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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The Big Update

Jim Hogg County Courthouse

Let me first apologize if any of my pages ‘leak’ out into Facebook – like I think one did yesterday or the day before.  It’s not my intention to flood Facebook with my website page by page.

Anyhow – here it is – the BIG UPDATE.  That is – any counties that we’ve photographed that have not been posted are being posted now.  There are some true gems in this group   – including Victoria, Wharton and Tarrant.  For the lover of the moderne/art deco style there’s Travis, Washington and Van Zandt.  And then there’s some real duds – including Tyler and Zavala. There’s a lot of extras as well – so if you’ve got anytime, stop in and hit on some of the new pages being added.

Courthouses – Jim Hogg, Tarrant, Webb, Washington, Van Zandt, Trinity, Uvalde, Tyler, Travis, Zapata, Wilson, Webb, Waller, Walker, Victoria, Zavala and Val Verde.  There were also some revisits to – McMullen, Dimmit, Medina,

Historic Jails – Dimmit, Jim Hogg, Trinity, Val Verde, Medina, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wilson.

Town Squares – Uvalde, Victoria, Del Rio, Floresville,  and Wharton

Other – St. Mary’s & Nazareth Academy (Victoria), Our Lady of Guadalupe & Scottus College (Hebbronville), I-35 Highway Visitor’s center (Laredo), the Victoria Art Car ShowCrystal City Hall, Hotel Viggo (Hebbronville).

Got to visit mother and take of other business – plus, with all the Spurs games in March – it will probably be a month or two before we can start adding to the collectino.  Until then….Enjoy!

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The Updates Continue…

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I’ve added a few more updates to my website – so hope you’ll stop in and enjoy.  First, I created a page for Sacred Heart Church in Palestine.  Very historic church with a beautiful interior.

Second – I’ve set up a page to provide information on the architectual styles and the some of the more prominent architects in Texas County Courthouse design.  Click here to jump to that page.  The information provided here comes from other sites and sources.

Third – I wanted to emphasize the Texas Map page that I’ve now provided.  This is a new means to get to the individual county pages.  Just go to the Texas Map page, the map will pop up and you can see what counties have been uploaded by me.  All you have to do to go to one of those county pages is click on the county in blue.  If it’s not in blue, I’ve not uploaded it yet (pink) or we’ve not visited it yet (white).  I know the map is big – but you can use your mouse to move the map around.

Fourth – We revisited Harrison County Courthouse in Marshall.  Well worth the visit to the Harrison County Courthouse Revisited page, as we were able to get into the stunning interior this time.

Finally – I have some new counties to upload – and hopefully they’ll be following soon.  Happy New Year!!

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to all – from TomsTexasCountyCourthouses – and Tom & Clem.  We did it – we got all of the East Texas Counties (north of I-20). We spent the week at Ramblin’ Fever RV park in Mt. Pleasant and did our travels from there. It was very doable – as many of the counties are small – but still, doing 18 counties in less than a week is a lot!

Visit Christmas Across Texas – Courthouse Style for some photos feature courthouses @ Christmas.

First – website updates! I have finally got a map that works and have posted it (Texas Map). This was a LONG time in coming and probably a little more difficult than I had hoped. So accept it for what it is. Second – I am in the process of downsizing all of the slideshows. I don’t know what ever possessed me to load such large files. I hope when this process is done, visiting the pages and seeing the slide shows will be a little faster in the future.

East Texas – we visited 17 new counties and revisited Harrison County. Of the 17 new counties – the ones that truly stood out included Hopkins County, Franklin, Red River and Lamar Counties. On the other end – Morris County was a true dud – right up there with Aransas. The other counties included: Bowie, Camp, Marion, Fannin, Wood, Titus, Rains, Upshur, Hunt, Delta, Cass and Gregg Counties.  We photographed Witness Tower & First Methodist Church in Pittsburg, as well as the stunning First Methodist Church of Paris. The historic jails included: Red River, Bowie and Franklin. East Texas is packed with small historic towns – so I’ve included photos from: Pittsburg, Paris, Jefferson, Mt. Vernon, Mt. Pleasant, Gilmer, Bonham, Greenville and Clarksville.

East Texas is a land of trees and lakes. It has a beauty that much of the rest of Texas lacks (water helps). It is historic and commerce. Lots of logging and chicken farming (think – Pilgrim Chickens). There are huge plants hidden in the trees as well – such as the steel plant in Lone Star. And honestly, if you want to visit Texas history from a U.S. migration perspective, you can’t do better than Jefferson, Texas.  And for – what to me is one of the absolute top 10 courthouses in Texas – visiting the Harrison County Courthouse in Marshall (another old Southern Texas historical town) is not to be missed.  Our revisit was made as on our the first visit, some years back, the interior was closed – being restored.  Going back to see this beauty inside as well as out was well worth the time.

Enjoy – I will soon be posting another update – perhaps as soon as this weekend. Happy Holidays!

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Big Trip Planned

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It’s been awhile – but I have added some new counties – Brazos, Burleson and Madison.  I’ve also posted some photos of Madisonville.  They were photographed on a recent trip to Houston.  To be honest – not too exciting.  The Burleson Courthouse did have some interesting detail inside – but the other two were fairly devoid of anything that would call out to you to visit.

Big News – I’ve added an interactive map showing the counties that have been photographed,  the ones that have been posted and the ones that will soon be visitied.  Go to Texas Map to see the results..  This has been a long time in coming and many hours of frustration.  And while it’s not the prettiest of maps – it is functional.  But only if you use Internet Explorer.  For some reason – it’s not working with Firefox Mozilla.  Someday I’ll try to figure out why.

And as mentioned in the post title – we’ll soon be taking a big trip to East Texas.  I’m excited about this trip because there are so many counties in a fairly close area (unlike West Texas or the Panhandle).  We should be able to work in up to 17 county courthouses – weather permitting.  Check back soon as I hope to be blogging on the road.

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