Back Roads-Ben Hur Tx & Environs

I usually plan a course and stick to it when I drive the back roads. Today, I was disappointed¬† because nothing very interesting was out there. Then, I saw a sign for Ben Hur so I turned around even though it wasn’t on my agenda. I came across a large rusty building with a sign for the Ben Hur Bar. There were several big trucks and motorcycles out front which is always a good sign for a bar. Luckily, I met Carl the owner. He told me about pumping gas at these pumps for 10 cents a gallon.¬†¬† I didn’t have time to stop today but am planning to return to Ben Hur with some friends and enjoy a cold one very soon.

 

Here are some links for the location and history.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb25

http://www.texasescapes.com/CentralTexasTownsNorth/BenHurTexas.htm

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And here’s a link to the bar’s Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ben-Hur-Bar/208199529212529

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And the link to the photos I captured over on Flickr

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Ladonia Texas

I am in love with Ladonia Texas. The town has a charming square and 3 large churches embellished with gorgeous stained glass, sadly beginning to ruin. There is little modern housing in Ladonia bud sadly not many restored. I adore the large Queen Anne on Main St. The property has the main house and an out building large enough to house another family and a couple of other buildings too, one probably a carriage house. The 16 pane windows were a treat to see but would be expensive to restore.

I fantasize about having Oprah/Gates/Zuckerburg kinds of money. I’d buy the main buildings and create an artist colony that would become a destination, like Marfa. A concert hall, theater for plays and a square full of galleries. If I had big money, I’d restore the houses as studios and give artists cheap rent to live there and create. A drive in wouldn’t go amiss as it’s far enough out the light pollution is less. Oh Well, I can dream.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hll07

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Ladonia Cemetery

Hello after a long hiatus, I’ve been taking photos but not blogging…real life, yadda yadda yadda.

I’ve recently become interested in a fraternal organization called Oddfellows so when I learned Ladonia was an Oddfellows cemetery, I headed out. Come to find out the Oddfellows haven’t maintained this cemetary in over 100 years. I was still hopeful to find iconography other than the ubiquitous Masons and Woodmen of the World. I didn’t see anything unusual so maybe the Oddfellows don’t carve emblems into their stones, I need to do more research.

The headstone of Ethel Macfarland “The Lady of Ladonia” caught my eye. Luckily her story was there when I googled her name.

http://www.bthaggard.com/lady.html

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txfannin/mcfarlverda.html

http://www.txfannin.org/obits.php?per_id=28911

http://www.txfannin.org/cemetery.php?cem_id=143

Ladonia is an interesting town with beautiful ruined architecture. More on that later.

Cemateries – Aurora Texas

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a_MG_5148For those who don’t keep up with UFO stories, you might not have heard about Texas’ Roswell. According to a story in the Dallas Morning News from 1897, a space craft crashed in Aurora. The townsfolk gave the alien pilot a christian burial in their cemetary. Of course there is no marked grave and the burial is lost.

The stone that made the biggest impression on me today was Jim Chandler ….and wife. Let’s never forget how far we have come ladies. The days are over “hopefully” that a woman was not imortant enough to even have her grave marked with her name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/aurora,_texas,_ufo_incident

Cemeteries – Five Mile Cemetery Dallas

I revisited Five Mile Cemetery today since the weather is so great right now. The thing that I noticed most on this visit was the names, so quaint sounding today. Lavinia, Parthenia and Augustus are a few that come to mind.

The ubiquitous lambs on top of baby’s stones were there but I thought the grave stone with baby shoes was so sweet and unusual.

A few years ago, followers of Santeria were using this for their rituals and I have found remains like candles, etc there. None were evident today.

http://mcirillo.com/fivemilecemetery/

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WME34M_Five_Mile_Cemetery

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Back Roads – Bankhead Hwy

Now that autumn has finally arrived, I’ve had a chance to get out on the road. Last weekend,
my friend Vic and I headed to Strawn, Texas. I’d heard that Mary’s Cafe in Strawn served up a mean chicken fried steak and I’d never been that way so “bonus.”

The steak at Mary’s was exactly like the fried round steak my daddy used to make. Thin meat, beaten to a pulp and pan fried. It was pretty good. My advice is to get the smallest serving because the portions are HUGE. While exploring Strawn, I saw the Bankhead Hotel and got excited. Of course I’ve heard of it but have never seen remains of the original road.

The bridges and roadway I photographed were along Hwy 180 near Metcalf Gap and Brad. I’m pretty sure that these are part of the Bankhead system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankhead_Highway
http://www.thc.state.tx.us/preserve/projects-and-programs/historic-texas-highways/bankhead-highway

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