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Enjoy another adventure with Casper to some great locations in Hillsboro, find some great music or

dancing, or maybe take your sweetie to see a live theater show. The British Drama- "The Chalk

Garden" shows in Brenham this month.

BACKROADS Newsletter

Exploring Texas with the Rural Texas Center

February 2013 Volume 17

PDF February 2013 Newsletter

Greetings Friends & Partners!

It's such an exciting month...Love is in the air. Especially the love of traveling in Texas! You'll fall

in love too as Rural Reporter Casper takes another trip, this time to Hillboro where he discovers

a lot more than just a place to stop and shop. Also join Brownwood in celebrating the joys of

love with their first Bridal Fair. There's lots of music, dancing and dining to be had just about

everywhere. Remember to download a copy of the Rural Texas Events calendar so you can see

what's coming up.

--See you on the trail

Hillsboro Texas -

"Everything Within Reach"

Traveling the Back Roads of Texas

By Casper

Hillsboro [pop. about 8500], is the county seat of Hill County, and

is located about 50 miles south of Dallas/Ft. Worth and 35 miles

north of Waco. Named in honor of Dr. George W. Hill,

Congressman and Secretary of War during the Republic of

Texas, the town was established in 1853 and incorporated in

1881. Today it is an active, growing, community center. Although

a lot of folks connect Hillsboro with the Outlet Mall on I-35, the

Hillsboro courthouse square is located about 3 miles west of the

interstate.

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I began my visit with a

stop at the Chamber of

Commerce and Visitors

Center in the restored

KATY railroad depot

building. Stephanie Wyatt,

Executive Assistant, was

very helpful and

knowledgeable about all things Hillsboro, and supplied me with

a great selection of handouts concerning places to see, local

shops, and recommended hometown restaurants. The depot

also displays railroad artifacts and period photographs of historic

Hillsboro.

Setting off on the

suggested walking tour, I

was impressed by the

beautiful white limestone

courthouse in Second

Empire design. Originally

built in 1891, the

courthouse has been

completely restored after a

fire in 1993. The courthouse is topped by a beautiful clock tower,

featuring a working clock, striking every quarter hour. Inside

features three floors of handsome wooden wainscoting, doors,

and moldings, with tile floors and stained-glass windows. I was

told that occasional tours are available by appointment through

the County Court office.

CONTACT US

Rural Texas Tourism Center

289 West Railroad

Giddings, TX 78942

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Hillsboro is proud of their many historic buildings, sites and

homes, including 15 structures listed on the National Register of

Historic Places, and over 30 Texas Historical markers. On the

south side of the square stand the former Hill County National

Bank building, a Classical Revival design built in 1887 with two

story columns and detailed stone work, and the Old Citizen’s

Bank building, established in 1888, with a Greek Revival exterior

added after 1900. In the middle of the block is the T. B. Bond

Pharmacy, said to be the oldest continuously operated pharmacy

in Texas. Originally contracted in 1886, Dr. William Bond moved

his drugstore into the building in 1895. The original façade was

destroyed by fire in 1915. During my visit here, I noticed that the

pharmacy also sells registered Texas Longhorn Beef. Other

buildings facing the square include the former J. Levy Opera

House, built in 1894, the former H & R Drug Store, built in 1891,

and the former Majestic Theater, built in 1895. Just off the square

are located the former Texas Theater, with its Art Deco design,

opened in 1926, but now vacant, and the historic Hillsboro City

Hall, completed in 1909. This building was renovated in 2007

and still contains the city offices.

Schulenburg Historical

Museum

You are invited to attend the

annual meeting and open house

of the Schulenburg Historical

Museum on Sunday, February 10

starting at 2pm. We are anxious

to show off the new displays and

share plans for the future. It is

important for the citizens of our

community and our visitors to

see how much history is

available in our museum about

our early settlers. We hope you

will take some time out and take

a walk through the past with us.

The very interesting Hill

County Jail Museum is

located in the former Hill

County Jail building, which

included the living

quarters of the sheriff and

his family in front, while

the rear portion was made

up of the prisoner’s cells.

The museum is open for tours April through October on

Saturdays and by appointment only through the Chamber of

Commerce office the rest of the year. Other small private

museums are located in town, including the Road America

Museum, specializing in fifty plus years of advertising

memorabilia, by appointment only, and the Grimes Garage

Museum, which showcases vintage Cadillacs and automotive

memorabilia on display at the first gas station in Hill County, also

by appointment only. Ask the Chamber of Commerce for

additional information.

There are a number of recommended places to dine in town,

including Montes and Cilantros Mexican restaurants, Frenkie’s

Pasta and Pizza, Harvest Chinese Buffet, Sy’s Kitchen, Mimi and

Papa’s Kitchen, and Lady Bug Deli and Desserts. Located

nearby on I-35 are Up In Smoke BBQ, Lone Star Café, and El

Conquistador.

RTTC Members

Angleton TX, City of

Bellville TX Chamber

Belton TX Chamber

Blanco TX Chamber

Bridgeport TX Chamber

Brenham/Washington County

Brownfield TX, City

Brownwood TX Chamber

Burton TX Chamber

Cameron TX Chamber

Canton Economic Development

Clute Visitor’s Bureau

Columbus TX Chamber

Comfort TX Chamber

Cuero TX Chamber

After a good, home-style lunch at Mimi and Papa’s Kitchen,

located across from the Jail Museum, I walked down Waco St. to

the Hillsboro Public Library, now housed in the former U. S. Post

Office. The design of the1915 Renaissance Revival building was

based on the Foundling Hospital for Children in Florence, Italy,

and is beautiful inside and out. The library contains a large

collection, and is home to the Hillsboro Genealogical Society,

which maintains a great research room on the second floor.

Diboll TX, City of

Dimmit County Chamber

Besides the Outlet Mall on the highway, shoppers can visit a

number of interesting stores located near the town square.

Antique and collectable businesses include Hillsboro Antique

Mall, Antique Village, Two Sisters Antiques, Fleas N’ Tiques. A

Tisket A Tasket is stated to reopen after remodeling in November

of 2012. Other recommend stops include The Christmas Store,

and Rainbow Gems Jewelry. Although my shopping partners

made purchases from a number of locations, Antique Village

was recommended as a real treasure house.

Old Jail Museum built in

1887, houses the Gonzales

Chamber of Commerce &

Agriculture offices Open Mon.-

Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m.-

4 p.m. Sun. 1-4 p.m. Architect

Eugene T. Heiner designed the

brick structure to hold 200


If shopping is not your

interest, a short trip just

east of I-35 will take you to

Hill College and the

Harold B. Simpson History

Complex, home of the

Texas Heritage Museum.

This great little museum

commemorates Texas and Texans during wartime, from the

Texas Revolution to Vietnam. A short film gives an overview of the

collection. Also located in the building is the exceptional

Confederate Research Center, featuring a library of over 5000

books, microfilms, and documents concerning the Civil War in

Texas and the Southwest. The Museum and library are open

Monday through Friday. Call the museum for additional

information.

Lake Aquilla, a 3000 acre U. S. Corp of Engineers public access

reservoir, is located just southwest of Hillsboro and offers fishing

for bass, crappie, and catfish. Lake Whitney and Lake Whitney

State Park are located a short distance west of Hillsboro. The

state park offers picnicking and swimming areas, hiking trails,

and camping facilities, and the lake is known for excellent

fishing. There is a park fee, but I believe it is one of the least

expensive in the system. The staff at the park entrance ranger

station are very helpful and knowledgeable about the park.

Many recognized chain hotels are located on the Interstate, just a

few miles from downtown Hillsboro. The Windmill Bed and

Breakfast is located just west of town.

Annual events for Hillsboro include the Hill County Fair in

January, Cotton Pickin’ Fair in September, Middlefaire

Renaissance Festival, located 5 miles north of town, on

weekends from late October to mid- November, and Holiday on

the Square in December. Whether visiting for a day or a

weekend, Hillsboro has a lot to offer.

Websites:

http://hillsborochamber.org/

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hfh05

http://www.hillcollege.edu/info/texasheritagemuseum/

http://www.texasescapes.com/TOWNS/Hillsboro/Hillsboro.htm

http://www.lone-star.net/mall/txtrails/hillsboro.htm

prisoners under riot conditions.

Contractor Henry Kane and

Snead & Company Iron Works

contracted to build the jail of

concrete and steel for

$21,660.20

RTTC Members

Elgin TX, City of

Ennis Convention & Visitors

Bureau

Fireman’s Park, Giddings

Giddings TX Chamber

Giddings Swap Meet

Gonzales TX Chamber

Hamilton TX Chamber

Henderson TX, City of

Join The Weimary for a

sweet treat for you and

your cupcake!

Featuring Ms. Debbie's Sugar

Shack cupcake bites paired with

their delectable wines!

Saturday, February 9th, 2:00-

4:00pm

4 perfect bites paired with 4

perfect wines--$12.00

Valentine offering for Weimary

Winos--$6.00

Show your love with a bottle of

Cloud 9 and a box of delicious

Weimary Truffles for under

$30.00

1101 Sedan Rd.

Weimar, TX 78962

512-656-4391

"The world is a book and those who do not travel

read only one page," - St. Augustine

Brownwood Area Bridal Fair

The Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce and the

Lehnis Railroad Museum will host the Brownwood Area

Bridal Fair on Saturday, February 16th. The fair will be

an invaluable resource for soon-to-be brides in planning

their special day. Vendors will showcase their products

and services and will be available with tips, techniques,

and ideas for the perfect wedding. A style show will

feature some of the latest looks in wedding attire for

the entire family. Vendors at the show will include

photographers, florists, caterers, DJs, party rental, and

venues as well as other businesses that will enhance

any wedding.

The bridal fair provides an opportunity for future brides

to meet face to face with businesses that can assist in

Mardi Gras is coming to Magnolia

in a big way and everyone is

invited to participate. On

Saturday, February 9 th , the

Magnolia Community Foundation

will host “Mardi Gras on Tthe

Stroll” in downtown Magnolia

beginning at 4 p.m. But the

really big event of this

celebration opens at 3 p.m. with

free registration for the “Dancing

Umbrella Parade”—Magnolia’s

first approved Guinness Book of

World Records competition.

RTTC Members

Iraan TX Chamber

Lee County Fair, Giddings

Lexington TX Chamber


planning the big day, all in one location, saving time and

gas. Door prize drawings will be taking place

throughout the day as well. Future husbands are

welcome to attend and enjoy the "man cave" if they

need a break from wedding planning.

The Brownwood Area Bridal Fair will take place from 10

AM - 2 PM on Saturday February 16 th at the Lehnis

Railroad Museum. Admission to the show is free. Brides

are encouraged to preregister at

brownwoodchamber.org or by calling 325-646-9535.

Livingston TX Chamber

Luling TX Chamber

Magnolia TX, City

Matagorda County

Marketplace Taylor - Taylor TX

Mexia TX Chamber

Mineral Wells TX Chamber

Mount Enterprise, City

Munday TX, City

Nocona TX, City of

Onalaska TX, City of

Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary

Sign Dedication

A memorial to the original Aransas County “Bird

Watcher”

A sign dedication will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 starting

at 3 p.m. at the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary at the

corner of Church and First streets in Rockport. The

permanent sign is provided by the History Committee of

the Aransas Pathways Steering Committee and

recognizes Hagar’s work and legacy as a birder in

Aransas County. She and her husband, Jack, moved to

Rockport in 1935. They purchased the cottages on

Church Street where they would eventually host birding

experts and ornithologists from throughout the U.S.

This location is today the Connie Hagar Cottage

Sanctuary. Hagar passed away in 1973.

The most common image of Connie Hagar is that of an

older lady gazing upward and holding a pair of

binoculars. This particular photo appeared in Life

Magazine in 1954 and she was described as a

“birdwatcher.” Connie Hagar wasn’t just watching

birds; she was studying their behavior, flight

movement, calls, color and numbers. She did not keep

her observations to herself. She wrote detailed notes of

everything she saw during her daily birding treks. Her

meticulous records and reports stirred the interest of

ornithologists and birders everywhere. Birding experts,

including Roger Tory Peterson, came to Rockport and

Fulton to discover her writings were not exaggerations.

Could there really be a place so full and diverse with

bird species

The “birdwatcher” shared her knowledge with more

than the experts. Many long time Aransas County

residents will recall Hagar visiting their classrooms to

describe the bird species of the area. Hagar’s

observations and notes put Aransas County on the map

as one of the premiere birding locations in this

hemisphere.

Directions to the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary can

be found on the Aransas Pathways smartphone app,

“Tour Rockport-Fulton.” For more information contact

the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 361-729-

6445 (http://www.rockport-fulton.org/). For more

information about Aransas Pathways call 361- 790-0194

(http://www.aransaspathways.com/).

Location: 7 miles south of

Mexia on Texas Highway 14

Activities: Fort Parker offers 25

campsites with water, electricity

and restrooms with showers, 10

screened shelters, activity

center, playground, group

pavilion, learning center,

swimming, fishing, bird watching,

hiking, biking, canoeing, boat

tours, boat ramp, nature study,

and baseball/softball.

RTTC Members

Plummer Printing

Polk County Chamber

Port Lavaca, TX

Rockdale TX Chamber

Rockport-Fulton TX Chamber

Schulenburg TX Chamber

Sealy TX Chamber

Smithville TX Chamber

Spoiled Doves of Texas, Lago

Vista

Taylor Chamber

Texas Word Wrangler Festival

Giddings Public Library &

Cultural Ctr

The Village Bakery, West

Spring Creek Bluegrass Club

Show & Jam

(Fourth Saturday of the Month)

Good, Family Event, No Alcohol

Several stages of live

entertainment.

6:00 – 11:00pm Free to the

Public

Coushatte Recreational Ranch,

2812 Nelius Road, Bellville


UNITY THEATRE PRESENTS “THE CHALK

GARDEN”

Blossoming on the Main Stage at Unity Theatre is the

1950’s drama The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold,

perhaps best known for her novel National Velvet. The

Chalk Garden was first produced in 1955 at the Ethel

Barrymore Theatre on Broadway, and went on to

receive several Tony Award nominations including Best

Play and was hailed “a tantalizing, fascinating and

stimulating piece of theatre”.

The Chalk Garden tells the story of the precocious,

troubled teenager, Laurel, who lives with her eccentric

grandmother, Mrs. St. Maugham, and has successfully

driven away every governess she has ever had. When

the mysterious Miss Madrigal is hired to be her

companion, Laurel, along with the crime-obsessed

manservant, Maitland, is determined to uncover her

dark secret. When an elderly Judge comes to lunch the

mystery unravels and lives are changed forever.

Father Daughter Dance in

Mineral Wells

Celebrate the special bond that

fathers and daughters share with

an evening of fun at Clark

Gardens. Show your daughter

how important she is. G.A.L.S.

Father Daughter Dance is at

Clark Gardens at 6pm. Tickets

are $10 for couple or $10 father

and multiple daughters.

The Chalk Garden will enjoy a three-week run at Unity

Theatre, previewing on Thursday, February 7, opening

on Friday, February 8, and playing through Sunday,

February 24, 2013. Performances are Thursdays at

7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and

Sundays at 4:00 pm. All seats are $27 and they are

reserved. $17 tickets are available for Preview and any

unsold seats are $15 at 15 minutes prior to each

performance. A Director’s Chat is scheduled for 7:30 pm

on Saturday, February 16 prior to the show.

Reservations can be made through the Unity Theatre

Box Office at 300 Church Street, open Monday through

Friday, 10:00 am until 2:00 pm, by phone at (979) 830-

8358, or visit the web site at www.UnityBrenham.org.

Feb 11-23: Round Top - ANNUAL WINEDALE

QUILT EXHIBIT

Annual quilt exhibit, featuring Amish and Mennonite

Quilts, part of the Winedale Quilt Collection, with

historic quilts dating back to the 1700s, 10am-4pm, $5

donation, 3738 FM 2714, Round Top.

Winedale@austin.utexas.edu or www.cah.utexas.edu

Something Sweet in

West

Everyone gives chocolates for

Valentines day. Try tempting

your sweetheart with something

tasty from the Village Bakery in

West, TX this year.

113 E. Oak Street

West, TX

(254) 826-5151

February 21-24: Brenham - “BILOXI BLUES”

Join the misadventures of Eugene Morris Jerome, a

young army recruit during WWII, as he goes through

basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi. Performances Thu-

Sat 7pm, Sun 2pm, O’Donnell Performing Arts Center,

Blinn College, Brenham

979-830-4024 or http://www.blinn.edu/odonnell/

Ennis Czech Music

Festival

Make your way to Ennis on

February 9 for the Ennis Czech

Music Festival at Sokol Activity

Center from 11am to 10:30pm.

Listen and dance to six bands:

The Moravians, Ennis Czech

Boys, Jak Se Do, Czech

Harvesters, Jodie Mikula

Orchestra, Czech & Then Some.

Only $7 per person, ages 14 and

under are free. No reservations.

The kitchen will be open if you

get hungry. Raffle Prizes! So

come on out and let's party.


Submit your 25 th Annual HummerBird T-Shirt

Design

This is a chance to have your artwork seen by

thousands. Enter your artwork for the 2013 25 th

Anniversary HummerBird Celebration T-Shirt Design for

Rockport Fulton. Requirements for T-Shirt design are in

this file for you to download. For more information

contact: Sandy at the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of

Commerce: 729-6445 or email tourism@1rockport.org.

The deadline for getting your entry to the Chamber

office is May 1, 2013. For More information on the

HummerBird Celebration visit: www.rockport-fulton.org

Take the Historical Marker

Tour in Brownfield

On a journey to see the history

of Texas Voyage through a

series of history markers in

Terry County. You'll see some of

the first buildings ever raised in

this area and select monuments

dedicated to our rich heritage. In

downtown Browfield on Main

Street you will find a downtown

square with the country building

at the center, the original cobble

stone roads, and a Veteran's

War Memorial.

Buffalo Soldiers are Coming to Blanco

On February 9 you will be able to visit frontier

encampments and experience life as it was on the

western frontier. Learn about the life of the Buffalo

Soldiers including their history and culture. Participate in

several outdoor activities such as backyard bass fishing

with cane poles, Orienteering, Frontier baseball,

Seminole Scouting which includes Native American

stories and games, and animal tracking. Also learn

about women of the frontier - especially Cathy Williams,

the only documented case of a lady Buffalo Soldier.

The program runs from 10:00 through 4:00 and will be

located at various sites throughout the park. The event

is free with paid park entry. Entrance permits are $4 per

person, children 12 and under

Sunny & Jordan Shipley

Valentine Concert in Belton

Date: February 14, 2013

Time: 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

www.DateNight2013.com

Date night with Sunny Shipley,

featuring her Valentine, Jordan

Shipley. With special guest Kayla

Ray. Profits from the event will

benefit Ronald McDonald House.

Location: Blanco State Park, 101 Park Road 23, Blanco,

TX 78606

Contacts: 830-833-4333

Website: tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/blanco

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