The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

2022-09-29 Nacogdoches TX

Thursday morning we had coffee outside and then we headed northeast to Nacogdoches. This is what I thought I was going to see when we went to Palestine. (Backstory: I took Steve and the grandkids to Palestine to ride the Texas Railroad. We drove over to Nacogdoches the day before the train ride, had lunch and had to head back to the RV because the grandson got sick so didn't get to see all the sights.)

Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas and we were going to see some of the oldest buildings. So, the very first place you want to go is the Visitor's Center right downtown. Not only do they have the most helpful people working there that are very knowledgeable, they also have a museum. I did manage to get here on the first visit when a different person was just as helpful.

Many people know about the six flags that flew over Texas but Nacogdoches actually had nine flags flying over it. One was an emerald banner for the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition in 1812 and the other was red and white for the Long Republic in 1819.

The streets in the downtown area are red brick and the Visitor's Center is on a square with the City Hall behind. Be sure to take a walk around the square. See the 9 flags?

This is the Charles Hoya Land Office designed by Houston architect Frank E Rue and build in 1897 by long-time Nacogdoches County surveyor Charles Hoya. It was the first fireproof building in town and served as a model for other local structures.

Dolli's Diner is on the square. It's a cute place.

A quick peek inside before we are on our way.

Our next stop was the Sterne-Hoya House Museum & Library. Nicholas Adolphus Sterne, a prominent leader in the fight for Texas Independence, guild the house in 1830.

The house is the oldest Nacogdoches structure still standing on its original site. It was bought by Joseph Von der Hoya in 1869. The house was used as a library but has been returned to the original appearance and is now a museum.

One of the oldest wine cellars in east Texas.

Girls in one loft bedroom and boys in another one. And the boys moved outside to another building when they were 13. 

The dining room. Looks like pegboard on the back wall but it was wall paper.

A party dress from the era. They were shorter.

This is the backyard where the well and the cooking kitchen would have been.

Our next stop was the Railroad Depot.

There were two entrances during the segregation era. This one is no longer used.

Interesting caption. Inspite of the many problems with this railroad, commerce and transportation improved..

The railroad also provided many jobs for area people.

After Southern Pacific took over the railroad in the early 1900s, things improved.

The Clear Water Cafe was next door and we were hungry so we decided to give it a try. We should have gone back to Dolli's Diner.

After lunch, we were off to see the Durst-Taylor house. It was built in the 1830's and is the second oldest structure still on it's original foundation.

This property has several buildings that were on the property.

This is the blacksmith shop which is basically a three sided structure. The bellows on the upper left of the picture was huge.

There was a building at the back that would have been a barn but was fully modernized inside to include pictures and information on the whole history of the property and families that lived there. We also ran into a young man who was very eager to provide us with a fully narrated tour. He had only been working there for a couple of weeks but certainly knew all the information.

This was an interesting explanation for what would be called a boarding house if there were more rooms to rent.

It was indeed small. This is typical of beds of the time. They would have had a mattress thrown on top and, of course, the mattresses were nothing like the ones we use today.

this room would have been used in food preparation, informal dining, and storage. The actual cooking would have been done outside or in a separate building due to the fire danger.

This room would have been used for many purposes in addition to dining.

These museums were so well taken care and presented and they were all free. There is a lot to see in Nacogdoches. 

Our final stop was more of a driveby as we needed to head back to Harley. The Old stone Fort is located on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. It's actually a 1936 replica of Antonio Gil Y'Barbo's stone house and was never actually a fort. The house also served as a trading post, church, jail, and saloon. It currently serves as a museum interpreting East Texas and Nacogdoches history.


We definitely have a reason to come back to Nacogdoches as we didn't get to visit Millard's Crossing Historic Village. It is a reconstructed historic village which provides a broad sampling of 19th century East Texas architecture. The collection was assembled by Untied States Congressman Mrs. Albert (Lera Millard) Thomas. It includes log structures, Greek revival houses from the Republican period, Victorian house from the turn of the century, and a primitive Methodist Church. I'm looking forward to it.

2022-09-28 Crockett TX

 After our fun at the Grapeland Safari Park, we headed south to Crockett. Crockett is the 6th oldest house in Texas and was named after Davy Crockett who camped nearby on his way to the Alamo. The Davy Crockett National Forest is not far away.

We drove by the Downes-Alcrich House which was constructed between 1891 and 1893.

It was built in the popular Eastlake Victorian style and was the residence of the first settlers in the area. It was build by James Downes and his wife Lizzie.

The second owners were Armistead Aldrick and his wife Willie. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in the house. Mary Aldrich was the last known family member liviing in the house. it is now home. It is now the home of the Historical & Cultural Activities Center for Houston County.

the Houston County Visitor Center and Museum was only open 2 hours one day a week and this wasn't Wednesday so that was a no go.

We visited the Strode-Pritchett Log Cabin next.

Our final stop was the David Crockett Spring. Davy was in the area in early 1836 on his way to the Alamo. This water fountain and plaque were place on the spot where he camped in January 1836.

This was a short visit. We headed back to Salmon Lake where I washed as much of the camel and zebra slobber and snot as was possible using a hose without a sprayhead. We enjoyed another relaxing afternoon by the lake.

2022-09-28 Grapeland Safari

We drove past the Grapeland Safari right on Hwy 287 a couple of times. Looking for something to do, I asked Elaine if she was interested in doing something like that. Then I checked out the online info. The price is normally $15.97 but starting 1 Sep it's on fall special for $7.00. That's a definite yes! We decided to go first thing in the morning before it got warm so the animals wouldn't be hiding in the shade. 

We arrived at 9:20 AM. The office was open but no one was there. Elaine knocked on the door of the mobile home back further in the response but the door was open with only the screen was shut. Chickens were walking around the yard. There were two cockatiels on the office porch. One was on the rail, the other was in a cage. We waited and a few minutes later we saw a pickup truck coming up through the main refuge towards the entrance gate. A few minutes later, a woman jumped out to help us sign in and get our cup of food. Some rules: don't get out of the car, feed out of the cup not your hand, if you drop the cup....leave it and we will pick it up later. One final warning, "I see you have a small car. You can go anywhere but if you through the gate into the back area.....hit the gas and don't let off because it is very sandy and you will get stuck.' Okay then. This park is different from others I have seen. It is a big open area and you drive anywhere you want instead of following a road. We were the only ones there so that was no problem. If it was busy, it might be like dodge-em cars in addition to dodge-em animals.

 Well hello there. My name is Wednesday and I am a Bactrian Camel (2 hump). Do you have goodies?

My name is Josie. I'm a Dromedary camel (1 hump) and I will take those goodies.....all of them!

Thank you!

What do you mean Josie took all the goodies???

The zebras didn't have names since there were quite a few. They were very eager to get goodies too but were slightly less pushy than Josie and Wednesday meaning they didn't actually try to climb into the car. Of course we were already laughing histerically.

And we were quick to warn each other when one of the animals was rapidly approaching so we could roll the window up if necessary.

We were pretty sure that the owners were out in their truck feeding the animals when we arrived. One big clue was the two lines of various animals we saw when we first rolled into the enclosure.

This Watusi cow came up pretty quickly and my little car was a bit concerned about being "horned".

Elained rolled the window up before his horns got any closer.

Only this guy was looking hard for a handout. The big horned one of that group was a Zebu and the Beefalo Cow in the front was Fiona.

I told Elaine to watch out when the Emu came up as he could get his head inside pretty quickly.

It wasn't too happy with her quick action. By this time, both of us were out of food.

Bison ahead!

And closing in fast!

The yaks were interested but slightly shyer or they figured out we were out of food.

What do you mean the camels ate it?

Labelled buffalo but we all know they are bison.

Not sure if this llama is is Betty, Lola, Maria, or Ying Hang.

Oh, deer me, no more food?

Doesn't one look white with brown stripes and the other look brown with white stripes?

Roll down the window please or I may have to eat your mirror.

Not hungry thank you.

Be a deer and give me a handout please.

Enough with the begging Mom, I'm hungry too.

We were hoping to see the kangaroos in their pen on the way out but they were chatting in the shade of their enclosure.

Everyone was ready to head out to the back area right about the time we were ready to leave so our timing was great.

Hey, wait for me!

We saw everyone so we decided we didn't want to chance the sand going through the gate into the back lot.

Just as we were ready to pull out, a couple was coming in in a pickup. Most of the animals were now in the back area but I guess they might be okay with their pickup. We had a great time!