Speaking of History . . .

Last Thursday, I had the honor of being the featured speaker at the annual Author’s Luncheon in Post, TX. Post is small town off Hwy 84 on the route between by hometown of Abilene and the city of Lubbock. I’ve driven through it many times, but this was the first time I actually got off the highway and explored a bit of the town itself.

Post, TX has a fun history. It was founded in 1907 by cereal manufacturer Charles William “C.W.” Post. Anyone eaten a bowl of Grape-Nuts ( first produced in 1897) lately? I usually have a box in my pantry.

C. W.  Post purchased 200,000 acres of ranchland and established the Double U. Company to manage Post City’s construction. The company built trim houses and numerous structures. They planted trees along every street and prohibited alcoholic beverages and brothels. The Double U. Company rented and sold farms and houses to settlers. A post office began in a tent during the year of Post City’s founding. Two years later the town had a school, a bank, and a newspaper, the Post City Post. (Because what else would you call it? Ha!) The railroad reached the town in 1910. The town changed its name to Post when it incorporated in 1914, the year of C. W. Post’s death. (Source: Handbook Of Texas Online)

Well, one the buildings Mr. Post paid to construct was a hospital. This gorgeous brick building with tall, white columns is now the local history museum and the building next door to where I spoke at the author luncheon. The building where I spoke was originally constructed in 1911 as a boarding house for the nurses who worked at the hospital. It has been renovated and turned into a wonderful community center. The perfect place for me to give my talk on the subject of Plotting with History.

Boarding House on left, Hospital on right.

Here is the beautiful entry hall and part of the cute bathroom. I just had to take a picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I was blessed with a wonderful turnout. We talked history and reading, and I learn wonderful details about the marvelous town of Post that makes me want to come back for another visit when I can stay longer and explore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • What hidden gems have you uncovered in your travels?
  • What are some fascinating historical tidbits or trivia people would be surprised to learn about your own hometown?

 

Karen Witemeyer
Winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the HOLT Medallion, and two-time RITA finalist, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance for Bethany House believing the world needs more happily ever afters ... and hunky cowboy heroes. She's an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. She makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

16 Comments

  1. My town had the first enclosed mall in the southwest. They demolished it a few years back and now it is just a vacant lot. It was also a big farming town and Dallas actually depended on it for their needs. Yes, I had to google this because I was embarrassed that I really didn’t know the history of where I live. We still have some of historical homes (they are always working on their upkeep) and I hope one day to get to tour them.

    1. How fun to learn fascinating tidbits about your hometown, Janine. I’m glad I gave you an excuse to Google. LOL. I’m the worst about not fully appreciating the history my own town has to offer. A few years ago, I walked around downtown and read all of the historical markers. Shootouts, railroad depots, a fight over the county seat, where the first church broke ground – There is all kinds of fascinating history right here that I’d been oblivious to.

  2. Karen, when I lived in Ralls only 30 miles away, I drove over and went through the old hospital which is now a museum. I found it and the town very interesting. I also went back twice at Christmas. They really decorate for the holidays and have a trolley car that you ride and look at all the lights and displays. Such a festive atmosphere. I loved it. They really do the town up right at Christmas. And I’ve never seen such warm and friendly people.

    1. I’ll have to remember the Christmas spirit of Post, Linda, and try to manage a visit around that time of year. It sounds so quaint and lovely. And you are so right about the people – truly wonderful.

  3. Bartlett is the next town or street over from where I live. Here is a little paragraph from the
    Bartlett archives.
    “In 1873, when many a town lived or died according to its proximity to a railroad line, Colonel Roselle M. Hough, president of The Chicago and Pacific, began building a route west to Elgin, Illinois, to challenge the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. People donating land for depots along the right-of-way were allowed to name the villages that were formed. Luther Bartlett donated a 40-acre “woodlot,” the source of the Bartlett family’s lumber and firewood, and named the town Bartlett. The original train depot still stands today and continues to serve as the heart of downtown.”
    Luther Bartlett lived on his farm with his wife Sophia and their 11 children until his death in 1882.
    Of course there is more history in the surrounding area, I just wanted to share the little depot today.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Andrea. Love the history of the everyday man. Though, I have to admit I’m still trying to wrap my mind around those 11 children. Luther must have been trying to populate the new town all on his own. Good thing he had a hearty wife. Sophia was obviously the backbone of the Bartlett government. 🙂

  4. I bet it was a great talk, Karen. I like to plot with history. Researching the history of a place always sparks great ideas of conflict which gives our heroes (and heroines) obstacles to overcome and shine through. Being able to actually go “on location” to a place and research is for me, the best way to get inspired.

    Town that I live in now was “founded” by Stephen Mack who had a trading post with the Pottawatomie ( also spelled Potawatomi ) and the high school is named after the Potawatomi Princess that Stephen Mack took as his wife — Princess Hononegah. We have French re-enactors here every April to re-create that period in history.

    1. Very cool, Kathryn! Even some romance history, there. Excellent. 🙂

  5. Love when place are renovated there is so much history in them.

    1. Me, too, Kim. It’s such a shame when history is lost because of lack of funds for renovation. I loved getting to see these two great examples in Post.

  6. The little town we did our shopping in as I was growing up had a corner grocery store, pharmacy, mercantile, lumber & feed store, and a church. Later on more stores were added like an A&P, a music store, a movie theatre and such but was obviously still small. It had been founded in 1705 and now has become an antique center with a lot of well-preserved homes.

    The highway that took us from our home in the countryside into that little town was the site of the original colonial road between New York City and Philadelphia. There were major Revolutionary sites all around us, so I grew up inspired to read all the history books I could, starting with the children’s Landmark Books series. Then, I remember high school trips to New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. I went to Boston for higher ed, and later on, on my own, traveled to Richmond and other southern colonial sites, so history has always been in my blood.

    1. So much wonderful history on the east coast. I’m a little envious of you, Eliza. I still remember one of my favorite trips my husband took me on before we had children. He randomly chose Baltimore as our destination, and I got to see Betsy Ross’s house, where Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem, and a host of other historical wonders. It was so fun!

  7. I live near a California mission that’s supposedly haunted by a Franciscan monk! Great pix today, Karen.

    1. Very cool, Tanya. Have you ever seen the ghost? 😉

  8. We have traveled focusing on history and nature for our almost 45 years of marriage. Before that I traveled all over the Philippines while I was in the Peace Corps and I went to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia including Bali. We have discovered so many interesting and unexpected things. A fun thing our kids discovered at a National Park (in California I think, it was over 25 years ago). Naturally carbonated water bubbles up out of the ground in springs. Get a pitcher of it, add lemonade mix or another drink mix, and you have instant soda.
    In Bali, it was amazing how close the spirit world is interwoven with everyday life. I was there in 1972 and I am sure westernization has moved in by now as it has in so many places, pushing out local beliefs. It is rather sad. The people had shrines throughout the country. Shrines to ancestors, shrines along streets and roads to the gods for safe passage, etc. Every day fresh floral offerings were left. They believed in curses being placed on people and families, and passion by evil spirits. I witnessed such a possession of a young teen girl in the courtyard outside the window of my room at the hostel whereI was staying. I went to a village festival (not on the tourist trail, but with a local to his village) and witnessed a religious ceremony and men walking on hot coals. I went to a village and watched a teeth filing ceremony. Teen girls had their teeth filed to points when they reached a certain age – no numbing and just a regular rasp file. It is one practice I hope has faded away. While still in Indonesia, I climbed an active volcano, having to duck hot rocks and ash while standing on the edge of the crater. What can I say, young and dumb. It was the second volcano I climbed. The first one melted my sneakers. Too bad marriage and children kind of clip your wings. Responsibilities will do that to you.

    Will have to see if we can fit Post, TX into our trip in June. Too bad the author’s luncheon wasn’t being held then. I am sure your talk was interesting.

    I hope you have a wonderful Easter.

    1. Wow, Patricia! What an adventurer you are! Melting sneakers, teeth filing ceremonies, natural soda – so fascinating! Thank you for sharing your experiences. And may you have a wonderful Easter as well. 🙂

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