After we left Scottsville, we stopped at Henderson to see their historic museum. It was well worth the stop, with some very interesting displays.
Buildings had been moved onto the site to reflect the beginnings of the town:
The Cotton gin,
the railroad station
the broom factory, the first in Texas to be run by a black blind man
a printer shop and a general store
All had very interesting displays inside, and lots of outside displays as well.
The only outhouse (a three-seater) having the distinction of having historical designation in the state of Texas was built on this site, matching the home that was built here in 1908.
We stayed a couple of days at the Fairview Lake State Park. We were the only rig there other than the host! It was a little chilly, but we just looking out the window and enjoyed the view, read, and Paul caught up on paperwork… which, for some reason he postpones while at home ;).
The park ranger came by about 6 pm the first night to let us know there was extreme weather alert until 6:30, with hail and high winds. There was some wind and no hail, so it was not bad…. I think it moved on to Tennessee, since they had the warnings at 3 am.
We arrived at our February job-site on Thursday, late afternoon.
What a dose of nostalgia we got. In the fall of 2011, 16 buildings at the camp were burned down. It was reminiscent of our time in Julian when the fires took so many homes.
The gazebo at the lake was one of two remaining structures. The fire did not come up to the shoreline.
It will be a slow process, and the state is requesting they allow the land to rest a bit prior to rebuilding. Some things can’t wait though!
The camp has leased a site for their campers about two miles down the road. There are lots of jobs to do there to bring it to the standards and requirements the camp wants to continue to maintain. There are also some needs at the original camp.
Right now NOMADS, a Methodist group of volunteers, are using the campground as their base here as well.
They have been and are continuing to help rebuild homes in the area.
The camp personnel have made setting up the RV campground a priority to accommodate the volunteers, and have rebuilt and expanded the existing one at the original camp. They have just finished two more rows, accommodating eight more campers, where we are. In fact an independent volunteer was still grading when we arrived!
More on the work will come next week, because we will start on Monday.
While home has some snow (I missed it!), we are enjoying 75 degree weather here. I hate to miss rubbernecking the first weekend, because sometimes we are too tired once we get working. We took the opportunity on Saturday to check out an area south of here, and the town of Schulenburg. Like so many, it is built up along the railroad tracks and cotton was king during the early years.
Schulenburg is a quaint town, with some neat brick buildings. All have their own personalities, with brick designs distinguishing each;
On the way, we went through Swiss Alps, which attracted the Swiss immigrants. Guess the green meadows reminded them of home… surely the low hills did not!
This is the “Official Home of the Painted Churches”. There are several churches that were built and painted to reflect the European churches. They had painted faux marble pillars, as well as designs and florals on the walls and ceilings.
We found four of them:
High Hill was settled by Austrians. Todays St Mary’s Catholic Church was the third built on the site given to the church in 1868. The faux paint made the pillars appear marble and the designs were very european. This is considered to be the “Queen” of the painted churches.
Praha was settled by Czech-Moravian and the church was established in 1855. The present stone church was dedicated in 1895 as The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The ceiling was painted y a famous Swiss artist and has never been repainted.
The property has three small stone structures with memorial to three parish servicemen in each, who lost their lives during World War II.
In addition, the cemetery has a monument honoring the nine young men.
Dubina was settled by Czech families in 1856. They worshipped in a log cabin until 1877 when the parish church was built. It was enlarged in 1890, only to be destroyed by a storm in 1909. The present church was built in 1912 and decorated with stenciling, which was covered up and then redone in 1952. The silver stars painted on the ceiling made this church stand out!
Ammannsville was settled in 1870. The cornerstone for the church was first laid in 1890. In 1909, it also was destroyed by a storm. Eight years after completion of the second church, the church burned to the foundation. Parishioners rushed inside to save some of the statutes, which are still present in the church today. The third and present church was started in 1917. It is said the painting was done by a European drifter.
These were unexpected jewels to see. Something I did not expect to see in Texas. On our drive, we passed through lots of farmland. We were told these small communities (did not come up on GPS, by the way) were quite large when these churches were built, with as many as 3000 population in Ammannsville.
Back to work on Monday, with a crew of 5 other couples. Prior to coming here, we had not met any of them.
We look forward to helping this camp, hoping to get them further along in their mission to serve young men.