Jess Todd sent me a picture of the calaboose in Port O’Connor that is still standing. Today, he sent some additional information about the structure and is trying to get some historic photos. His help is greatly appreciated.
Rhonda Holley is creating a website for my archaeological business, Brazos Valley Research Associates. The information that was on the vita on this website will be formatted differently and appear on the site she is creating.
Recently, Rhonda Holley accompanied me on a trip to Zapata for an archaeological project. While there, we explored the old towns of Roma and San Ygnacio. I had seen images on the Internet of suspicious buildings in Roma and was eager to find them. One was used temporarily as a jail and does not fit the calaboose definition. The other was a standing rock wall with bars in a window. It turns out that most of the old windows in those towns had bars. Rhonda is going to discuss this trip in more detail later.
Starr County is a long drive from Bryan and I was fortunate to have a job in the area.
Today, Rhonda K. Hollewent with me to the Bryan Animal Clinic to have Dr. Walker examine a kitten that someone dumped in my yard. We have been naming some of the cats after towns with calabooses. This particular kitten is a female and when Kristie Ikels, one of the techs, told us there used to be a calaboose in her hometown of Marion, we decided that her name should be Marion.
Tomorrow, Rhonda K. Holley is going with me to Zapata to help with an archaeological project I have in that town. While there, we plan to visit Roma where there should be two tiny jails and on the way back we will stop at Moore and record the calaboose there. While on this trip, we will check out as many small towns as possible for more jails.
Today, I added information from Blackburn’s book “Wanted: Historic County Jails of Texas” to the website under Vanished. Those added were for Archer, Armstrong, and Bandera counties.
I am going through Ed Blackburn, Jr.’s book “Wanted: Historic County Jails of Texas” and looking for references to vanished calabooses. So far, I have found quite a few. In a few hours, I will have added information for Austin, Bailey, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, and Brewster counties. There will not always be Sanborn maps to check against the statements in his book but he does cite his sources. Some of the jails described by Blackburn were two-story buildings that do not fit my initial definition of a calaboose but they are included because they are reported to be the first in the counties and they were unusual in their construction.
Charles Fiedler wrote me earlier about the calaboose in Comfort. Today, he was there and took some pictures and shared some interesting information. His cousin, Louis Faust who is 82, grew up in Comfort and he vividly remembers individuals being locked up for the night in this calaboose. Pictures and more information will be posted on the website when a page for Kendall County is created.
Earlier this year, I discussed the possibility of a calaboose in Comfort, Texas (Kendall County) with a lady who supposedly is the local historian and knows a lot about the town. She categorically denied the presence of a jail in town citing that (paraphrased here) crime was never a problem in Comfort (guess that is why the town is named Comfort). I called her because a lady wrote to my website and asked if I had any interior pictures of the old calaboose about 1.5 blocks from her house. Another reader referred to it as well and wondered why I had not seen it.
Darryl Pearson found it on Google Earth and went there and took pictures of the non-existent calaboose. I plan to go there as well. I will add this one to the website later with what information I can obtain at this time.
The Texas Collection is a website created by Baylor University. It contains hundreds of interesting photos. While looking for a calaboose I found this image of Marlin, Texas depicting the courthouse. There is a small building to the left that appears to be the calaboose shown on the Sanborn map dated 1885. If that is the case, the building behind it would have been the county jail.