Saturday, April 23, 2016

2016-8 Nacogdoches Texas (Continued)


Nacogdoches Texas (Continued)

mural in visitor center

Campground:  Shady Pines Rv Park.  PA rate:  $12.50, regular rate $25.00. Full hookups, 50 amp.  Pull-thru sites available. Showers and laundry facility.  Next door to CC’s BBQ, great food.

I am fortunate to get some great comments from all my readers periodically and I thank you all for those comments and occasional corrections which really are helpful.  This one was sent in by my sister Ann and I must say it sure made me feel good to read it.  Now I’ll have to continue to try and do my best to deserve it.
This is better than reading a book. I look forward to each chapter. History , suspense and meeting new people.”     Ann P

Tomato Club outfit
Now, as I travel I don’t always get to put every story into my traveling reports.  But this is one I have to share from a week ago.  While touring the town of Denton Texas, north of Dallas, I dropped into their town square Court House which now serves as a museum on the main floor.  In it, they described the girls “Tomato Club” and the boys “Corn Club”.  It was a way to teach young kids how to grow and maintain a crop.  Each girl had to maintain a 1/10 acre of tomatoes.  They would then attempt to sell the fresh tomatoes or can any left over tomatoes.  These clubs were sponsored by the U.S. Department of  Agriculture and eventually evolved into the 4-H Club.  As a side note when I was around 11 years old I became a 4-H member for one year.  As I recall, I did it so I could go to the state fair down in Escanaba Michigan.  (I made a lamp and got a blue ribbon) Even back then I was trying to figure out ways to get a free trip.

Nacogdoches Texas

Texas map in antique store

Considered by some the oldest town in Texas, celebrating it’s 300th birthday.

All of my Rv repairs have been made and I’m back to touring and exploring new areas of the country.

I headed out today to the Caddo Mounds.  It’s about 30 miles west of Nacogdoches.  They are the western most mound builders in the U.S.  Mound builder Indians covered much of the Mississippi area from Illinois and as far south  and east as Florida.  The Caddo mound builders consisted of over 600 farmers, hunters and builders of these three mounds that remain.  One being a burial mound, a lower flat topped mound for ceremonies, and a very large High Temple Mound that would have been the main spiritual center, and contain government and public buildings.

The Caddo Indians made their homes in a bee-hive shape of thatch and branches.  Each being 25 to 45 feet in diameter and would have housed 30 to 40 people.  That could potentially be a lot of snoring going on at night.

replica of the bee hive hut

Caddo Indian, tribe was moved to Okahoma
where 3 to 5,000 now live

beautiful pottery

the burial mound

this would have been much larger, the ceremonial, government mound 

Nacogdoches, main street, a very vibrant downtown

Back in Nacogdoches,  I walked around the neat downtown area.  A vibrant historic town with lots of shops and a few art galleries.  If you love to browse antique shops and curio shops, there are quite a few to choose from.  The buildings, many on historic preservation lists are well maintained.  Lots of brick buildings and the main street area still has its original brick pavement.  Nacogdoches even has a Caddo Mound in the downtown area.

 Adolphus Sterne House

I took a tour of the Adolphus Sterne House, built in 1830 and is one of the oldest houses in town. Notable people who visited and stayed in the house were, Sam Houston and Davie Crocket.  Sam Houston was baptized a Catholic in the house so that he could begin to purchased land in the area.  At the time it was Mexican territory and only a Catholic person was permitted to own property.  The territory changed hands at least 9 times between Mexico, Spain, France and the young republic of the United States.  During much of that time Sam Houston was involved in many of the militia skirmishes and at one point was sentenced to death by the Mexican Government.  But being a Mason, the judge threw out the verdict if Sam would promise not to fight any more battles.  He agreed, was let go and almost immediately went to New Orleans and bought a load of weapons.  Upon coming back, he sent a troop out to the Alamo to fight for Texas independence.  He didn’t join them, and his troop were all killed at the Alamo.

wonderful porches, many now glassed in and air conditioned

most houses in this area do not have basements.
this was built specifically as a wine cellar

my tour guide
 The stories one hears associated with the historic homes and buildings across this country are just amazing.  Being able to walk on the same floorboards, climb the same stairs, and hear the stories come alive in the places they occurred has been quite an adventure and an education for me.  By the way, the one and a half story house is called a “dog trot” house.  That’s because the two halves of the house were connected by a wide covered breezeway, that of course the dogs would often trot through or rest on.  The Adolphus Sterne home was a rather well to do family and the husband had wide doors made to enclose the “dog trot”.  But it could also we left wide open to create a breeze flowing through the home on hot summer day.

It’s one of those great southern style homes with lots of porches (many now glassed in and air-conditioned).  It could easily fit in for today’s living style with just an update of the furniture and kitchen.  Lots of ship-lap walls to add that country charm.

a few scenes from the downtown area

all well maintained buildings in the historic downtown area

more photos on my PICASA photos

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