Port Neches – Beaumont, TX

We spent the day with a leisurely breakfast, fresh air and sunshine before taking a ride with Texas Mac and Texas Flower, first via Nederland and Tex Ritter Park, then to Cowboy Harley Davidson and on to Gladys City.

 

Spindletop – the first place oil was discovered in Texas. So named for the small bursts of escaping gas that rose, ghost like from the ground and appeared like spinning tops.

The actual gusher was called the Lucas Gusher which is actually situated across the highway from the reproduction on the Lamar University grounds. The reproduction gushes water during re-enactments and other celebrations.

 

Here on the University grounds sits the small replica town of Gladys City, representing businesses from the 1901 boomtown. The man behind the plans for this “industrial utopia”, Pattillo Higgins, never actually saw his dream realised. As the news of the oil strike spread, buildings seemed to spring up over night in a haphazard fashion for the workers and their families, in a seemingly unorganised vision of what Higgins intended.

The original town had no saloon, for he and especially his wife, were involved in the temperance movement. Stella Higgins wanted no part of any drinking, gambling or prostitution within town limits. Of course saloons did exist further on the outskirts of town where I'm sure many an oil man may have squandered some or much money on these pleasures.

Mac and Flower are involved with re-enactments of this part of history in their town. Whilst the reproduction Gladys City does have a saloon, it is often changed into a tea room during these shows where high tea, fan etiquette, and discussion about the temperance movement can be participated in.

When Spindletop (Lucas gusher) first gushed in 1901, it did so for 9 days before being capped. During that time an estimated 800,000 barrels oil were lost.

 

The buildings depicted within the city are – Walkenshaw Steelworks, Barber Shop, R.C. Grinnell's Log Cabin Saloon, Guffey Texas Post Office, A.L. Gibson's Dry Goods Store, General Store & Living Quarters, Beaumont Oil Exchange, Edgerton's Photography Studio, T.A. Lamb & Son Printers, Gladys City Drug Store, Gladys City Oil Gas & Manufacturing Co., Nelson & White Engineers, Southern Carriage Works, Broussard's Livery Stable and the Lucas Gusher Monument.

 

There are many artefacts within each of the buildings and is worth a quick little visit and walk through history.

 

After a quick bite at Depot Hamburgers it was back to the house for the men to take a nap and a quick spot of sewing.

This evening we went to Port Neches Wheelhouse Restaurant. A popular waterfront restaurant and tiki type bar huts that seemed to be well patronised for a Tuesday night.

 

The barges, tugs and later a ship came through the river access. When the ships come in the bell at the bar is rung and there are half price 'ship shots'! A blue concoction of vodka, gin, rum and something but surprisingly was pretty good!

 

So the views were great! The food spectacular!

 

Jack and I thank you Mac and Flower for an interesting and exceptional evening. Actually, a fabulous day!

Kat xo

 

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Into The Woods

…lf you go down in the woods today, you better go in disguise……

Well this wasn't no nursery rhyme and you might say we were in disguise….if you call a weekend away in 'normal' clothes, disguise! Haa haa!

What a great weekend of down time spent with our very good friends Texas Mac and Texas Flower at their little ranch and I do say little with tongue in cheek.

It might be a cosy little old farm house but their surrounding 'woods' as Flower calls it, is not so little at all!

We arrived Thursday to a warm afternoon. Still in shorts and tshirts we were able to enjoy Margarita's on the deck before enjoying steaks from the grill – a revamped, repurposed old wood stove!

 

Friday morning it had turned chilly, so suitably dressed, the four of us ventured (on the ATV) out after a hearty breakfast into the woods, checking Mac's hog traps, learning of the history of the property, checking out the cows and looking for deer.

 

Now Tinder or e-Harmony has nothing on Scrapings! The dating service for deer. (I learnt this on our little exploration) Bucks will rub glands under their eyes against an over hanging branch along a path, scrape the ground clear and urinate in the middle of the spot. Doe's will come through and if so inclined, will follow the trail to the Buck. We saw many scrapings along the way through all Mac's trails.

 

After visits to old house sites, Mac's storage, to me was just a divine old run down house with spectacular timbers, (Thought of Bertie Winchester and her woodworking but that's another story to follow) we then headed down to the pond and back around to the house for late lunch.

 

The afternoon followed with chatting about costuming and the men folk doing a bit of shooting in the back yard. Flower and I eventually ventured out to see what they were up to and tested out the new .22 rifle and had a go at shooting outlaw!

 

Soon it was time for Margarita's although we didn't spend too much time outside this evening.

Baseball and more costuming chats ensued after dinner.

Saturday, after breakfast we took a trip into Coldspring. It's Trades Day which is a weekend of markets with anything from handcrafted items, homegrown cosmetic creams, quilts, jewellery, horseshoe items, you name it. We walked the stores around the square of which almost all of them are still the original buildings and marked historical.

 

We lunched at 'The Mason Jar' and headed to the historic jail and hanging tree. Being Halloween, the jail was not open to the public unfortunately, and I hear it still has the original trap door and hanging rope in there but it is set up as a haunted house for people to visit of an evening.

 

A quick stop at the store and we headed to a friend of Mac and Flower's who has an awesome collection of Roy Rogers, John Wayne and other western memorabilia. Thank you to Wayne and his daughter Gail for allowing us to come visit his own little 'museum' and showing us his wife, Barbara's antiques and her special pieces in their home. Wayne was such a fan of Roy Rogers that he had actually got to meet him as well and we were able to pour through his photo albums and marvel at all the pieces he had collected over time. Really appreciated that visit!

So a much cooler evening made it necessary for the chimenea to be lit if we were going to enjoy the fresh woods air and margaritas outside. It was now down around 50F.

 

We ate dinner inside but later went back out to enjoy our first S'mores experience!! You heard it right, we had not had S'mores before and I for one was not leaving no matter how cold it was, or how full I was from dinner, without experiencing one. Funny thing! Jack hadn't even roasted a marshmallow on an open fire!?! So firsts all round!

 

What a great weekend with the Butler's in their little slice of country heaven. It was great to be able to spend more than a few hours with you both.

Kelli xo