|Travels with Grandma...|
|Preserving the stories, legends & history of Texas for generations to come...|
Hello! Welcome back! I?m glad you could join us today. This week we are picking up where we left off in Hico last week and heading down the highway for Dublin. There are a couple of ways to get there, if you?re leaving from Hico, just keep going west on Hwy 6, you?ll bump into it. If you?re leaving from Granbury, you can either go back to Hico or your can head through Stephenville on Hwy 377 into Dublin. Either way is a pretty drive.
Alex, grab the picnic basket, Julie get that thermos of lemonade over there, Jessie & Alison, don?t forget the blankets and Aaron, please grab the cookies out of the cookie jar. Buckle up & we?ll be off?
Are you settled? Ok. While we?re on the way, I?ll tell you the story of Dublin and how it came to be? In 1846, (any one know how long ago that was?), a man named Dobkins and his family decided to settle here. Over the next several years other settlers joined them and in 1854 Dublin was settled. There?s a little debate over how it came to be known as ?Dublin?. Some say it was named for Dublin, Ireland. Others say it was named for the shout ?Indians a-coming! Double in!? and the settlers would pull their wagons into a double wide circle to protect them from the Indian attacks. I guess we?ll never know the real answer to that one.
This was a wild, untamed land back then, no paved roads, no town square, no drive through restaurants. But, by 1874 they had a post office and the Ft. Worth to Yuma stage coach ran through here stopping off at Doblin Inn. It also served as a fort until the Indian raids stopped around 1870. I went looking for it, but the ladies at the museum have the historical maker for safe keeping.
Speaking of the museum, turn onto West Blackjack off of North Patrick Street. It?s about a block or two down on your right. The historical marker says it was built out of wood around 1880 and later veneered with native stone about 1895. It has been home to banks, medical clinics, a drugstore, newspaper plant. Saloons and a dress shop.
Now it is the Lyon Historical Museum. It is a step back in time, not only the artifacts housed there, but also the two very gracious ?southern ladies?, Mary and Elizabeth, that were so welcoming and willing to share their stories. It is divided into sections depicting the various areas of our lives ? school, work, play, worship and more.
There is even a room set aside to honor our military and the sacrifices they have made for our freedom. I was especially impressed because it is the only place I have seen anything relating to the WAAC ? Women?s Auxiliary Army Corp. That is especially close to my heart because one of ?Big Daddy?s? relatives (and yours) was the first director of the WAAC, Ovita Culp Hobby, during World War II. That is a long story, and you will have to look it up and next time you can tell me about it.
I did a dead stop at the work area. There was my grandpa?s desk right down to his hat on top and his ?clickey? typewriter. I know, you don?t even know what a typewriter is, do you? We?ll just have to go see it. They have a lot of things that you?ve never seen before. That?s what makes museums so much fun.
Now, I think it?s time for some lunch. One of my favorite stop in small towns is DQ-Dairy Queen. The food is always good, and I can?t get it at home. I go there when I can?t decide on a local diner. You know the ones you go in and every stops eating and stares because you are a stranger? That?s the kind I like. I had one of those ?only in Texas? moments there. Three people on horses rode up to the drive through and placed their order to go!
Now that we?ve finished lunch, let?s drive around town & see the sites?
We?ll head back to the museum and start at the park behind it. It was given to the Historic Museum and is home to the William T. Miller Grist Mill. It was built in 1882 by two stone masons. The grain was ground with steam, until 1918 when the mill was converted to crude oil. I don?t know why I didn?t think about it before, but I learned something about mills I didn?t know here ? that grain mills can be used for feed also, and this one was converted in 1926.
We?ll wander the streets of downtown and look at the building art ? some very nice works can be found in Dublin, especially around ?Hogan?s Alley?, next to the Dr. Pepper Plant. Of course, this being Dublin, most of it is centered around a Dr. Pepper theme.
We?ll stop in the Dr. Pepper plant. It is the oldest in the nation and the only one that still bottles in returnable bottles using 1930?s era equipment. Maybe we can take the tour and finish it off with an ice cold Dr. Pepper in an old fashioned soda fountain and we?ll wander around the largest collection of DP memorabilla.
Let?s stop a minute and I?ll tell you the story of a man named Ben Hogan, and how if you work hard, your dreams can come true. (Remember this story Alex, while you?re out in the yard tossing that football around.) Ben Hogan was born in Dublin, the son of the village blacksmith, in 1912. His family moved to Ft. Worth and after the death of his father when he was 9, Ben started selling newspapers to help put food on the table. Later he began caddying at the local golf course and practicing in his spare time. When he was 17 he turned pro and at 19 joined the tour. That didn?t work out then, but he kept trying and never lost sight of his dream. He tried the tour again at 25 and went on to become one of the greatest golfers of all time.
Our next stop is this huge, rambling, wonderful old house ? The Gallagher House, located at 261 N. Grafton, it wraps around the corner and you can see the old hitching post on the side. The Victorian house was built in 1895 and the east porch was added in 1907. It has been beautifully maintained. You can tell it is a well loved house.
Heading back down N. Patrick, we?ll stumble across some other treasures. First we?ll see The Shamrock Inn on the left. If you see Betty sitting on the front porch drop by for a visit. She has a great story about how she told her grandparents when she was a little girl that she was going to live in that house some day. Like us grandparents have a tendency to do, when our grandchildren tell us about their dreams, they had that ?sure? attitude. Well, let the Shamrock Inn be a lesson to us all. Dreams do become reality, if you dream long enough and hard enough. Her story was a reminder to me, to not look at your dreams through my own eyes, but to remember the joy in dreaming and dreams becoming reality, and to remember to encourage that in you guys.
Across the street is the Trinity Episcopal Church. Bishop A.C. Garrett began services in 1881. The church was organized a few years later in 1884. In 1889 they began building the church and held the first services in 1890. I remember how proud our church was and how much we celebrated our 50th anniversary this year. I can only image the pride that must come with 100-125 years; and the changes in our world that little church has seen?.from muddy, rutted road and wagons bringing parishioners from far away to worship to cars zipping along at 70mph!
Heading down N. Patrick on our way out of town, right before we get to FM 219, we?ll find the D.L. Harris house. It was built in 1901 for his wife Clara. The stone for the foundation was quarried locally and shaped at the site. If you can, pull over to the side and take a few minutes to soak in all the architectural details on this house. Notice it?s fish scale shingles, gabled roof and unusual trim work.
Ok, I can?t follow my own directions, but sometimes wrong turns aren?t so wrong, and they give you time to see new things and look at the world with a little different perspective. Try my wrong turn and see if I?m right. I was looking for a chain of old cemeteries that are supposed to be along FM 219 north ? only they are south, but that?s ok. I took the road, saw some more of the land the way it used to be and signs of the progress that is coming. I wandered through the towns of Bunyan, Lingleville and Huckabay. All three towns were settled in the 1870?s and 1880?s by families traveling to Texas to make a better life for themselves, and haven?t changed a lot since.
I am always intrigued with what towns original names were. I didn?t find out how Lingleville got it?s original name, ?Needmore?; look around, maybe they did need more. It was later renamed to honor the 1874 settler, John Lingle. Another unusual name, Flat Wood, was the original name for Huckabay, but was changed when John Huckabay submitted his name on an application for the first post office.
One thing the towns had in common was something I bet you guys have never seen, it?s that big roof over there with the benches underneath. It?s called a tabernacle. It looks like these are still being used for the religious and social gatherings they were originally built for, a place for people spread far apart during the daily lives to gather together.
As we wander the hills and hollows, we can see the signs of the ?mom & pop? farms being taken over by the commercial dairies. At first I was angry about that, but that is where time to gain a different perspective comes in. After a while, I realized that I can?t say I am opposed to the commercial cattle ranches and dairies if they assure the wide open spaces and cattle roaming free are spared from developers. Let?s face it?the ?mom & pop? farm, where one generation takes over from the next will soon be a thing of the past. Us ?kids? are not willing to pour our blood, sweat, tears faith and trust in God to eek out a living like our forefathers did. Nope, we?re going to hop in that brand new truck their hard work provided and head for educations in the city, learn about ?easy? paychecks and only come back for visits, holidays and a funeral or two.
I once read that the Farm Roads were built to make it easier for the farmers to get their goods to town, but instead they took the children away. You know, I think the author was right.
Well your heads are nodding back there so I guess it?s time to head down FM 108, back through Stephenville and home.
Till next time?
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