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A Museum of History and Art in historic Lipscomb, Texas
Map 13310 Highway 305 · P.O. Box 5
Lipscomb, Texas 79056
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July 12, 2009

by Virginia Scott


It was HOT and quiet around here last week. Visitors were delighted to come into our cool environment especially our locals when the electricity was off for some of us last week. On Wednesday it was quiet due to the absence of Ann and Georgia who were away taking care of family. The rest of us were busy addressing invitations for our reception this Saturday. Mark your calendars and join us Saturday from 4pm to 7pm for a reception and booksigning for Jean Weis, Rebecca Ashley, Cary Nell Huff, and Joanne Watson. Elaine Littau will be here for her new book "Elk's Resolve". It promises to be a delightful afternoon.

Next on our schedule will be the museum sponsored garage sale on August 1 at the Darrouzett Legion Hall . Tables are available for $10. Please call to reserve your table 806-852-2123. We will set up on Friday, July 31st. Look for the posters.

I traveled to Post, Tx for our quarterly meeting of the Northwest Texas Museum Association . Their museum is located in the old hospital and has exhibits for Garza County and many of their early founders. Next door is the Heritage Center that serves as the community conference center. Post is a very unique and interesting town. We enjoyed the program on developing "trunk exhibits" and networking with other museums. All in all a busy productive week.


In the August 19, 1887 issue of the Panhandle Interstate, the editors published a letter from J.R. Farra written to his hometown newspaper in Siqourney, Iowa describing life in the Ivanhoe, Public Strip, Indian Territory. I offer his observations for this weeks history : "The strip is said to be 30 miles wide and 164 miles long. The Canadian River, or Beaver, as it is more familiarly called , and the Cimarron River traverse its entire length from west to east. Both streams are very salty, more particularly so the Cimarron. The lands along the streams are mostly timbered with cotton wood, hackberry and China wood. the lands are very sandy and seem to produce fine corn;how long it may endure I cannot say, but I would not live on either stream for untold wealth. During a gale, or sand storm, which are frequent, no man or living creature can face or travel against the wind for the flying of the sand; why, it would leave your face and uncovered hands almost a pulp, the winds being so strong as to hurl large parcels of gravel through the air at break-neck speed. It also costs considerable to put much of this land in cultivation, as it is covered with sagebrush, which has roots from 3 to 9 inches in diameter. The lands in the western portion of the Strip, along many streams that put into the Beaver and Cimarron are very broken and sandy and more like the soil along the larger streams. In the eastern and southern portion, bordering on the Panhandle of Texas and the Indian Territory the lands are much better, very little sand and lying in section tracts, but as to the quality as farm lands I have my serious doubts whether they will be productive or not. But there is no doubt of this being one of the best grazing countries man ever saw. There is quite a bitter feeling existing between the cattlemen or cow boys as they are commonly called and the granger settlers, most of the settlers being too poor to fence their crops. Cattle will get upon their crops and then a little shooting is the result. Each settlement form committees and enact laws of their own, as no law exists so far as states or the government is concerned. In the portion of the Strip where I have spent most of my time there are no committees or organization of any kind and the people get along much better that where they have organizations. A man with small means and a comfortable home in Iowa or any of her sister states, are simply dam fools to come to this land of rattle snakes, tarantulas, centipeds, lizzards, fleas, bed bugs, buffalo gnats, and many other annoying reptiles and insects. I am going down on the Red Deer in Texas on a few day's hunt for wild horses and expect a wild chase."

Not exactly a recruitment letter. The only thing he did not cover is the temperature , heat and cold. Enjoy the week and stay inside .

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