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Day-Trip to Denton

Cutting the Trip Short


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Winter Road Trip & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Our son-in-law's father wanted to go out to Denton, so we did that. Denton is a university town.
Street near a University

Street near a University

Campus theater

Campus theater


Denton is dominated by the old, recently restored 1896 courthouse in the central square. The best thing about the courthouse is just looking at it from the outside. It has been listed in the National Register.
From a car driving around

From a car driving around


From the National Register listing narrative: On July 3, 1895, the Commissioners' Court authorized the construction of a new building specifying 'the Romanesque style of Architecture for the Denton County Courthouse...
Courthouse dominating the square

Courthouse dominating the square

"Centered in the public square atop an eminence, the Denton County Courthouse is comprised of a group of imposing masses. Each façade consists of a five part composition with a projecting pavilion emphasizing the entrance. Each entrance pavilion is enriched by a Roman- arched opening, two ranges of columns and a triangular pediment. At each corner is a series of balconies surmounted by a tower with an ogival roof.
3930135-Another_view_of_the_Courthouse_Denton.jpgDenton courthouse

Denton courthouse

Courthouse

Courthouse


"The dominant feature of the composition is the central octagonal tower
large_3868697-Courthouse_in_Denton_TX_Frisco.jpgCentral Octagonal Tower and Courthouse clock

Central Octagonal Tower and Courthouse clock


rising above a broad platform with four ancillary domes, a composition which was most certainly inspired by the dome of the Cathedral, Florence Italy (1296).
Denton courthouse

Denton courthouse


"In Romanesque style, one of Texas' most prominent nineteenth-century architects created a building with extra ordinary richness incorporating a combination of forms that is similar in concept to many other courthouses but unique in composition."

Entering the courthouse

Entering the courthouse


But there is more... Inside the historic Courthouse-on-the-Square is the Denton County Office of History and Culture. The museum houses a variety of exhibits depicting Denton County history.
Looking up into the dome

Looking up into the dome


Because I had the AAA book for Texas, I knew that the museum in the courthouse was free.
Quaker house model done by HS students

Quaker house model done by HS students


It was very interesting. But there were no photographs allowed in the museum, so all my pictures were taken from the hall.
3930053-Looking_in_from_the_hall_Denton.jpgSpecial Collections Room

Special Collections Room


The main museum rooms have a collection of guns, dolls, baby furniture, Denton County furniture and Southwest American Indian pottery. Special collections range from primitive to modern Indian pottery,
A Chronology of Denton County through Weaponry

A Chronology of Denton County through Weaponry


and early American artifacts.

The people there in the museum thought my granddaughter would enjoy the Special Collections which has Thimbles from around the World, from the collection of Dr. Bethel Caster and Pecan Art: the Folk Art of B. W. Crawford - which includes some animals made from pecans.

Outside, on one corner of the square is a confederate monument.
Back of the confederate monument on the corner of the courthouse square

Back of the confederate monument on the corner of the courthouse square


Also in the main courthouse square is the grave of Rev. Denton for whom Denton and Denton county are named.
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Orphaned at the age of eight, John and his older brother William were taken in (apprenticed or adopted) by Jacob Wells a preacher and blacksmith. Four years later, John Denton ran away to work as a deckhand on an Arkansas River flatboat. When he was 18, he returned to Clark County and married 16 year old Louisiana born Mary Greenlee Stewart. It is widely accepted that his wife taught him to read and write.

In 1826 he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for ten years served in Arkansas and southern Missouri as an itinerant minister. The pay of a minister was too low to support Denton's growing family, so in early 1836, Denton crossed the Red River into Texas and began the study of law. Six months later he was licensed. Rev. Denton was an eloquent speaker and following the court circuit allowed him to also preach in various locations in Texas. It is said that he had the best library in Clarksville, Texas, at that time

When the State of Texas called for volunteers to patrol the area, Denton answered the call. In 1839 he was commissioned captain of a company in Brig. Gen. Edward H. Tarrant's Fourth Brigade, Texas Militia. It is possible that Denton also served as informal chaplain for his company. In April of 1841 a group of scouts was sent out to find the Indians who had killed the Ripley family. The unit attacked the Indians of Keechi Village at Village Creek, about six miles east of the site of Fort Worth and Denton was killed. His body was brought back by horseback and he was buried in an unmarked grave on the east bank of Oliver Creek, near where it met a stream now called Denton Creek. He left behind a widow and six children.
Rev. Denton's grave

Rev. Denton's grave


Twenty years later when some of Denton's bones were uncovered, John S. Chisum, a local rancher, collected the remains and buried them in a wooden box in the corner of the yard of his home on Clear Creek, near Bolivar. In 1901 the Pioneer Association of Denton County, removed the remains and buried them with appropriate ceremonies in the southeast corner of the Denton County Courthouse lawn.

Inscription
Born in Tennessee July 26, 1806
Came to Texas in January 1836 as a Methodist circuit rider.
Killed in the Village Creek Indian Fight May 24, 1841 in what is now Tarrant County named for Gen. Edward H. Tarrant who commanded the volunteers. Denton City and County were named for the pioneer lawyer, preacher, soldier of that name.
Erected by the State of Texas 1936

The square is surrounded by stores
fcf48460-ad30-11ea-b0dd-c53ef0beff99.jpgBank clock

Bank clock


Including he Downtown Mini Mall I and II, which is like a permanent indoor estate sale or flea market.
Facade of the mini-mall

Facade of the mini-mall


There are separate vendors’ booths with a central checkout place. It is two stories and is huge.
3930027-One_aisle_Denton.jpg3930025-One_small_section_Denton.jpg3930028-Clothing_Denton.jpgClothes and Marionettes

Clothes and Marionettes


This looked like a good place to prospect for things that you could sell on e-Bay.

We drove through the historic district on Oak Street. Just blocks from the Courthouse is a collection of historic homes along West Oak & West Hickory Streets that were originally built by wealthy merchants.
3871343-Oak_Hickory_Historic_District_Denton.jpg3935102-Oak_Hickory_Historic_District_Denton.jpg
There is a lot of Victorian architecture, but there is also a fairly eclectic mix of architectural styles. The Oak-Hickory Historic District was established in 1986, and has the largest concentration of Historic Landmark Designations in the City

Beginning at 705 West Oak
3871341-705_W_Oak_built_in_1905_Denton.jpg705 W. Oak - 1905 - Italianate Victorian

705 W. Oak - 1905 - Italianate Victorian


722 West Oak - 1906 Italian Villa

722 West Oak - 1906 Italian Villa


723 W. Oak - 1898 Victorian/Byzantine-Gothic

723 W. Oak - 1898 Victorian/Byzantine-Gothic

819 W. Oak - Davenport-Ivey House

819 W. Oak - Davenport-Ivey House


In 1885, the original owner built a compact, two-story brick house. A later owner, Robert Hann, played a prominent role in establishing what would become the University of North Texas. After 1905, owner B.H. Davenport doubled the size of the original house, and Ben Ivey made further changes in 1946. The result is the present large structure, which echoes Spanish mission style which dominated North American Mission architecture for 200 years. Spanish Colonial revival is a catalog of styles, unified by the use of arches, courtyards plain wall surfaces, and tile roofs, all derived from the Mediterranean world. Designers were inspired by a number of sources: the adobe and colonial buildings of Monterey, California; late forms of Moorish architecture; medieval Spanish and Italian church architecture; Ultra-Baroque design of colonial Spain and Portugal; rural forms from Andalusia; Italian Romanesque and Renaissance revival elements; and southwest Hopi and Pueblo Indian adobes.
725 West Oak

725 West Oak

812 W. Oak - 1936 - Tudor

812 W. Oak - 1936 - Tudor


The characteristics of the Tudor-style are half-timbering on bay windows and upper floors, and facades that are dominated by one or more steeply pitched cross gables. Patterned brick or stone walls are common, as are rounded doorways, multi-paned casement windows, and large stone chimneys. A subtype of the Tudor Revival style is the Cotswold Cottage. With a sloping roof and a massive chimney at the front, a Cotswold Cottage may remind you of a picturesque storybook home.
818 West Oak - 1923 Bungalow (Airplane)

818 West Oak - 1923 Bungalow (Airplane)


903 W. Oak

903 W. Oak

1003 W. Oak - 1913 Prairie Style

1003 W. Oak - 1913 Prairie Style

1004 West Oak - 1900 Queen Anne

1004 West Oak - 1900 Queen Anne

1018 West Oak - 1939 Bungalow/Craftsman

1018 West Oak - 1939 Bungalow/Craftsman

1035 West Oak - 1903 Classic Revival Evers House

1035 West Oak - 1903 Classic Revival Evers House

Family Practice office on West Oak

Family Practice office on West Oak

For lunch we had hamburgers at Independent Hamburger.
102298583871385-Sidewalk_in_..ant_Denton.jpgSign outside

Sign outside

Back wall of the eating area

Back wall of the eating area


The menu says: Old Fashioned Hamburgers and the Broiled Chicken Breasts are $3.75 (dinner $7.50). Cheeseburgers, Chili Burgers and Hickory Burgers are $4.00 ($8.00 dinner). The salad bar is $4.50. Side order of fries is $2.25 and a drink is $1.35. I had a little bit of the salad bar
My few items from the salad bar

My few items from the salad bar


and a hamburger. Our daughter's father-in-law and Bob also had the fries
Hamburger and fries

Hamburger and fries


We went to Beth-Marie's after lunch specifically for the ice cream. They are only open in the middle of the day.
3929379-Sign_on_the_front_of_the_store_Denton.jpgStore front

Store front


They had an old fashioned drug store counter, lots of different kinds of ice cream (which they make) and ice cream concoctions although they also had lunch sandwiches available.
100_2638.jpgBeth Marie's soda fountain and Tables

Beth Marie's soda fountain and Tables


I decided to try an egg cream since I'd never had one. It was interesting,
An egg cream

An egg cream


but now that I know what it is (and not what I would have imagined, since there is no egg and no cream in it), I probably won't have one again. Not that it was bad. It was basically chocolate milk with fizz added. I had been thinking of frozen custard which is a really yummy kind of ice cream. Most of us had sundaes
3929382-Ice_cream_sundae_Denton.jpgIce cream sundaes

Ice cream sundaes


My daughter knows that I like to visit old historic Cemeteries and Oakwood cemetery in Denton certainly qualifies. So after we visited the courthouse we drove out and looked at some of the graves there.
Oakwood Cemetery

Oakwood Cemetery


The cemetery was established in 1857. Land was donated by Pioneer Settler Hiram Cisco. The earliest grave is that of a Mrs. Wilson, who died during childbirth while traveling through the area in a covered wagon. Her newborn infant daughter died several days later and was also buried here. I looked for their memorials and others of interest.
Early tombstone

Early tombstone


I did find Jesse M. Blount, Texas State Senator, Pioneer of Denton Texas, Denton County Treasurer and Judge
Blount graves

Blount graves


Born in Mississippi, Jesse Mercer Blount married Sophia Caudle in Carroll County, MS. He came to Texas in 1856 and settled in Denton County where he assisted in laying out the County Seat (Denton) of Denton County in 1857 along with such other leaders as preacher John Calvin Smith, J. M. McNeil and G. W. Hughes. City lots were auctioned, a post office was opened, and a church was founded. He was elected county judge and held the office for several years. He was a state Senator in 1866, going out of office with the Throckmorton administration in the reconstruction. He afterwards held several other city and county offices. Judge Blount was a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Baptist church. He died February 22, 1899 and was buried February 23, 1899 with Masonic honors.
Oakwood cemetery sign

Oakwood cemetery sign


In earlier times, some people opted for cast iron graves,
Cast iron grave cover

Cast iron grave cover


and I found some of them, and also found Woodsman of the World (WOW) markers
Woodsmen of the World monument

Woodsmen of the World monument


(WOW was an insurance company).

Two other interesting graves are those of Andrew and George Brown who were convicted of murder and hanged in Denton. The Browns are believed to have been members of a secret vigilante organization known as "The Law and Order League." A group organized after the Civil War to round up thieves entering Montague county from Indian country and the lawless, as was without a sheriff or jail system.
large_12960554_129894495127.jpg
Their tombstones (which are hard to read) bear the inscription. 'executed'.

Officially named Oakwood Cemetery in 1931, this burial ground now serves as a historic reminder of the pioneers who first settled here and who led in the development of the area."

Tuesday night Bob took everyone out to dinner at Gloria's. We picked this place because our SIL was coming from work and this was nearer to where he worked.
3894834-Sign_on_top_of_the_restaurant_Frisco.jpgBar area

Bar area


The place was quite dark (hard to take photos), and somewhat noisy, but the service was good and they brought the kids their dinners (They had a child enchilada, chicken fingers and fries) right away. After we ate here, I found out that this is a Texas chain with several locations in TX
Salsa and chips

Salsa and chips


Between us the four adults had:

  • Sour cream enchiladas $11.95
  • Beef enchiladas $11.95

Spinach quesadilla $7.00

Spinach quesadilla $7.00

  • Fish Tacos $13.95

The total bill was $65.76 before tip.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

We are baby sitting our youngest grandchild and having dinner at our SIL's parent's house because our daughter and the kids have things at church starting about 1700.
Youngest granddaughter

Youngest granddaughter


Since our auto insurance company told me incorrectly that the insurance would cover us for the length of the trip, when it really will only cover us for a month (and our car rental was to be for 49 days), we had a problem. Changing cars in Frisco would have cost $1700.00 for a second rental, and I'm not sure how much they would have given us back on the previous rental as the rental contract says they may not adhere to the rate given if we take it for less time.

So we decided to cut the trip short by two weeks, and get home early. I lost one AFV condo except for the tax which was refunded, but the other one, since it was more than two weeks away, we got half back. That's about $450 lost, but better than paying an additional $1700. And Bob didn't really want to go that far north anyway. He's been fussing about it ever since we left.

So our schedule now is to leave here tomorrow and go to Little Rock AFB, then Jan 18th to Millington TN (outside Memphis) where we have been before, and then stay at Crown Pointe about 50 miles outside St. Louis for a week. Then we will stop at Frankfort KY, and Lexington VA and be home by Jan 28th.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:52 Archived in USA Tagged architecture cemetery museum ice_cream denton Comments (2)

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