In the early 1920s, during the presidency of Harding, our country was subject to the Teapot Dome Scandal, which revolved around oil reserves that were leased without competitive bid. There were two oil fields involved, the Teapot Dome fields in Wyoming and the Elk Hills field in California. The leases were investigated by the Senate and criminal charges were filed. Fines were paid, jail time served and the phrase Teapot Dome became synonymous with political corruption.
Well, in 1922, in the middle of the scandal, Jack Ainsworth, constructed his Teapot Dome Gas Station as a nod to the scandal. It is considered a roadside attraction and is open for visiting on the weekend for limited hours. Originally it was situated on Highway 410 between Zillah and Granger; however in 1978 it was scheduled to be moved to make way for Highway 82. Five days before it was to be moved, a car plowed into this tiny structure. The building, which is now on the historic register, was reconstructed by hand and moved to its current location at 14691 Yakima Valley Highway. It has its own parking lot, a public restroom building and is next to a memorial for fallen firefighters.
I got there about five minutes before it closed (I didn’t even think it might be open!) and got the tour (about 2 minutes). The volunteers were delightful. I read that there is a movement to relocate the building once again to downtown Zillah and to have it function as a visitor’s center. I was glad to have a chance to see the quirky building, though the light made it difficult to capture the image.
My dear friend and her daughter took me to a magical tea tasting room called The Cultured Cupat 13714 Gamma Rd. #104, Dallas, TX 75244 and it was a delightful experience. I didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into when we entered a nondescript building with minimal signage and walked through an office work area to fine a tasting room. There were nine of us tasting teas while we were there, three young couples and the three of us. The tasting room is open on the weekends and features different selections each time. Our guide, Kyle, was also happy to brew other teas that we were interested in. What struck me the most was just how welcoming and knowledgeable Kyle, one of the co-owners, was as he spent almost an hour introducing us to tea. He obviously has a passion about the history and process of making tea. To see him in action, go here. Anyway, I was so enchanted by the whole experience that I forgot to take a good photo, but their website has many lovely pictures and is an education unto itself.
I suspect I visited the Acton Nature Center when it wasn’t at its best. The weather was that special hot that it gets in Texas in the summer and many of the plants were suffering from a long dry spell. But it was still great! The Acton Nature Center is located at 6900 Smoky Hill Ct., Granbury, TX 76049 and has been around for more than a decade. Because of the heat, I didn’t explore the entire center, but I did venture to the butterfly gardens which was lovely. There were a couple of butterflies and a huge lizard, as well as an air conditioned structure used to view birds (that day it was cardinals and hummingbirds).
The volunteer was very welcoming and informative and suggested walking the loop down near the pond, which was wooded and a tad cooler. Sadly the pond wasn’t there! I’m sure it will be back after some rain.
I’d love to go visit in the Spring when the wildflowers are blooming and it is cooler. The volunteers that have created this center should be very proud of their efforts.
I found that on the whole, DFW Airport (Dallas Fort Worth) has less public art than SeaTac Airport (Seattle Tacoma), though maybe I was just in the wrong terminal. I did find these great manikins though and thought I would share them here. As you can see the Texas longhorn know how to dress in style 🙂
The brightly colored Cabrillo Amarillo by Paul Kuniholm Pauper is part of the Percival Landing Plinth Project, an initiative involving 15 pieces of art. The public is invited to visit Percival Landing, view all of the pieces and then vote for their favorite. The winning art piece is then purchased by the City of Olympia and the are available for sale. More information about the project can be found here and more information about the artist is here.
The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden is a lovely blooming oasis even though the Texas heat wasn’t offering the most hospital environment. Those clever gardeners are well aware of their climate and have adapted to it. I was greeted by a cheerful volunteer who let me know that there was beauty to be had, even though the sun was drying everything up. And I did find beauty. There were some huge red flowers, a hobbit hole, a water feature, butterfly bushes with butterflies, a very wonderful arbor with squash (I guess it was squash) hanging from the top, plenty of honeybees, a cardinal, lots of art and darling walking paths. The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners work with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. I’d like to go back for a springtime visit!
I was out traveling around and found this Veteran’s Memorial at the Holly Hills Memorial Park. I can find absolutely nothing about it! But its striking memorial and I’m glad to have seen it. The flag photo is from somewhere else (now where was I?)
In an attempt to avoid the Texas heat, today I went to the Dora Lee Langdon Cultural & Educational Center is located at 308 East Pearl Street, Granbury, TX 76048 in the AP Gordon House. The art exhibit that brought me in was a solo exhibit of Gene Gregory and I enjoyed his vibrant paintings. The property was constructed as the Gordon house in 1882 and is actually smaller than it had originally been since the owners “downsized” by removing some of the back of the building in 1956.
A list of all the historic Granbury properties can be found here.
Situated on Granbury’s Historic Square, the First National Bank (101 East Bridge Street) was constructed in 1883 and is an example of Italianate Victorian Commercial architecture. The building was constructed for its current use and more of the history can be found here. The entirety of the Granbury Square is designated a historic district and was named the best historic square in Texas.
And while I was there I took a picture of the wonderful courthouse.
There I was at the Granbury Post Office mailing some paperwork to my niece. Looking for something else to do, I stopped at the firefighter’s memorial and from there I could see a plane! OK, that’s cool. I backtracked down the road and through the open gate of the US Veteran’s Museum. Just past the building, which was closed, I found the plane. A gentleman in a riding mower came to check out my intentions and told me that the museum had been closed for about a year. I found out later it had moved to nearby Glen Rose. I let him know that I was harmless and just wanted to snap a couple of photos, which I did while circling the plane on foot. The google map showed the plane complete, however, the wings had been removed and were next to the rest of the plane on the ground and the tail was missing. Since the museum is closed, I won’t suggested anyone else going to visit though a locked gate and/or no trespassing sign would have prevented me for seeing this kind of great plane. The riding mower man made sure I actually left and good for him for watching out for the property.