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Staff | Contributors


Texas Escapes -
online since 1998

Editor John Troesser

Celebrating 25 Years of Texas Stories and Photos
On our 25th Anniversary we would like to thank the hundreds of contributors who have shared their memories, remembrances and experiences of Texas. Our deepest gratitude to our longtime contributors for their dedication and for allowing us to share their efforts with our readers. We enter our 26th year with enthusiastic anticipation for stories and photographs we have yet to share.
- John Troesser and Kate Wong Troesser, Editor and Webmaster, July 2023

We are a husband and wife team / staff of two. John Troesser is the editor, writer and photographer while Kate is the webmaster.

Texas Escapes began as a labor of love of two people, who happen to be fascinated by just about everything that was or is Texas, just about every place in Texas, and who have a driving passion to share Texas with the world.

Our visits to Texas towns and ghost towns lead us to a Texas we never knew existed. Every town had at least one fascinating story or two - if not 50. We decided to tell the stories of EVERY TOWN in Texas and take it a step further by illustrating the stories with both historical and contemporary images.

Telling the story of a town touches people in ways we could not anticipate. A story of a West Texas ghost town brought letters from three generations of citizens. We started getting letters from servicemen homesick for the towns they once couldn't wait to leave. We heard from people who remembered the importance of friendship during the Great Depression - and a woman who remembered watering a lone mesquite tree in her bare broom-swept West Texas yard.

These moving memoirs preserve personal history that would otherwise have been lost. These memories are collected in TE as part of our repository of the living history of Texas towns. Telling the story of EVERY town and showing the images, past and present, became our mission.

Living Histories - We met people with fascinating tales of their hometowns. Stories that no one now has time to hear. The need to record these stories is paramount. When the storytellers are gone, they take their stories with them. Recording their stories became our mission.

WWII Chronicles | WWI Chronicles : The real stories about the sailors, soldiers and marines that everyone in the war movies called "Tex." Stories that all too often didn't have a happy ending. Stories of high school classes enlisting en mass - and of heroes returning one at a time. Telling their stories became our mission.

People: Texans are often extraordinary personalities masquerading as everyday citizens. TE is devoted to recording the stories of local people who have exhibited the quiet virtue of character.

Cemeteries : Our research takes us to many cemeteries. A society cannot call itself civilized if it does not honor the final resting places of its antecedents. With our expanding coverage we join forces with others in their efforts to preserve and protect the state's scattered and neglected cemeteries.

Architecture: This became an important part of TE. Buildings were the dreams of our ancestors in brick and mortar and the demolished architecture alone is strong inspiration to record what's left. Presenting images of Texas' unique architecture, and telling its stories, became our mission.

Contributors | Forum :
Towns, people, history, and architecture are all threads in the Texas tapestry. Sharing stories and images, and providing a forum for those with stories to tell and images to record, that too, became our mission.

Authorities in their respective fields share their knowledge with their contributions. Readers open their family albums and share their stories. If you have information, stories or images to share, please contact us


  • To tell the stories of every Texas town.
  • To examine and explore Texas architecture (to 1950).
  • To record the living history and images of Texas, and
  • put this information in a format that's accessible and available to all.
  • December 26, 2001. Updated January 2, 2004
    © John Troesser

    What Readers Say About Us
  • Texas Escapes is a truly wonderful online magazine. You have done a great job and you are so lucky to have contributors like Mr Gibson. - Jane Littlejohn

  • Truly appreciate ya'lls dedication to sharing the history of Texas ghost towns. - Dan Whatley

  • I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading and learning about Texas... Have you ever thought about compiling some of material into printed books? Although I know there are many books on Texas history, some of the material you have, along with photos and artwork, would make for great reading!... Keep up the excellent work! - Chris Cordray

  • Just a note to say thank you for your site. I came across it by accident and wished I had seen it prior to now. I'm a native Texan and truly appreciate all things Texas. Your site is very informative and interesting as well. Hats off to ya'll. Thank you, Mark Howard

  • I just wanted to let you know I ran across your site this evening through a search for odd Texas town / city names ... What a wealth of historical and fun information! One page kept leading me to another and another! Thank you and all of your contributors for this great bounty of Texas facts ... I have been sharing them with my son and we've been in awe and been smiling with it all all evening. - Carol

  • I absolutely love your prose (sometimes delightfully humorous) and photos of Texas' many small towns. Thank you!!! - John J. Germann

  • I am a Texas born writer/director... TexasEscapes.com [is] a wonderful site to surf and has inspired me many times as I try and picture my scenes. - Clark Childers

  • I want to express my appreciation and admiration of the wonderful website, Texas Escapes. The volume of history and information is overwhelming, yet easily navigated. - Janis Crowder, Texas Panhandle

  • You have an absolutely priceless site for all things "Texan'... - JL Weiss Truitt

  • Thank you for caring so much about historical preservation. My grandmother would be so pleased if she were still alive. - Catherine Hiesiger

  • Thanks for bringing [my mother] back into the room for a moment... And, reading about [the Panhandle] now, I realize how enormously who she was had to do with where she was from. Polite, hard-working big-hearted, generous, spoke the unvarnished truth -- not a snobby bone in her body and (whatalways surprised me) - no prejudice, either. Looked everyone in the eye and accorded them the respect they deserve as human beings... Well, this was an unexpected little essay! Hopefully it will remind you of why you have your website and why you do the work and why it's valuable. - Blessings, Susan Fry

  • Your Texas Escapes site is a wonderful source of information on a vital and infinitely interesting topic: small Texas towns. These small Texas towns have so much to tell us it would be a crime not to listen, and a greater crime for their stories to be lost. Please keep up the good work. - Allen Lee Hamilton, Professor of History, St. Philip's College, San Antonio, TX

  • Thank you for these interesting vignettes of the small disappearing towns of Texas! - Helen Bethel Williams

  • I have searched for, and found, many places on your website, where we lived, lived near, visited relatives or friends, played school sports in competition, and for other occasions, that no longer exist. I printed most of them out and have a stack that is very high. I read all of them and treasure them. You have made my day on many occasions. Thank you so much for that pleasure and for your good work. - Billie Mayhall Freeman, Naples, Florida

  • Your web site is wonderful and full of memories and fascination... You have turned me on to water towers and I cant wait to start my own collection of pictures from my travels. Thank you. - Bruce, Walnut Grove, Texas

  • That is such a wonderful website for any kind of information. I use it for looking up Texas structures in small towns all of the time. Texas is so lucky to have it. - Jordan McAlister

  • The website is fantastic, and no one can beat y'all for the humor you build into everything. When I am down, I like to read snippets here and there because I know I will be chuckling in just a minute! The photos, the stories, and the information are all great. Keep up the good work. - Joan Kilpatrick

  • I have stumbled by total accident over your magazine and am in awe of the scope of stories and features. Thank you. I wish there were a connection for the email a day notice for each new publication. - Kate Lacy, Fayetteville AR

  • I am really enjoying your website and would like to suggest you start a blog, nothing too time consuming, perhaps one post x week, even calling up articles from the archives. It would be a nice break for myself and I am sure many, many others would read it, comment, enjoy it, and feel as I do. Thank you for taking time to consider this. - Regards, Laura

  • Congratulation on your online presentation of Texas. I was pleased to read a little about the history of my birth town. Not having live there except for the first four years of my now seventy two year life I appreciate your efforts and contribution to general knowledge for public consumption. - Raymond L Bellah

  • We are winter Texans and enjoy the great state of Texas and your website has just made it a lot easier to decide where to make our stops... Your website has helped me, I know where to go and what to see. Thank you for your great work. - Joe and Donna Carpentier

  • How can any Texan who reads Texas Escapes not feel good about their state? Keep up the great work! - Terry

  • I am a fan of Texas Escapes, and I want to congratulate you on providing what is surely one of the best organized and useful sites about Texas on the web. (And I want to commend you for not cluttering your site with “yeehaw” cheesiness that I have found on a few other Texas websites.) Between your site and the online Handbook of Texas, I could spend several lifetimes visiting places in Texas. Again thanks, William Holmes, Arlington, Texas

  • I discovered your web site quite by accident making me wish Mississippi had one like this. What a treasure for the state of Texas and America! People who fear the internet need only visit your site to find the perfect example of the good it can do. What a great job!!! Thank you, Jerry Grace, Satartia, Mississippi

  • I ran across Texas Escapes more or less by chance, and I immediately bookmarked your production. It is a wonderful resource for those who are interested in Texas, its people, its geography, and its history... Thank your for the effort you have put into making Texas Escapes such a good [magazine]. - Dr. William R. Thurman, Jr.,Thomaston, Georgia

  • Thanks for all you have done to make driving around so much fun for me. I don't just take trips any more, I take <<<---T---R---I---P---S--->>>. - BG, Carlsbad, New Mexico

  • Thanks for the great work you are doing to preserve all that is so precious to all of us, as we age along with everyone else. - William (Bill) Knapek, Houston

  • Please keep publishing your outstanding history lessons on and about Texas. After all, we probably won't find much of any of this in a Texas History book. Thank You. - Rod Harris

  • Thank you for the work you're doing! What you are doing might not be interesting to the generation under 40, but those of us who have traveled the state appreciate the time, exposure, and excellent way you go about your task. And, those under 40 will someday be grateful for what you are doing. - Henry Adrion III

  • I sent some friends to your site to check out the towns they were going to pass through on their summer vacation and they wound up revising the itinerary because they saw so many interesting side trips... - Gael Montana, Comfort, Texas

  • I stumbled upon your site quite by accident and found it fascinating... Thank you for keeping history and memories alive. - Jon Vance, Dallas, Tx

  • Just by luck I came across your magazine. My jaw dropped when I found it and can't believe the fantastic information. Good job!!! - Beverly Santos

  • Stumbling upon your site has enabled me to remember some of the stories I remember being told when I was a kid. I have even taken my son out to Bono and told him the history behind Bono and why it is important to our family. - Debbie Miracle

  • I love your website. Flat-out, I love it. I'm a Californian but have done extensive traveling through Texas, and, also I'm fascinated by the old Texas towns. ... Thank you, and, keep up the good work, Doug Greenwald

  • Thank you for your informative [magazine] and the smiles it brings - David Buck

  • I happened upon your website one day and can’t get enough! I’ve come to be quite a history buff to Texas history and love reading about the rich stories in Texas Escapes. - Barney Lee Douglas

  • Thanks for compiling such a good source of information! I consistently find myself being directed to Texas Escapes when looking for info on Texas counties. - Kara R. Dotter, UT Austin

  • Thank you for your site and the research that brought it together. - John Clawson

  • You're lovely folks doing a great job at what you do! I just wanted to take a minute and tell you so. - Jim Warsher, Rutland, Vermont

  • I spend the majority of my time on the Internet researching places, towns, buildings, etc and your magazine is a great help. Your writers are excellent. - Sylvia Mills

  • Extremely interesting and informative. Wonderful site – a true Texas Treasure - David Malcolm

  • It’s amazing how much work it must have taken to document all these communities. Thanks - Robert Griffith, Burleson

  • I love this site. I look at it every day. I appreciate all the wonderful work you guys do. - Andrea, Corpus Christi

  • Your website is absolutely fabulous. Every time I take a road trip across Texas I always check your website first to see if there is something, anything, a courthouse or ghosttown, that I should visit along the way. - Bob Worley

  • I find it especially moving that you would devote time and effort to such an obscure (and mostly vanished) little burg as Draw, and I express gratitude on behalf of all of us who once lived in or even passed through that little hamlet and now years later find it embedded in our fond memories.- Nolan Porterfield

  • You're helping a number of good causes. - Bill Morgan

  • I just discovered your website today and have been enjoying it immensely. I grew up in Plainview and Lubbock but have lived away from Texas since 1966. Your photos have sent me on a real nostalgia trip. - Dwight Young, Preservation Magazine

  • I regularly access Texas Escapes as a resource.

    You continue to have the best history/heritage/travel website in Texas, perhaps the world. - Bob Bowman, Lufkin

  • It’s good to know that someone takes the time to keep up with the history of the lesser known areas that are barely considered “towns.” Thanks for that. - David Scheffler, Kosciusko, Texas

  • Yours is a website I stumbled upon months ago rather than sought out. Sometimes the things we find are better than the things we were looking for. - Robert Griffith

  • I love the writing style and the information makes it come alive. I have found you and plan to read and read and read...then maybe mosey on down the road a piece. - Sandy Knebel, Garland.... by way of Waxahachie

  • I LOOOOOOOVE this website – just love it!

    It was because of your website that I first started going to jail museums and I am an absolute FANATIC about it! - Shannan Yarbrough, Fredericksburg Chamber

  • Thank you! Don't know how I've missed this website. It's definately a must-have!! - T Meadors

  • I love your site, and the way you find the beauty and value in parts of Texas that don't usually make the tourism brochures.... Carol Pirie, Assistant Director, Texas Film Commission

  • I only recently discovered your site. I think it is fantastic! I have not even scratched the surface of all that is in there. Bravo! - Mary Vonzastrow

  • Oh Boy!!!! Loved this !!!!!! ... What a welcome site this was!!!!!

    I am not a Texan but I sure spend an awful lot of time driving in your fair state!! Love learning about what I am looking at and now I am beginning to actually look FOR and know what it is I AM looking at ... Thanks Again!! - Kathy Price, Ossian, Indiana

  • I enjoyed perusing your site and judging by the contents, my guess is that Texas Escapes has a lot of fans. - Kathy Murphy, Publisher, Texas Highways

  • This site was a great site in giving insight to the town so I knew what to expect when I got there.

  • A very useful website almost like a maze, one fact leads to another. It is also good for travel planning.

  • ... unique internet publication - J Lane, Austin, Texas

  • ... informative and funny site. - Rob Hann, London, England

  • I'm in tall cotton since I found your web site! - C Schuetzeberg

  • Excellent content, great historical narratives ... - M Williams, Austin, TX

  • What a delight! ... A refreshing breath of fresh air amidst the stale pages of the usual travel web sites.

    I appreciate your mission, dedication and the very high quality of the site.

    You're bookmarked and will become a frequent reference as (we drive) through ... this beautiful and fascinating state. Thanks for what you do. - Sue White, Rockwall, TX

  • This is a great site. It has all I wanted without having to jump around to numerous sites. - Thomas (Tony) Sprague, Norco, CA

  • Your site bowled me over - it contained exactly the information I was looking for. Not only is it written with wit, it also gives the travel bug in me quite a boost. - R. Jett

  • I found your site and loved it! We went on an ABC ride. After looking at your site we decided to visit some of the towns. Thanks for your info. We have had a great time using it to go and see Texas. We are now off To Quicksand to see if it is there. - Rene' Smith Shaw, Houston

  • It makes me just want to jump in a car and take off on a major texas roadtrip. I know of some of those spots, but others I don't, and I'm now curious. GOOD JOB! - Hargrove, Breckenridge

  • Your excellent newsletter makes me spend more time than I can afford following the links and planning another trip to Texas. - Chris Abbott, Chris Abbott Architects, UK

  • I think yalls website name should be Texastravel - G

  • This is the most exciting thing I've seen for Texas devotees since the Texas Almanac. - J. Barnes, Humble

  • I got to checking out your site and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. - Stan Cravatt
  • What an amazing site. Absolutely the most informative site about Texas that I have yet to see. ... Thanks so much for all of your selfless hard work in making this site what it is. - With much gratitude, Ron Blodgett

  • I enjoy your newsletter and get excited when I see a new one pop up in my e-mail box. I even try to use the services of your advertisers when possible. Keep up the good work. - Ron Duckworth, Arlington,TX

  • Being a Texan is something special, it's a lot more than silly-ass cowboy boots and hats. It takes a publication like yours to get it across. - Stephen Long

  • This site is absolutely the coolest thing to come down the pike ... Rest assured I'll send your site on to friends and folks. Thanks... - Tim Jackson

  • What a fun site! ... We've got you bookmarked as a reference for our future travels through the state. - Carrie

  • This website is perhaps the best of the Greatest, for folks interested in ... TEXAS. Here you can go lots of places, some that you have been to and then some that make you want to go there. Thanks for all the hard work ... - Robert Castillo, Fort Worth

  • Great job on the site. I send people to your web address when trips come up in conversation..... - Scott

  • I'm in love with your website! I have spent the past 2 week's worth of lunch hours devouring everything I can find! - Donna Elrod

  • I'd like to visit some of the places you show on your site. I love all the old forgotten history. - Barry Kooda

  • Your site is my favorite on the entire Internet.- Lois

  • This (site) is great for all of us non Texans. - Dallas Bancroft, Lakeland, Florida

  • How about a link that will allow us to e-mail our favorite stories directly to friends? A few other magazine websites have this, but I never feel inclined to use theirs. If Texas Escapes had such a feature, I'd use it often. There are plenty of out-of-state acquaintances of mine who need to be reading this stuff! God bless you all! - Jacob Wilson

  • Great site! I check it often as it is most interesting and informative. Have recommended it to all my friends. - M Krauss, Oakwood

  • A friend just sent me your website--splendidly done! I've already sent it on to a dozen pals. - Al Past

  • I enjoyed the hell out of your whole site. I'm trying to think of the best way to say "Go look at this cool site" to my readers at Houston.About.Com. ..... . - Aussie M

  • While traveling many times conversations come up on the cb radio about different things in the area -- I have given your website addy to many while chatting about the scenery!! - Kathy Price Ossian, Indiana

  • Great site, great looking, great content, I'm glad I found you - Peter French

  • This is the greatest thing I have found on the web in ages. I love it. - Kae R

  • For all of us who love Texas with an undying devotion, this site is essential. - Bonnie Kuykendall

  • Thanks for providing an extremely thoughtful and insightful website. - Julie McConnell

  • This site is the most informative "where to go in Texas and what to look for when you get there" site on the Internet! I love the historical info and loads of photos. - Lou Ann Herda, Houston, Texas

  • I am new to this site and have already passed it on to others. It is a vicarious vacation each time I check it out. - A M Scott, Houston

  • I have spent months at many Texas sites and I do mean many. Let me assure you that when I say yours is excellent, I mean it. ...When you visit your site, you HONESTLY feel like you're IN TEXAS! - Mike Gerrick

  • Subject: Wonderful website!
    Gentlemen: Just wanted to commend you on this GREAT website. I can spend hours on it. ... - Carol Quattlebaum

  • Subject : Best laugh-out-loud site
    How do you do it? This is the best laugh-out-loud site I read! I am sure all my co-workers think I am reading a joke book or the comics. You always have the freshest, quirky, light-hearted look at everything. - The gruntled state employee, Joan K.

  • The story on Brewster Hudspeth is hilariously fascinating, and oozing with charm -- just like every issue of Texas Escapes. I feel like I should remind you every so often of the excellence of your publication, lest you forget.

    Any plans on writing a book? ... Your features are too interesting (and often amusing) not to be shared with those who still read via the traditional method. - Jacob Wilson

  • ... This is someplace I'd like to visit. I'm an aspiring independent filmmaker (director/writer), and I get so inspired reading various stories on this site.... - Joyce Chasteen

  • Your web site is unbelievable and watching it grow is the best. - Margaret Waring

  • Texas is a beautiful state...and your online magazine certainly capture it, especially all the small, out of the way locations that are often overlooked. - Charlotte T., Midland, TX

  • You make history so interesting, wish it could have been this way in school. - George & Penny Lester

  • You have a great site! This is something that every Texan should see and I will pass it on to my acquaintances. - Ivey, Kerens

  • HOW do you know all you know about Texas ... ? - Lori Glenn, editor, Preservation Texas' Newsletter

  • I was both impressed and enchanted with the variety of material and humor. - Bill Rau SIDE ROADS

  • I am a professional photographer ....and often find myself look for interesting places to shoot. This site is excellent ... - Bill "Doc" Scott, Austin

  • Subject: Education thank you
    I am an 8th grade English teacher at Frankston Middle School. I also teach our 8th grade Pre-Advanced Placement (honors) class. I have been racking my brain for a six weeks project for them. I started searching for small towns in Texas and ran across your site. It is AWESOME!!!!! The kids are going to start a research project on historical towns next week. This web site will be a great help to them. Thank you - Jeana R. Pierce Brooks, Frankston Middle School

  • Somehow you present the towns in a manner which causes the reader to really feel like you're there. The well chosen photos also add to this feeling of "being there". No glitter, no neon, no smog, you present the "soul" of the town. ... - Mike Gerrick

  • Subject: Love your website!!!!
    I have been "stuck" in your website for almost 8 full hours now. I am fascinated with all of it. - Chris Waring

  • I'm still amazed with texasescapes.com, and the amount of time it must take to keep this growing. - Chris Waring

  • What a delightful website you have!! I had no idea there was anything like Texas Escapes! ..... fascinating!! - Hesketh

  • In looking for information about Texas I stumbled upon your website. I have been reading your material for hours. ... - Jerry Wakefield, Centerville

  • Very fascinating historical stuff that helps to put my heritage into perspective. Thanks. - Clayton H

  • It is great to find such a treasure of info about these and so many other towns in Texas. - Joe Haley

  • I was tickled to death to find Rosebud and all the other small towns [on Texas Escapes]. - Jesse Martinez .

  • I have just revisited the towns of Balmoreah, Marfa, Ft Stockton, Ft Davis, and Alpine via this internet site and wanted to tell you what good memories the pictures brought to me..... Maybe I will be able to visit you again some day, as there is surely no other place on earth like West Texas. ... - R Bearden KY

  • Nifty site. Love the humor which is uniquely Texas.. - D.G. Brock, Los Angeles

  • I'm enjoying the Texas Escapes website ... I believe that four hours of laughing so hard ... is not time wasted. - PJH

  • Subject : Being Cheeky
    Anne Cook of TxDOT steered me to your site, and I'm glad she did. I love it! I especially like the cheeky voice. - Chandra Beal, author of "Splash Across Texas."

  • I must say that since you gave me the name of this website, I have been addicted. I have learned more about Schulenburg, Fayette County and Texas in general than I could have ever imagined. ... Thanks for the eye-opening information about this Great State.... - Kim Hilscher

  • I'm an amateur Texas history buff. I talk to my kids' school classes on Texas history .... I will be using information from your site for future talks. It is fantastic. ... - Stan Cravatt

  • Subject: I love your site
    I printed out part of the "swimming to mexico". As a swim coach at a Texas school, I do try to give our children goals! - Svendiver

  • Enjoyed your website ... ! - Marilyn Magaro, Texas Department of Agriculture

  • I enjoy your magazine immensely... - Joan, General land Office

  • Your information on Cuero is very helpful to this Chamber doing its job. ... Thanks for helping us to show that life in Cuero is the way life ought to be! - Sara Post, Executive Director, Cuero Chamber of Commerce

  • I just finished reading your satire to my daughter. We both want more. - T. Baynham

  • This website has made me utterly homesick for my home state! Tons of stuff I never knew...Keep up the great work! - Erick Ellison, Lynn, MA

  • I was awed by y'alls' work. Hats off - Rick, Asherton, Texas

  • This is a great web site, very interesting. I am glad to see people from out of state are enjoying it, too. - Michael J. Deel, Austin

  • (Texas Escapes) is truly awesome, first class, second to none...WOW!. - Carlos A. Arche, M.D. Harlingen, Texas

  • Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories and contemporary/vintage photos of their town, please contact us.

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