Faux Bas Relief
Historic downtown Huntsville has some examples of an illusionary technique called trompe l'oeil (which is French for "trick of the eye.") by Richard Haas. There are three murals depicting Sam Houston's life facing east on the corner of U.S. 190 and University Avenue. They rise approximately two stories and depicts "Houston as Colonned the Cherokee," "Houston's at Woodland Home" and "Battle of San Jacinto 1836."
The fourth picture show the architectural details of a bygone era in a fake relief on the elegant 19th century Gibbs Building. Richard Haas is apparently a currently practicing muralist and artist. For some reason I assumed that because the murals were in the historic district that meant that they were themselves historic. But according to this website, he did his Huntsville work in the early to mid 1990s
Sam Houston's Statue
I had thought of going to Huntsville, but had not planned to go this particular day, so I didn't have the info with me. Huntsville was Sam Houston's bailiwick. General Sam Houston was the President of the Republic of Texas after they won their war with Mexico.
Not only is there the Sam Houston State University, and a museum dedicated to him and a cemetery with his grave in it, but there is also a 77 foot high statue (the tallest statue to an American hero anywhere in the world). I knew about the statue, but according to what was written in the AAA book I thought it was at his gravesite. I thought I would surely be able to see it since it was so big.
But it is NOT at Sam Houston's grave (which we eventually did find). At the cemetery I found directions to the museum (which was closed when we got there) and the visitor's center where the statue is. We stopped at the visitor's center anyway and walked down the path to see the statue (last two photos). Since we visited Huntsville coming from the east, we didn't have the benefit of seeing the statue from the highway. When we approached that way, it definitely was visible from a long way off (first three photos).
The name of the statue is “A Tribute to Courage” by the artist David Adickes. The statue was dedicated on October 22,1994. It is actually only 67 feet tall but they include the 10 foot granite base.
Forget the parka and snoeshoes
Whatever meets your needs East Texas is prone to unexpected rain showers. Dress cool, it can be hot and humid in the summer. Shucks, folks. We got a Wal-Mart. You can buy it here. Sure! Lot's of great nature, wildlife and historical sights to remember. Huntsvills State Park offers swimming, hiking, paddleboats, canoe rentals, primitive to plug-in camping sites, etc.
Oakwood Cemetery Walking Tour
Prior to Texas winning independence from Mexico, Huntsville was founded in 1835 by Pleasant Gray. Twelve years later he deeded this land to Huntsville for "a place of burial, free to all persons." This cemetery, however, was in use before Gray's deed. The oldest headstone has the date 1842, but earlier graves were either unmarked or the markers have long since disappeared.
The Oakwood Cemetery is the final resting place for many people of historical prominence, also in Oakwood are buried 8 Union soldiers, 123 Confederate soldiers and possibly more.
Just inside the entrance to the cemetery is a covered rack with brochures which lead you step-by-step to 31 gravesites and/or points of interest. A light rain was falling when I was there, but I still found the place fascinating.
To find the Oakwood Cemetery from Huntsville's downtown square, travel east on 11th Street and turn left on Spur 94. This is Sam Houston Memorial Drive, which is Texas' shortest highway. It will lead you one block to the cemetery, at the corner of I and 9th Street.
Solid and practical
The kitchen being a separate building altogether from the home had many practical reasons. First it reduced the chance of fire moving on to the main home. Second it reduced the heat in the overwhelming humid summer.