Monday, April 29, 2013

Palo Pinto County on Tour

 Raf, his sister Mary, and I went on the Palo Pinto County Tour presented each year by the Palo Pinto County Historical Commission.  Our first stop was Lovers Retreat.

Lovers Retreat is west of Palo Pinto just off of US Highway 180, situated on part of the old Bankhead Highway.  Now, you may be surprised, but we have never been there, and we were astounded with its beauty.

The name originally came, in one story, because a settler named Lovers who settled in Golconda, the first name of Palo Pinto, was out chasing stray cows when Indians spotted him.  He was able to hide from them in a cave above Eagle Creek near a spring.  He was successful in eluding the Indians.

The land was purchased by the Barney Carter family in 1932 is now in the hands of a Carter descendant, Mrs. Eloise Beckworth Davidson.  Her son, veteran Carter Beckworth, is buried on the land very near the creek.

From Lovers Retreat we traveled to Johnson League Ranch off Highway 919 about five miles north of the town of Gordon.  It was owned in 1880 by brothers William Whipple Johnson and Harvey Johnson who were instrumental in the discover of coal in Thurber, Texas, in 1887, as well as being the first settlers of Strawn, Texas.

This land was part of the John Bird League Survey of 1850 and was the first deeded land in Palo Pinto County.  When the Johnsons purchased the league, or 4,200 acres, it was named the Johnson League Ranch.  It was sold in the 1940s to Claude Allen, and A. D. Crawford inherited it in 1960.  Today it is a working cattle ranch owned by the Crawford family.

 Here Raf is visiting with former student, Jeff Crawford, whose family owns the ranch.

We ate lunch at Mary's Cafe in Strawn, Texas.  The food is good, but, honestly, there is WAY too much of it!
 We went to the new Palo Pinto Mountain State Park west of Strawn on Tucker Lake.

Another historical ranch we visited was the Belding Ranch off Highway 16 near Possum Kingdom Lake.  Henry Belding settled there in 1859 with his wife, who was Oliver Loving’s niece.  The core of the ranch home is the remains of the log house first built there.  It is one of only five long cabins still in Palo Pinto County, and the Belding family owns the property to this day.

It was a very beautiful day!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Family and Friends. . .Can't get better than that

Yesterday was our monthly family dinner.  We were delighted when several of my long-time friends joined us.  It was a wonderful day!

 This silly Christmas cactus doesn't know it's past Easter!

 Our irises were beautiful!

 Our garden is coming along nicely.

 We went to Golden Moon in Weatherford Saturday night for Mary's birthday.
 And here's the family!

And this is me with Helen, who lived two doors down growing up, and Dianne who played cowboys on horseback with me forever!  We all attended the same church, went to MYF and church camp together, attended Girl Scouts, went to school together, and have known each other since "before we were born". 



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