When Houston Businessman Jesse H. Jones approached the federal government for money to help build the San Jacinto Monument in La Porte, it took a little ingenuity to get Uncle Sam to open his wallet.
After crossing the Red River into Texas in December of 1832, Sam Houston’s first stop was the city of Nacogdoches, the gateway to Mexican territory and home to some of the region’s most influential residents.
The late, great Texan Dolph Briscoe Jr. loved his native land as much as anyone who gazed upon the storied walls of the Alamo, beheld the timeless passage of the Rio Grande, or strode both proud and humble beneath a vast Texas sky. Born in Uvalde in 1923 and raised on the 50,000-acre Chupadera Ranch, he served as governor of the state from 1973 to 1979.
Approaching the awe-inspiring Texas Capitol, I always feel a little small—but in a good way.
It’s been 50 years, give or take, since a clean-shaven, copper-locked singer-songwriter from up past Waco first took the stage at John T. Floore Country Store, which was then—as now—just a little honky-tonk nestled among the live oaks west of San Antonio. No recording exists of that performance, but why would it? No one knew then that this slightly built guy with the nasally voice would become Willie Nelson, the icon, or that the relationship he built with Floore’s would still be going strong into the 21st Century.
When Austin traffic slows to a crawl on Interstate 35, as it often does, travelers can safely catch glimpses of the Capitol and other historic landmarks. But if you really want to slow down and commune with the state’s dramatic past, take a detour off the highway onto East Seventh Street and drive six blocks east to the Texas State Cemetery. There, resting peacefully on 18 acres of landscaped hills, lie the earthly remains of thousands of the movers and shakers of the Lone Star State.
There’s renovation the way most of us do it—repainting the front door, updating the fixtures in the bathroom, hanging new window treatments—and then there’s renovation the way it’s been done in New Braunfels by the engineers, architects, and civic leaders behind the Comal County courthouse makeover. A decade in the making, the meticulously executed $8.6 million project has restored the stately limestone structure to its original 1898 glory.