c.1910 - Asherton, Texas
Lee House - Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City, Texas
Howland Wood House - Bayside
Historic Homes: Waggoner-Hicks House, W. D. Berry Home
Borger Home - Borger, Texas
Goertz Cabin circa 1860 - Rockne, Texas
T. Lehman Cabin circa 1858 - Rockne, Texas
H. Meurer Home - Scotland, Texas
Log Cabin - Chico, Texas
Smith Home Site - Troup, Texas
Starr Famnily Home - Marshall, Texas
Build a House
by C. F. Eckhardt
Texas Log Cabins and Log Houses
The first house a man might build, at least in East and Central
Texas, was a log cabin. Log cabins, by the way, looked nothing like
the log houses usually called 'log cabins' today. The most common
size was 12" x 14", usually the logs were not dressed...
Build a House II
by C. F. Eckhardt
"...Indians did not build in adobe. Adobe was brought to the
Americas by the Spanish. Adobe is mud brick, made with mud and straw-the
same bricks the Hebrews in Egypt were told to make without straw.
Finding the right kind of dirt to make adobe from was sometimes
Good Old Days Bob Bowman 9-16-12
Soap Making in East Texas after Civil War
take your come-along along by Delbert Trew 1-4-11
Though some might look down on the common working man, he is actually
an ingenious person. If you don't believe me search the U.S. Patent
office files and find millions of tools, most invented by a working
man to make his work easier or faster.
bricks and early chimneys by Delbert Trew 12-14-10
Few of the tools needed by man equaled that of fire. He needed it
to cook, heat, make light and to use for making other tools, like
water, in the past, was work - Settlers dug with crude equipment
by Delbert Trew
The most significant problem facing the first Panhandle settlers
was lack of water for their families and livestock...
garden seed important by Delbert Trew
A wise man once stated: "A person will do a lot of things he wouldn't
ordinarily do if he is taking up a hole in his belt occasionally."
Hunger and the fear of hunger has always had a way of leveling the
various classes of the population and changing their habits...
Maw Bell - Rural Telephone Systems in the West by C. F. Eckhardt
Alexander Graham Bell’s patent expired in the 1890s, and as soon
as it did anyone could legally manufacture and sell a telephone.
Almost instantly both Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery Ward began offering
telephone sets in their catalogs... Across much of the west, to
the west of old US 81 (present I-35) in Texas... there was already
a network of wire covering most of the country, in the form of barbed-wire
a family history by Bob Bowman
If Teddy Ivy wakes up in the middle of the night, curious about
a part of his family's history, all he has to do is consult the
quilt on his bed...
Banker, and Lightning Rods by Mike Cox
In 1749, Benjamin Franklin became the first scientist to opine that
lighting rods could protect buildings, churches, houses and barns
from thunderstorm-generated electrical discharges better known as
chores evolved by Delbert Trew
A boyhood chore, learned at an early age, involved filling lamps
with coal oil poured from a gallon can with a blackened potato pushed
down over the spout...
the Past by Robert Cowser
My sons and daughters laugh about the shock they experienced the
first time I told them about the galvanized bath tub that hung on
the exterior wall of the two-room house where I once lived...
gardeners avoided 'feast or famine' route by Delbert Trew
You can tell by reading my columns that I am fascinated by how people
got by before the invention of electricity, refrigeration and all
the other modern conveniences we take for granted today. Through
research, I find they somehow managed quite well...
methods improve through years by Delbert Trew
Few readers under 60 years of age will understand this statement:'We
installed a tin horn in our bar ditch.'...
Coolerator by C. F. Eckhardt
"To understand a coolerator and the need for it you have to
go back to a time before the REA got to rural Texas."
can continue to serve the present by Delbert Trew
No doubt time marches on with progress as inevitable as tomorrow's
sunrise. This seems to be more evident in the rural areas as our
small towns and older communities slowly disappear or change identities...
Sleep Tight by C. F. Eckhardt
The old expression "Good night, sleep tight" once had real meaning.
Beds didn't have springs in early Texas. They had ropes...
bed was favorite for sleeping, hiding by Delbert Trew
My early day heroes slept in thin blankets, on the hard ground with
their heads resting on their saddles. Later, my J. Frank Dobie heroes
slept in canvas-covered bedrolls which had to be rolled each morning,
tied with a rope and tossed on the chuck wagon. Meanwhile, back
at the ranch, the cowboys slept in bunks with rope bottoms and covered
with ticks filled with hay, grass, corn shucks or cotton. Such stuffing
seemed to invite insects so bed legs were stood in small cans of
coal oil to keep the ants and other critters away...
Conditioning by Archie P. McDonald
When someone asks my wife how people lived in Texas before
air-conditioning, she says that no one did. That is partly true
and partly false, but we can all agree that the a/c makes surviving
Texas’ summers a happier experience. The old timers coped, however,
and here is how...
in hot water actually a luxury by Delbert Trew
"Today, we take hot water for granted, but not so long ago,
plenty of hot water was considered a luxury. Memories about hot
water, or the lack of it, crossed my mind. Some go way back to a
teakettle sitting on the back of our kitchen stove, which was the
only hot water we had available."
look at wash day from early to modern
by Delbert Trew
Good Old Days by Bob Bowman
Life in East Texas after the Civil War.
day on the farm always fell on Monday by Delbert Trew
"Down through time, as sure as death and taxes, Monday was
wash day. Like the Ten Commandments, the event was carved in stone
and postponed only by funerals or bad weather. Though family wash
day routines varied, Mondays on the Trew farm proceeded as follows..."
Most Famous Bathtub in Coryell County by Clay Coppedge
"Thomas and Laquita Barton's house outside of town has the
first bathtub in Coryell County, a hand-carved limestone classic...."
Fires Up Memories by Delbert Trew
"Eb Patton, a cousin from Mobeetie, used to say he didn't know
his given name until he was 12 years old because all the family
had ever said to him since birth was, 'Go get wood.' " ...
concrete involved search for sand, much hauling by Delbert Trew
Worthy of Prayer by Delbert Trew
Baling wire, duct tape, drywall screws and caulking
Fence Posts by Brewster Hudspeth
Ten Things You Need to Know About Limestone Fence Posts
(Besides their reluctance to take staples and that they can dull
a chainsaw real quick)
was hub of family, social life by Delbert Trew
was rural portal to outside world by Delbert Trew
door was faithful fixture by Delbert Trew
The most used, abused, repaired and mistreated tool on early farms
was the back screen door.
Wire Telephones by Debert Trew
"In this day of seemingly unlimited telephone services, it's
hard to believe we once used barbed wire to carry our message."
was family's first sign of prosperity by Delbert Trew
"The only "linoleum expert" I've known was a 92-year-old neighbor
lady born and raised in the Texas Panhandle. ... Her credentials
as a "paint and linoleum expert" are presented here in her own words..."
Church Lights by Bob Bowman
When the church decided to phase out the old kerosene lights for
safety reasons, Clark went to Jefferson Lighting Company of Ann
Arbor, Michigan, and told them what he wanted. The reproduction
fixtures were custom-made for the church down to the ornate decorations
and adapted to electricity.
Life in Brewster County
A typical day of Lilah Smith and Edith Kipgen As told by themselves
and Barbara Kipgen. "Both women have recorded on paper a lot of
their experiences on the ranch back in the 30s and 40s..."
Daylilies by Bob Bowman
My grandmother, who grew daylilies on the morning side of her farm
home in Slocum, advised her newly-married daughter, "Annie Mae,
if you can't grow daylilies you can't grow anything."
Town Tidbits: A Friend Indeed by Jeanne Moseley
"If you're looking for a plumber, you won't find Mr. B in the
yellow pages. That's because he's mostly retired at age 75...."
Yo-Yo by N. Ray Maxie 10-1-09
In my area of the Ark-La-Tex in NE Texas, the yo-yo was a manual
labor work tool. Labor intensive!
HUMOR / OPINION
Drunk in Beaumont by Frances Giles 8-17-12
Cleaning Day in Beaumont
to the Nursery by Peary Perry 1-6-10
Here we are in the middle of winter and once we have one or two
clear, warm and pleasant days, you can bet most of us are out doing
what we normally do this time each and every year. Head to the nursery
and buy new flowers and plants...
Days of Attic Fans and Sun Dried Sheets by Peary Perry 8-26-09
No one had a clothes dryer, we had clothes lines. Here’s a practice
that we could bring back today and save some energy, except most
subdivision rules won’t allow you to have your clothes drying on
a line. Jumping into bed and smelling sheets that had been taken
off the line earlier in the day was an experience you would never
Got To Know When To Fold ‘Em Maggie Van Ostrand
When Kenny Rogers sang, “Ya got to know when to hold ‘em, know when
to fold ‘em … “ in his hit, “The Gambler,” he was singing about
more than playing cards, he was singing about housekeeping...
Day Madness by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal6-23-09
I am a nurse. I am organized. I am beyond organized. I am hyper-organized.
But no matter how organized a person is, she cannot control every
variable. Which is how I found myself not only driving a gigantic
rental moving truck, but also driving it in the fourth largest city
in the United States...
Gonna Do With All That Junk? by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"I know in general that things are in boxes. These boxes, however,
could be anywhere. They could be in the old house. They could be
in the new house. They could be sitting on the porch accidently
mixed up with the things waiting to be picked up for donation. They
could be in the trunk of my car or in the moving van or even mixed
up in the mountain of stuff sitting on the curb waiting for Big
Heat Is On! by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
It’s summer and it is hot and we are using our air conditioner.
In the winter we use the furnace. And every year, summer and winter,
we fight the same old battles over what temperature is the right
temperature and over who is and who is not old enough and wise enough
to be allowed to change the thermostat...
Sale by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
What you don’t want to hear from your real estate agent are the
following words, "Well, realistically?" What follows will never
by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"For me the very best part of Spring is playing in the dirt.
I'm not a gardener. I plant stuff but only because it grows in dirt
and I like to dig. I don't weed, fertilize, prune or tie things
up. That's what my husband is for."
Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"I have been feeling extraneous lately and I am not used to
that and I do not like it. You know, when my children were little
I had a rich fantasy life. I might have looked like I was washing
dishes or folding 10,000 tiny little tee-shirts or picking the gum
out of the carpet, but in actuality I was someplace far, far away,
someplace better. I was in my secret world ..."
without a Washer by Peary Perry
Your House by Peary Perry
"Have you ever seen one of those charts that show you what
certain stressful situations do to you and to your body? ... Well,
I haven’t seen one of these in several years, but I’d bet remodeling
your house while living in it has to rank right up there with the
worst of them. Moving into another house can’t be this bad. Moving
into a tent can’t be this bad. Moving to Iraq can’t be this bad.
Moving into your mother-in-laws house can’t be this bad…Well… we
might rethink that one…"
Improvement by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"It is the strong marriage that survives each spring without
a tremor or two."
Peeves: Coffee, Stereos and Thermostat
by Peary Perry
Home of My Own by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Fresheners: Use at Your Own Risk by Peary Perry
Man's Guide to Housework by John Gosselink
"We here at the Unsolicited and Possibly Dangerous Center of
Advice have come up with some helpful hints for homemaking for men.
But before we start, let's review the male philosophy to housekeeping.
Remember, you are a guy, so you don't sweat the details."
Ten Years Are Up. It's Time to Clean the Refrigerator by Maggie
"Everybody's familiar with the Seven Lively Arts: Architecture,
Dance, Drama, Literature, Music, Painting and Sculpture. But there's
an unsung eighth Lively Art: Homemaking. If making a home out of
a mere house is not an official Lively Art, it ought to be..."