Posts Tagged ‘Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club’

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.


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.

Is it spring yet…please??

February 4th, 2011 by carriagehouse

It has been yet another cold blustery day here in Jefferson, Texas.  We have taken all of the precautions that we can here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast to keep our pipes from freezing.  We have all of the faucets in the cottages dripping and have the heaters on in all of the rooms.  So far, so good.  We have not had any catastrophes.  I know that many people in these old historic homes have not fared so well.

Winters are supposed to be mild here in North East Texas.  I promise you that is what it says in all of the literature and I do have palm trees in my front yard so it helps further the myth.  In truth, it was in the 70s last weekend and we were all feeling sorry for the folks up north.  But since Monday, we have been bundled up and shivering just like they are.  Brrrrr.  It is not supposed to be like this.  I think my toes have gone numb.

I am a member of the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club and enjoy every one of our monthly meetings.  We do have really interesting speakers come in and talk to us about gardening, history, and preservation of this amazing old town. Today’s topic was on Butterfly Gardening.  A topic near and dear to my heart.  I had to giggle at the program name, “Don’t Kill Your Dinner Guests!”  That is some sage advice I think. 

I got heartsick looking at all of the beautiful pictures of the pretty plants and my fingers got itchy to get into the dirt and plant something.  When she put up pictures of our native dogwoods and redbuds, I had to take a deep sigh and ask, “is it spring yet”?

I put a ton of time and effort into the Carriage House gardens last year.  You couldn’t really tell because they are young immature gardens with baby plants just struggling to get established.  My mother always told me that the first year your new plants sleep.  The second year they creep and the third year they leap.  In other words, I can’t expect much from them this year either.  I am sitting in today’s meeting and dreaming of all of the new plants that I want to plant this year.  Aaahh.  Thoughts of Milkweed, Indian Blanket and Black Eye Susan’s are dancing in my head.  My desk is covered with plant and seed catalogs just waiting to be perused and dog-eared as I begin to make my landscape plans. 

Although it is the first week of February, I think it is safe to say that I have caught spring fever.  The cold is only frustrating me as like all Southern Belles, I anxiously await for the day that I can get back outside and into my gardens.  It won’t be this week though.  It is supposed to snow tonight.

Is it spring yet?

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