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.