Central Texas

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What a great little trip this was.  We got to take the travel trailer (it’s been quite awhile), Sophie got to go (she hates getting left behind), and we visited 9 really outstanding courthouses.  You really could do a lot worse than this set of courthouses if you wanted to see the best.  Really a stunning and magnificently restored group of Texas County Courthouses.

First day was Bosque, Hood and Erath counties.  Bosque was the surprise in that all the photos I had seen showed it as a remodeled monstrosity.  Well it has been restored and returned to its’ glory.

Second Day, after waiting for the rain to subside,  was Hill, Ennis and Navarro counties.  The first 2 are gems sitting in well-visited towns.  The third is an intriguing Beaux Arts style, but badly needing restoration.  It looked like that may be happening now, but I saw no signs to that effect.

The third day, again after a little rain delay, included Coryell, Bell and McLennan counties.  All 3 were spectacular from outside.  Inside – Coryell is in desperate need of restoration, and probably additional space.  Bell’s been completely restored, and McLennan had some restoration in the 1980’s.

Visit these pages and revel in the glory that is Texas Courthouses.  This page is being posted first.  The county pages and photos will be added over the next few days.

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Trip to Spain

DSCN0203Well, I finally am posting something.  Nothing to do with Texas County Courthouses – but life has been far too busy to be hitting the Texas highways over the past year.  I have HIGH hopes that will change this summer.  In the meantime, I am starting to post photo albums from my recent Transatlantic cruise to Spain.  The first page I’ve readied is from the Azores.  Fabulous stop  – one of those “I got to come back” places.  to see the albums and photos go to Ponta Delgada, the Azores.

eagI’ve also now posted the photo albums from Cadiz.  Great city – and I’d never heard of it.  The oldest inhabited city in all of SE Europe!  To see the albums – check out my Cadiz page.

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Panola County Added

No biggee here – but it is a county courthouse in Texas.  Straight out of the 50’s, this courthouse doesn’t add a lot to the Texas courthouse pedigree.  Stop in and see the Panola County Courthouse.    We also caught some photos of the retired 1885 county jail as well.

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Williamson & Milam Counties Added

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You could call this the duel of the Statues of Justice. But more about that later. We were finally able to add a couple of new courthouses to our collection. I’m not sure – but I believe the total number of courthouses now sits at about 135 – 140. Seriously hope to add to that later this new year. In fact, later this month, we hope to visit the Panola County Courthouse in Carthage, Texas – home of the Texas County Music Hall of Fame.

On a recent trip to visit friends in East Texas, we stopped in Georgetown (Williamson County) and Cameron (Milam County). Two very different courthouses with the first being beaux arts and the latter – Renaissance Revival.

What they each had in common was a prominent Statue of Justice. The Statue atop the Williamson County Courthouse is identified as the goddess Themis. She sits atop a copper dome, is blindfolded and holds both a sword and scales. The statue standing over the Milam County Courthouse is identified as the Goddess of Justice – is not blindfolded, does hold a sword and has something in her left hand that I can’t figure out what it is. Maybe it was scales and they broke off. I can’t find any info on the Internet.

The Milam County statue is not the original. When the courthouse was ‘renovated’ some years ago – the statue was put in safe keeping for future use. The story goes, it was such a safe place, it was never found again.

These are both very good representatives of their styles. In addition to the courthouses, both counties had retired jails which were quite stylish in their own right.  The retired Milam County Jail is a hulking red brick Romanesque-style building with a hanging tower.  The retired Williamson County Jail is a little lighter in style and color – being built with gray stone in the Bastile Style.  I also added collections of photos of the Georgetown Courthouse Square and the photos of the Williamson County Restoration process.

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Well – It’s Not a Courthouse, but….

IMG_4850This year seems to be a lost year when it comes to adding significantly to the courthouses pictured on this website.  And I am more sorry about that than anyone.  I have some faint hopes that this may change over the coming months into the next year.  But until then, I will have to make due with what I have.

What I have, in this case, is two sets of photos taken of old jails in Anderson County (Palestine).  The Anderson County Courthouse was one of the first we’d captured and it remains one of my favorites for many reasons.  And since we visit Palestine a few times a year, opportunities are plentiful in this part of East Texas.

The first jail is one that is really not a county jail.  What it was was a building on the County’s Poor Farm.  Often, county jail inmates were sent to work on the poor farm, and this building was used to hold the inmates while there.  click here to see this old time jail.

The Second jail I’ve posted is actually the 3rd jail of Anderson County.  There was the original jail – which was built to include and ‘underground dungeon’.  And then there was the 1890’s beauty which stood on the same spot as the art deco jail that I’ve photographed here.  The ‘new’ jail is interesting as an art deco style jailhouse, but also for the fact that it has recently been bought by someone interested in ‘fixing’ it up.  Click here to see some great photos of this old courthouse and meet the guy that bought it.

Be sure to take a little time to visit these interesting jail relics in Anderson County.

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Where are the Courthouses?

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It’s been almost 4 months since my last post – and I don’t know about you – but I have to ask – where are the Courthouses?  Lots been going on this year – between relatives  health, Mother’s ‘living’ situation, 50th High School Reunion, big trip to Alabama, a couple of trips to Florida – maybe you get the idea.  On top of that, since the school year’s started – I’ve worked almost everyday I’ve been home.  This is a good thing – I’m trying to save up money for a bucket list item (trans-Atlantic cruise) and a new hearing aid!  This stuff doesn’t come cheap.

So – bottom line, we’ve not done any courthouses as of yet.  So, rather than let the site languish – I’ve decided to post some of the interesting photo sets from our Alabama and Michigan trips.  First up is Alabama.  We visited the Florence area of Northwest Alabama – the Quad Cities (Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia).  They have an annual blues-Jazz fest in honor of local musician W. C. Handy.  See the world’s only Coon Dog Cemetery and a Frank Lloyd Wright house.  There’s lots in Tuscumbia including the Colbert County Courthouse, the Tuscumbia Train Depot Museum and the early Alabama Plantation home called Belle Mont.

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Tarrant County Courthouse & Ft. Worth

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yes – Tarrant County.   I know – but Tom, you’ve already done Tarrant County.  Well, go back and read my comments on the original Tarrant Courthouse posting.  This courthouse was BEGGING to have us come back to get interior photos.  We travel via train between San Antonio and Ft. Worth a few times each summer as part of the Trails and Rails program – a cooperative between the National Parks and Amtrack.  So we recently did one of our stints and I took the chance to go inside Tarrant County.  and it is just as beautiful on the inside as outside.

Also – walking up to the courthouse from the hotel, I took the chance to get cityscape photos of Ft. Worth.  A lot of history, architecture, and new city building.  Enjoy my walk through downtown Ft. Worth.  On that walk, I stumbled across St. Patrick Cathedral.  Small, but a stunning altar.

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GO SPURS GO!!!

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What a great ride this year!!  Maybe for one last hurrah – but here they are on the brink of one more Championship Series.  I know many outside of San Antonio don’t appreciate the Spurs – but I truly believe that’s the result of consistently winning for so many years.  But if everyone who loves basketball and the NBA are asked to really think about the Spurs and their players – most would come up with something about class – class players, class organization.  Go SPURS Go

 

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May Post

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Well, I’m still trying to figure out how to best coordinate my Facebook with this site – and to be honest, I may be just too old for Facebook – but I’ll keep trying.  I posted to FB yesterday with links to my new site pages, and then was told that people don’t do that – that you put the photos on FB’s Photo Album page.  So, will I then be up keeping two photo sets?  Who knows – like I said, I’ll keep trying.

Meanwhile – my May update.  Due to a serious illness to one of our family members, and also to the wild success of the Spurs this season – we’ve not been able to leave town for any courthouse junkets.  We should have some time this summer – though we already have a lot of non-courthouse travel planned.  We’ll see.  And once the Texas summer sets in, it makes traveling less enjoyable.

So – no new courthouses to post.  We did, however, take a short trip to Blanco for my birthday and a dinner at Onion Creek Kitchens @ Juniper Hills.  The recent rains have given some flow to the Blanco River (that’s not been true for some time now) and the flowers were in full bloom.  Take a look at the photos from the Blanco trip and my Birthday @ Onion Creek here.

Also, we accidentally came across a wonderful classic car show in the Blanco State Park while we were there.  I’ve posted all my photos from that show here – so enjoy.

Classic Auto Show
My Birthday and Blanco in May

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April Post

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I haven’t put anything on since early March – so I thought I should get something out.  Of course, having posted all the counties we already visited, I’m running low on things to share.  But not to despair – we recently revisited Lake Corpus Christi State Park.  The lake was WAY down – compared to the last time we visited in 2007.  So I’ve posted a small comparison of the lake full and how it is now under drought conditions.

We also took a day trip to revisit Comal County Courthouse (restored).  There were actually two reasons for this visit.  One, on our first visit – we did not go inside.  And two, the courthouse has recently been restored and was rededicated this past January.  So what you get is 2 for 1 – photos of the restored interior.  Also, since the town square is so pleasant – I’ve added town square photos of New Braunfels and the surrounding early 20th century buildings.

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