Sunday, January 16, 2011

More Than Texas Prisons

Last Sunday, we had to leave Houston in a bit of a hurry. 

There was a terrible storm passing through and we saw a big winter storm  brewing for most of the trip home...expecting to worsen as the day went on.

The town of Huntsville, TX lies 60 miles north of Houston on I-45 in the Piney Woods region.

Did you know that Texas is broken into seven regions?:  Panhandle Plains, Big Bend Country, Prairies & Lakes (this is the region we live in), Hill Country, South Texas Plains, Piney Woods, and Gulf Coast.

Back to Huntsville...

When one hears Huntsville, TX the thought of Texas prisons, chain gangs and electric chairs may come to mind.  Kind of creepy, huh? 

There is so much more to Huntsville though...more interesting and historical than you may realize.

Huntsville was founded as and Indian trading post in 1835-36.  A man named Sam Houston (have you ever heard of him?) was one of the many prominent early Texans who lived there. 

Gen. Sam Houston was the first president of the Republic of Texas!  Republic of Texas you ask?

The Texas Revolution began on Oct 2, 1835.  The Convention of 1836 declared independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, and officially formed the Republic of Texas.  Gen. Sam Houston was voted in as the first president.

Yes.  Texas was an independent country from 1836-1845 at which time it became the 28th state of the U.S.

Texas has had six national flags flying over it:
Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and the U.S.

The "Lone Star" flag paved the way for the nickname the "Lone Star" state.  The "Lone Star" was the symbol Texians used as solidarity in declaring its independence from Mexico.  It still is the symbol of Texas' independent spirit.

Pretty cool, huh?

(During the Texas Revolution, there were about six different flags that were actually flown at some point.)


Meeting Buckie.

We kept seeing huge billboard signs for Buckie's.  (One of those tourist pit-stops that pulled out all the big guns to reel 'ya in.) 

This was one of them.

I have to say that the billboard that read,

"Clean restrooms that even mom will approve of!"

was what suckered me in.  Clean restrooms?  I'm  game!  We stopped.

I have to admit it was a really neat pit stop.  There was a huge area of rather nice souvenir items, (not the typical dime store plastic junk), a deli that had something delicious roasting, and really nice, clean bathrooms.

I was so excited since I found the coolest postcards.  Whoop-dee do, you say?  Well, we are part of a post card swap and I have had the hardest time finding some educational ones on the Texas.   Believe it or not, it is so hard to find postcards in and around the city!

We did not stay long since the weather was so yucky.  Soon we ran into this:

....which soon turned into this...

Now, both David and I grew up in the Midwest as very experienced drivers.  This did not scare us.  What did scare us were all the incompetent  drivers that had absolutely no clue nor the experience of driving safely in this type of weather. 

Sadly, they usually put themselves (or you) in the ditch.  Like so:

They do not realize (or maybe they do and do not care) what white-knuckle driving conditions they create for fellow travelers on the road.

We made it home safely, praise God! 

Did you like your history lesson?  I find Texas' history fascinating.  With Seton curriculum, fourth graders study their state history in the fourth quarter and then submit a written report on their state.  Ester will be doing so this spring. 

When we lived in Springfield, Illinois, we had the privilege of partaking in Lincoln's history whenever we wished to do so.  The Lincoln sites are amazing and the Lincoln presidential library/museum will blow you away.  I encourage you to visit them if you ever have the opportunity.

May you enjoy a peaceful Sunday!


  1. I've always found it ironic that the name of the unit there in Huntsville is the Holliday unit. And I love Texas history too! You should check out the book Catholic Texans: Our Family Album to supplement your Texas history.

    The information on the dioceses is out of date, but the historical information is good.

  2. Was all this snow in Huntsville or Houston last weekend? We were stuck in Shreveport, expecting to get loads, but it didn't happen. I would have been much happier being home and seeing it here in Southeast Texas! Thank God you guys made it home safely. BTW, yes, very much enjoyed the history lesson. Six Flags! ;) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great supplements, Charlotte. Thank you! Lori, the storms in Houston were rain and severe wind. Hubby woke me up and asked if I brought us down to a hurricane. The hotel windows were rattling that hard! The further north we drove the more it grew in to slush and then snow. Around Corsicana I believe.

  4. Great history lesson! I found CA history facinating when we moved to here- I had not heard one mention of CA when I was growing up in Ohio except that it suddenly appeared in 1849 with the Gold Rush.

    Glad you're safe at home!!

  5. 1st visit to your beautiful blog. We are in Spring (near the Woodlands) and did not see any of that snow. My husband and I are also from the Midwest(St. Louis.) I miss the snow (the leaves even more) so much at times my heart aches. We also homeschool and are also Catholic. I just love "meeting" other wonderful families in the blog world. Thanks for sharing your adventure and have a blessed week.

  6. Did I send you a postcard with Sam Houston's Schoolhouse on it? I know I was thinking about sending that one, but not sure if I did. It's about 10 minutes from my house!

  7. Didnt know! Thanks for sharing. SOOOO Clean restrooms that even mom will approve of!"
    Thats always good news.

  8. Thanks for the history lesson! :) I am still looking for postcards for you, I agree they are hard to find! Driving in snow is always an adventure.

  9. Lori~Yes! I would say CA has a fascinating history as well. I particularly love the stories of Fr. Junipero Serra.

    Neen~Hi! So nice to meet you :) The Woodlands is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The pines look heavenly and so wispy.

  10. what an excellent history lesson about Texas. I knew nothing about it before reading your post. :) clearly texans don't know how to drive in snow. :)

  11. Just getting a moment to read Patty. This is a great post on Texas. My dad is a native "Texan" and that love for the big state never goes away. He is still TEXAS to the core.

    We just got your postcards yesterday! That snow delayed our mail about a week. And I so know what you are saying about the drivers down south. Wish they would just stay home and let all of the experience drivers - drive. However, we have so many hills and turns here in West Georgia and no snow plows or salt. So this Georgia momma is staying in during snowy days.

    I will be posting soon, I hope....


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