Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ghosts of Kaufman County Past

Last night the Kaufman County Historical Commission presented its annual Ghosts of Kaufman County Past at the Kaufman County Poor Farm.

This is a walking tour around the Poor Farm grounds with the opportunity to meet and listen to the ghosts of people who lived, or spend time, in Kaufman County during its first 100 years.

I had never been on a ghost walk before, so I really didn't know what to expect. The weather was great and the sky was clear so the setting was wonderful. No cameras were allowed.

We were escorted from the mid 1800s to the end of World War II meeting famous locals who lived between the two times.

The tour started with Warren Ferris remembering life at Kings Fort in the 1800s, Kings Fort is where the town of Kaufman sits now.

We met Captain Robert Adams Terrell and his wife, Emily Love Terrell. We were allowed to listen in as they read letters that each had written to the other during the Civil War.

We listened to Eliza Jane Stephenson-Love-Weatherford-Thompson-Massey tell us about her 4 husbands and the land she once owned that she later sold to the County to become the County Poor Farm.

Gov. Oscar B. Colquitt told us of his time in Terrell has the owner and publisher of the Terrell Times-Star newspaper and then later as his time as Texas Governor.

Bonnie Parker, while spending time in a jail in Kemp, Texas, told us that someday her and Clyde Barrow would settle down and live high on the hog. That or go out in a shootout that would look like the 4th of July. I wonder how that ended for them?

The tour ended with the end of World War II, but not before we met Thomas Sim Beedie who was a young British pilot stationed in Terrell for pilots training. He lost his life on the day the war ended in a plane crash in south Texas. He told us of the other pilots who trained in Terrell and their life over here during war time.

Our last ghost was "Rosie the Riveter" who stood for all of the woman who made sacrifices during the war and replaced the men in the factory's.

In all over 15 different characters told us stories of their life and times in Kaufman County.

It was fun to be able to walk through history. The reenactors and impressionists all were very good. The group sizes were kept small and the settings were intimate. Its something I would recommend everyone seeing next year. All proceeds will be used for historical preservation efforts in Kaufman County.

I guess it shows why I am not a writer.


Marcel said...

Sounds fun and interesting!

Neva said...

I have never been on a ghost walk either.....not sure I will make one!!!

Kris said...

I like the notion of a "poor farm". Not exactly encouraging to get out and till the fields! ;)

Michael Gresham said...

Glad you liked it. I didn't make it out there this year. Of course, my kids were a part of the parade that morning...then we had two soccer games...and, of course, we had to go shoot photos on the square and partake of the festivities. By the time the ghost walk rolled around, we (and by that I mean the kids and I) were all in full meltdown mode.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I love stuff like this!!!! wish I was there!

Wanda said...

Oh that sounds like such a great thing to do.

Is this an annual event?

Small City Scenes said...

How interesting and even exciting. Did you see any 'actual' ghosts? Nice the groups were small. MB

Kelly said...

This sounds great! Our history center put on a tour on Saturday night also, and I went. Unfortunately, it was too dark in most of the residential neighborhoods to take photos. Great idea, your presenting the stories and sites like this!

raf said...

Loved your post, Jim! Informative and very interesting. Thanks for the tour!

Ms. Hays said...

I thought you did a good job explaining it! I sooo wish you could have taken pics tho! Oh Well!

Tricia said...

You won't believe this, but I had lunch in the old Times building last week. I didn't know where I as at the time and as I ate my tacos, I thought to myself "This would make great office space." I guess the writer in me was feeling right at home. ;-)

Stewart said...

Very interesting. Thomas Sim Beedie was my uncle (my mother's youngest brother) who was born on a farm (Greenbrae of Allathan) beside New Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.