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Wolf Creek Heritage Museum Photo Album
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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October 19, 2014

by Virginia Scott


I was on the road again this week to West Texas to the first meeting on West Texas Trails. The meeting was sponsored by West Texas Historical Association. The speakers were individuals some professors but most were simply individuals interested in the history of their ranches, towns, or region. The keynote speaker was Dr. John Miller Morris from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He spoke on Coronado's trip through the Panhandle. He was the first to theorize that Blanco Canyon was the site of the long-camp of the Coronado Expedition.

The seminar was interesting and I now know that each region of the panhandle has local knowledge for their early roads like "Old Wagon Road" is one in Quitaque as well as many trails for the various military and private expeditions that went through our areas i.e. the Mackenzie Trails, Texan Santa Fe Expedition, and the Comanchero Trails. They are also trying to identify and track the many cattle and sheep trails that the early cattlemen used such as the Goodnight –Loving trails. I am going to have to look at our history books and maps to see how many trails we have.


This week we will observe Halloween and many of us will display Jack-o-lanterns. So this week I offer you the history of the origin of this lantern:

Carving pumpkins into jack-lanterns is a Halloween custom dating back to Ireland. A legend grew up about a man named Jack who was so stingy that he was not allowed into heaven when he died, because he was a miser. he couldn't enter hell either because he had played jokes on the devil. As a result, jack had to walk the earth with his lantern until Judgment Day. The Irish people carve scary faces out of turnips, beets or potatoes representing "Jack of the Lantern", or Jack-o'lantern. When the Irish brought their customs to the United states, they carved faces on pumpkins because in the autumn they were more plentiful than turnips. Today Jack-o-lanterns in the windows of a house on Halloween night let costumed children know that there are goodies waiting if they knock and "Trick or Treat!"

Happy a good and spooky Halloween.

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