A Little Bit About Me


I love history – especially that which involves the Red River Valley between Texas and Oklahoma and runs through southwestern Arkansas and all along Louisiana (loosely defined, of course). To that end, I teach history at a college, have my own site devoted to Red River history: Red River Historian, and take WAY too many road trips. I love to photograph ghost towns and decrepit old buildings. I also like to ride my bike, day dream, read, live a simple life, and learn all I can about the Cross Timbers.

Published on February 3, 2008 at 7:20 am  Comments (36)  

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  1. Hi, Robin,
    I’m 99% sure you remember me. We worked together in Paris, Texas about 15 years ago. Are you still chasing tornadoes?
    By the way, have you ever researched the Kiowa? It seems there was a chief of some stature named Spotted Tail. He is burried in Buckner, Texas. That’s where you’ll find me.

  2. Hello Chris,

    Of course I remember you! It’s nice to hear from you again. I’m going to look up Spotted Tail, because I haven’t heard of him. Chasing tornadoes is something we still do when there’s occasion… our son likes to do with us.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  3. I do not have a website yet, but want to set one up very soon. Interestingly enough a friend found this website and shared it with me because I have just written a book to be published in the fall. It is name “Sharecropping in North Louisiana: A Family’s Struggle through the Great Depression.” It is the true story of my mother’s family whose parents were sharecroppers in Caldwell and Richlard Parishes in Northeast Louisiana in the early part of the 1900s. Mother told me the story and we wrote it together last year. She is now 82 and lives with me in Camden, AR. She will be moving back to Louisiana soon (to Bastrop). Your website is very interesting and I hope you will watch for our book as I think it will interest you as well. I will be watching your website for your interesting travels. I love to travel too and will be going to Alaska next spring with my husband in our motorhome. Good travels to you!

  4. Robin, I’m compiling a bibliography of “Texas Historical and Literary Blogs,” got about 75 so far, and yours is one of those. I’ll publish the list as the August issue of my e-journal “Will’s Texana Monthly,” annotated and illustrated. Can we email about your blog? Thanks. Will Howard

  5. Hello Robin! I came across your page while my boyfriend and I were researching Thurber, Texas. He spent a weekend hunting at Greystone Castle and they told him a little about it. He is very interested by the history and I would love to get him some (or even just one) Thurber bricks for his birthday. I was wondering if you could email me the name, number, email of the man that you bought your bricks from. I would really appreciate it! Thanks. Emily

  6. hello – I found your website while doing a little research on my grandfather – he wrote quite a bit about his life, along with a good number of poems, and it all centered on or close to Jefferson County in Oklahoma – his farm and dairy was west of Ryan and ran along the Red River – he came to Oklahoma from Sunset, TX in 1892, crossing at Red River station, and settled east of Comanche – I am looking for any books or information about Jefferson or Stephans county history – thanks for all the work you have done – this is an amazing website – I recently visited Ryan, Terrall, and Duncan and was surprised at how empty Ryan was in particular – well, I’m just droning on – thanks again

    Bill Pearsall

    • Hello Bill,

      I will see what I can dig up about the county and towns. This is the area right around the Chisholm Trail, so there is a good bit of information. I’ve also had several readers who have had ancestors that lived in or around Sunset, Texas.

      I’ll be in touch with you again soon!

  7. Love your blog, great photos.

  8. I just stumbled upon your blog and found it interesting. Seems your interest parallel mine – my grandparents and dad grew up in Marietta, Oklahoma and I spent many years in that area exploring the Red River Vally and Love’s Valley with my family. My dad was the minister of Eastside Baptist Church there in Marietta in the late 70’s and one of the member’s of the church Ralph Evans was a historian of Love’s Valley/Love County. He would take us all over that area to see Indian burial grounds, old forts, old skirmish areas and places where he found a lot of artifacts. He had a huge collection of historical items from North Texas and the Love County area. I often wonder if he left any remnants of all his knowledge or if you had ever heard about him.

    I also wondered if you had ever read Butch Bridges webpage – he’s a historian out of Ardmore with a ton of weath as well. Below is the link to his site.


    Keep the stories coming………..it’s like reading about home and if I were closer I’d probably be doing the same thing you do!! Love the blogs and pics!

  9. You and your blog are FANTASTIC!

    I run the small museum in Durant, OK and on occasion, teach anthro. at SOSU. A relative also teaches there on a full time basis in the history department. I sent her your link about half way through the first post I read.

    Looking forward to reading more.
    Gail L. DeLashaw

  10. This past weekend, my colleague and I were at Boggy Depot Cemetery. We kept smelling perfume and looking for blooming flowers — of which there were NONE. Late that evening, we were doing online queries about Boggy Depot and found your site. Imagine our SHOCK when we read about the perfume. Way weird … and wonderful.

    • That’s really cool! I wonder if it was the same woman… Boggy Depot is definitely eerie.

  11. Love your blog! Very interested in the Bonnie and Clyde tour.

    • I will e-mail you with details. Thanks so much for your interest!

  12. Robin — LOVE the site! How do I go about “following” your blog?


    • I’m not really sure… I don’t update as much as I should. I’ll be doing more soon, though, because – gosh darnit – I made a commitment to myself!

      Thanks for your kind words.

  13. Hello, Ms.redriverhistorian…in retrospect, the ideal of the 1st AfricanAmerican U.S. President was just that–“idealistic”–Realistically, a Republican AfricanAmerican President would have been far less divisive. Therefore, realistically, after Obama’s tenure concludes, the chances of another African American Pres. are nil. How about a compromise? American Indian President?? OR…how about at least one, just one, American Indian judge on a federal court…or dare we hope…an American Indian Supreme Court Justice? Pres. Obama missed a wonderful opportunity to live up to his carefully crafted image of the early days of his candidacy by choosing from the ranks of many fine American Indian judges…sharing with American Indians a bit of his precious “hope.” Dashed hopes…even after many Native American leaders pleaded with him, with numerous official letters and requests, to select one of their own. His Kagan choice was so very shallow, lacking even a modicum of vision or understanding of the hopes and aspirations of another long-suffering minority. He continues to self-inflict his own image with the taint of overweening self-indulgence or even appears to be a groveling seeker of approval from the “professional left.” Otherwise, your blog topics are interesting and welcomed. Best, J.C., Native Oklahoman and American Indian

    • I agree with you for the most part. I wrote this blog entry way back when he was first elected, because the history elated me. However, you’re right – we really need the Native American perspective in the higher courts.

      Native Americans have been steadily gaining lost ground through the legal system. Wasn’t it Angie Debo who wrote that Native Americans are finding truth and justice for the past not on battle fields, but in the appellate courts?

      It’s not always easy to write about political things, as views – and of course the politicians! – change so easily. However, I do stand by my post, especially when I pointed out the progressive nature of the region. I find much inspiration from those courageous souls from the past, who, I believe, would have welcomed the nation’s first black President, too, even if later on they found his policies lacking.

      Thanks for the comments!

  14. “and of course the politicians! – change so easily” you said in your reply[8/16] to mine. You seem to have a wide range of venues…so…if time and inclination permits…read two articles [8/18&8/19]on Indian Country Today website, written by David Kimelbert[NativeAmerican/Jewish]about Mayor Bloomberg’s unbelievable racial blast about the Seneca Indians…also Tsoesing’s column. Are American Indians really gaining lost ground?

  15. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  16. Dear Robin, I am looking for Thurber paver bricks for a walkway at my home also. My grandfather and mother worked in the coal mines at Thurber. Do you have the guys contact info who had the bricks? Also, I have a master’s degree in archaeology. I would love to help you explore a site— and collect, catalog and record and map anything of interest. With the owners permission, of course.

  17. Hi Robin, I’m a resident of Marietta Oklahoma, and a recent graduate of East Central University in Ada Oklahoma with a B.S. in Cartography and Geo-Techniques. My interests are in historical cartography and geography, and part of my senior project was the creation of GLO survey mosaic maps of Love County in 1872 and 1899. I recently presented a large (7’ by 8’) map to the Love County Historical Society Pioneer Museum in Marietta. If you head up north on hwy 77 on your next road trip stop by the museum and check it out. The amount of information contained in these maps is impressive. I hope to continue my research using historical cartography in the future in grad school. If you get a chance to stop by and see them let me know what you think. I really like your blog and website.
    Dustin Holt

    • Hi Dustin,

      Thanks so much for your information – I am definitely going to study your map! I love it when scholars take an interest in the region, and share their research with others.

  18. Hve you made contact w/redriverhistorian? @irishsitter

  19. Great site! Its great to stumble upon someone else interested in local history *bookmarks*

    • Thank you! I’ll link to your site via my web site. I bet you like old maps, like me… I’m always on the lookout for pre-Interstate maps.

  20. Hello,

    I just found your site. What a treasure trove! I can’t wait to explore it all. As a collector of books, maps and whatever historical memorabilia I can find of Eastland, Stephens, Palo Pinto and surrounding counties, I find it fascinating to get a glimpse of what life was like for those who lived here before us.

    RE: Thurber Bricks We’d love to find some…as many as we can to build a “patio” of sorts under a stand of huge oak trees out here on the prairie. We already have a few, but not enough. Do you have any left from your project? Or contact information for anyone who might have some for sale? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    • Thanks for the nice words! I have lost the gentleman’s name and number who had the Thurber pavers for sale. He might still post them on Craig’s List, however.

  21. My Mom’s family is from Marietta (Hickman and Holt families) and I love seeing all your photos of the area! (Before they were in Oklahoma they also lived in Texas and Arkansas, and then Tennessee and North Carolina even further back.)

    I sometimes put up old family photos on my blog and also have a bunch up on flickr (anything tagged Hickman or Holt was probably taken in southern Oklahoma): http://www.flickr.com/photos/47298134@N00/sets/72157618932274961/

  22. Hi Ms. Jett: I’m a bottoms man. Everything lives there. I love the bottoms in the 4 state area. Really started enjoying history after taking a pre 1865 US History course from Professor Heymeher at TCC. You two would have a lot to chat about. I would like to take your history course. 63 isn’t to old is it ? How and where can you enroll? See you on a road trip. Sincerely, G.Clark Howard

    • It would be fun to have you in my history class! I work at North Central Texas College in Corinth. It is NEVER too late to discover and share history.

  23. Thanks for your Facebook page. My grandparents lived in Tipton, Oklahoma on a cotton farm. Your pictures and information are great. Have you ever been near the old Fort Radsminsky????

    Sincerely, Gail Rothstein

    • I’ve been near the fort, but haven’t as yet been to the actual location.

  24. Did you know some are considering dredging the red around Fulton and try to make it so it can be navigated? Clarko

    • No, I didn’t! This is great news. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Red River becomes navigable again all the way west to Lake Texoma?

  25. You sound like me . Love your site lucked upon. My hurt was tearing down Our SHREVE SQUARE and H is toric highland buildings . Shreve S quart was shored up and historic fronts preserved new buildings build behind them in 1973 and the cobbled streets were hand created by John Cuttings Gloved fingers.Same downtown development woman that destroyed OUR downtown is still unqualified and using our only to redo a Building Sears structurally condemned in late 1960’s. Wrong unqualified and educated persons destroyed our hometown we moved back and invested in .Now approx. 1/3 of shreveport is for sale or in foreclosure

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