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Decatur, TX


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#1 Ron Payne

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 11:48 AM

I had seen the Town Hall building from Hwy 287 in the past, so decided to investigate. Also discovered that Frank and Jesse James had a 'campsite' about 5 miles out of town, but it is fenced off and I could only get within a mile. Thought it would be interesting to see where they roasted their weenies, er, um, toasted their marshmallows, or, um, well, you know.

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Being a transplant from the too fast, too crowded, too smoggy, too impersonal left coast, I'm loving the look of small town Texas (and DTFW for that matter!)
"People only ask you how you're doing, 'cause it's easier than letting on how little they could care" - Jackson Browne

Hear my original music (and other stuff) at RPQx2 Music

#2 John S.

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:29 PM

Decatur and nearby Weatherford both have some 19th century ambience left. You might take a look at the 1880's former W.T. Wagonner house ("El Castille") the next time you're in the Decatur area. (it's a private stone mansion residence still owned by Wagonner descendants but viewable from the street) Both of these towns have done a much better job than Fort Worth at preserving their Victorian era architecture-in Fort Worth, only the slightest hint of the 19th century remains: downtown...in a few isolated cases; (many Sundance Square facades are old with new buildings being constructed behind the facades) a couple of survivors in the former Quality Hill neighborhood (the 1899 Ball-Eddleman-McFarland mansion and it's Queen Anne style neighbor, the c. 1898 Pollack-Capps house, an example or two remain in the Pennsylvania Avenue neighborhood; one of two examples on the near southside, and isolated examples in Arlington Heights with a somewhat larger sampling along Samuels Avenue between downtown and the Stockyards. But overall, Fort Worth has no relatively intact Victorian era neighborhoods remaining. Since I'm passionate about 19th and early 20th century architecture, I've travelled quite a bit locally looking for survivors. Small towns, mainly to our Northeast, Southeast, and South seem to have retained the most of their architecture from over a century ago. But even there, with each visit there are fewer examples left to see. Not many Texans want to spend almost as much money as building a new house to rehab a deteriorated old one, no matter how much period character it might still have. Nice photos! I'd even entertained the idea of trying to get a group of Forumers together for an historic architectural/photographic road trip/day trip, but the logistics are formidable.

#3 Ron Payne

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:48 PM

Thanks for the great information - I'm printing this out so I can follow up and check these places out! I've read a little bit on this forum about Quality Hill, but have not searched it out yet. I'd definitely be interested in a photo tour if you can put one together - as you say, there are some beautiful survivors out there!
"People only ask you how you're doing, 'cause it's easier than letting on how little they could care" - Jackson Browne

Hear my original music (and other stuff) at RPQx2 Music

#4 bburton

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:41 PM

Nice photos, Ron. For reference, here's a photo of the W.T. Wagonner house in Decatur which John mentioned. The photo is faux-colored infrared which I typically shoot. Enjoy your day-trip explorations while the weather lasts.

BTW: A book I've found useful for discovering older buildings nearby is: "Fort Worth & Tarrant County - An Historical Guide" by Carol Roark, TCU Press, 2003.

EL Castille

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Bruce Burton
 


#5 Ron Payne

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:06 PM

Nice! Shot in that manner, it's like something straight out of Stephen King! Thanks for the info on the book - I will seek it out!
"People only ask you how you're doing, 'cause it's easier than letting on how little they could care" - Jackson Browne

Hear my original music (and other stuff) at RPQx2 Music

#6 dangr.dave

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:07 PM

Don't forget that Decatur also has the Petrified Wood Station:

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Fill 'er up. by dangr.dave, on Flickr




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