Monday, October 1, 2012

Sword found in Mountain Home field

Like most enthusiasts, I probably go overboard when talking about Kerrville history, going on much longer than I should. Sometimes, though, I get the opportunity to share information about our community's history without even saying a word.
As you probably know, I collect Kerrville and Kerr County historical items -- photographs, mainly, but also items like diaries, newspapers, and other printed pieces. (My sweet Ms. Carolyn says I can collect as much of these items as I wish so long as I don't bring any of them home.)
From among the collection of items, I've had several of the photographs framed for display. This "Joe's Traveling Kerr County History Show" has been in several interesting locations, including our local Starbucks Coffee shop, Hasting's "Hardback Cafe," and the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center (twice).
For the next several weeks the display is on the walls of Grape Juice, a popular restaurant and wine shop located next door to our printing company on Water Street here in Kerrville. I'm grateful to Keri and Patrick Wilt for the opportunity to share these images of Kerrville and Kerr County on the walls of their business.
One of the unique items on display is a movie poster frame from the earliest days of Kerrville's Arcadia Theater, along with a movie poster for the first movie ever shown there, plus a rare portrait of Major James Kerr, the man for whom Kerrville and Kerr County are named.

* * *

I'm amazed by some of the historical things that come through the doors of the print shop. This week a man from Mountain Home brought by a sword he found in a field near his home. It measures 25 3/8" from tip to pommel, appears to be made of steel, and in its handle you could still see the grain of leather between steel plates. It has a unique hand guard as well. One expert told the gentleman the sword is similar to the type used in the Mexican army in the 1800s, though I don't know enough about swords to confirm this.
If the sword is from that era, and of that type, it sure makes you wonder how it ended up in a field in Mountain Home, forgotten for all of those years.
Sword found in field near Mountain Home, September 2012

Detail, handle, sword found in field near Mountain Home, September 2012

* * *

I've been hard at work on another Kerrville book, shooting for a completion date around this coming Thanksgiving. This new book will combine some of the columns published here in years past plus some more historic photographs added to my collection since the first book was published in 2010.
The fun part of the work has been reading old columns and selecting which should be included in the book. The space in this newspaper entrusted to me by the publisher and editor each week has seen a lot of changes, and I'm surprised at the breadth of topics shared here. Together we've searched for tunnels beneath Water Street, climbed bluffs, discovered forgotten landmarks, avoided emus, and studied Native American pictographs -- all right here in Kerr County.
I'll admit there are many columns about which I've forgotten, and so reading the old columns has been a lot of fun. There's just something about a weekly deadline that brings out a variety of subjects.
One of the many things I'm thankful for is the opportunity the Kerrville Daily Times has given me here for so many years: a chance to share what I learn about the story of our community. Every weekend since late 1994 I've brought the canary down into the mines and have been fortunate to hear it sing every time. Thanks for joining me on this long journey.
Until next week, all the best.
Joe Herring Jr., unlike his fishing buddies, is a Kerrville native. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times September 29, 2012.


  1. Joe, I took the liberty of posting this on the Alamo Studies forum and got a response for you:


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