Wandering out west of the...
Wandering out west of the county (get a map - it's not complicated and it helps LOL) can sometimes transport you back in time. I'll try to get a travelogue together later with more snapshots.... but here is what the first settlers would have seen in the area (minus the Kiowa and Kwahadi Indians LOL)
Continue wandering in a NW...
Continue wandering in a NW direction from Bippus and you will eventually run into the unknown 'other side' of the Caprock formation. The Caprock marks the boundary of the southern plains and is why the Texas Panhandle is also known as the LLano Estacado. While not as pronounced and dramatic as it is on the other side around Tulia and Post, it is still pretty cool to stand on the rim and realize you are looking deep into New Mexico. On a clear day you may even be able to see the mountains far and away calling to you :-)
Herefords POW Camp
"Visible From a Distance..."
During WW II, a fairly large POW camp was in operation just a couple of miles south of Hereford. As you head south towards Dimmitt or Easter, when you look to the west, you can still see the remnants of the old water tower - it could easily be mistaken for a silo. To get there, head south out of Hereford on US385. As soon as you get out of town, look for and take Farm Road 1055 south and look to the west. Soon youll see the water tower in the distance, and you can head west on County Road 1. I forgot which road takes you to the chapel (see below), but you'll be able to see it to the south before you pass the silo, I promise. It sticks out like a little sore thumb against the Panhandle sky :-)
"And a Plaque to Remember Them By..."
The camp housed approximately 5000 Italian prisoners (there was a German internment center located on the other side of the Panhandle near McLean) and was in operation until January,1946 when all of the POW's were finally repatriated. Contrary to the treatment of Japanese prisoners (and even Japanese-Americans), Italian and German prisoners were used to work in the surrounding areas and were well treated and well received by the Panhandle populace to the point of forming friendships that lasted beyond their years of internment.
"The Little Chapel That Could"
The chapel was built by the Italians as a memorial to 5 POW's who died while interned here. Inside are some very ornate carvings done by the artisans among them and a simple but beautiful cross and altar. The site having been on private property was bought back and set aside as a registered historical site, so hopefully its preservation that was begun in 1987 will be maintained for years to come, "... so that none shall forget."