When we look at the history of Somervell County and the City of Glen Rose, we must first think of those early settlers that brought us the rich history of our area. Those pioneers that traveled by foot, by wagons and by boat made their way to the area and began our story. Their efforts have carried through the years and today it brings newcomers to the area. They are seeing the fruits of the labor of those early pioneers.
When you study the history through the stories that families have handed down to us and we get a kaleidoscope that comes together with tales of Indians, land, waters, and peoples that have made it what it is today.
The tales of hardships, determination, and fiery personalities that make up our history. The tales of dinosaurs to rocks, caves, healing waters and hard scrabble land that make up our home. From stone buildings to cedar brakes, panthers to moonshiners, broken promises and fulfilled dreams. These stories fill the pages of many books that have been written about this second smallest county in the Great State of Texas. From Outlaw Healers to Petrified works of art and tales that are proof of success, this is our heritage.
From the biggest of the dreams to the disappointments and despair of those who came before. These are the stories you will find in the Somervell Historic Library.
We are always combing our records to find new treasures and you never know what you will find. I discovered a “turn of the century” pamphlet of the “Glen Rose Camp” recently.
The front cover presents a beautiful pencil drawing labeled as “Old Mill, Glen Rose”. It states it was located “Where Three Rivers Meet.” Two miles east of the little inland town of Glen Rose, Somervell County, famous for its houses, spreading trees and healthful waters.
This camp is situated where the beautiful Paluxy, queen of rivers, and Squaw Creek joins the turbulent old river known to early Texas as Brazos de Dios. The pamphlet gives this information: With its accommodations limited to 100 guests, the Camp is designed to accomplish that nice balance of quiet and activity which makes for the complete vacation. They go on to say they have golf, tennis, tenniquoit, baseball, handball, swimming, lifesaving, water games, horseback riding, covered wagon trips cross country walks, fish fry’s, surrey rides handcraft, kodaking, puppetry, archery tumbling and recreational adventures.
The pamphlet goes on to say it was the interest of many friends of the Young Women’s Christian Association has made possible the gifts of the land and spacious central lodge with its twin fireplaces of native rock, the small white cottages for living quarters the craft house, the game plots, the beautiful outdoor pool with its great overhanging trees and an outdoor theatre called “The Arbor”- all for the enjoyment of Camp guests.” Doesn’t that sound just intriguing and inviting?
Even today we know this lovely place is now entertaining our motorhome visitors annually.
The pamphlet goes on to tell that reservations should be made now. It is known as “A Camp for the Southwest” and Miss Graham, of Texas and New York, will be the Head Counselor of the adult camp. The months of June through September first and were available. The Teenage Camp fees and registration were $1.00, Transportation was $2.50 and Room and Board per week was $7.00. How unique this piece of our history still calls to those who love to camp and spend time on the rivers and park of the area.
You can view the original pamphlet at the Research Library.
Today hundreds of children and adults visit the camps in Somervell County. Enjoying our rivers, streams and natural beauty.
We must guard this part of our county’s picture and make sure it remains as pristine and comfortable to visit as this little piece of history has been shared. Our natural resources are the drawing card to our city and county. Barnard’s Mill and Art Museum is a treasure even today. If you have not visited it is a must see. Our own artist, Robert Summers still lives and works in his studio located on the banks of the Paluxy.
His contribution to our city and county is preserved in his paintings and beautiful statue of Juana and Barnard is located on the historic courthouse lawn. His works are seen all over the world. The City of Tulsa “Route 66” memorial is awesome and the ‘Chisholm Trail Adventure’ on the banks of the Brazos River in downtown Waco is a site not to be missed.
We invite you to stop by the library which is full of our history, the people and the special places still found in Somervell County.