Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Top 5 Kerr History Stories of 2017

Louise Hays Park Dam at Kerrville
Time, like an ever rolling stream, has carried 2017 away.
Above: the dam on the Guadalupe River at Louise Hays Park in downtown Kerrville
At the end of the year, it's fun to see what stories on my blog you liked best.  Sometimes I'm surprised by what folks liked best -- and sometimes I'm surprised by what people didn't like as much.  Either way, I learn something about you -- my readers -- that I will try to put to use in 2018.

The top 5 stories of 2017:

No. 5

Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital Kerrville 1949The Story of Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital, April 4, 2017. A lot of us were born in the old SPMH, which stood at the corner of Water and Sidney Baker streets for around 60 years.  This story was unexpectedly popular.
"Kerrville really shouldn’t have a hospital as nice as the Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital. When it was opened on July 3rd, 1949, it was a really big deal. But it was a deal that, if you take a hard look at the numbers, probably was bigger than the community it served."  Click here to read the story.

No. 4

Tivy Pep Rally downtown Kerrville 1956An Autumn Kerrville Afternoon in 1956, May 21, 2017.  A fellow from Minnesota contacted me by email and said he had some photos of Kerrville; he was kind enough to share them with all of us.  They were taken, most likely, by a local physician, Dr. Matthews.  Several people pointed out it couldn't be 1956 -- the car in the photo was a 1957 model.  However, Gentle Readers, in those days new cars were introduced in the autumn.  And there is a sign on the door of the car which reads "1956 Football Sweetheart."
"I knew exactly what they were doing as some of these photographs were taken, at the exact moment the shutter clicked. They were singing the Tivy alma mater while the Tivy marching band played. 'We are from Tivy,' they were singing, 'from Tivy are we....'    Click here to read the story.

No. 3

Caspar Real family cabin, around 1900Kerr County Thanksgiving in 1856, November 21, 2017.  I enjoy studying local history, but sometimes I wonder about the daily life of those who settled here in the mid-1850s.  For example, what did they eat?
"The [Denton] family was never short of meat or honey. Though hogs and deer were plentiful, Denton preferred bear meat. "You can eat bear meat every day in the year and never tire of it, and, when cured, you can eat it raw as well as cooked. Everybody used bear oil as a substitute for lard; it made the best shortening in the world. My uncle, John Lowrance, was a mighty bear hunter and often had 1,000 pounds of bear meat in his smokehouse. He considered it the most wholesome of meats and believed that a diet of it would cure any sort of stomach trouble."  Click here to read the story.

No. 2

Ruins of Mill Works downtown KerrvilleKerrville's oldest man-made structure is falling apart, September 24, 2017.  It's a shame that a site so important to the history of our community is not being preserved.
"It rests at the bottom of a bluff littered with debris from other, newer structures, and is hidden within a wild tangle of branches, vines, and weeds. Trash is piled in drifts at the site: food wrappers, clothes, broken glass; it's filthy.  Click here to read this story.

No. 1

Florence Butt and coworkersEvery H-E-B employee in a single photograph, June 4, 2017.  Who doesn't like a good success story, especially when it's about a woman who first tried selling groceries door to door, before opening her tiny grocery store on Main Street in Kerrville?  This story was the most popular story of 2017.
"Studying the original photo, I can now tell the photo was a selfie. You can see the shutter cable snaking from the camera to the bench on which four of the people are resting. I can't determine whether Florence or her son Gene took the photograph; Florence's hand looks as if it might be pushing the plunger on the cable, but Gene had an interest in photography at the time, and the cable looks as if it's heading toward him. Click here to read this story.
I'm thankful for the more than 100,000 times readers checked in to read a story or two in 2017.  It is amazing to me that a blog about such a narrow topic -- the history of one rural county in Texas -- could be so popular with so many readers around the world.  I'm grateful for your continued interest and support.

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