You just never know what historical event will become a true treasure. In going through many of these pieces of Somervell County history this past week, I ran across a Texas Highways magazine that featured thee Dedication of one of our local treasurers. “The Park with a View” was the centerpiece story for the April 1959 edition.
What an event for the county to be the home of the ‘most visited roadside parks” in the state. The park is located on US 67 south on what we call “Chalk Mountain.”
The four unit park is a beautiful overlook from which you may view an expanse of fields, wooded hills and streams. Constructed of native stone, surrounded with native plants and trees, the park was dedicated a Texas family who gave the land for the park. The park was dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. G.C. Gibbs of Somervell County.
A memorial plaque set in stone is the centerpiece of the landscaping. The panoramic view gives a welcome to those who pass through the second county in the Great State of Texas. Somervell Citizens participated in the day event and still today are enjoying the scenic beauty of the park. The magazine has some great photos of the event and is on display at the historical library.
A “Shout Out” to our local volunteers who see the need to keep the park in shape. The state relinquished the responsibility a couple of years ago.
We now have all the hard copies of our newspapers in the library and available for research. Our collection begins with a small collection of early newspapers and then when we get to the mid-fifties we have most years papers complete. This remains an important part of our collections. All are available on microfilm also along with some film of Hood County News. We just this week was able to fulfill two requests for articles from the Reporter collection.
Since the Heritage Library moved to its new home we have been inventorying the remarkable collection of historical events that have come to us over the years. We have photo collections as well as family histories. What a treasure it is for us who live here and for those visitors who are searching for their family story. These past few weeks we have had more traffic through the area. With spring vacations there has been many visitors downtown and at the parks and scenic areas.
But interestingly this did include the library. We had visitors from out of state requesting our help in finding families that once lived and worked in the county. How impressed they were that our library now has Ancestry.com on the new computers available and free of charge to use. This is a major addition for our genealogy research and to our public use.
In visiting with a young man a couple of weeks ago he mentioned he did not know any of his family history. In talking with him I was aware he was searching for answers. With the little information he was able share it was pure luck to able to find a family story. With pure luck we were able to find a family story through many generations and all documented and online. This is one of the most satisfying parts of working with family history. To be able to find a family for someone. Sort of like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I must say while I am struggling with one particular lineage of mine. I have been to many courthouses, libraries, searched genealogy records, and I still have not been able to solve the story. Nor have I been able to find anyone else who has been able to “crack this one”. It is truly a mystery. But we never give up as a good mystery is what makes the “hunt” worthwhile.
And so it goes!