Sunday, April 19, 2015

Getting to know Tyler, Texas

Texas Bluebonnets

We're currently camped at Lake Fork, near the little town of Emory, TX.  It's a time for us to catch up with some family, rest and prepare for the next big adventure, our Caribbean cruise.

Bluebonnets were the first thing I saw upon entering the state of Texas.  And, of course, the Lone Star!

Welcome to Texas

We've since seen the bluebonnets in bloom all along the roads we've traveled.  After almost 40 years of visiting Texas, I'm finally here at the right time of year to see them.  It was worth the wait!

While we're here in East Texas primarily because of Sid's high school reunion, and as a holding place for Julie while we're on our cruise next month, I'm not one to sit still for very long.  So we took a drive the other day over to Tyler, TX, the Rose Capital of the World.

Interesting piece of trivia - the "Welcome to Tyler" sign sits at least 8 miles outside what I considered to be the city.

All the overpasses in the city are adorned with a carved rose.  And, yes, all the meridians were planted in roses!

We had just missed the Azalea and Spring Flower Trail, an event held every year in late March/early April, but the trail signs were still up and it wound 10 miles through one of the most beautiful historic residential areas I have ever seen.  The azaleas were already spent and it was too early for the roses, but the landscaping at each an every house, some designated historical landmarks, was lush and stunning and original brick streets added charm.  Since I was too busy gawking and turning my head to try to see it all, I failed to take any pictures!  And, even if I had, it would have been too difficult to choose which to display here.  So, I think I see a future road trip in the works, in time to catch the azaleas in full bloom.  Or maybe in the fall for the Rose Festival. At either time, it will be an overload to the senses well worth a return trip.

While in Tyler, we did get to visit the Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum, a historic landmark home originally built in 1859.

Front view of the Goodman house

While not a house of any famous historic value, the place is significant in that it was deeded to the City of Tyler, with all furnishings and personal belongings intact, in 1939 by the last remaining descendant of the family that had lived there since the end of the Civil War, with the stipulation that the house be maintained and kept open to the public for generations to come.

Front Hall

Hand Painted Ceiling

Front door plaque

Front hall, another view

Front parlor with endless reflecting chandeliers

Rear of house

I love old houses, so it was an enjoyable time for me to peek into life in the past and hear about how the house came to it's present state.  So many artifacts were bequeathed with the home but one little tidbit that was interesting to me was about the china.

Hand painted china

This china was Limoges china, purchased by Sallie LeGrand, and in it's original state was solid white.  Mrs. LeGrand hand painted each piece of a service for 12, plus accessory pieces, with the pattern you see in the picture above.  I cannot imagine how long it must have taken, nor how much patience she must have had!

There is was more to see in the city, but it was a rainy day and lunch was calling.  If you get the chance to be in the east Texas area, plan to visit Tyler.  Larger than I expected and still obviously growing, it looks like an interesting city in which to spend some time.

Until next time...

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