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Waymarking.com is a part of Geocaching.  Waymarking is a treasure hunt of the photographic kind.  Anyone with a Geocaching.com profile automatically has a free Waymarking.com profile.  Simply use your Geocaching.com username and password on Waymarking.com.  You can combine both activities when you’re exploring another country or just down the block.

To play you just visit the listed waymark in person.   Places where you would enjoy visiting  anyway, and take a picture to prove you were there.  (Requirements for each category of waymark differ so read the requirements.)  You log your visit and your photo for others to enjoy.   In four months I’ve logged visits to 1205 waymarks.

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If you find a location that is of particular interest that isn’t already listed you can use your  photography skills to create a waymark online for others to visit.  To date I’ve added 116 new locations to the website, places like this Lefty Frizzell statue in Corsicana, TX.  I’ve been to Corsicana many times, and never knew that Lefty was from there.   So in addition to getting outside and taking pictures, you also learn a lot while playing the game.

I hope that if you enjoy photography and travel that you will join the waymarking.com community.  It is a great hobby.

After completing our recent Volksmarching 10K in Brownsville we headed over to Port Isabel where we ate lunch before visiting the lighthouse.

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The Lighthouse Museum is under renovation.

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The Point Isabel Lighthouse was erected in 1852.

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The lighthouse was open and they only charged us $3.00 to climb up the 74 steps to the top.

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After that adventure we just walked around the area and enjoyed the shops and Pirate photo opportunities.

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We also enjoyed talking to the parrots who would mimic us.

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From there we headed over the causeway to South Padre and were surprised by some big heads.  We didn’t see them until we were past the parking area so we made a note to come back and take pictures of them.

We continued on to the Tourist Information Center where I had read that they had the largest sandcastle on Padre Island.   According to what I’d read, this Sandcastle was conceived and carved by island artist Andy Hancock.   It took him about 550 hours to complete and it is made from approximately 60 tons of river sand.  The wires coming out of the sandcastle are there to keep the birds off, but it definitely detracts from the beauty.

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There is a smaller one inside in the lobby.

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The receptionist informed us that there were lots of sandcastles we could go visit, and gave us a list. So we headed out to look for them. But it turns out most of them have been vandalized. We did find this one that is still in pretty good shape.

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We also spotted several carvings. These are just two of the many there.

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We gave up the search for sandcastle and we headed over to the Convention Center where they have a Laguna Madre Nature Trail. We looked it over, but quickly decided we’d rather play on the beach. We did like the mural on the side of the building.

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We drove over to Isla Blanca Park to view the statue of Jesus. El Cristo de los Pescadores, rises at the very southern tip of the island. There is a $5.00 per car entry fee.

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We left the statue and headed on over to walk on the beach and wade in the surf.

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The water was VERY cold.

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We remembered to stop in the parking area before the causeway crossing and got out to take pictures of the three heads.

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We also saw a memorial for the collapse of the causeway back in 2001.

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I Googled it and Wikipedia has this to say:   “In the early morning hours of September 15, 2001, four loaded barges crashed into one of the Queen Isabella Causeway’s support columns traveling at 2/10ths of 1 mile per hour.   Three 80-foot (24.4 m) sections of the bridge fell into the water, leaving a large gap in the roadway.   The collapsed sections were just next to the highest point of the causeway, making it difficult for approaching drivers to notice.   Eight people were killed as their cars fell 85 feet (26 m) into the water.   Five vehicles were recovered from the water along with three survivors.”

“The collapse had a significant economic impact on the region since the Causeway is the only road connecting the island to the mainland.   The bridge also carried electricity lines and fresh water to the island.   State officials brought in ferries to temporarily carry cars across the Laguna Madre.”

“In addition to the three bridge sections that toppled in the original accident, two adjacent sections were also replaced due to structural damage.   The Causeway was reopened on November 21, 2001.   Several safety features were added to the structure.   The support columns were reinforced, and a $12 million fiber optic driver warning system was installed.   News and discussion of the collapse was mostly confined to local and regional sources due to the September 11, 2001 attacks four days before.”

 

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We were in town doing a Volkamarching event that started at the CCC constructed Park Headquarters. While doing the walk we spotted this veteran’s memorial from an overlook so after we finished walking we drove around to visit it up close.

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Fallen Soldier Memorial – Each item on display is from a different war.

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Marble memorial erected in tribute to the 29 area men who lost their lives in the Vietnam war.  Front of the memorial is a map of Vietnam and surrounding counties.

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Back side of the memorial is a reminder that we lost many servicemen and don’t know if they are alive or dead.

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The All Veteran’s Monument is 7-sided pylon with a brass logo on each side: Marine Corp, Navy, Merchant Marines, Coast Guard, Army and Air Force.

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A UH-1H Huey MEDEVAC helicopter on static display in Big Spring’s Veteran’s Memorial Park.

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Leaving the veteran’s memorial we went into town and visited the Howard County Courthouse.  The current Howard County courthouse was built in 1953 in what has been referred to as “Soviet-style architecture.”

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The cornerstone for the 1908 Howard County Courthouse (demolished in 1953) is preserved today on the grounds of the current courthouse as a pedestal for a tabletop.

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The simple grey granite Howard County Veteran’s Memorial honors veterans of all wars on the courthouse lawn.  In front of the memorial is

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Civil war memorial on the courthouse lawn.  From the courthouse we could view the Hotel Settles.

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The Hotel Settles was once the finest hotel between Fort Worth and El Paso.  This 1920’s era hotel closed its doors in 1980.  After 30 years of sitting empty Brint Ryan, bought the building and began renovating it.  Today, the Hotel Settles is restored to its former glory.  Six floors of hotel rooms are finished and hosting travelers.

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Elvis Presley appeared in concert at the Big Spring Municipal Auditorium on 26 Apr 1955 – the only time the King of Rock and Roll came to Big Spring.

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The Auditorium, completed in 1932, with a seating capacity of 1412 became the center for cultural productions, both professional and local.

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In 1950 this replica of the Statue of Liberty was given to the Boy Scouts of America by Mr. and Mrs. Tom Good, a pioneer ranch couple, in memory of their son Jake who passed away in 1928. The statue was placed on the lawn of the City Auditorium.

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Joseph Potton (1847-1920), a native of England and a master mechanic for Texas & Pacific Railroad, built this Victorian residence in 1901. The house was constructed of Pecos sandstone with iron pillars and zinc gable decorations.

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We made a visit to this small sculpture garden. Jim Huntington is an artist whose works decorate spaces all over the world. In 2000 he decided to relocate his studio to tiny Coupland, TX, in Williamson County.  This art installation of sleek modern sculptures of stone and steel is the last things you’d expect to see in this area.

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The sculptures are all very abstract but interesting non the less.  If you find yourself in the area, drop in and have a look around.
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Not far from the sculpture garden is the town of Manor, TX where the movie “What’s eating Gilbert Grape” was filmed in 1993. If you visit you can find Johnny Depp’s footprint in the cement.

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Pioneer Village Historical Museum is a re-creation of pioneer days in Corsicana and Navarro County with historic log structures and information about Navarro County.
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Cute sign.

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Harmon’s Hoodlum Wagon.  This metal cage used to be mounted on the bed of a truck back in the 1920’s.

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Redden Home circa 1860.

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Items on display inside the home.

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Pictures on display in the Lefty Frizzell museum.

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Articles of Lefty’s clothing on display.

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Old gas pumps.

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Not sure if this is an actual grave marker or not.

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School pictures on display.

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Outside of the slave quarters.

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Chimney of the “Dog Trot” style home.  Circa 1854.

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Bell setting on the porch.

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Well out front.

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Replica stagecoach constructed in 2002.

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Information on the stage line that ran through the area.

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Samples of what a drug store would have.

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Information on “Wolf Brand Chili” produced in Corsicana.

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Source of information Texas Historical Markers:

“Beulah Adams Marshall bought land here along the Bankhead Highway in the early 1920s and opened a tea room, hosting teas and serving dinners to Dallas and Fort Worth patrons.” 

We fond this terrace area with fountain and a marker that said entertainers such as Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Ginger Rogers performed here.

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“In 1926, Fred and Mary Browning purchased the property and shortly began converting the facilities into a casino, adding an escape tunnel and secret room for hiding the gambling paraphernalia during raids. Known as Top O’ Hill Terrace, the popular spot attracted gamblers as well as visitors who were often unaware of the gaming activities. The restaurant, along with the tea garden that exists today, was a legitimate business, operating alongside a brothel as well as the casino, which benefited from the nearby Arlington Downs racetrack.”

We found these stairs, a sign about the escape tunnel, and the entrance to the tunnel itself.

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“Contemporary to the Top O’ Hill heyday was the outspoken Dr. J. Frank Norris (d. 1952), longtime pastor of First Baptist Church of Fort Worth. The conservative Norris, co-founder of fundamental Baptist Bible Institute, later known as Bible Baptist Seminary and later as the Arlington Baptist College, was an ardent proponent of Prohibition and gambling reform. One of his targets was Top O’ Hill Terrace, which he reportedly vowed one day to own. In 1947, Texas Ranger Captain M.T. “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas led a raid on Top O’ Hill, catching the gambling operation in full swing. In late 1956, under the leadership of Earl K. Oldham, the Bible Baptist Seminary bought the property and relocated here, fulfilling Norris’ promise, although neither he nor Browning (d. 1953) had lived to see it. Today, the Arlington Baptist College continues to use the site, which retains many of its original structures and features a statue of Norris by noted sculptor Pompeo Coppini.”

We found the above sculpture and its marker plus another abstract sculpture.

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There was another marker near the small museum building.  If you are interested you can schedule a tour of the museum and get to view the escape tunnel from inside the building.

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There is a book written about this historical place.  The book (ISBN Number: 0967446023)  tells the story of  Top O’ Hill Casino in the depth of the Great Depression.  It was taking in over a half a million dollars on weekends while Las Vegas was but a dusty crossroad in Nevada.

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We went up to Seymour to do a volksmarching event.  The event started at the Whiteside Museum.  They were having open house and we did not have to pay to go inside and view the exhibits.

Quote from Whiteside Website “Before T-Rex ever reared his head, Dimetrodon roamed the land as the “Terrible LIzard” of the Permian Era. The town of Seymour is only a stone’s throw from one of the greatest Permian bone beds in the entire world; it only makes sense that the creatures of the Permian – Seymouria, Dimetrodon, Edaphasaur, and Eryops (just to name a few) – should be the stars of the show. West Texas, and Seymour in particular, is home to some of the best Permian skeletons in existence, and the Whiteside is privileged to show off these fantastic discoveries.”

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Quote from Whiteside Website: “It’s not often these days that we see buffalo roaming around outside of Yellowstone National Park. With our extensive taxidermy and skeletal collection in the Texas Wildlife exhibit, we allow visitors a chance to see these creatures and more, safe and up-close.”

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There are wonderful murals on both sides of the buildings.

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