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Savoy, Texas

On the way to or from along U.S. Highway 82 and Farm Road 1752 in Fannin County you’ll find Savoy, TX.  And if you aren’t paying attention you’ll drive right by without noticing.  That is, unless you get off the 82 and onto the 56.   I’ve been in Savoy more often after dark than in the daytime.  I’ve taken more pictures in and of Savoy in the midnight hours than any other time.  And I like it.  Texans are proud of their communities that are ever-changing, but they won’t admit that.   This store front won’t catch your eye during the day, for it blends in as ordinarily bland under the bright afternoon sun.  At night, the nearby street lights and porch light bulb provide just enough to capture a stimulating mood.  Sometimes I don’t carry my big camera and lately I’ve been shooting with nothing more than my android.  Every few months you’ll see something new along the drive in Savoy and the quietness of it all draws me back.  I’ll have many more pictures of late-night-Savoy.  More to come.

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Posted by on July 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Ladonia, TX

The work that I do often leads me through some hidden rural areas in North Texas.  I would have never known about Ladonia or sought it out if it had not been for an assignment there.  Ladonia is about 12 miles south of Honey Grove and there’s not much in Honey Grove except for some pretty pastures, cows, the downtown square and some really nice people.   Back to Ladonia.

Ladonia has big dreams.  In fact, their motto is “small town, big future” and that sign is on the north side of town.  What got my attention though is this hotel on the northeast corner of East Main Street and North Church Street.  According to “A Memoir:  Looking for the Good Life and Other Stories of Survival” by Charlene H. Grafton, the hotel was built in 1906 and was managed by Jim Hardy and his sister Virgie.  There are written accounts online that indicate that the hotel has been renovated.  I found quite a bit to photograph in this town, enough to draw me back with cameras and tripod and time.  That’s the problem.  When I’m working I don’t have the time I want to stop and take pictures and most importantly talk to people and make new friends.

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Posted by on July 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Mineola, TX–First Baptist Church

What I like about historic Mineola are the renovations over the past five or more years.  The stoplight downtown, one you will likely sit at, will force you to look around and you’ll notice the restored depot and the downtown area including eateries, antique shops and more. Either that, or you’ll be stuck behind a fast moving train barreling through headed here ore there.   There is usually some kind of event scheduled throughout the year.

And there is this beauty:   First Baptist Church at 204 N Johnson St.  You cannot miss it with it’s towering steeple.  I took the scenic route through town that day, only a few blocks away and shot this picture with my IR Nikon.

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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Dr. White’s Sanitorium, Wichita Falls, TX

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Only one stop was made in Wichita Falls on our haunted trek to Amarillo to see Dr. White’s Sanitorium –Old Insane Asylum. There were several spots we could have checked out but this was easiest for the time we had left in the day. Once mapped we turned right onto Olen Street and found what we thought was going to be a dilapidated structure with weeds grown up around it, an old iron gate partially open inviting the curious in. We did no prior research. All of these finds were random and found on one website only. We found the address 508 Olen St in Wichita Falls, TX. I had to look twice on the internet to verify this place for it had been converted to a private residence. I wanted to knock on the door and ask to take a tour. Obviously we didn’t. Surely they have people like us drive by regularly.
According to various websites, this facility was used to house tuberculosis patients back in the 20’s. Once closed it was abandoned and as you can well establish the building was explored by those in search of ghosts and sounds were audible leaving much to the imagination. I have not found evidence that it was used as an insane asylum. This was an easy find.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Witches Gate #2

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While Courtney took some more shots of Witches Gate in the previous entry, I pulled up on my handy Droid Witches Gate #2 located just east of Witchita Falls on Hammon and Hatton Road. This is nothing more than an intersection with a couple of versions, one involving a murder of a young couple doing what young couples do after the Texas sky goes dark.
When we found it I got out and walked around in the middle of the road and examined the guardrail and the ditch below. The area is open countryside scattered with small farms, horses, tractors, an old Chevy pick-up and some made-up stories. I looked up at October’s morning sky, yawned, stretched, and ho-hummed carrying my camera looking for a more interesting subject.
Number Two doesn’t look as mysterious and exciting as Witches Gate but because it was on our list of “haunts”, we had to drive there just to check it out. It is written on various websites that there is a relationship to this corner of the road and the burned structure I’ve written about. Some say that the land was owned by the Keith Brothers who owned the Witches Gate land. I suppose if you drive long enough on Hammon Ranch Road you’d end up on the WG property. If you drive long enough you’ll end up somewhere.
Perhaps after dark one night I’ll bring my paranormal detection equipment and hang out with the mosquitoes at this location and report back to you my findings, that is if I don’t get killed by a drunk driver out that way. You know, the one that takes the back road. By the way, did you know that you can download apps on your iPhone to detect ghosts? Is there an app to detect drunk drivers?
After a bit of googling I discovered several stories and books written about the Keith brothers and the troubles at Witches Gate. I bought the book, How Did They Die? (Murders in Northern Texas 1926-1975) by Julie Coley.
All I wanted was a trip to Amarillo to see the Cadillacs, the horse museum and some stars at the Canyon. Here I now sit spending hours researching the Witches Gate stories.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Jolly, Texas

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There isn’t much in Jolly. Really, there isn’t. There is an RV Center, a Baptist church, and the Jolly truck stop/Valero gas center that takes up a chunk of property just north of the highway. The population is less than 200 people. Hop on the 2393 south and you’ll find yourself eventually at Lake Arrowhead state park. I write about Jolly, however, not for the above listed places but for an easily missed little place along the 287 that is recorded on http://www.hauntedplaces.org/.

According to the website, this place called Witches Gate is “a burned mansion, the centerpiece of a local legend. Many different stories circulate here. Some say the wealthy family who lived here was met with tragedy when the father passed away. The mother went crazy and burned the house. Another tale says robbers broke into the house, and one of the small boys in the family managed to trap the robbers and set the house afire, killing everyone inside, including himself. Other stories say the family was involved in witchcraft, which spawned the name Witches Gate. Folks say the ghost of the two brothers who lived in the family can be seen among the ruins.”

This is the month of October and the fields and trees remain lush with vegetation so finding ruins is not an easy task.  On our third attempt and U-turn, we finally located this old place on the south side of the 287 but it wasn’t easy to see.

Have you seen it?

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Henrietta, Texas

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Traveling to the Panhandle along the 82 on an early Sunday morning brings nothing but wide open space and wind, except for filled church parking lots. Even many restaurants in town are closed on this day in many of the little towns on the route. The only place I found a cold drink and snack was at the Bread and Butter Stop a couple of blocks west of C’s favorite house.

It was Henrietta that we decided for a hunt for haunts on the road to Amarillo. Just ahead on the 287 before getting to Amarillo is our story for a future blog entry. In the meantime, we strolled around the town square admiring the brick and sandstone courthouse built in 1884. According to records, a clock tower stood tall above the square on the building and later the dome replaced it. You cannot find these things out on Sunday mornings in the Bible belt for most people are preparing for church service or sleeping in recovering from a previous night of activity that they should be repentant of.

I asked a man at the Bread and Butter stop on information and directions to our next stop. Surely, he has answered this question before.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2015 in Uncategorized