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Old 10-21-2008, 11:31 PM   #41
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

WOW!! ^^^^^ Well there isnt anything left of Sabine, espacilly after the hurricane but i took some pics of Sabine Pass and surrounding areas with some historical markers. i will edit this later for the report.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:25 PM   #42
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

I should have one posted soon.
Anyone else?
Any luck on a Texas Ghost Town category?
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:09 PM   #43
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

So many excellent write ups, so many great pictures! My hat is off to Tim for his amazing video footage! Well done to all!
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:07 PM   #44
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Squaw Mountain community, Jack County

Squaw Mountain, Jack County.
Historical marker: FM 2190
N 33.36433
W098.32640


On my way north up to Oklahoma last Friday I rode through two ghost towns. One I stopped to spend some time in.

This is excerpted from my story of that weekend:

On FM 2190 I passed Lynn Creek Rd to see a small church off the road and shaded by a tree-covered hill. Bingo; the familiar Texas Historical Society marker alongside the road. Executing a perfect U-turn I pulled up to stand on the grassy bank in front of the marker, dismounted and looked around.

According to all the resources Iíve read (and there arenít many), a skirmish between a group of Texas Rangers and a band of Indians occurred here in 1875. A young Indian woman was killed on a mountain near Lynn Creek and the Rangers buried her there. The peak was named Squaw Mountain based on the legend, and the community that grew up along the creek and near the mountain also bore that name.

Settlers arrived in 1877 and Squaw Mountain grew. In 1892, along with a stage relay stop, a post office was named. Later followed cotton gins and a thresher, blacksmith shop, store, school and another church. Coal mines were discovered in 1917.

But, as the familiar pattern with pioneer towns, the exodus followed the railroads. By 1997 only a church and a few ranches remained. The only business Iím aware of is a large big game ranch with a lodge, cabins, elk, deer, axis, oryx, hogs, Dall and Corsican sheep, turkey, and dove, 20 ponds and a lake. Even that was listed for sale in the mid-2000ís; only for $3 million.

Yet many of the original settlers, some of their descendants and families, still remain here at rest in a cemetery a few miles away down a lonely gravel and dirt road. [Lynn Cemetery; included in main story]

Other than a small modest building serving as a church for the neighboring farmers and ranchers, nothing else betrays presence of a community that once stood here. Cows grazed in a pasture across the road, giving me an occasional glare. But the surrounding Cross-timbers and mesquite thickets betray nothing; no town, no stage coaches, no cotton fields, no comfortable community with a few bustling business.

Like most other ghost towns, Nature reclaims her own.



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Old 11-08-2008, 09:18 PM   #45
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Eliasville, Young County

In the early 1870s, J. L. Dobbs built his ranch headquarters on a wide, southerly bend of the Clear Fork of the Brazos in what is now the extreme southern end of Young County. At the time, this was the extreme western edge of the frontier; the town of Arkansas (later called South Bend) was located ten miles downriver but Dobbs was the first to settle his part of the Brazos Valley.

(My mom's mom's maiden name was Dobbs - I suppose we're related somewhere deep in the woodpile.)

In 1878, Elias DeLong established a store to serve the growing community, and an unknown amount of politicing resulted in the name Eliasville.

Brothers William and Thomas Donnell had arrived in the area in 1876 from Missouri. They began raising cattle and planning a gristmill business. They built their first mill in 1877; it was destroyed in a flood. The 1878 attempt was also destroyed by a flood.

They overcame their male unwillingness to seek advice and consulted with a U. S. Agricultural Extension engineer in 1879. The engineer picked a spot near Dobbs' headquarters on an ancient limestone shelf. He chose wisely - the mill is still there:



Learn from the Donnell brothers. When an engineer gives you advice, take it.

The town grew, and boomed starting in 1921 when commercially viable quantities of oil were discovered nearby and the Wichita Falls and Southern Railway opened a line to serve the growing gasoline refinery and the carbon black plant.

By the middle 1920s, Eliasville had a bank, several churches, a school complex, dentists, doctors, a lumberyard, a boilermaker business, a feed store, a hotel, two theaters, three filling stations, and the old gristmill.

Oil production eventually decreased, and the refinery and carbon black plant closed in the late 1920s. A lightning strike in 1927 burned the gristmill. The consolidation of agricultural production began to affect small towns everywhere during the 1930s, and the Second World War emptied the town when the defense plants in Fort Worth began hiring.

By the middle 1950s, Eliasville was a ghosttown. The commercial district today:



The school complex closed in 1957. Today:



All of the other ghosttowns that I've chased down died in the late nineteenth century or very early in the twentieth. Seeing one that finally died during the fifties is pretty neat: you can still see railroad rights-of-way, building foundations, standing buildings... Neat, and creepy.

I'm new to the DFW metroplex, and I hadn't ridden in the Clear Fork Valley before. It is gorgeous out there.

To get there:
Eliasville is about fifteen miles southwest of Graham and about twenty miles west of Possum Kingdom Lake at the intersection of county roads 701 and 3109.
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:27 PM   #46
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South Bend, Young County

Settlers arrived at the junction of the Clear Fork of the Brazos and the Brazos proper in far southern Young County in the middle 1850s. Nearby Eliasville grew more quickly until July 4, 1920 when the McCluskey Oil Company's first well gushed in with a Spindletop-level blowout.

What had been a quiet ranch and farm trade center boomed; suddenly over ten thousand new citizens established multi-story hotels, boarding houses, rooming houses, a school with six teachers, oil field service businesses, restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores, speakeasys, brothels, casinos, a lumberyard, a small refinery, movie theaters, car repair businesses, a dairy, gasoline stations, and two churches.

Most of the old Texas town stories I've read about towns that grew up during the nineteenth century make it sound like the first three things built were a church, a school, and a store. South Bend was a twentieth century town, and it sounds like the casino/brothel/bar action arrived before (and outnumbered) the school/church/hardware district.

As oil production in the area got harder and slower during the late 1920s, the town stared dying. Today, there isn't much left. I don't know when this motor hotel was built, but judging by the width of the attached covered parking spaces, it was in the Model T and Model A era:



Last to arrive, last to leave:



At the very end of South Bend's oil boom, Eugene Stovall was hoping against hope and still drilling for oil. He hit a vein that very quickly stopped producing oil and started flowing dark and oily water. He thought it was useless.

Stovall's now-useless well was on ranch property that he owned about two miles west of the townsite. His ranchhand's children had been suffering from some kind of skin ailment, but after they went swimming in the tea-colored oil-topped water, they were cured.

Stovall quickly grasped the commercial implications and built a bathhouse, a restaurant, and a hotel featuring masseurs, nurses, chiropractors, playgrounds, croquet, and skeet. The spa boomed until the 1950s, and stayed open until it burned in 1994. (Interesting - the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells opened around the same time and offered similar Curative Waters, but it closed in 1963. Eugene Stovall's little outfit on the banks of the Brazos outlasted it by three decades.)

Not much is left. The bathhouse:




The cafe:


I drove through Mineral Wells on the way back to Euless. Does anybody know how to get into the Baker Hotel?

To get there:
South Bend is at the intersection of county roads 67 and 701 about five miles south of Graham. To find the hot springs, go north off 701 onto an unmarked paved road (crossing the Clear Fork by an old concrete bridge) about 100 yards west of 67. Go about one mile, then turn north onto a once-paved road marked by a very faded sign reading Stovall Springs Circle. The ruins of the bathhouse are about one mile down Stovall Springs Circle.

Last edited by DanS; 11-08-2008 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Adding Directions
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:48 PM   #47
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

I'd reccomend a visit to Spanish Fort. It's up north of Nocona/St Jo. Here's a map. Might not be as 'Ghost Towny' as some of the aforementioned towns but it is pretty lonely up that way. Plus you get to stop on Munster and get some bratwurst!

Didn't get too many photos but here's one that I got while out there.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:13 PM   #48
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

Great idea, Elzi! I've subscribed to this thread.

Me and a buddy are going for an all day ride this Saturday, heading NW out of Ft. Worth. We're planning on stopping at about 10 of the Ghost Towns listed on TexasEscapes.com. I'll make sure to take pictures.

Here's another site that I found with some targets to hit: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/tx/tx.html

Also, this site: http://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/shell-county.htm will allow you to search all of the Historical Markers in TX. I was able to get a pretty good fix on the Donahoe Cemetery using this site.

We're also working on a Google Map to which we're adding every
Ghost Town (or it's approximate location) that we can locate. I'll post a link to it when we get more done.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:39 PM   #49
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasShadow View Post
I'm submitting a proposal for a category in the member's* section: Texas Ghost Towns.

* Does this mean that only members can view the thread? That's a shame. It would be really nice if visitors that are not members can view it.
Any visitor to TWT can see that the Member's section exists, but they cannot view the content. All they have to do is register and then they can view/post like anyone else. Seeing as there is no charge for registering, I don't think it too big a deal for someone to register You can't just give it all away without keeping something to entice people

As for some of the posts in this thread, it would be cool if the original posters could replicate their posts as new threads in this section.
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:27 AM   #50
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warhammer View Post
Me and a buddy are going for an all day ride this Saturday, heading NW out of Ft. Worth. We're planning on stopping at about 10 of the Ghost Towns listed on TexasEscapes.com. I'll make sure to take pictures.

We're also working on a Google Map to which we're adding every
Ghost Town (or it's approximate location) that we can locate. I'll post a link to it when we get more done.
That's a great idea! I was thinking the same but I lack that precious commodity: time.

Realize that many ghost towns exist that are not chronicled in those web sites. Which is cool; we get to trail blaze. Or is that 'ghost blaze'?

If you are around Fort Belknap, be sure to stop in. Fascinating history there. The former town is nearby in the middle of a cow pasture. One of my Texas frontier 'heros' is buried there, shot in the back on the main street (now reverted to cow poop and grass).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourmeister View Post
As for some of the posts in this thread, it would be cool if the original posters could replicate their posts as new threads in this section.
I started doing just that the other day. I hope the others will follow suit.

I'll be up on the Panhandle and along the eastern Estacada escarpment this holiday. Have several ghost towns already marked. (still need to report on half a dozen visited previously )
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:15 PM   #51
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

This is what's left of Dialville, Is was named after my great grandad Dial.





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Old 12-06-2008, 02:24 PM   #52
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:26 PM   #53
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:28 PM   #54
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:29 PM   #55
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:12 PM   #56
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

My buddy Griff and I went on a little (375 mile) ride two Saturdays ago with the intent of riding to a few ghost towns. We did a large loop that took us to 13 ghost towns. We started wat down south at Poe Prairie and went clear up to Spanish Fort. I'll break the trip into several posts. I was on my Strom 1000 and Griff was on his ancient R80. Is was FREAKIN' COLD that day. I kinda felt sorry for Griff (better him than me!), having no wind protection. I was a long day in the saddle but we found a few pretty fun roads in the process of hunting for ghosts and it was a really fun day. We were both pretty tired after 375 miles.

Poe Prairie, TX
The first stop was Poe Praire. There's nothing left of Poe Praire except the cemetary. Throught the day, we found this to be the case more often than not.

At this first stop was when I discovered that, although I brought my camera, I left the memory card AND the battery at home.

Griff was left to be our sole photographer for the trip.
We found a whole bunch of these "Woodmen of the World" memorials. they're pretty cool looking.



Toto, TX
Toto looked a lot like Poe Praire. Nothing but the cemetary left, execpt there is still a church here, too.

Apparently, they prefer that you let someone know before you plant someone here.

More of the "Woodmen" markers.


The only sign of life in Toto.

They were very friendly. I think they were disappointed that I didn't bring food.


Cartersville, TX
Third stop was Cartersville. This one was pay dirt! We rode right by it the first time and almost missed it on the back track. This is the kind of ghost town that's actually fun to check out. there isn't much there, but there is a lot of information posted.

All that's left is a small house, the meetin' hall, and an outhouse.







The outhouse still works.

And here's Main Street!



Last guy in the county to be killed by Indians... a somewhat dubious honor.


More to come later.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:39 PM   #57
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

I was waiting for your stories and photos!!!

Would you post them each as their own thread with the name in the title? That way we can all find them easier than searching through this thread.

Can't wait to read about your adventures! I hope you had fun (it's catching..... )
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:43 AM   #58
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

You make me want to buy a DS... must resist... the need for assimilation is strong... Great info, thanks for the reports and pics!
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:54 AM   #59
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

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I was waiting for your stories and photos!!!

Would you post them each as their own thread with the name in the title? That way we can all find them easier than searching through this thread.

Can't wait to read about your adventures! I hope you had fun (it's catching..... )

Sure, I can post them separately. I'm still working on the Texas Ghost Town map.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:02 AM   #60
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Re: Texas Ghost Towns: proposal

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You make me want to buy a DS... must resist... the need for assimilation is strong... Great info, thanks for the reports and pics!
No need to resist. You won't regret it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warhammer View Post
Sure, I can post them separately. I'm still working on the Texas Ghost Town map.
I just copied and pasted in my individual town reports in a new thread with the town name.

I have a few to do, too. I really like your ghost town map idea!!!
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