at Temple's recently restored Santa Fe Depot |
We would bet that over the years there have
been arguments over Temple's being the seat
of Bell County. People passing through the center of downtown and not paying
close attention could easily swear they saw the courthouse. That's because the
Municipal Building sits exactly where one would expect a courthouse to
be. It more than resembles a courthouse and is more imposing than many courthouses
we could name.
Fe Depot Railroad and Heritage Museum in Temple|
TE Photo, October 2000
Fe Depot Railroad and Heritage Museum
The dazzlingly new Santa Fe Depot Railroad and Heritage Museum is a short
walk from the square at 315 West Avenue B (across from the police station). It
is also a functioning station, with two trains daily.
- Saturday 10:00 to 4:00, Sundays 12:00 to 4:00. Phone: 254-298-5172
Construction on the Santa Fe Depot began in August 1909, and was completed
January 29, 1911. The initial cost was more than $200,000.
is a textbook example of Prairie-Beaux Arts architecture. It is featured
in Jay C. Henry's Architecture in Texas 1895 - 1945, University of Texas Press,
1993. Worthy of note is the Santa Fe's trademark - a cross in a circle - here
formed by common brick.
In 1989 Santa Fe vacated the building, but AMTRAK
stayed until the early 90's. When they left, the building was totally abandoned.
In 1995 the City of Temple purchased the building and roughly 8 acres
of land around the depot. A grant application was submitted in 1996 for funds
from the Texas Department of Transportation. The $2.4 Million was approved for
the depot's restoration which began in September 1999, and was completed in August
Hotels > Book
thanks to Museum Archivist Craig Ordner for supplying us with the above information
for the depot.
Santa Fe Depot|
formerly of Moody, Texas
by John Troesser, October 2000
Santa Fe Depot
In addition to the new Railroad & Heritage
Museum previously mentioned, Temple also has the Santa Fe Depot from the McClennan
County town of Moody. Plans have been made to move this depot to the
site of the new museum early next year, perhaps before. It is possible that it
would be converted into a restaurant. All of it's exhibits have been moved to
the new museum and is not open to the public at this time. Here's a photo to satisfy
your curiosity in case you've read this far.
Hotels > Book
A fine example of creative preservation
by John Troesser, October 2000
Downtown Temple also has a somewhat busy, but
well executed mural one and a half blocks south of the square.
The big preservation news is the stabilized facades just south and east
of the square. Several old buildings were in such disrepair that they had to go.
The brickwork on the upper portion of the buildings was worth saving though, so
with ingenuity, hard work and the desire to save what they could, they came up
with a solution that many other towns in Texas could benefit from.
Hotels > Book
Temple's Hotel Doering, later known as the Hotel Hawn.
Texas Theatre in Temple
Photo, October 2000
Arcadia] was the most popular theatre in town - which meant it had the biggest
crowds." ... more|
Next to the Doering, sits the entrance to the Arcadia Theater.
We didn't say the theater was there; we said the entrance was. That's because
one would enter here and walk back the length of the hotel until one reached the
Current efforts are being made toward the restoration
of the Arcadia Theater.
Hotels >Book Hotel Here
Tunnels and the shooting of "Snub" |
We talked with the owner of The Book Cellar Bob Jones, and learned quite
a bit about downtown. The The Book Cellar is on the South side of the "square"
and, as the name suggests, it's below street level. The address is 3 West Central
and their phone number is 254-773-7545. (They have a good under-priced Texana
section, but don't tell everybody). Mr. Jones has filed away many of the stories
of early Temple told to him by his customers, who remember when the Cellar was
a speakeasy. Bob has heard the story many times of the shooting of a man with
the unglamorous name of "Snub." Snub was shot, but managed to catch a taxi to
King's Daughter's Hospital where he pulled though. There was at least one killing
there -"right about where non-fiction is now." Maybe it's true - maybe
not. Truth is sometimes stranger than non-fiction.
(Reader's Email: In the
section about the cellar bookstore...... The name of that bookstore is "The Book
Cellar" My kids think it's a real treat to go there! I enjoy your website! - Paula
Jones, August 06, 2008
Temple Tunnels: Myth or Fact?
While we're on the subject of non-fiction vs. fiction - Mr. Jones told us of a
tunnel system that runs through several blocks of downdown. It seems that the
old Temple High School generated enough steam from their boilers to sell the surplus
to other downtown buildings, including the Kyle and Doering Hotels and the Arcadia
Theater. The pipes were of course underground. Steam through iron pipe means condensation
and rust and so tunnels were dug alongside the pipes for maintenance. Several
entrances to these tunnels were scattered around the downtown area - one of them
under the sidewalk next to the front door of The Cellar Bookstore. It is now bricked
up and padlocked. Jones had an older man tell him that as a boy he knew the way
from the basement of the Kyle to the backstage area of the Arcadia. Other citizens
of Temple dismiss these stories as fiction. We have a feeling these people were
the ones that had to pay full price to see the movies.
Hotels > Book
Carnegie Library in Temple, Texas |
Temple built its library in 1902.
Although this building burned in 1918 it is partially responsible for the well
oiled machine that is the Temple Library today. ... more
by Clay Coppedge|
Part of Bell County history and mythology centers on John Bird who was felled
by an arrow fired from 200 yards away at the Battle of Bird's Creek in what is
now the middle of Temple. The creek - really a ravine - where the battle happened
was named in Bird's honor, posthumously. If the Indians had won, the creek probably
would have been named for the archer..." more
and the POWs by Clay Coppedge|
Mildred "Lanky" Lancaster
"Her contributions to women's sports in Central Texas have been immeasurable.
The softball field at Temple High School was dedicated in her honor last year."
"A fact most significant to the history of the West
is that approximately 100,000 girls signed up to work for Fred Harvey from 1901
to about 1944."
"My mother was a Harvey Girl, working approximately
two years in the Harvey House Restaurant in Temple." more
of the Hill by
Clay Coppedge |
Rumors that the fictional town of Arlen, home of the characters
on the Fox TV show "King of the Hill," is inspired by or based on Temple have
been not exactly rampant, but they are at least persistent... more
I-35 South 9 miles to Belton,
furthur to Salado
I-35 South 50 miles to Austin
I-35 North 36 miles to Waco
Hwy 36 NW 15 miles to the ghost
town of The Grove
Temple Chamber of Commerce
2 N. 5th (76501) PO Box 158 (76503) Temple, Texas
Phone: (254) 773-2105 | Fax: (254) 773-0661
Visitor's & Convention Bureau - 254-298-5720
2 North Main Street
Hotel Here > Temple
Texas Forum Subject:
Jayton and Temple Tractor Factories
Looking for Information on either
the Piasa Tractor Company of Jayton,
Texas or the Prairie Queen Tractor Mfg. Company of Temple, Texas. The
Jayton company was incorporated in 1913 to build tractors, but no other information
is known. As far as the Prairie Queen Tractor Company of Temple, In the early
1920s, the Prairie Queen 8-16 tractor (using a Gray Victory engine), appeared
on the market, but for unknown reasons it left the market in or after 1922. It
was priced at $765. Other than that no other details about the company or its
tractor have been located. - Jim White, Liberty Hill, Texas, September 16,
Kyle Hotel in Temple, Tx
This is an update on the Kyle Hotel in Temple Tx. It was renovated in 1991 to
be used for housing for the elderly, handicapped-disabled, and low income households.
Residents pay 30% of their adjusted income per month. Each apartment is furnished
with a stove and refrigerator in the kitchen. Central air and heat is supplied.
All bills--utilities, water, sewer, garbage--are included in the rent. Cable,
phone, Internet are the responsibility of each resident, as desired. There are
64 apartments in the building. They consist of 1 and 2 bedrooms and efficiency
size apartments. These apartments are unfurnished. I moved in to The Kyle in 1991,
moved out for one year, returned to The Kyle, and have been living here since.
We have Meals-on-Wheels lunches here Monday through Friday. We enjoy conversation
in the lobby, pool and ping-pong, music, cards, checkers, and dominoes in the
"Game Room". We celebrate birthdays each month with cake and ice cream and have
potluck suppers on special days--holidays. We have "Saturday Morning Brunches"
with coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts and "Movie Night" every other Wednesday,
with popcorn, drinks, and sandwiches. We have fund raisers several times a year
to help defray the costs of parties, dinners, movies, and other various activities.
All in all we are a Community--made up of many different individuals from many
different backgrounds and customs. But we are in a sense a Family too. We care
about each person that lives in The Kyle by checking on them if they have not
be seen for a day or two. We make sure that each person has food, clothing, and
other necessities. If one of us is in need of something that someone else cannot
or does not have, we will help that person in need to locate it through an agency
what is needed. I do enjoy living here and will do so as long as my health holds
out. Thank you for including The Kyle Building in your website. - Karen Lary,
The Kyle Hotel Building, Temple, Texas, June 15 2004
What a joy it was for me to read about my hometown, Temple, Texas. The photos
brought back many wonderful memories.
I was born in the Scott & White
Hospital (1943) when it was between Ave M and the Santa Fe Rail Road tracks. My
dad was an employee of the Santa Fe Roundhouse and worked on the steam engines.
We lived in an rock house that still stands in the shadow of the South Side
Water Tower, one of two towers Temple had at the time.
When I was
in Temple High school, I landed my first job. My best friend and I worked for
the Temple Theater as cashiers. Her uncle owned the Texas and Arcadia.
The work consisted of one shift on Thursday and Friday and two on Saturday and
Sunday. I worked three shifts and saw some great movies. One was "Porgy and Bess".
I guess I remember it because it was the first all Black film I had seen - and
it was a musical.
When the Arcadia needed relief cashiers we
were asked to work. I was scared to work the Arcadia because it was the most popular
theatre in town - which meant it had the biggest crowds. This meant I'd have to
do a better job than at the Texas. I saw movies at the Arcadia like "Pillow Talk",
"Picnic" and I even saw my first 3-D movie there. The name of the movie escapes
me, but I remember wearing the glasses and the arrows coming out of the screen
straight at me. The Municipal building stood in the center of town and I remember
sketching it on slow days. It was the only important building I could see from
the cashier's booth.
The locomotive that is on display in Temple
today was the one that took us to California. My father's passes were only for
chair cars so we had to sleep in our seats. Fortunately, I met some people my
own age and we explored the whole train from the club car clear back to the end
where we watched the tracks disappear from view. It was my first lesson in perspective.
I haven't gone back to Temple since my mother passed away, but my memories
of growing up in that wonderful town will stay with me forever. - Linda (Thomas)
Hass, La Grange, Texas, January, 2004
can not begin to tell you how pleased I was to see the marque of the Arcadia
a feature and to learn it is being restored. Many, many summer afternoons, my
sister and I went to Temple with my father. He was going to the cattle auctions
and we went to the movie at the Arcadia. I have fond memories of those days. Yes,
I remember the long aisle leading into the screen room - where the curtains were
pulled and the movie began. We saw Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Jean
Harlow, Katherine Hepburn, Lana Turner and all the wonderful old movie stars entertain
us for an afternoon We lived at Blevins (in Falls County) and just going to Temple
was a treat - but going to the movie a joy. I hope to see more of the Arcadia
in future issues. Thank you. Lena Stone Criswell (Albuquerque, NM), Saturday,
May 19, 2001
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