North America » United States » Texas » Dallas July 12th 2021

April, 2019 -- In retrospect, it was a mistake not to devote an extra day to see Waco on this Texas trip. The day we spent exploring the ‘new face’ of Waco was pretty much a whirlwind tour – plenty to see and do to fill up a day, but one day is not enough time to get a real feel for this city. In fact, in hindsight, a lot more time was needed to see and get a feel for Texas as a whole. I would have liked to see New Braunfels and Grapevine; and, though it would have been way off our north-south-north course, I would have liked to have seen Odessa for personal reasons but it was too far west. So, the last full day in Texas began with a drive back to ... read more
The Sixth Floor Museum - once the Texas School Book Depository
Presidential Motorcade photo from the Sixth Floor Museum

North America » United States » Texas » Jacksonville July 10th 2021

I wanted to do something fun so I decided to find some ghost towns in Northern Cherokee County, Texas. I drove Texas Hwy 204 into Cherokee County. There was a half mile where Texas Highways 235 & 2274 overlapped where I found the Historic Marker for Lone Star ghost town. Right by the marker was the Lone Star Ranch. I circled around to Cherokee County Road 4601 and found Myrtle Springs Cemetery for the town of Lone Star. The Cemetery is about one mile (as the crow flies) from the Lone Star Historic Marker. According to TexasEscapes.com, the settlement of Skin Tight was established in the 1830s. When the town got a post office in 1883, they changed the name to Lone Star. The town did well with cotton and tomatoes were their primary crops. They ... read more
Texas Highways 235 & 2274, Lone Star Ranch
Texas Highways 235 & 2274, Lone Star Ranch
Texas Highways 235 & 2274, Lone Star Ranch

North America » United States » Texas » Jacksonville July 10th 2021

Knoxville, Texas was an early settlement founded by the Norman family from Knoxville, Tennessee. I think it was Sam Norman (and father of Thomas Norman) that founded this town. According to TSHA (Texas State Historical Association) Knoxville, Texas was founded by immigrants from Tennessee in the late 1840s. In 1854 Thomas Norman sold 2/3 interest of the land to William Pope and Archibald Carmichael. Later in 1854 a post office opened and Knoxville became a town in Cherokee County, Texas. Also in 1854 William Pope opened a general store. During the US Civil War Knoxville had four general stores, a gristmill, sawmill, distillery (for whiskey sold in general stores), tanyard, and a church that served several denominations. In the early 1870s the railroad bypassed Knoxville; and in 1875 the post office closed. The cemetery is all ... read more
Knoxville Cemetery
Knoxville Cemetery
Knoxville Cemetery

North America » United States » Texas » Jacksonville July 10th 2021

I was exploring NE Cherokee County and I found on the county map two historic Markers to visit. North of New Summerfield on State Hwy 110 I turned East on county road 4713. I did not know that the intersection is the center of the dispersed community of Blackjack. (The current Blackjack Baptist Church is by that intersection.) The name Blackjack came from the many Blackjack Oak trees there; and the early settlers cut those oak trees to build their log cabins. Maybe a quarter mile on CR 4713 I turned South on Cherokee County Road 4714 (a rough road) to the dead end at the Fitch Cemetery (serving the Blackjack community). Most of the burial stones were from the Fitch family including some current stones. Now a smaller stone caught my attention because it had ... read more
Fitch Cemetery, Cherokee County Road 4714
Fitch Cemetery, Cherokee County Road 4714
Fitch Cemetery, Cherokee County Road 4714




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