Posts Tagged ‘History’

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

Weekend Entertainment for Jefferson Texas June 23-26 2011

June 23rd, 2011 by carriagehouse

 

 

Austin Street and the Post Office

Picture of Austin Street at Sunrise

JEFFERSON, TEXAS
WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT
JUNE 23-26, 2011

?* AUNTIE SKINNER’S RIVERBOAT CLUB & RESTAURANT
Thursday, June 23: “Dennis Hogan” (Country) @ 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Friday, June 24: Karaoke @ 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Saturday, June 25: “Ambush” (Classic Rock) @ 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
(903) 665-7121

* KARAOKE
Saturday, June 25 @ 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 June @ 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Prizes & refreshments
(903) 472-841

* TURNING BASIN RIVERBOAT TOURS
200 Bayou St.
Saturdays @ 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday-Saturday @ 12:00 noon & 2:00 p.m.
Sunday & Monday: Closed
(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, June 24-26
(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

* HISTORIC JEFFERSON GHOSTWALK
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, June 23-25 @ 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, June 24 @ 8:00 p.m. – Free Ghost Stories & 9:00 p.m. – Ghost Train
Saturday, June 25 @ 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, June 24-25 @ 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
(903) 240-6180
Call for additional tours

* CULBERSON HOUSE HISTORIC HOME TOUR
403 N. Walnut
Friday & Saturday, June 24-25 @ 3:00 p.m.
(903) 665-7888
www.culbersonhousebandb.com
Call to confirm tour

* 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, June 25 @ 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, June 25 @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 26 @ 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

* 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

Celebrate Flag Day Aboard Jefferons’ Historic Railway

June 1st, 2011 by carriagehouse

Ghost Train

Photo by Sam Wilson

In celebration of Flag Day, the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 and inspired by three decades of state and local celebrations, The Historic Jefferson Railway will offer a special Flag Day Weekend, June 10 and 11, 2011. Every rider will receive a free Flag Day gift and active Military Personnel can ride free.

Looking for a place close to town to camp or bring your RV? Come stay at the Cypress Bayou RV Park, just one mile from Jefferson, adjacent to the Cypress Bayou River. The park offers secluded tent camping and RV sites with water and electric surrounded by beautiful wooded acreage. Observe the abundant wildlife and enjoy great fishing and boating, as well as hiking and mountain biking on groomed trails.

We will have a celebration of flags at the historic train depot and along the track as the history of Flag Day unfolds in our narrated day tours. Come see the “Support Our Troops” display that honors the United States Military.

Climb aboard as the Railway recreates the Golden Era of steam railroading. With whistles blowing and pistons chugging, the live steam, narrow gauge railroad transports its passengers back to the 1800’s on a scenic narrated tour along the Big Cypress Bayou, rolling through the history laden Piney Woods.

You can view a Confederate Powder Magazine along the five-mile tour as well as the historical ruins of the Clark and Boice Sawmill and the first iron foundry in East 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 has become 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 the 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 and known as Engine #7. 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 http://www.jeffersonrailway.com/or call 866-398-2038.

Open air coach $12, plus tax
Children under 6 FREE
Active Military ride free during Flag Day Weekend
10% discount to Seniors

Come join us for Ghost Stories at the depot.
And IT’S FREE!

Friday
Depot opens at 6:00
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 Ghost Stories at 8:00
Ghost Train departs at 9:00

Images from Pilgrimage and the Battle of Port Jefferson

May 10th, 2011 by carriagehouse

This past weekend was Jefferson’s 64th Annual Pilgrimage and Re-enactment of the Battle of Port Jefferson.  Our Battle of Port Jefferson re-enactment is the largest Civil War re-enactment in the State of Texas.  The weekend kicks off with four of our historic homes opening for tour.  This year, we had a wonderful assortment of homes in different styles and architectures.

The Angel Rose House

 This was one of my favorite homes on tour and for a very unique reason.  It is the sister house to the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast.  I need to do much more research but I think these two historic homes must have a shared history.  I walked through this house and marveled at how the layout matched my own house.  I walked away with a ton of new ideas.  The Angel Rose house was also built in 1920 and is a Craftsman kit house ordered out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog for $900.  The home has had many additions added to it over it’s years and has been fully restored all the way to traditional Craftsman paint colors.

 This amazing home is a beautiful example of a classic Southern Colonial Greek Revival home.  This property sat empty for many years and was purchased last year and is in the process or being restored.  Only the carriage house and the pool house were on tour this time since they are the only structures that have been completed.  The main house is still very much a work in progress.  These beautiful buildings sit on a large piece of land that used to be a cotton and pecan plantation.

This home built in 1852 is one of the oldest homes in Jefferson and was built by one of the of the original founders of Jefferson, Allen Urquhart.  The rest of the house (three front rooms) was added in 1855 by a local merchant by the name of William Clark (hence the name, William Clark House).  I loved the sunny yellow paint that many of the rooms were painted in. It gave the entire house a cheerful feel to it.

This is one of the grandest homes in Jefferson filled with amazing art and priceless antiques.  This home was built by Col. David Browning Culberson who is famous for many things including defending Abe Rothschild at the Diamond Bessie Murder Trial.  This house is another example of the traditional southern architecture of the time, Greek Revival, and was inspired by a Greek Temple.

The home tour was not the only thing going on in town this past weekend.  The town was full of Civil War re-enactors trying to recreate life in 1864.  Entire families were living in tents set up in various parks and lots throughout town.  Not only did they dress in traditional Civil War garb, but they fully immersed themselves in the lifestyle of the time.

Riverport Ambassadors at the Pilgrimage Parade

One of the fun events of the weekend is the annual Pilgrimage parade Saturday morning.  Tom and I are members of a local tourism organization called the Riverport Ambassadors.  We dress up in period dress and assist the tourists on weekends.  We do step on bus tours, and educate the public on Jefferson’s colorful past.  Like many local organizations, we participate in the Pilgrimage parade.  You can’t see me real well, but that’s me in the middle in the sea foam green dress with the black parasol.

Civil War Skirmish on Austin Street

The parade ends with a gun battle and a skirmish in our beautiful Historic Riverfront District before the Civil War heads out to the battlefield set up at Tuscumbia Ranch.  In addition to all of these fun activities, we also have a quilt show, an heirloom plant sale, an art show, the Grande Hertiage Southern Ball, the Great Locomotive Chase, the Diamond Bessie Murder Trial play, and evening Twilight Garden Strolls.

National Train Day at the Historic Jefferson Railway

April 29th, 2011 by carriagehouse

 

 

Celebrate National Train Day aboard the Historic Jefferson Railway

 

On May 7, 2011, the 4th Annual National Train Day will be a coast-to-coast celebration. Don’t miss out on your chance to ride an authentic steam train at the Historic Jefferson Railway. In celebration of Mother’s Day, mothers receive a 10% discount when accompanied by their children.

Amtrak will supply Jr. Conductor hats and attendees can register for a free round-trip aboard an Amtrak train.

The Historic Jefferson Railway recreates the Golden Era of Steam railroading with day trains each Saturday at 2:30 and 4:30 through Labor Day weekend. 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.

The train rolls right by the home of the Boggy Creek monster as depicted in the feature 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.

The Winter schedule will run until school is out in June. Saturday evening features the infamous Ghost Train at 9:00 which carries you deep into the dark woods along the Bayou, sharing tales that will make you reach for your loved ones! Historic Jefferson Railway is very proud to have been 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.

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

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

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 and known as Engine #7. The open car coach seats still carry the custom medallions cast into them designed especially for the Six Guns amusement park.

May 6 and 7, 2011
Adults $12, plus sales tax. Children under 6 FREE
Active Military & Seniors receive 10% discount
Mothers receive a 10% discount when accompanied by their children

Friday
Depot opens at 9:00 am
9:30, 11:30, 1:30
Fireside Ghost Stories at 8:00 pm
Ghost Train at 9:00 pm

Saturday
Depot opens at 10:00 am
Train departs at 12:30, 2:30 & 5:30
Fireside Ghost Stories at 8:00 pm
Ghost Train at 9:00 pm

More Fun Stuff to do the Weekend of April 15th.

April 6th, 2011 by carriagehouse

 Historic Jefferson Museum 

So if the Outlaw National’s Rod Run & Antique Car Show wasn’t enough to keep you busy the weekend of April 15th, then maybe you would like to spend an afternoon at the museum.   A collection of Claude McCrocklin original paintings will be presented for display at the Historic Jefferson Museum on Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m.  The general public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Claude McCrocklin is a World War II Veteran and former Prisoner of War.  Mr McCrocklin retired in 1981 as a cattle buyer for Morrell & Company, a major meat packer, and in his retirement became a member of the Caddo Lake Historical Committee back when it was being formed and was still in its infancy.   Mr. McCrocklin is an avid avocational archaeologist and has received  recognition in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas for his archaeological work.  He helped the Caddo Lake Historical Committee increase and stabilize its membership by presenting programs on archaeology and history.  Mr McCroclin also conducted archaeological investigations at over 500 sites throughout the Ark-La-Tex, and taught archealogy seminars.   Throughout the years, he has worked with the various tribal affiliations of the archaeological sites he was investigating including the Caddo and Alabama/CoushattaTribes.   Members of both tribes consider him a valued friend and have honored him in many ways.   Mr McCrocklin is a avid painter and his art depicts Caddo Indian life ranging from the Paleo period some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago to modern Caddo in portraits and ceremonial dances.

The Historic Jefferson Museum is located at 223 Austin Street.

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