Posts Tagged ‘History’

Cool Discoveries Made During the Kitchen Renovation

July 28th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Doorway

Old Doorway

Chimney

Old Chimney

You know when you live in an old house, there are always things you don’t know about your home.  The Carriage House Bed and Breakfast is no different.  So far, we have not discovered anything really bad during this kitchen renovation.  We have a portion of floor near where the sink used to be that needs to be replaced, but so far that is it.  What we have found that has surprised us is more structural.  It seems at one time there  was a chimney (and fireplace) and a door where there are none now.  Take a look at the photos above.

Has anyone else ever had a really cool discovery during renovations?

Clown Week at the Historic Jefferson Railway

July 27th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Clowns, Carnival, Bigfoot and Trains – Great Summer Fun

Ghost Train

Photo by Sam Wilson

 Kids driving you crazy?  Bring them out to the Historic Jefferson Railway to celebrate National Clown Week on August 5 and 6, 2011.  Come aboard an authentic Steam Train taking you along the Cypress Bayou River in Jefferson, Texas.  The Circus Clowns will keep everyone busy with crafts and a backyard carnival – and prizes for all.

 Jefferson is a great “one-tank” getaway, nestled deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas and seems frozen in time.  There are over a hundred buildings in the city with historical markers. Many historic homes offer bed and breakfast accommodations.  Dozens of other historic buildings house museums, craft and antique shops and restaurants. Come for the day or spend the weekend.

The day train will depart at 2:30 and 4:30 on Saturday.  Participate in craft and carnival activities before and after each train.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, the carnival and crafts will run from 7:00 – 8:00.  Listen to Jefferson Ghost Stories at 8:00, the jump on the infamous Ghost Train at 9:00.

Looking for a place to hang out in your RV, camper or tent?  Be sure to check out the Cypress Bayou RV Park, just one mile from Jefferson on the Big Cypress Bayou.  Secluded RV sites with electric and water surrounded by beautiful wooded acreage.  Observe the abundant wildlife and enjoy fishing and boating, as well as hiking and mountain biking on groomed trails.  The train runs through the RV Park passing several historic sites and artifacts of Jefferson’s bygone era.

Bigfoot (also known in these parts as the Boggy Creek monster) has been sighted running along the railroad tracks as the sun begins to set.  Is the tale of the Bigfoot sightings fact or fiction?

The Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy website says  “Jerry Hestand, Mark Porter and Charles DeVore investigated a number of cases in Marion County from reliable trustworthy people in or near these remote bottomlands.  It is their assessment that it seems highly likely that events have been reported accurately”.

The train rolls right by the home of the Boggy Creek monster as depicted in the upcoming horror movie, “Boggy Creek”, filmed in Jefferson and Uncertain.  The movie is loosely based on the old Big Foot or Sasquatch legends, says Brian T. Jaynes, director and producer.

So, are the sightings real or a spoof to enhance your rider experience?  You’ll have to ride the train to find out!

The Historic Jefferson Railway recreates the Golden Era of Steam railroading with narrated day trains.  Steam hissing, whistle blowing and pistons chuggin, Old Engine #7 will take you on a scenic trip along the Big Cypress Bayou.  As you roll through the history laden Piney Woods, you’ll view a Confederate Powder Magazine and traverse the site of one of the oldest, historical towns in Texas.

Start Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 with free Ghost Stories at the historic “haunted” train depot.  The story-teller will keep you at the edge of your seat as you hear stories about famous and not-so-famous Ghosts of Jefferson and Northeast Texas.

Then climb aboard the legendary Ghost Train at 9:00.  The Ghost Train carries you deep into the dark woods along the Bayou.  The narrator shares legends of Jefferson and East Texas ghosts and a story or two that will make you reach for your loved ones! Historic Jefferson Railway was nominated as one of the Best Excursion Railroad Theme Trains for its Ghost Train by the readers of Cowcatcher magazine for the First Annual 2009 Gold Rail Awards.

The Railway is a part of the thriving community of Jefferson sponsoring major events throughout the year that bring over 20,000 visitors to Jefferson. Riders look forward all year to Terror on the Bayou Fright Train, Rail of Lights Christmas & New Year’s Train as well as Diamond Don’s Riverport National Vintage Motocross and Trammel’s Trace Rendezvous.

The train was built in 1964 for Six Guns Territory in Florida and moved to Jefferson in 1986. It is a Crown Metals reproduction of the 1870’s American class  4-4-0 steam locomotive christened the Robert E. Lee.  The open car coach seats still carry the custom medallions cast into them designed especially for the Six Guns amusement park.

Historic Jefferson Railway is located at 400 E. Austin in Downtown Jefferson, Texas.  For information on pricing, schedule and events, please visit www.JeffersonRailway.com or call 866-398-2038 or visit the Carriage House Things to Do in Jefferson page

 August 5 and 6, 2011

Open air coach $12, plus tax

Children under 6 FREE

10% discount to Active Military & Seniors

 Come join us for Crafts, Carnival and Ghost Stories at the depot. 

 And IT’S FREE!

 Friday

Depot opens at 6:00

Free Crafts and Carnival at 7:00

Free Ghost Stories at 8:00

Ghost Train departs at 9:00

 Saturday

Depot opens at noon

Narrated Day Train departs at 2:30 and 4:30

Free Carnival and Crafts from 1:30 – 5:30 and 7:00 – 8:00

Free Ghost Stories at 8:00
Ghost Train departs at 9:00

A Message Left For Me From the Past

July 26th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Kitchen Message

One of the things that we discussed through out the planning process of this kitchen renovation was “Discovery”.  It is an old house so we knew there were going to find surprises.  We anticipated that the plumbing was going to need to be updated or that the wiring was not in code.  What we were not expecting was a message left under the cabinets by one of the previous owners. 

So now I have a little mystery on my hands.  What does it mean?  I am taking that the 19 and 88 are supposed to be the year 1988 which means that the kitchen was 23 years old (not surprised).  But what does the rest of it mean?  

I love a good mystery.  Don’t you?

Texas Monthly About the Port Of Jefferson Civil War Re-Enactment

July 21st, 2011 by carriagehouse

Little Girls with Chickens

If you have a few minutes today, you should definitely take time to read the wonderful article in this month’s Texas Monthly about my town of Jefferson Texas.  The photographer and writer were here for our annual Battle Of Port Jefferson Civil War Re-Enactment that takes place the first weekend in May every year.  They did a wonderful job of portraying our annual event.

The Skirmish Will Be Followed by a Ladies’ Tea

Our Pilgrimage Weekend and Battle Of Port Jefferson Civil War Re-Enactment are splendid affairs that have people showing up in period dress, fighting skirmishes and battles on our brick lined streets, touring our amazing antebellum homes and attending our grand balls.  If you have not been here for this weekend, then you should put it on your bucket list.  It is a must do and must see.  I will even serve breakfast for you in my Civil War gown.

 

Weekend Entertainment for Jefferson, Texas July 21 – 24

July 20th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Graceful Ghost Steamboat

 

JEFFERSON, TEXAS
WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT
JULY 21-24, 2011

*       AUNTIE SKINNER’S RIVERBOAT CLUB & RESTAURANT
Thursday,  July 21:  “Karaoke”  @ 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Friday,  July 22:  “Auntie Skinner’s has Talent” Preliminary Round II @ 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 23:  “The Voodudes”  (Classic Rock N’Roll)  9:00pm-1:00 a.m.
(903) 665-7121

*        KARAOKE
Saturday, July 23 @ 8:00 p.m.-12:00 midnight
Location:  The Sandwich Shop, 123 W. Austin
(903) 601-2211

*      BINGO!
Location:  Pine Hill Nursing & Rehabilitation, 1307 MLK
Each Monday in July @ 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Prizes & refreshments  -Free-
(903) 472-841

*      TURNING BASIN RIVERBOAT TOURS
200 Bayou St.
Tuesday-Friday @ 12:00 noon & 2:00 p.m.
Saturdays @ 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
(Weather permitting)
Closed:  Sunday & Monday
(903) 665-2222
www.jeffersonbayoutours.com

*      LONE STAR CARRIAGE COMPANY OF JEFFERSON
Historical tours of Jefferson by horse & carriage and Mule Drawn Wagon
Specializing in weddings
Friday-Sunday, July 22-24
(Weather permitting)
Groups and special events available by appointment
Departs from corner of Austin & Market (across from the Jefferson Historical Museum)
(903) 926-8216
www.jeffersontexascarriage.com
Call for reservations

*      HISTORIC JEFFERSON GHOSTWALK
Wednesday-Saturday, July 20-23 @ 8:00 p.m.
Departure location:  Corner of Austin &Vale St.
(903) 665-6289
www.jeffersonghostwalk.com

*     JEFFERSON PEDAL POWER
122 E. Austin
Bicycles, Trikes, Tandems, Surreys & more
By reservation
(903) 926-5167
www.JeffersonPedalPower.com

*     HISTORIC JEFFERSON RAILWAY
* Friday, July 22 @ 8:00 p.m. -  Free Ghost Stories & 9:00 p.m. – Ghost Train
(Note:  due to heat conditions, the train may not run on Friday evening.  Final
determination will be made each Friday @ 5:00 p.m.  Please call to confirm.
Saturday, July 23 @ 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. (Day Excursions)
8:00 p.m. -  Free Ghost Stories & 9:00 p.m. – Ghost Train
(903) 665-6400 or (866) 398-2038
www.JeffersonRailway.com

*    LAFAYETTE STREET VINTAGE VEHICLES CAR MUSEUM
112 W. Lafayette
Friday & Saturday, July 22-23 @ 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
(903) 240-6180
Call for additional tours

*    CULBERSON HOUSE HISTORIC HOME TOUR
403 N. Walnut
(903) 665-7888
www.culbersonhousebandb.com
*  By reservation.  Call for tour times

*    HOUSE OF THE SEASONS HISTORIC HOME TOUR
409 S. Alley
Daily @ 11:00 a.m.
(903) 665-8000
Reservations required
www.houseoftheseasons.com

*    SINGLETON’S VIRGINIA CROSS HISTORIC HOME TOUR
401 Soda St.
Saturday, July 23 @ 1:00 p.m.
(903) 665-3938  (903) 665-8518 or (214) 725-6232
Call for reservations & additional tour dates and times

*   THE GROVE HAUNTED HISTORIC HOME TOUR
405 Moseley
Saturday, July 23 @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 24 @ 11:00 a.m.
(903) 665-8018
www.thegrove-jefferson.com
Call to confirm tour

*   EXCELSIOR HOUSE HOTEL & JAY GOULD RAILCAR TOUR
211 W. Austin
Tours:  Monday-Friday @ 2:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday @ 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.
(903) 665-2513
Call to confirm tour times
www.theexcelsiorhouse.com

*   JEFFERSON HISTORICAL MUSEUM
223 W. Austin
Open daily:  9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(903) 665-2775
www.jeffersonmuseum.com

*    H & D EXOTIC DEER FARM AND OTHER EXOTIC ANIMALS
359 P.R. 5730 & Hwy 729
Open:  Sunday-Friday (Closed:  Saturday)
(903) 665-2238
Reservations required
www.hddeerfarmtours.homestead.com

*   THE GRACEFUL GHOST PADDLEWHEEL STEAMBOAT ON CADDO LAKE
Tuesday-Friday @ 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.
Sunday & Monday:  Closed
Pontoon Boat tours at any time with prior  reservation
Location:  Shady Glade Marina, 510 Cypress Drive, Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-2238
www.gracefulghost.com
Call for reservations & additional tours

*  BILLY CARTER’S GO-DEVIL TOURS ON CADDO LAKE
Location:  Johnson’s Ranch in Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-3213
Call for reservations
www.caddoguideservice.com

CADDO OUTBACK BACKWATER TOURS
Personalized Tours of Caddo Lake
Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-3384 or (903) 679-9138
Call for reservations
www.caddooutback.com

*   CADDO LAKE PADDLEWHEEL TOURS “THE SWAMP THING”
Uncertain, TX
(888) 325-5459 or (903) 789-2101
Open:  Tuesday-Saturday
Closed:  Sunday & Monday
Call for reservations

*   JEFFERSON CARNEGIE LIBRARY
301 W. Lafayette
Monday-Thursday @ 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Friday @ 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Closed:  Sunday
(903) 665-8911
www.jeffersoncarnegielibrary.com
Free internet access

For Better or For Worse, For Richer and For Poorer and Now For an Even Dozen

July 3rd, 2011 by carriagehouse

It was twelve years ago today (around 2pm Central Time) that Tom and I stood in front of God, our family and our friends and said our I Dos.  Neither one of us had any idea of the adventure that we were just beginning or the path that we had just begun.

I am sure some of you have heard the story.  Tom and I met on July 3rd 1997.  He proposed to me July 3rd 1998 and we were married on July 3rd 1999.  There is no way that either one of us could forget our anniversary.

By the way, it is twelve years later and I still see fireworks on our anniversary!

Happy Anniversary, Honey!!

Having Fun Playing with the Photographer’s Camera

July 2nd, 2011 by carriagehouse

   Tom the Photographer

So while we were in Natchez, Mississippi, I grabbed Tom’s camera and played photographer for a while.  I had been toying with the idea of taking up photography for sometime and wanted to see what it was like being on the other side of the lens. 

It is a lot harder then it looks.

My college sweetheart was a photographer whose name was also Tom.  Apparently today, he is on the Dallas Morning News photography staff and his work has earned him a Pulitzer Prize amongst manyother awards.  I obviously didn’t marry that Tom but later met a different photographer by the name of Tom and married him.  It is clear that I have a type that I am attracted.  Tom’s who carry cameras.  I have spent my entire adult life around photography and can compose a shot as good as any one but I can’t shoot the picture.  I don’t know the mechanics of a camera. 

So this week while in Natchez, I picked up Tom’s camera and took my first photo.  I would love your honest feedback.  How did I do?  Let me know on our Facebook page

Crepe MyrtleWater TowerWater Tower

A Beautiful Plantation for a Better Way to Stay on our Wedding Anniversary

July 2nd, 2011 by carriagehouse

At the insistence of our BFFs, Joe and Vickie, we booked a room at the beautiful Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, Mississippi for our wedding anniversary trip.  We knew we were in for something special when we drove up and saw the impressive Greek Revival Mansion sitting on the hill overlooking the town surrounded by huge old trees draped in Spanish Moss. 

We checked in and were immediately greeted by Hal who went to great lengths to make sure we knew how to use the TV remotes and where the best places to eat in town were.  To be honest, Hal was one of the reason this place is great.  Every time I saw him, he was smiling.  Hal always went out of his way to say Hi and greet us.  At one point we were loading up the car for the day and he offered to get us a bag of ice for our cooler.  Score one for the BnB.  That is not something you ever see at a hotel.

The Inn’s property is just amazing with incredible gardens that go on forever.  That is one of my musts for a B&B …beautiful gardens.  I think when people come to stay at a Bed & Breakfast or in this case an Inn, they expect to be surrounded by beauty.  It doesn’t matter whether the BnB is a an old historic house or a trendy bungalow, people want amazing gardens.  Monmouth Plantation did not disappoint.  Both Tom and I wandered for hours through rose gardens with angels keeping watch, and over walking bridges that provided safe passage from fountained duck ponds.  The walking paths seemed to lead to every part of the property… even an old cemetery.

Hotels often talk about service with a smile but let’s be honest, that is just marketing speak to try and get you to book a room with them.  A BnB or an Inn lives customer service.  It is what we do every day for every one.  We don’t just talk customer service, we live and breath it every moment just like our friend Hal does in Natchez.

Hotels are sometimes beautiful stately properties but just as often dingy buildings along the side of the highway.  B&Bs are almost never anything but amazing properties with the owners taking great pride in every detail of your stay all the way down to the flowers out your window.

These are the things that distinguish us from them or a Bed & Breakfast from a hotel.

That is why we say that we are a Better Way to Stay.  The hospitality industry should be about providing gracious, courteous service to every guest that walks through the door.  At a B&B or an Inn every person is treated special and with personalized attention.  When was the last time you can say that about the big chain hotel on the highway?

So next time you are looking for someplace to stay, chose a Better Way to Stay.  Choose a B&B or an Inn.

Water Fountain

Walking Bridge

July 4th Weekend Entertainment for Jefferson Texas

June 30th, 2011 by carriagehouse

July 4th Weekend Celebrations

 JEFFERSON, TEXAS
WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT
JUNE 30-JULY 4, 2011

*       “JEFFERSON SALUTES AMERICA” 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION
Monday, July 4 @ 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Location:  Otstott Gazebo & Bandstand (Lafayette & Vale St.)
Decorated Bicycle/Tricycle contest, homemade ice cream contest, cake & pie auction,
Live music, Fireworks Extravaganza and much more.
(903) 665-2672
www.jefferson-texas.com

*         AUNTIE SKINNER’S RIVERBOAT CLUB & RESTAURANT
Thursday,  June 30:  “Leon Vines”  (Classic Acoustic Guitar)  @ 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Friday,  July 1:  “Donnie Dodson & the White Trash Wannabees” (Classic Rock) @ 8:30
p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Saturday, July 2:  “Richard Stuart & One Night Stand” (Classic Rock N’Roll) @ 9:00
p.m.-1:00 a.m.
(903) 665-7121

*        KARAOKE
Saturday, July 2 @ 8:00 p.m.-12:00 midnight
Location:  The Sandwich Shop, 123 W. Austin
(903) 601-2211

*      BINGO!
Location:  Pine Hill Nursing & Rehabilitation, 1307 MLK
Each Monday in July @ 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Prizes & refreshments
(903) 472-841

*      TURNING BASIN RIVERBOAT TOURS
200 Bayou St.
Tuesday-Friday @ 12:00 noon & 2:00 p.m.
Saturdays,  @ 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
Sunday & Monday, July 3-4:  12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.
(903) 665-2222
www.jeffersonbayoutours.com

*      LONE STAR CARRIAGE COMPANY OF JEFFERSON
Historical tours of Jefferson by horse & carriage and Mule Drawn Wagon
Specializing in weddings
Friday-Saturday, July 1-2
(Weather permitting)
Groups and special events available by appointment
Departs from corner of Austin & Market (across from the Jefferson Historical Museum)
(903) 926-8216
www.jeffersontexascarriage.com
Call for reservations

*      HISTORIC JEFFERSON GHOSTWALK
Thursday-Sunday, June 30-July 3 @ 8:00 p.m.
Departure location:  Corner of Austin &Vale St.
(903) 665-6289
www.jeffersonghostwalk.com

*     JEFFERSON PEDAL POWER
122 E. Austin
Bicycles, Trikes, Tandems, Surreys & more
By reservation
(903) 926-5167

*     HISTORIC JEFFERSON RAILWAY
Friday, July 1 @ 8:00 p.m. -  Free Ghost Stories & 9:00 p.m. – Ghost Train
Saturday, July 2 @ 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. (Day Excursions)
8:00 p.m. -  Free Ghost Stories & 9:00 p.m. – Ghost Train
(903) 665-6400 or (866) 398-2038
www.JeffersonRailway.com

*    LAFAYETTE STREET VINTAGE VEHICLES CAR MUSEUM
112 W. Lafayette
Friday & Saturday, July 1-2 @ 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
(903) 240-6180
Call for additional tours

*    CULBERSON HOUSE HISTORIC HOME TOUR
403 N. Walnut
(903) 665-7888
www.culbersonhousebandb.com
*  By reservation.  Call for tour times

*    HOUSE OF THE SEASONS HISTORIC HOME TOUR
409 S. Alley
Closed:  June 27-July 5
Daily @ 11:00 a.m.
(903) 665-8000
Reservations required
www.houseoftheseasons.com

*    SINGLETON’S VIRGINIA CROSS HISTORIC HOME TOUR
401 Soda St.
Saturday, July 2 @ 1:00 p.m.
(903) 665-3938  (903) 665-8518 or (214) 725-6232
Call for reservations & additional tour dates and times

*   THE GROVE HAUNTED HISTORIC HOME TOUR
405 Moseley
Saturday, July 2 @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 3 @ 11:00 a.m.
(903) 665-8018
www.thegrove-jefferson.com
Call to confirm tour

*   EXCELSIOR HOUSE HOTEL & JAY GOULD RAILCAR TOUR
211 W. Austin
Tours:  Monday-Friday @ 2:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday @ 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.
(903) 665-2513
Call to confirm tour times
www.theexcelsiorhouse.com

*   JEFFERSON HISTORICAL MUSEUM
223 W. Austin
Open daily:  9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(903) 665-2775
www.jeffersonmuseum.com

*    H & D EXOTIC DEER FARM AND OTHER EXOTIC ANIMALS
359 P.R. 5730 & Hwy 729
Open:  Sunday-Friday (Closed:  Saturday)
(903) 665-2238
Reservations required

*   THE GRACEFUL GHOST PADDLEWHEEL STEAMBOAT ON CADDO LAKE
Tuesday-Friday @ 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.
Sunday & Monday:  Closed
Pontoon Boat tours at any time with prior  reservation
Location:  Shady Glade Marina, 510 Cypress Drive, Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-2238
www.gracefulghost.com
Call for reservations & additional tours

*  BILLY CARTER’S GO-DEVIL TOURS ON CADDO LAKE
Location:  Johnson’s Ranch in Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-3213
Call for reservations
www.caddoguideservice.com

*   CADDO OUTBACK BACKWATER TOURS
Personalized Tours of Caddo Lake
Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-3384 or (903) 679-9138
Call for reservations
www.caddooutback.com

*   CADDO LAKE PADDLEWHEEL TOURS “THE SWAMP THING”
Uncertain, TX
(888) 325-5459 or (903) 789-2101
Open:  Tuesday-Saturday
Closed:  Sunday & Monday
Call for reservations

*   JEFFERSON CARNEGIE LIBRARY
301 W. Lafayette
Monday-Thursday @ 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Friday @ 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Closed:  Sunday
(903) 665-8911
www.jeffersoncarnegielibrary.com
Free internet access

Pleasant Hill Quilting Group – Not What You Think It Is

June 23rd, 2011 by carriagehouse

The Ladies of the Pleasant Hill Quilting Club, Texas-intro trailer from Kimby Caplan on Vimeo.

Of all of the performances that I had the privilege to see this past weekend at the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest, the ladies of the Pleasant Hill Quilting Group were the most interesting and they were certainly the most unique.  These woman put on a very spirited and very spiritual performance each night.  If you ever get the chance to see them in action, you should take advantage of it.  Their performance is like nothing you have ever seen before.

Back in our pre-civil war times, the slaves of the South had many different ways to communicate with each other.  Due to the cruelty of their enslavement, they were unable to just talk as we all find so natural.  We have to remember though.  It is our human nature to share information.  One of the most common ways for slaves to communicate with each other was in their song and in their work.  The slaves developed codes that they would sew into their quilts that would often pass on information such as the safest way to escape or the safest way to the Underground Railroad leading them north to freedom.

For instance, a North Star sewn into a quilt would signal that a slave should go north.  This would often be used in conjunction with the old slave spirtual song “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, which contains a reference to the Big Dipper constellation.  Two of the Big Dipper’s points lead to the North Star which again corresponds to the North Star sewn into the quilt.

The Pleasant Hill Quilting Group is a group of quilters from the East Texas town of Linden that lend their talents to the art of quilt making and also to the history of quilt making.  Each quilt they sew is a replica of an old slave quilt and their performances are a wonderful mix of telling of the quilt codes sewn into these beautiful quilts as well as singing the old spiritual songs that tell the stories of how to escape to freedom.  The song leader describes what each square means and in between the squares they sing.

The Pleasant Hill Quilting Group meets each Monday afternoon at the old Pleasant Hill/ Rosenwald School to quilt and build community.  The Pleasant Hill/ Rosenwald school was built in 1925 to serve the African American community and was in continuous operation as a two room school house until 1964.  Today the building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is used as a community center.  If you are interested in stopping in and seeing this historic structure, it is open for tours each Monday while the ladies are there working.  Each quilt that is sewn is sold to help defray the costs of preserving this little piece of East Texas history.

The ladies of the Pleasant Hill Quilting Group donated one of their quilts to the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest and it was auctioned off Saturday night.  It was great to sit back and watch two of the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast’s guests fight over it.  Greg from California finally won it for $750 dollars.  You should have seen the look of delight in these ladies faces at the idea of getting that type of money.

I and several of our guests had the opportunity to look hard at the quilt Sunday morning after breakfast.  Many of you know that my mother is a long time quilter and the quilts on our beds are all hand made by her.  We all admired the beautiful hand stitching which is so rare to see today.  Greg said that he was considering donating it to his local school district so that they can use it in their history classes.

The quilt tells the story of a very horrible time in U.S history and these ladies are keeping the stories alive through their performances.

Pleasant Hill Quilting GroupJubileePleasant Hill Lady

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