and Karla Beauchamp
Texas both descend from ancestors who planted cotton.
Will’s father also taught Texas history in nearby Pettus,
Texas. The apple doesn’t fall from the tree and Will discovered
early on that he had inherited the history gene.
In Mr. Beauchamp’s own words:
“I started out collecting antique bottles in my youth in the Tuleta
area of South
Texas. My father teaching history just fueled my desire
to collect historical items, especially from South Texas. I then started
collecting cotton gin postcards. Almost every town
in Texas had at least one cotton gin and many had several.
Before and after the Civil War many Southerners migrated to Texas.
The families were so big that most farms were self-sufficient. Many
cotton farmers who knew nothing else found that cotton didn't grow
very well in some regions.
About five years ago I caught the bridge craze. The story of the old
bridges is similar to the fate of the gins. Almost all
of them are gone now and it's a history that some of us want to save.
I thought that by sharing my collection with Texas
Escapes’ readers, it would reach a much larger audience
than it would stuck away and only seen by a few.”