Monday, April 18, 2016

Mount Bonnell

Not too long ago we got a different perspective of the Austin area as we checked out the view from atop Mount Bonnell.

We're always on the lookout for historical markers and this area didn't disappoint.  The Mount Bonnel marker reads:

     "Rising 775 feet above sea level, this limestone height was named for George W. Bonnell, who came to Texas with others to fight for Texas independence, 1836. Was commissioner of Indian Affairs in Republic of Texas under president Sam Houston. Moved in 1839 to Austin; there published the "Texas Sentinel", 1840. Member Texan-Santa Fe expedition, 1841. Was captured but released in time to join Mier expedition, 1842. Was killed in camp on Rio Grande, Dec, 26, 1842. 
     Frontiersman W.A.A. "Bigfoot" Wallace killed an indian he met face to face while crossing a narrow ledge 50 feet above river, 1839. He also took refuge in a Mount Bonnell cave to recover from "flux", but was missing so long his sweetheart eloped. 
     In the mid-1800s Mormons built a mill on the Colorado river at foot of Mount Bonnell. Mill was destroyed by flood and the Mormons moved on west. 
     Mount Bonnell was site of picnics and outings in 1850s and 1860s. As it is today. Legend has it that an excursion to the place in the1850s inspired the popular song "Wait for the Wagon and We'll All Take a Ride". As a stunt in 1898, Miss Hazel Keyes slid down a cable stretched from the top of Mount Bonnell to south bank of then Lake McDonald below."

From the top you can get a good look at Lake Austin.  There's also this old school marker:

There's also a great view of the Austin skyline.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Ende-Gaillard House

The Greenville area is known for its history of cotton production and war hero/movie star Audie Murphy.  In fact, the town is home to a museum that celebrates both those things.  But before you head inside to see the exhibits, you can get a good look at a little history:

The Ende-Gaillard House was moved to the area in the 90's and came with its own historical marker.  

 The marker reads:

     "German native Charles Frederick von Ende (b. 1832) came to Greenville in 1857 and established a mercantile business on the town square. He became one of the community's most active civic leaders, serving on the school board and city council, and helping to establish the local Odd Fellows lodge. In 1857-1859, Ende built this home for his bride, Amelia Reinecker. Their daughter, Louise, and her husband, Dr. David l. Gaillard, bought the home in 1883. After Louise's death in 1945, the house became part of a lumberyard and was threatened with demolition. Originally located just north of the courthouse square, the Ende-Gaillard House was moved to a city park in 1957 and then to the American Cotton Museum in 1996.

Once past the house, you reach the parking lot for the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum.  Check out a tour of the museum in this video we shot for an episode of East Texas Explorer: