Old friends

Sanger depot

The depot from Sanger (Denton County, Texas) was moved to Tioga (Grayson County) and now has a second life as an antique store.

Drove to Tioga (Grayson County, TX) yesterday and visited several places in Gene Autry’s home town: Clark’s Outpost (re-opened after a bad fire – best BBQ in North Texas), the Tioga calaboose, and the Sanger (Denton County, TX) depot!

Sanger’s Santa Fe depot is now the Cedar Depot, home to antiques, architectural salvage items, and a wood shop.

Whenever I visit old depots, I zero in on their graffiti. Passengers and workers idled their time away by either burning or writing their initials, dates, and artwork into the boards. Sanger’s depot has some fine examples, though you have to look past the wares to see it.

The owner, Andy, showed me around. One item he found of most interest was a tree stump from Pilot Point, with a farm implement grown into the wood. Andy told me that in New York, where he’s from, placing farm implements in trees became a tradition for young men drafted into war. When they came back, they took the implement out. If they didn’t come back, the farm implement stayed… he wondered if this was also a Texas tradition. I’d never heard of the practice around these parts, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

A cell complex from the old, demolished Denton County jail, which was state-of-the-art in the 1920s, is for sale at the depot. These are the same cells that I discovered at an estate sale earlier this year. I think the jail cells would make a great addition to the historic park in Denton.

Sanger grafitti

If you look inside the freight section of old depots (which aren’t wallpapered but simple boards), you’ll often find graffiti, like this inscription from 1922.

Sanger stump

A farm implement inside a cedar log may indicate that the person who placed it there never came back from war. At least, that was the tradition in New York state; unsure if that was a tradition in Texas. This log was inside the Cedar Depot (nee Sanger Depot) in Tioga, (Grayson County, TX). The log came from Pilot Point (Denton County, TX).

Sanger Denton cells for sale

The cells from the old Denton County Jail (1891), which I once found at an estate sale, are for sale at the Depot (at least as of this writing, April 2020).

Tioga calaboose 2

Another jail – Tioga’s old calaboose – sits in a park in Tioga.

Published in: on April 2, 2020 at 12:09 am  Comments (1)  
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Paddle Wheelers on the Red, part I

amy hewes

Paddle wheeler “Amy Hewes” on the Red River (no date), but most likely this picture was taken in the 1940s. The “Amy Hewes” was built in the 1920s for the Jeanerette Lumber Company, and was last owned by the May Brothers of Morgan, LA.

This boat was mostly in service in the southern part of the Red River around the Atchafalaya River confluence, St. Mary’s Parish. It plied the waters of Bayou Teche.

(Cattle Raiser’s Museum, Fort Worth.)

Published in: on January 28, 2019 at 2:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stage Coach Times

Adverts in old newspapers help to provide context to history, such as how much the Red River Valley was interconnected long before our modern interstates.

Clarksville to Shreveport stage coach via Washington Dallas Herald aug 9 1856

I was perusing several historic newspapers on the Library of Congress when I came across this notice for a stage coach route that traveled from Clarksville (Red River County, TX) to Shreveport (Caddo Parish, LA) via Washington (Hempstead County, AR) in the Dallas Herald.

Note the misspelling of “Clarkesville” – it seems that Mr. Crutchfield needed spell check. It is also comforting to know that the drivers will be sober.

hotel

The Texas Hotel in Sherman (Grayson County, TX) most likely accommodated guests for the many stage coaches that went through town weekly or even daily. Sherman was serviced by stage coaches to McKinney (via Mantua); to Bonham (via Warren); and to Greenville (via Pilot Grove).

After 1858, the Butterfield Overland Stage Coach that was the first transcontinental stage coach line and mail line had a stop in Sherman, in the wee morning hours.

This ad was found in the Dallas Herald of August 9, 1856. I think that modern hotels could take some pointers.