Tag Archives: volunteers

Acton Nature Center

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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.

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Fort Steilacoom Museum

imageFor a year we planned to visit Historic Fort Steilacoom at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd, Lakewood, but they have limited hours (Sundays 1-4 during the summer and the first Sunday of the month from 1-4 from Labor Day to Memorial Day), and we have three different schedules, so it just took that long.

We thought it would be a small museum and perhaps it might be about Western State Hospital, but we were wrong on both accounts. The museum included several buildings and a two hour tour and was completely about the historic fort which had operated on the grounds. The tour guide was so incredibly  knowledgeable and explained the fort’s history using the detailed model and in the other buildings to illustrate to us how the soldiers lived. I found it particularly interesting that the army would send representatives back east to meet new immigrants at the docks. The men would be offered transportation to the west coast and a job with room and board. Some eventually received free land. Such an opportunity. The fort’s history can be found on their website, but it is worthwhile to visit in person and go inside the actual buildings and talk to the terrific volunteers.

Talking about the volunteers, the green tint on the two gentleman is completely the fault of the lens! I was told that the lack of smiles is because people didn’t smile for photos in those days. They thought it made them look imbecilic.

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http://www.historicfortsteilacoom.org/

Let The Holidays Begin — The Orr House, Steilacoom

 So many great potentials for today’s New Place of the Day…the Steilacoom Library (libraries are always good), the Bair Drug and Hardware Store (a restaurant) and the Orr House, which is part of the Steilacoom Historic Museum Association. The one I’m least likely to get back to anytime soon is the Orr House, so that is the New Place of the Day. Construction on the house began in 1857 and originally the first floor was a wagon shop. The house which is at 1811 Rainier Street and has lovely marine views. Best of all, it was decorated by volunteers for the holiday season. The volunteers were dressed in period attire and spent quality time sharing information about each of the rooms.

Each room, except two, had a mouse and a clock, though I didn’t manage to find them all.

http://www.steilacoomhistorical.org/NathanielOrrHome.html