Saturday, April 16, 2011

Texas Adventures Part 5 - Decatur, Texas

Hello ya'll!! Are you ready to set out on another adventure? Here we go....

Decatur, Texas is located at the junction of US Highway 81/287 and Highway 380 in Wise County.  Travel time from the Dallas/Fort Worth is 45 minutes.  Take a step back in time when you visit historic Downtown Decatur. Stand in awe of the James Riley Gordon, 1896 Wise County Courthouse and then meander your way over to the newly opened Decatur Visitors Center located in the historic 1939 WPA Post Office Building.  Then make your way over to the Wise County Heritage Museum.  Formerly the Administration Building for the Decatur Baptist College, the building now houses the Wise County Heritage Museum, Little Theatre, Lost Battalion Room and Wise County Archives. The building was erected in 1892 of native limestone to house a four year college.  In December of 1967 the building and one acre were deeded to the Wise County Historical Society by Coke L. Gage. Next on our tour is "El Castile".  "The Castle" was built in 1883 by cattle baron Dan Waggoner and was once headquarters to the vast Waggoner ranching empire in North Texas. The house boasts 16 rooms and a full basement with 8 wood-burning fireplaces. It is constructed of fossibiferous limestone decorated with hand hewn wrought iron on the roof and balconies. The entrance hall has a grand staircase winding to the second floor with Texas star motifs decorating the walnut & oak stairway and other woodwork throughout the house. Massive interior doors stand 16 feet tall, 3 have stained glass. The Victorian library displays wrought iron isinglass fixtures from Denver. The house has a large dining room, 8 bedrooms, 5 marble bath and a huge kitchen with a copper sink and fixtures. The house was the model for the home in the movie "Giant". The home Thistle Hill in Fort Worth was a wedding present to Dan's Daughter Electra in 1902. El Castile was purchased by Phil Luker Sr. in 1944 and remains in the Luker family to this day. It is privately owned and not available for public viewing. And, not to be missed, is the Texas Tourist Camp.  Local Businessman C.F. Boydston purchased this site, a former feed lot in 1927. Recognizing a potential business opportunity offering services to the traveling public, he built a wooden shed and gas station in 1927. Travelers were allowed to build campfires during overnight stays and by 1931 Boydston added three wooden cabins with garages to the camp complex. The building were later faced with rock and more cabins were added in 1935. The original wooden gas station was covered with petrified wood in 1935 when the highway was widened and remained in operation by the Boydston family until 1988.  The Texas lunchroom was built in 1929 and renamed the Texas Cafe' in 1935. It was a popular hangout with high school and college students of the time as well as a destination for the traveling public. Trains often stopped for engineers and passenger to get a bit to eat. Part of the Complex is now occupied by private offices. The now Whistle Stop Cafe' has once again become a hangout for locals. The Texas Tourist Camp is one of the few intact example of tourist camps built throughout Texas in the mid 20th century. The Complex is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Decatur hosts many Special Events throughout the year.  Cruise Nights on the Courthouse Square is held the 1st Saturday of the Month- May to October (excluding July).  Stores and restaurants stay open late and streets are closed to traffic. The Chisholm Trail Days Western Heritage Event is held in the month of June.  Moonlight Madness is held the first part of December with a parade, carriage rides around the downtown square and kids activities.
Next on our journey is a stop at beautiful Lake Bridgeport.  North Side Marina and Resort is located in deep water at the north end of beautiful Lake Bridgeport tucked away in a wooded lake front setting adjacent to Moonlight Bay, Sunset Bay, and North Star Pointe. North Side Marina and Resort offers many services including 1 to 4 Bedroom Cabin Rentals, Boat Rentals, Slip Rentals, RV Sites, Ship's Store, Gift Shop, Fishing and 24 hour boat fuel to Lake Bridgeport Residents and Visitors.
Time to rest those tired feet?  Then check into the Abbercromby Bed & Breakfast Suites. They also offer therapeutic massage, neuromuscular and myofascial therap, Swedish massage, reflexology, sports injury massage and tripper point massage.  That, in itself, sounds like a winner to me!
And...that concludes our visit to Decatur, Texas.  Did ya'll have fun?  Hope so, cuz I did!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for attending the blog hop i really appreciate am already your follower.hope to read more beautiful post from you.