#5 McCall Law Office - 1880s
This little building at 308 Liberty is behind the Davis Law Office on 306 Liberty, but actually is on McCowan Street and has the number 303 on the building.
It was built in Willis by Screven A. McCall (1861-1942), who was a lawyer, District Attorney, County and District Judge in Montgomery County. It was moved from Willis to Conroe to Georgetown. Then it was given to the Montgomery Historical Society by McCall heirs and moved to Montgomery. It was restored and furnished with some of the judge's furniture and books. I'm not sure if it is part of the Davis Museum or not.
#11 Magnolia - 1854
The next day after I took the first two pictures, I found a photo in the Heritage Museum in Conroe of this house. The caption said that it was one of the many restored homes built to reflect the wealth of Montgomery. It is certainly one of the grander houses.
This house is at 801 College street. Although the Heritage Museum caption says the house was built in the 1840s, the brochure says that the house was built in 1854 by John E. Sheldon for the P. J. Willis family. Ilia C Davis purchased it in 1868 complete with furnishings, and it has been occupied ever since by Davis descendants.
#18 Bell's Grove - 1855
This Texas Greek Revival structure at 708 Caroline was built by John E. Shelton and sold to Judge Henry R. Bell in 1855. The name Bell's Grove came from the wooded area that adjoined the house in those days where political rallies were held. The house is being restored by the Newman family who are the current owners.
#26 The Oaks - 1876
This house at 202 Prairie was built in 1876 for Nathaniel Hart Davis by John Bishop from plans drawn by Thomas Godden. It was purchased and remodeled in 1950 by J. S. Griffith. Extensive restoration has been done by the new owners, Don and Mary Sue Timmerman.
About a block south of this house is #25 Melrose House at 202 Eva (which is also TX highway 105). It was built in 1854 for Richard S. Willis. It was named for his home back East. For some reason we did not get to this house, perhaps because it is so close to the highway. It has been occupied by leading citizens of Montgomery, including Dr. Phil H. Berley family and Dr. John L. Irion. It was the birthplace of Gray I. Morriss, grandson of Dr. Irion who was one of the founders of the American Legion. It is now the home of the Cecil family.
The Road to Montgomery (TX)
"January 28th (continued)"
As we go across the border into TX (about 10:30), Bob asks if I want to stop at the Information/Rest Stop, and of course I do, but he almost misses it because the sign is gone - they are doing lots of construction on the road in this area.
In addition to the usual tourist information and a pretty good map, they have information on the TX birding trails. There is even a boardwalk out over the marsh to look for birds etc..
I have two problems with the map - the interchange numbers aren't on it, and neither are some of the mileages. And there's no indication on the big map what cities have more detailed maps on the reverse. It is a big map and too hard to unfold and refold just to see that a city doesn't have a detail map.
We took the Houston by-pass TX 8 so we didn't have to go into the center of Houston and eventually (at 1 pm) stopped at a Jack-In-The-Box for lunch. I got a chicken fajita and an oreo shake, and Bob got a hamburger and fries. Total $9.58
We got to Conroe and I had the directions to the condo written down, but I also got out GPS because I have the route done on the computer. We found the turn off of TX105, and eventually found the rental office.
She had no record whatever that we were coming. I was supposed to print out the confirmation letter, but of course I didn't have a printer. So Bob went and got the computer out of the car, and I showed the letter to her from the computer.
She gave us unit 109. There isn't anyone in the unit upstairs or on either side of us, so it is very quiet. We have one bedroom with a king sized bed, two night tables and a dresser with a mirror plus a TV. There is a big closet but with almost no coat hangers. The lamp on my night table is a touch lamp which startled me when I accidentally touched it with a brochure and it went on.
The bathroom is reasonable size and is fine except the toilet flushes every so often. Must be a slow leak somewhere. We have a full kitchen and a living room/dining room with another TV and a leather sofa. The sofa is so soft in the middle that you sink out of sight - substandard.
We are right across from a driving range and a putting green, and can walk to the "Caddy Shack" which is the golf club restaurant.
According to the literature we got on check-in, they are quite *** about your dress on the golf course - you have to have appropriate shoes of course, but men have to wear trousers that are longer than mid thigh, and have shirts with a collar and sleeves that are tucked in at the waist. No untucked shirts allowed even for (or especially for) employees. And of course no jeans.
They also require you to use their golf carts (you can't bring your own and you can't use those individual two wheeled carts for your golf bag). This doesn't affect us at all, since we are not playing golf, nor are we ever likely to play golf here - just as well as I'm sure I would get in trouble for my clothing faux pas.
On the first night, we went out to dinner in the rainy dark - we drove toward Montgomery and went to a restaurant recommended by the resort called Heritage House. This was a "country" restaurant and the parking lot was quite muddy (with a lot of sand in the mud).
We both had steaks which were delicious. Bob had the 6 oz. sirloin ($8.95) and I had the 10 oz ribeye ($13.95) which was covered with mushrooms, and neither of us could finish our steaks. Bob got the salad bar, and green beans and I had mashed potatoes (which came with a cream gravy) and green beans. Each plate came with a small corn on the cob and a little piece of watermelon and we also got rolls. I had a peach cobbler for dessert $2.50) Total was $31.62 before tip.
We noticed a very large group come in and the restaurant quickly added tables to accommodate more people. I knew that it probably wasn't a family group (because there were both black and white diners) although everyone seemed to know everyone else and be very friendly. We asked when we left and it was apparently a FFA or 4H group. That explained the trailers with farm equipment and the horse trailer in the parking lot.
"January 29th - Sunday."
We basically vegged out at the unit all day - it was rainy. The area was glad of the rain as they have been in a drought. I took some pictures inside the unit, and I ate part of my steak for lunch. I also considered where we wanted to go. We had brochures for College Station but the only things there seemed to be the George HW Bush library, a college and a winery. Not of interest to me.
We walked over to the golf club restaurant (The Caddy Shack) for dinner but found that it was not open on Sunday evening. So we got in the car and drove towards Conroe looking for the Steak and Ale. Could not find it. So we stopped at a place called Hayden's Steaks and Seafood.
They had a printed 'specials' menu. I got special #2 (pecan encrusted shrimp salad with strawberry vinaigrette for $12.95), and Bob got special #12 (Gulf Coast Platter - boiled shrimp, raw oysters and stone crab claws $14.95) He got 4 of each. I also had a cup of crawfish bisque for $4.95. Then I had blueberry cream pie for dessert ($4.95). The total was $40.90 before tip. I couldn't finish the pie, so I took it home.
"January 30th - Monday."
Today is nice and sunny. I really want to see the Big Thickett National Wildlife Preserve which is north of Beaumont and east of us about 100 miles. We got a reasonably early start and drove east along TX105. (Still didn't see the Steak and Ale) We went through Cut and Shoot which is a big weekend flea market place.
TX 105 east of Conroe is a two lane rural road with wide shoulders (as wide as another lane and with a speed limit of 65 or 70 mph. Bob saw someone get over on the shoulder to let someone that was going faster go past, so he started doing that too. I noticed that there were big yellow and black numbers on the top of every other telephone pole in addition to the numbers on the bottom.
We ended up in Kountze
"January 31, 2006"
We didn't get underway until after lunch. I uploaded the sundew pictures on the slow modem. Then we went to Montogomery because I heard that there was a historic homes walking/driving tour and I wanted to do that. I knew the museum, which was the first stop, would not be open on Tuesday, but thought we'd be able to get pamphlet and do it on our own. So I called the number in the pamphlet I had, and the lady tried to give us directions to where there was a box outside. None were there, so she told us to come to her office (which was in the Bells of Montgomery) and she would come out and give us one.
I spent some time trying to identify the photos so I could write up the pictures that I took which are under the 25 Off the Beaten Track Tips.
That evening, we decided to have dinner at the Caddy Shack. It was open on weekdays. The doors had a round glass inset which was dimpled like a golf ball and the door handles were golf clubs. They seated us next to the window. I had a cup (it was as big as a bowl) of the soup of the day which was chicken dumpling ($2.95), and blackened catfish with roasted potatoes and spinach casserole for $10.95, and Bob had grilled salmon ($9.95) which came with asparagus and other vegetables. I asked them how big the creme brulee was, and the server indicated that it was dinner plate size. We both said that would be too much to eat, and he said well it was thin. So I did get that, and it was just a thin layer on the plate. It has strawberries in the middle and was $5.25.
"Wednesday and Thursday"
February 1 - I wanted to do a couple of tours today, so I called the Blue Bell Creamery and they said the tours were all full for the week. I then called the cheese place and they said they only had tours T, W, and Th and the 10:00 tour had already left today, and she didn't know if they had space tomorrow. But I had other plans for tomorrow.
I decided to go to the Heritage Museum in Conroe (top photo) before it rained in the afternoon.
Yesterday Bob went to WalMart and couldn't find some things that he wanted (like cocoa in individual packets) but he bought a gallon of ice cream. Half a week is a very short time to eat that much ice cream, so I've been having it for breakfast.
Today, after we finished with the museum, he stopped at Krogers and also got a pizza. We had pizza for dinner along with the salad I got yesterday.
Thursday Feb 2
Today is the day I was going to go to Houston to San Jacinto park. I wanted to go up in the monument and see the harbor, and also go down and see if I could see any CSYs in the marinas. So I took Bob right down through the middle of Houston on I-45
That night, we had dinner at the Yacht Club. I had champagne soup with puff pastry to start with. It was impossible to cut the pastry with the spoon and it was too big to eat without cutting it. For the main course I had Grouper Champagne ($15.95) which came with mushrooms and spinach. Bob had a green salad and then had pan seared top sirloin (also $15.95) with a pine nut rosemary crust. He didn't care for the pine nut crust. Then we both had apple crisp for dessert. (The soup or salad and dessert were included in the price.)
Someone next to us got Steak Diane and they came out with a cart and we had a big fire show.
"Friday and Saturday (3rd and 4th)"
We didn't go anywhere. I phone our daughter for directions to her place and wrote them down on the Frisco brochure map. We went to McDonalds for dinner and Bob got two plain hamburgers and a small shake, and I got a quarter pounder with cheese and a fruit salad. They were very disorganized.
Saturday, we checked out and drove to Frisco. I ate my fruit salad for breakfast. We stopped in Buffalo Texas for lunch at the Texas Burger/ Subway place. Bob had a Texas burger and I had a BL.
Then we followed the directions I had and arrived in FRISCO