Wednesday, May 27, 2009

From dirt to asphalt...Howard cabin nearing the end...

...nearing the end of construction, that is.

We have two exciting slideshows of photographs today. The dust is starting to settle, and completion of the restoration of the Howard cabin is becoming reality.

Truckloads of dirt have been hauled in, asphalt paths have been laid, the chinking is curing, and the finishing touches are being placed on the electricity. Now we just need the final cleaning, "secret" emergency phone line installation, and furnishing!

Soon our wrought iron fencing will be replaced, and access to the Marine School will be restored. We will keep fencing around the Howard cabin for a couple more weeks to allow the chinking to cure completely...but visitors and staff will still be able to get a close-up look at a brand-new-very-old historic structure.

We'll keep you posted as we get the cabin furnished. Can you guess what we're turning it into? We've mentioned it here before...

To view the project from beginning to end, just click the "Howard cabin" tag at the end of this post...

In honor of our neighbors at The Crowne Plaza Invitational at The Colonial...

Handbook of Texas Online - GOLF

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Howard cabin--flurry of activity!

Wow! Things are really happening at breakneck speed again around here! The photo slideshow encompasses part of last week and progress thus far this week. We're getting dangerously close to finish-out!

We will be sad to see our friends from Timber & Stone and Yeargan go, but we are anxious to gain access to that end of the Village again (and we KNOW they are anxious to move on to other projects...even if we ARE the coolest gig around...)

Here are the photos...the captions tell the story!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Great video from!!!

Check out this awesome video about the Howard reconstruction from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram! Thanks to Jen Friedberg for taking an interest in our "little" project!

Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker Trail exhibit here in Fort Worth

“The Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker Trail Exhibit” is a new heritage tourism effort of the Texas Lakes Trail Regional Heritage Tourism Program. The subtitle of the exhibit is “A Woman OF Two Worlds and a Man IN Two Worlds.” The photo exhibit will be on display from May 8th thru June 30th at the UT Arlington/Fort Worth Center’s Gallery 76102 at 1401 Jones Street in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.

Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker are two important names in U.S. frontier history. Much can to be learned from the dramatic story of these two courageous individuals. In 1836, a Comanche raiding party took Cynthia Ann from her family and over the following years, she became wife to a Comanche chief and mother to children, including Quanah. After Cynthia Ann was taken back by Texas Rangers, Quanah became one of the most important Comanche leaders both in war and peace. The Lakes Trail Program recognizes the importance of their life stories and is initiating this effort to tell both youths and adults about these two persons and about the many significant places in Texas and Oklahoma important to knowing about their lives.

The photo exhibit is planned to be developed into a traveling exhibit for use by schools and museums. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Trails Program is planning a print and an on-line itinerary listing the many places in Texas and Oklahoma significant to learning more about Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker. There are numerous historical sites and markers, museums and communities where their story can be learned. Through the story of these two persons, one opens heritage tourism doors to many important aspects of Comanche, Native American and frontier heritage across broad areas of Texas and Oklahoma. Information about these places will be available at the exhibit and through the development of the “Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker Trail Program.”

Several persons and organizations are involved in this effort. Douglas Harman, President of the Lakes Trail Region and Clara Ruddell with the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau worked with the Lakes Trail Program to put this exhibit together. The project also includes plans for a “Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker Trail” which highlights the many places to visit relevant to their lives. Clara Ruddell is the principal researcher assembling the photo materials. The Redstone Visual Impression Company, through its graphic designer Paula Abney, created the exhibit materials for display. Many organizations and individuals have assisted in making available photos and information which have gone into the creation of the exhibit. Special recognition must be given to the Comanche Nation and the many members of the Parker family for keeping this story alive and sharing materials and information. Ben Tahmahkera, great great grandson of Quanah, has provided special inspiration for the project. This exhibit is the beginning of an effort to bring more attention to the important Native American heritage in our region.

The Texas Lakes Trail Program is one of the ten regional heritage tourism programs created through the Texas Historical Commission. For more information about the exhibit and program, the following people can be contacted: Jill Campbell, Coordinator of the Lakes Trail Program at 817-559-2288, Douglas Harman, President of the Lakes Trail Program at 817-691-6322 and Clara Ruddell at 214-693-5915. Gallery 76102 is managed by Megan Topham 817-272-5908, and the Gallery’s information number is 817-292-0365. Gallery 76102 is located at the UT Arlington/Fort Worth at 1401 Jones Street, Fort Worth Texas. Regular hours for the Gallery are Tuesday and Thursday 12 to 6 pm and on Saturday 10 to 2 pm. Special visiting times can be arranged through the Gallery. The exhibit is free.

-info courtesy the exhibit's press release

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Strike While the Iron's Hot!

Wow! We are a little over an hour into today's special event, and things are exciting around here! We have cooper Dan Tatum here demonstrating how to make a bucket. We have members of the Woodturners of North Texas here showing a pedal-powered lathe owned and operated by Louis Oberheu. John Horn of John Horn Woodturning is here as well. Kids are making mallets to take home, and the blacksmith is hard at work!

If you're not already on your need to make your way out here! You don't want to miss this!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our teeny-tiny Timber Tales historians...

Today was our monthly Timber Tales storytime...and the participants, as always, were FABULOUS! We met in the Herb Garden instead of the Marine School since construction is still being finalized on the Howard Cabin. We sang songs, read "Little House" books, and made adorable pew baby dolls. I had a great time and I think our guests did too!

Enjoy the photos!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Reminder...we've got special events coming up!

We hope to see you here!

Friday, May 15, 2009: Timber Tales Storytime
10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
$3.00 for participating children, $2.00 for adults.
Featured story: My Little House 1-2-3 and Going West by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Enjoy some legendary Little House stories rewritten for little pioneers. $3 fee includes a story, fun activities, and a craft, all geared towards 3-5 year olds. Please call 817-392-5881 to make your reservation (required).

Saturday, May 16, 2009: Strike While the Iron’s Hot!
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
$3.00 for ages 4-17 and seniors, $3.50 for ages 18 and up, 3 and under free.
Experience life before hardware and lumber stores! See the blacksmith hand-forge unique creations, take a turn working wood at the shave horse, and watch trained cooper (barrel/cask/bucket maker) Dan Tatum and members of the Woodturners of North Texas at work. This day is for do-it-yourselfers! Cost is regular Village admission plus a $2 fee to make a craft.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Stonewalling the Howard...

Hey all!

I'll keep this post short as this is another instance where a picture's worth a thousand words. And I'm sure you have learned by now that I can spit out a thousand words without blinking an eye (it's my history degree--I learned everything I needed to know about being verbose at college).

So I'll spare you. Enjoy! And have a great weekend (come see us)!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Our front porch looking the Howard cabin, that is...

Well we haven't updated y'all about the Howard cabin in a little while, but it's not that we don't care. The changes happening, while critical, just haven't be as dramatic lately (nothing like the swinging logs and sledgehammers of prior stages). Most of the work now is finish-out--important elements like doors, windows, stairs, porches, hidden get the picture.

A mason will soon begin work on the chimney/fireplaces, and the final step will be getting the chinking in place! We'll keep you posted...

In the meantime, here's a peek at some of the progress:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

So Just What is Cinco de Mayo?

Every May 5th in Texas and throughout the United States, Cinco de Mayo celebrations take place. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe it is Mexican Independence Day. Cinco de Mayo is actually the commemoration of the defeat of the mighty French Army by a much smaller group of Mexican soldiers. In the United States, people of Mexican descent have adopted and celebrated this holiday, along with Dieciseis de Septiembre (September 16, Mexican Independence Day) in an effort to preserve their cultural heritage. These celebrations are known as the Fiestas Patrias. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in a much smaller scale. It is mostly considered a regional holiday in the beautiful state of Puebla, although there are observances throughout that country.

This holiday provides a brief glimpse into the fascinating history of Mexico and many colorful historical characters of the time. So let's take a closer look:

After a costly war with the United States , and its own civil war known as the War of Reform , Mexico was bankrupt. So in 1861, Benito Juarez, one of Mexico's most beloved presidents, cancelled debt payments to England, the United States and France in order to try to pull the country through.

Benito Juarez
Using the lack of payment as an excuse, Napoleon III of France decided to occupy Mexico. France was successful in its invasion through the port of Veracruz. However, on May 5, 1862, at the city of Puebla, about 4500 Mexican troops were able to defeat the much larger French army (numbering around 6040), which was considered one of the most efficient armies in the world. Mexico had 83 casualties while the French had 462. The Mexicans were led by General Ignacio Zaragoza SeguĂ­n. This is where the Texas connection comes in. Zaragoza was born in Goliad Texas, while it was still the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas!

General Zaragoza Seguin

Although the Mexican army was victorious over the French at Puebla, the victory only delayed the French invasion of Mexico City. The French placed Maximilian I and his wife Charlotte as emperor and empress of Mexico. Many countries, including the United States, refused to recognize the French crown in Mexico. The French eventually withdrew in 1866-1867. Maximilian was executed by Benito Juarez, five years after the Battle of Puebla.

Some historians argue that the Battle of Puebla and the subsequent occupation of Mexico diverted France's interest in the United States' affairs, who at this time was going through its own Civil War. Had France meddled with American interests at that time, it could have been proven catastrophic. Therefore, Cinco de Mayo has significance for Americans in that sense.

So on this day, remember that this holiday commemorates overcoming adversity against all odds! And for that, Viva Mexico!