Thanks to #ToddPrimm and #PACE, our first Faculty and Friends group made a successful foray into the wonders of Historic Huntsville. A delightful group and a delightful time!
One of our new faculty commented that friends had been horrified that he was coming to the center of the Prison System in Texas. After we had an opportunity to see all that Huntsville had to offer, he was amazed at the lengthy and fascinating history in our little town. He is glad he came to Sam. One of the other faculty members, who has lived in town for decades, was just as amazed at how much he didn’t know about Huntsville. There is a lot to learn, even in just a five-hour tour.
Comfortably settled into the JoyeMobile, we stopped at Founders Park to delve into the Spanish background of Pleasant Gray’s League and Labor grant from the Spanish government. That League was 4,428 acres, plus his Labor of 177 acres for a farm. Quite a nice chunk of land! And very much the reason so many Anglos came to Mexican Texas. We even explored WHY the Mexican government invited the Anglos into Texas. What were they thinking???
Other stops on our tour included the Sam Houston Museum, the Walls Unit where we viewed the immense complex of buildings from high on the hill, the beautiful homes on the Avenues, the wild and crazy houses belonging to the one-and-only George Russell, and a stop at the Gibbs Powell House to visit the Walker County Museum. Each place helped us fill in the larger history of the town.
I have always felt that it is a shame that so many of our faculty don’t realize the extent of our wonderful university facilities. Our tour, therefore, included a trip out Fishhatchery Road to the Nature Preserve/ Conservancy (although we didn’t get to see the Body Farm – one of only 2 in Texas, and 7 throughout the United States), and a visit to the magnificent Gibbs Ranch out on north 75. Next time, we’ll ask for a tour of the facilities and actually get to drive around on site with a faculty tour guide.
It was a delightful afternoon, made doubly so by snacks and drinks aboard the JoyeMobile. Special thanks to Jackye Dedmon, our hostess, who provided the most delicious pineapple Angel-food muffins. Our only disappointment was the bats. They didn’t swarm for us, whether it was threatening rain, or whether they were just sulking over the threat of being kicked out of their TDC Warehouse home. The new bat houses are just not the same.
We hope other faculty will join up and learn that their own growing town of Huntsville is actually a historical gem. Sign up at www.historictoursoftexas.com. And you’d better do it soon, because that $20 fee is going to increase before you know it! Thanks #ToddPrimm!