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.
To my legion of fans – I send apologies. I’m sure you’ve been thinking I’ve forgotten my Texas Courthouse website, but that’s not the case. It’s just been a long period of illnesses, death, loss of dog, various trips, work and general mayhem Mostly, we’ve not been traveling as we planned, so there’s not much to share. Having said that – there are still courthouses we’ve already visited that have not been posted yet. So today – I present to you the following counties: San Saba, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Smith, Somervell, Sterling, Schleicher and Sutton. Visit one or all of these newly added courthouses. Let me know what you think, and where you think we should be visiting next. I know there’s a few little ‘holes’ in the eastern part of the state we might try to fill up this fall.
I’ve also added the towns of Sonora, San Saba, Glen Rose, Eldorado and Coldsprings and retired county jails from San Jacinto, Sutton, Sterling and Schleicher counties. There was also a replica of the original San Patricio county courthouse and pictures from the famous Regency Bridge (ever watch The Texas Country Reporter on Sunday mornings)
Know it’s been awhile, but come on in and visit a little.
Between trying to work, health issues, holidays and a visit to Mother, I’ve just not kept up. In addition, we really haven’t done any county road trips lately. Hopefully, that will change soon. We’re trying to get into the Trails and Rails program with the National Parks, so we’ll see how that slows down the county courthouse march.
Regardless, I still have more counties to post, and I’ve just completed the addition of seven more counties – Rusk, Rockwall, Robertson, Refugio, Real, Orange and Polk Counties. No real standouts here. The Robertson Courthouse is a work by one of the Ruffini brothers, but has been severely altered. There are 3 moderne-style courthouses (Rockwall, Rusk and Orange) that are good examples of that architecture. Enjoy and check back from time to time. I will continue to add counties I have photos on and we will be hitting the road – soon or later.
I finally got around to reducing the number, enhancing and uploading the photos we took on our recent courthouse journeys. The counties include include: Bee, Harris, Chambers, Liberty, Brazoria, Galveston, and Ft. Bend. Drop in on any of these new pages if those counties interest you or you’re just curious. Read more
Sorry. Did’nt exactly blog while on the courthouse trail, but we are on the road home. No, I’m not driving (that’s Clem). We’re headed home. It was kind of a cool, dank and dreary trip. But there were enough weather breaks to let us get 6 additional courthouses. They are Harris, Brazoria, Galveston Chambers Liberty and Ft. BEND.
There were some highlights and lowlights, but that can wait until I post the pictures later this week.,,
Until, hope you’re enjoying the season..
Houston area this time. We bit off the big one yesterday – Harris County. Driving to downtown Houston wasn’t really on our radar screen as something fun and looking forward to. But, we did need to get the courthouse. It was kind of a cool and dreary day – but you can’t always choose your weather. And we’ll take this over the 105 we had all summer.
In the end, it really was kind of easy to get to. It was at the north end of downtown, so we didn’t have far to drive and there was plenty of street parking. The set up for Harris County is kind of neat. All of the buildings are set up around a nice looking plaza/square. I got pictures of all the public buildings, since I’m not sure which one would be exactly called the courthouse. Probably a white birthday cake looking building, but it doesn’t matter. We were really after the 1910 courthouse that now serves as the First and Fourth Court of Appeals for the State of Texas. The building has been restored and is one of the beaux art gems that I’m quickly making my favorite style.
The building has wonderful emblems and symbols around the building – with some eagles on the dome and in some of the pediments, along with some faces. Very nice. Inside it has the almost mandatory beaux arts rotunda with exquisite stained glass dome. You have to see the pictures to try to get a feel for its glory. The courthouse has two restored courtrooms, which aren’t dazzling, but give a period aire of grace and style.
I’ll be back sometime soon with other news of additions. As always, the pictures will be added once we return home.
This trip went well. I blogged the two days we did courthouse visits. And now, after working on them all week, I’ve added the various photo galleries we collected on the trip. I have to warn you – we took tons of pictures and it was real difficult to reduce the number of photos for uploading. So the slideshow for Denton and Cooke counties are probably a little larger than I would have hoped for – but enjoy.
All 6 courthouses were beauties (Denton, Grayson, Cooke, Wise, Parker and Colin). We took photos in each of the town squares (Denton, Sherman, Gainesville, Decatur, Weatherford and McKinney). And finally, we photographed 2 historic county jails (Colin and Cooke counties). So take some time and visit these North Texas stand outs with us.
The weather was beautiful – about 68 degrees with clear blue skies. And the courthouses we were able to work in today – the day before Thanksgiving, were all noteworthy. I really would offer that this area may have the greatest wealth of courthouses of any area in Texas. Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Cooke, Grayson, Parker, Rockwall to name a few, all offer some of the greatest examples of their respective styles in Texas. And we haven’t even gotten to Weatherford, Waxahatchie, or Hillsboro. If you’re wanting to get a taste of the best without doing all Texas County Courthouses, I would strongly recommend the DFW area. However, be aware, driving wise, it’s a hassle to get anywhere – but the fruits of your labor are there for you to pick. Read more
Ugh!! The weather was overcast, wet, rainy and generally messy yesterday, so we skipped any courthouse visits yesterday. So today we hoped for – and received a break in the weather. We visited 3 counties today – Colin County (McKinney), Grayson County (Sherman) and Cooke County (Gainesville).
McKinney was a very active town, with a complete town square area that is totally revitalized. the DFW area as grown out to McKinney and ensured its place as a growing, but historic courthouse. We were in for a big surprise when we got to McKinney. They built and opened a new courthouse (located on US75). They tore down the modern courthouse – so we missed out on that completely. To be honest – from the pictures we’ve seen, we didn’t miss much. It looked to be modern blah. The new courthouse has some style and seems to lean on classical revival. It has nice rotunda entrance and interesting ceiling work and a glass dome in the lobby. Cameras are not allowed in the courthouse, so I returned our cameras to the truck. I did sneak in a few phone photos – but I not with my camera. We then drove into town and got photos of the 1927 courthouse. It’s now a community performing arts center – complete with a courtroom theater. Just off the square you can find the historic jail. It was called a ‘Prison’ instead of jail – for whatever reason.
Next was Sherman. Again, an active and vibrant town square. Sherman seem prosperous enough. The Grayson County Courthouse was a art deco gem. Make sure you catch the photos of the decorative eagles and other ornamentation. This is probably one of the better Texas examples of art deco.
The final courthouse of the day was Cooke County in Gainesville. Wonderful beaux arts building. Really am taking a shine to this style so popular in the early parts of the 20th century. This one is restored and does not disappoint. The courthouse had been renovated and ‘updated’ meaning a lot of its’ beauty was lost. With the restoration, they were able to bring the courthouse back to its initial beauty. One of the most interesting aspects of the restoration was the fact that the the stained glass lobby dome was taken down and lost forever. What they did as part of the restoration was to recreate the ‘feel’ of the original by coming up with a totally new designed stained glass dome – using other courthouse domes and stained glass designs from that time period. Overall, it is an impressive courthouse and restoration. Not quite up to the Johnson County level (not to be missed by any courthouse afficionado), but Cooke County has nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to its’ courthouse. There is also an historic jail located a little off the square. Looks a lot like a house, and has a small feel of the Atascosa County Courthouse – with the red brick and the little mission styling.
We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. I’m looking for getting up to 3 more counties tomorrow – if they’re not closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. There are some beauties on the list (Denton, Hood and Parker Counties) – so I hope it works out
Seems like I’m always apologizing, but that’s the life of a retired person. First there was the trip to Florida (Mom’s doing great, thanks for asking.) Then there’s the little thing about working – I’ve been getting a lot of days and it’s hard to turn real money Down. And the long weekend trip to Kingsland – you get the picture. Oh, I forgot the biggest one. I’ve been doing work on apboto album. Lots of work, but it’s fun.
I’m laying this all out just to announce we’re back on the courthouse trail. I’ll be blogging each day we
Visit courthouses this week. Then when we’re back in town,I’ll continue to add more courthouses from our cache.
This is the first trip Ive tried using my new phone.