This calaboose project gets more interesting every day. Last night, I was watching a video on You Tube taken by two guys who drove the entire length of original segments of Route 66. When they passed through Glenrio, Texas and started showing old buildings I started watching closely. They could not identify one of the buildings and I had to go back and look several times because it looks very much like a calaboose. Rhonda Holley was able to capture this image on her phone and email it to me. When she comes over later we are going to try to find it on Google Earth and on Tuesday I will be making phone calls to see what I can find out. I have not been able to find a Sanborn map for Glenrio.
One of the buildings in town was identified as the abandoned post office. It could easily fall into the suspicious structure category based on the photograph.
In addition to finding calabooses and other interesting buildings, there is the occasional unexpected discovery that to me is special. The town of Glenrio is partly in Quay County, New Mexico and partly in Deaf Smith County, Texas. One of these finds is the old marker that depicts the state boundary. When I searched for the possible calaboose under “Images” for Glenrio, I found this one.
Today, I visited a really interesting calaboose in Wortham, Texas (Freestone County) just north of Mexia. Rhonda Holley discovered it earlier on her way home from Oklahoma but she did not have time to fully document it. So, she and her mother (Donna Smith) went with me and we had a great time. This calaboose was built in 1915 and is in really good condition. It will be described in more detail later on this website.
One of the fun things about this project is the interesting things we see that are not expected. The theater in Mexia, for example, is a great piece of neon art and the only one like this I have ever seen.
We are always looking for calabooses in every town we pass through when we have time. In Wortham, Rhonda’s mom spotted a suspicious brick structure next to a great Victorian house built in 1895 by a local Judge. The owner of the house graciously let us look at it and once inside I saw bars on the only window. Was this a calaboose? I thought so. The owners said that it had been used as a garage. That may be true but it could have had a previous life as a calaboose. Did the Judge have it built next to his house for convenience. Was it actually built as a garage? Both seem possible at this time. The brick structure does not seem to go with the wooden Victorian house but brick was plentiful since the nearby town of Corsicana was a major manufacturer of brick. Some of the streets in Wortham are paved with that brick.
There are way too many interesting buildings to try to document in these small Texas towns and we have to remained focused on our mission – calabooses.
Usually, we are out and about at lunch time or dinner time. Today, we had lunch at the Drilling Rig in Mexia. They had a buffet and a menu. Rhonda remembers eating there in the past and said the bread pudding was excellent. Her mother had it and agreed. Rhonda had a BLT and asked the waitress if the French Fries were homemade or frozen. They said they are frozen but on request they will make some fresh and they were great. This kind of service is quite rare.
It was a good day. We documented a really interesting calaboose and possibly found an older one in the same town.
Tonight I was joined by Rhonda Holley during a radio interview about this project. Jay Brakefield works at KEOS in Bryan, Texas and he graciously invited us to come in and talk about calabooses. This is a community radio station totally paid for by donations and everyone who works there is a volunteer. It has great programming and is on 24/7 at 89.1 FM. I was a bit nervous but Rhonda acted like she had been there before and did a great job. I am not going to say anymore right now since she may be writing a blog as I am typing this.
Current work is adding links of each standing calaboose to the Floorplans tab. This allows the reader to go directly to the map for that particular calaboose or one with a similar floor plan.
Been an exciting few days. Rhonda Holley went to Oklahoma to visit family. On the way there she stopped in Van Alystine to look for a wooden calaboose that is depicted on the 1914 Sanborn map. Since that is the latest map available we wondered if there could still be one since the wooden one was probably not still around. She found a great one that was built in 1947.
On her way back, she took a different road and found one in Wortham completely unexpected. Finding new calabooses can be very exciting. She may post more information about her latest adventure at a later date.
Today, I am working on Acknowledgments. I want to make sure everyone who helped gets credit for what they did. Anyone reading this whose name is mentioned please let me know if I have spelled your name correctly, your title (if you have one), and where you work. It may take a while to finish this.