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Anyone been to Helena?

Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
11
Location
San Antonio, TX
#1
Hi,

I just found this site today because of a friend, and found this section the most interesting.

I always take rides to Fredericksburg, Gruene, New Braunfels, Bandera, just smaller towns around San Antonio that have nice roads to them, but never even thought about Ghost towns.

Ive been looking and doing a little google research to see what I could come up with. Id love to see a little travelled to GHOST town... with nobody there, just remenants of a little town that died with its time.

Anyone heard of Helena?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena,_Texas

Sounds cool and empty :trust:
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2003
Messages
927
Location
San Antonio, TX!
#3
Go to GoogleMaps and do a street view. Doesn't seem like there's too much there to see "ghost"-wise; but it's your choice...

Cheers! M2
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
397
Location
Austin, TX
#4
If you are interested in the ghost towns. Here are some resources to use.
http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/tx/tx.html
http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Texas_ghost_towns.htm

Starting on page 5 of The Roads of TEXAS by Mapsco (This is in my opinion the best ghost towns as they still exist and have something left to see)

I believe the last list I saw was over 400 towns. Few have anything left to see and they are difficult to locate unless you know the history and what to look for. The cemetery is always a good bet. I made it part way down the list before I gave up "chasing them down". Now I'll swing by if I'm in the area and have the time to stop.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
11
Location
San Antonio, TX
#5
If you are interested in the ghost towns. Here are some resources to use.
http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/tx/tx.html
http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Texas_ghost_towns.htm

Starting on page 5 of The Roads of TEXAS by Mapsco (This is in my opinion the best ghost towns as they still exist and have something left to see)

I believe the last list I saw was over 400 towns. Few have anything left to see and they are difficult to locate unless you know the history and what to look for. The cemetery is always a good bet. I made it part way down the list before I gave up "chasing them down". Now I'll swing by if I'm in the area and have the time to stop.
Got any decent ones for me to check out? I have scoured both those sites, and am still reading them. I think Im going to check out Grapetown this Saturday. Its close to Luckenbach and Fredericksburg, so worse comes to worse, ill get me a fresh brew!
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
397
Location
Austin, TX
#6
Most of the lesser historic & scenic ghost towns are on unpaved county roads. Grapetown is worth a trip but it's fenced in on private property.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
11
Location
San Antonio, TX
#9
Most of the lesser historic & scenic ghost towns are on unpaved county roads. Grapetown is worth a trip but it's fenced in on private property.
well i went. there wasnt a fence when we went, but i do not know if it was private or not. Just a few buildings on the side of the road and a cemetery down the road. We stopped and checked out the buildings but someone was in the cemetery so i didnt want to be all touristy while someone was actually in mourning.

I can post pics if you guys want, but it was just a couple empty old buildings. Neet though, and close to fredericksburg.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2003
Messages
927
Location
San Antonio, TX!
#10
I can post pics if you guys want, but it was just a couple empty old buildings. Neet though, and close to fredericksburg.
Chopper

If you wouldn't mind, I would like to see the pics! We always enjoy chasing down these out-of-the-way places, as they always seem to be as interesting if not more than the usual tourist locations...

Cheers! M2
 
M
#11
... someone was in the cemetery so i didnt want to be all touristy while someone was actually in mourning.
I appreciate your sensitivity, but who knows why anyone else is in the cemetery?
As long as you’re quiet and respectful you should not be concerned.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
11
Location
San Antonio, TX
#12
I appreciate your sensitivity, but who knows why anyone else is in the cemetery?
As long as you’re quiet and respectful you should not be concerned.
eh, just in case i suppose. it wasnt a heart breaker to not go in there, id rather just leave whoever it was to their peace. I like going to Fredericksburg, so i may take a small detour next time and hit the cemetery then.

ill work on uploading those pics, but there really isnt too much there.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
5,846
Location
Exit. Stage West.
#13
ill work on uploading those pics, but there really isnt too much there.
Most ghost towns have very little remaining at all. Usually a church and/or graveyard. But there's always more there than just what meets the eye. They all have 'ghosts'.

By that, I mean they all have or had some history to them, surrounding them, hiding there somewhere. All it takes is being receptive and exploring about. Exploring the grounds, graveyards, structures, land around them, maybe talking to people that still live there or nearby, even finding out things and stories on the Internet or in books. These are their 'ghosts'.

People lived there at one time. There are always 'ghosts' in and around them. All you have to do is look, watch, listen and feel.
 

Monica

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
302
Location
Texas
#14
I was raised in Karnes City and our field trips throughout elementary were to the historic sites around the area. We went to Helena every year. One of my classmates was a Ruckman and he had an older brother that my mom taught in Junior High (everyone is related in them small towns lol). Of course the story is The Ruckman House is haunted. We were told that the rocking chair in the house would rock on its own. You could see if from the front window. As kids, we loved it and I still get a kick out of "haunted" places. I would like to go back to the area and visit for old times sake.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
172
Location
Wimberley, Texas
#15
Try this.... a book called "Tales of Old Helena"..(maybe something similar) Written by a lady named ....DiDear.
Then there is the book of...."From Blue to Grey" ...this documents small communities that were on the demise in the late 70's and early 80's. Ms. DiDears daughter.
I am now the family historian and these were both members of my family. I will help you with what I can.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
73
Location
Frydek, Texas
#16
I grew up in Karnes City, which is 5 miles from Helena. When I was in Boy Scouts we spent a lot of time working in Helena. Bob Thonhoff was istrumental in getting historic sites recognized in the Karnes County area. We worked with him in the restoration of The Helena Courthouse, back in the late 1960's. There is not a lot to see there. The Courthouse was a museum at one time. I haven't been there in years so I don't know if it is still open to the public. The story of Helena and it's demise is a good story that can be read here: http://www.texasescapes.com/TexasGhostTowns/HelenaTexas/HelenaTx.htm
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
592
Location
Houston
#17
The last time I stopped in Helena near the old courthouse there were several historic markers. I believe there may have been as many as six markers describing the town and its history; an interesting old town.

I used to pass through there often on trips from San Antonio to Runge.:yawn:
 
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