Bryan is an east-central Texas town. It is located 99 miles (159 km) northwest of Houston. Settled in the 1820s and formally founded in 1855, it was named for William Joel Bryan, who inherited the land for the town site from his uncle, Stephen F. Austin (a founder of Texas). https://www.bryantx.gov/history-of-bryan-texas/
Since Bryan’s founding, many Texas railroad stops became nothing more than ghost towns. However, it seems the optimistic spirit and determination that built Bryan in its early years continues today, keeping Bryan as an active area of growth and importance.
There are a couple of items of interest from our casual ride through the town.
The Queen Theatre was originally built in the late 1800’s as a hotel in the heart of Downtown Bryan. The hotel began showing silent films on the ground level in the early 1900’s. The name “Queen Theatre” was officially given to the building in 1914. In 1939 the hotel was converted into a fully operational movie theatre. https://www.queenbryantx.com/about-us/.
The university mentions the tree has a special place in the heart of many Aggies. “Well over 100 years old, the tree was one of the first trees planted on Texas A&M’s massive 5,200-acre campus. The beautiful live oak has been the site of countless Aggie marriage proposals, weddings, and tourist snapshots because of its immense size and its unique drooping branches, many of which rest on the ground. Tradition says that if a couple walks together underneath the Century Tree, they will eventually marry — and if a marriage proposal takes place under the tree, the marriage will last forever.”
For my friends around the world, do you know about BBQ? Or barbecue? It seems like a favorite cuisine in the U.S. One can find practically every style in big cities as well as small towns.
Well, like I mentioned in my last post there is a place in Taylor, Texas that I would like for you to become acquainted. Louie Mueller Barbeque.
There seems to be some healthy competition about which state has the best barbeque. I must admit Texas is not only a big state but is big in BBQ taste as well. I apologize to my vegan friends but I want to highlight this significant eating way of life, as well as Taylor.
While traveling through Taylor and noticing some of the older and inactive buildings, just around the corner we noticed an older, vibrant place – Louie Mueller Barbeque.
Locals sure know about it. Just look how the business is thriving and the new life breathed into the older facility.
Going inside was enlightening. Who would have thought?
The service was excellent and the people were friendly. The meal was outstanding. I can understand why the locals enjoy this wonderful place of food and fellowship.
Driving the back roads of central Texas provides so many opportunities to experience the slow-pace, friendly towns.
Just like most areas we travel around the world, we see something that grabs our attention – triggering the thought: “I need to take a picture of that.”
I don’t know about you but I have sentiments for some of the older buildings or something that reflects history where a location was once active and thriving and now sits there – waiting for some attention and love.
That which once was and now is, remains in the eyes of the beholder to give it new life.
Sitting, standing, eroding away;
Underneath the heat and clouds,
Of each passing day.
The clouds say hello as they dance overhead,
Some looking angry, but going where they’re led.
Who knows what lies within,
As we only see the outer shell of what had been.
Still, there is life – and abundant at that;
Only if one could see beneath the surface,
Where life once sat.
We pass them day-by-day,
Without much thought what the building would say;
Listen to the silent song and behold the pride,
Even though no one answers, there is life inside.
(My next post will highlight something in Taylor, Texas just a block away that looks old on the outside but is thriving inside.)
While I enjoy major attractions during travels, I particularly like locating something unique about each town through which I travel. I would like to take the time to stay a couple of hours in each town but it would take practically forever to accomplish these highlights. So, I try to “look” for something unique in each town.
Take for instance the town of Bertram, Texas, which is located northwest of Austin. We decided to exit Interstate 10 while traveling east and detoured through the countryside. As we rode through Bertram I first noticed they have an annual oatmeal festival. That’s interesting. I continued driving and readily noticed the train depot.
It was an attractive, small depot and I wondered if it was original – as it looked so new. Here is the scoop.
When the Austin and Northwestern Railroad first laid rails through Bertram in 1882, the original Bertram depot was constructed on this site and served railroad passengers until the end of passenger service in 1937.
I can just imagine the passenger voices of the past remained constrained within the closed walls.
The depot was demolished in 1964, and the site remained vacant through the 1990s.
Voices of the past were locked away in the remnants of the wood.
The George Peters family of Sandia, Texas donated a vintage 1912 San Antionio & Aransas Pass depot from Orange Grove, Texas to the Austin Steam Train Association in 1997. (http://www.bertramtx.com/train-depot.html)
I’m glad we have renewal of the past – even the resemblance. Now the thoughts of the past voices are imagined.
Wouldn’t it be nice to preserve the past instead of demolishing it?
However, I get it. Things here on Earth don’t last forever; thus, we need to preserve the best we can and at least rebuild or place something to remind us of the past.
While we shouldn’t dwell on the past we should still appreciate it – while making improvements along the way.
May we always remember – and move forward!
Bertram is at the junction of Farm Roads 243 and 1174 and State Highway 29, ten miles east of Burnet in eastern Burnet County. The town was established in 1882, when the community of San Gabriel (near the San Gabriel River) in Burnet County was moved two miles northwest to the newly constructed Austin and Northwestern Railroad. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertram,_Texas
I didn’t get a chance to visit the White Sands National Park but maybe I’ll get back there in the next couple of years. It seems interesting. National Park Service at White Sands states:
Each generation of visitors to the Tularosa Basin and White Sands National Monument have left their mark. Today monument visitors can experience some of the most iconic historic places associated with the basin’s rich history.
These places include the monument’s historic district, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the historic Lucero Ranch on the western shoreline of Lake Lucero.
Visitors interested in learning more about the Tularosa Basin’s military history can also visit the White Sands Missile Range Museum and Trinity Site, the place where the first atomic bomb was tested in 1945. https://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm
There is beauty in everything we do and see – if we only keep watch and appreciate it. Isn’t beauty in the eyes of the beholder?
The restless cowboys and presumed outlaws have decided there would be a showdown. They began forming at O.K. Corral and had their guns prepared.
According to a timeline by John D. Gilchriese, writer and collector, these are the major events of the gunfight:
The Street Fight – October 26, 1881
The gunfight lasted about 30 seconds.
According to Gilchriese, Wyatt Earp, when asked about the “Gunfight at O.K. Corral,” stated: “It was a street fight between my brothers, Doc, and myself and those who believed they could shoot down the Earps.” Wyatt apparently had a chuckle about the allusion of the “gunfight” at O.K. Corral, that was probably created by fictional writers to make it more exciting.
Wyatt also drew the locations of the shooters as he recounted the scenario.
The exact location of the fight? Freemont Street, south side and east of 3rd Street
Who fired first? Frank McLaury and Wyatt Earp
Who died? Frank and Tom McLaury, Billy Clanton
Who was wounded? Virgil and Morgan Earp
Where did each man stand? (as drawn by Don Perceval)
Did the fight start in the street? No, for six seconds the antagonists were in the vacant lot before they backed into Freemont Street
Where is Sheriff John Behan? Behind Fly’s Boarding House
Where is Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne? Hiding in Fly’s Boarding House
How would the Earps escape this eventual tragedy? They wanted to prosper in the thriving town of Tombstone, mainly due to the silver ore that was being mined and the businesses developing in the west.
I have to wonder where the town’s people stood on the issues. Did they not care enough to get involved to help those who were there to protect them?
There is an old saying (paraphrased) that for evil to prevail is for good men (and women) to do nothing.
What about the families of the Clantons, Claibornes and McLaurys? While there is evidence they too wanted to be business affiliates, but also were entangled with the criminal element, I wonder how their side of the story goes?