Forgotten Landmark–Tracks of Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway, Mineral Well, TX

Tracks of Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway (NW 2nd Avenue, between NW 4th and NW 7th Streets)

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The gasoline-powered “Dinky cars” of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway provided service from Mineral Wells to Lake Pinto. There were four cars used, including “Ben Hur” and “Esther”. This railway operated from 1905 until 1909. (Current track photos below text)

The Mineral Wells & Lakewood Park Railway was chartered on March 1st, 1907, and began operating on May 12th, 1907. The railway operated on 2.5 miles of track, with a gauge of 4 feet and 8 ½ inches, using electricity.

The Mineral Wells Electric System operated two electric street cars in the city of Mineral Wells from 1907 to 1913; one on Hubbard Street from NE 17th Avenue to SW 6th Avenue (later part of the Bankhead Highway), and one on Oak (now NW 2nd) Avenue from NE 17th Street to SE 11th Street, thence Southwest to Elmhurst Park. However, two gasoline-powered 70 passenger (all-passenger) motor cars were operated by the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railroad (WMW&NW) between Graford, Mineral Wells, Ft. Worth and Dallas from 1912 to 1935. An electric interurban line was not built.

Streetcar Tracks at NW 7th Mineral Wells P1010306 P1010305

 

Forgotten Landmark-Taylor & Howard Building, Leigh, TX

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Leigh (10.6 miles north of U.S. 80 on FM 134 at FM 1999)

Leigh, also known as Antioch, is on a site said to have been the location of a large Indian village. In the early 1840s, J. J. Webster built a plantation home, Mimosa Hall, a mile southwest of the site; Webster’s descendants occupied the house until 1984, when the property was sold. The community of Antioch, which had a predominantly black population, was founded before 1900 and was centered on the Antioch Baptist Church. In 1900, the forerunner of the Louisiana & Arkansas Railway was built through Antioch, and Reverend James Patterson built a restaurant and a general store on land adjoining the railroad. Residents of Blocker, three miles to the northeast, moved to the railroad community. Antioch was renamed Leigh in 1901, after the wife of John W. Furrh, who owned much of the land on the railroad, and that same year the Leigh post office opened. In 1904, Leigh had one school with five white students and four schools with 297 black students. By 1914, the community had a population of fifty, three general stores, two cotton gins, a drugstore, a blacksmith shop, and telephone service. After attaining a peak population of 126 in the 1920s, Leigh declined to 100 in 1930, when it had a church, two schools, and three businesses. The railroad was rerouted to the north in the 1950s. By 1978, Leigh had two churches (St. Paul’s Episcopal and Antioch Baptist), a community center, the Antioch Cemetery, and a number of dwellings.[i]

[i] Leigh, TX; Texas State Historical Association; https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hll33

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Point of Interest:

Mimosa Hall (9.4 miles north of U.S. 80 on FM 134) (Private)

Virginia-born John Johnston Webster (1796-1854) brought his family to the Republic of Texas, petitioning for land on which to establish a home in 1842.  Built in 1844, Mimosa Hall was part of a 3,000 acre plantation. The estate and one-hundred and fifty acres that went along with it was deeded to Douglas V. Blocker within a partition deed in 1932.  Blocker continued to own the property until 1984 when he sold it to Michael Howard. At some point, Michael Howard deeded the property to his son Nicholas Leon Howard III, who then deeded it to his mother, Virginia Dyke Hamilton in 1989.  Virginia sold the home in 1993 to the present owners, Andrew and Katherine Ann Hirsch. The Hirsch family have maintained the home and kept it in pristine condition. The front façade remains in its original state but the remainder of the home has had many changes throughout the years as well as a rear addition which was built on in 1932.[ii]

In 1844, Webster’s son-in-law, the Reverend George F. Heard, became the first person to be buried in the cemetery at Mimosa Hall Plantation. He was followed by Mrs. Mirriam (Brown) Webster. Other notable graves include those of the Reverend William Moore Steele and five Webster slaves or ex-slaves. Veterans of several wars also are interred here. The wall surrounding the oldest graves was constructed by plantation labor.  The cemetery is located southwest of the house on private land.

[ii] Mimosa Hall; Stephen F. Austin University Center for Regional Heritage Research; http://www.sfasu.edu/heritagecenter/4992.asp

Forgotten Natural Landmark-Providence Canyon State Park, Lumpkin, GA

Providence Canyon State Park (Georgia Highway 39C, between Lumpkin and Florence, Georgia)

Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” is a testament to the power of man’s influence on the land. Massive gullies as deep as 150 feet were caused simply by poor farming practices during the 1800’s, yet today they make some of the prettiest photographs within the state. The rare Plumleaf Azalea grows only in this region and blooms during July and August when most azaleas have lost their color.  The canyon soil’s pink, orange, red and purple hues make a beautiful natural painting at this quiet park.

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Forgotten Landmark-Saint Valéry Church, Varengeville sur Mer, France

Saint-Valéry Church (Route de l’Eglise, north of Chemin En Impasse, Varengeville sur Mer)

The Saint-Valéry Church in Varengeville-sur-Mer is perched on top of the cliffs of Ailly, hidden among gardens and woods bordering the cliff and overlooks the sea from a height of 84 metres. The lateral aisle in sandstone dates back to 1548 and was perhaps built by Jehan Ango to enlarge the primitive sanctuary. The Choir is bathed in a blue light diffused by the abstract stained glass of Raoul Ubac, disciple of Braque. The wreathed column is decorated with reliefs which were inspired by maritime expeditions. The 3rd column is polygonal (a Henry II pillar top). In 1998, Michel Ciry offered a large oil canvas entitled “Christ The Redeemer”. Important protection and consolidation tasks were recently undertaken by the municipality, the State, the Department and the Region.

It is surrounded by the marine cemetery, made famous by 2 brothers, Jérôme and Jean Tharaud, who lived in Varengeville and wrote several texts about it in the Chronicles of Figaro in 1948. This was the beginning of the fame of this sanctuary. Some artists compare the texts of the Tharaud brothers to the poem by Paul Valéry, the Marine Cemetery, written in 1920 and singing the charms of the marine cemetery of Sète. Analogies were drawn between the two cemeteries.[i]

Saint-Valéry Church

[i] Monuments-The Churches; Dieppe-maritime tourisme; http://uk.dieppetourisme.com/discover/heritage/monuments

Forgotten Landmark-Church of St. Aubin de Neuville, Dieppe, France

Church of St. Aubin de Neuville (14-16 Rue du Général de Gaulle, Neuville des Dieppe)

Dependent priory of Longueville sur Scie during the Middle Ages and up to the Revolution, the town of Neuville remained independent until the early 1980s, when it was attached to Dieppe. The first church located here was looted and burned in 1562 by Protestants. Only the chorus, probably rebuilt in the early 16th century (as evidenced by its sculpted pinnacles flamboyant decor foothills) escaped the flames. The reconstruction of the building proved slow and laborious and was not completed until about 1616, when it received its dedication. Rebuilt on a simple plan, the church has a nave flanked by aisles and a non-protruding transept opening to the choir. The bell tower, covered with a slate roof characteristic of the sixteenth century, supported by massive buttresses and drilled into the bottom of arched windows overlooking the western gate, is adorned with a statue of Bishop St. Aubin. Unlike the tower, built in stone as was the choir, the nave walls were built with local materials; flint blocks and blocks of sandstone alternating.

It is the inside which contains the most notable features of this building. The choir presents a rare rustic decoration of the eighteenth century, covering the shrine at a height of 5 meters high (pilasters, carved panels between which are inserted four paintings representing the four evangelists. Topping the central axis is a sculpted set representing a glory (sky filled with clouds and angels from which emerge the symbol of God).

The nave is covered by a barrel-shaped wooden hull vessel overturned and coated with plaster, while the ends of the beams of the frame are decorated with carved decorations; amazing twenty heads more or less grimacing, and five crests and heads resembling those of crocodiles.[i]

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[i] Architectural Heritage-The Church of St. Aubin de Neuville; Dieppe.fr; http://mobile.dieppe.fr/pages/l-eglise-saint-aubin-de-neuville-88

Forgotten Landmark–Former Hotel de Ville and Museum,Dieppe, Normandy, France

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Former Hotel de Ville and Museum (5-6 Boulevard de Verdun)

This structure housed paintings, local curiosities, and a collection of furniture, autographs, and sketches presented in 1889 by Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921), the composer.

 

This post is the first in a series as we develop a new set of historic travel guides to northwestern France, based on earlier guides such as Muirhead’s North-Western France (1926) and Murray’s A Handbook for Travellers in France (1899)

 

 

 

 

35mm Photo Archive–Old Holiday Inn, U.S. Highway 82 between Tifton and Waycross, GA

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