"OL' WOODY" is a magnificent Live Oak tree which was wisely spared when the Wolf Ranch Shopping Mall was constructed. You can find Ol' Woody standing proudly near the Kirkland's Store. It is believed the tree got its start on or about 1848.
The San Gabriel River is part of the Brazos River system, which flows through Williamson County. It was named Rio de San Francisco Xavier in 1716 by the Ramon expedition and was also mentioned in the journals of the Aguayo expedition in 1721. 'Xavier' became Gabriel, when Stephen F. Austin (The Father of Texas) incorrectly listed it as such*.
The river figured importantly in an Indian battle in 1839. Today, it threads its way through Georgetown's San Gabriel Park, which affords the visitor a network of trails, playground area and ideal dog-walking area.
*info from Handbook of Tx. Online
My husband and I debated whether to purchase tickets to see The Producers, which was headlining Georgetown's Palace Theater on the weekend we stayed. We didn't because it had been a long day for us, however, you might want to do so when visiting Georgetown.
The Palace Theater was constructed in 1925 by A.C. Moore of Bartlett, Texas. The Art Deco facade was added to the structure in 1936 by the Englebrecht family, establishing it as the lone example of Art Deco styling in all of Georgetown.
Counting its heralded grand opening in 1926 until its sad closing at the end of 1989, it was 'the oldest continuously operating movie theater in the same building in Williamson County'. In recent years, residents have seen the Palace transformed into a live performance venue.
Current production: The Producers--September 26 -November 2, 2008
Upcoming production:The Gifts of the Magi--November 28-December 23, 2008
(See website below for up to date productions)
Pricing: $22 for adults; $20 for seniors over 55; $16 for students; $8 from 15 and under. Showtimes are usually Friday and Saturday eveings at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinee at 2pm. Directions can be accessed by the website.
Once underground, we left the tram and began our guided tour on foot. As we progressed through Inner Space Cavern, areas naturally carved by powerful underground floods were dramatically lit to show the size and contour of the 'rooms' . (pics 2&3)
Small bats could be seen clasping onto the ceiling above us. Actually, this was sort of creepy! As we journeyed deeper and deeper into the cavern, we came to an area where prehistoric animals had wandered or fallen in--noted as 'Bone Sinks'.
*Excavations have discovered the following remains:
several peccary (a piglike animal with sharp tusks known to live in N. and S. America)
white-tailed deer, a camel,
four-horned antelope, ground sloth
bison, jack rabbit
dire wolf, cottontail rabbit
saber-toothed cat, Columbian mammoth (a three foot long tusk section revealed-total length predicted: 13 ft.)
bobcat, wood rat, box turtle
jaguar, deer mouse, black-tailed prairie dog
racoon, Texas kangaroo rat
mouse-eared bat-a very large species not known to this area until discovered in Inner Space Cavern
spectacled bear, and black bear (the jury is still out on whether these two specimens are correctly identified)
and one human tooth---the most amazing of the finds and subject of much discussion
We glimpsed a small toad that was losing it's body pigmentation and would soon be blind. This transformation occurs when organizisms adapt to cave dwelling. The darkness makes eyes useless and because as people tour the cavern, each section returns to deep and utter darkness once they depart the area.
Hours daily from 9am-6pm Memorial Day-Labor Day; 9am-4pm weekdays after Labor Day; 10am-5pm weekends. Closed 2 weeks prior to Christmas-reopening Dec. 26.
*Inner Space Cavern publishes a great little booklet on its history and included the following information on the excavations conducted there
The Georgetown Visitor's Center has printed out a walking tour of the town, identifying historic structures and their significance. This is a helpful aid for your stroll about town.
You'll also find plenty of brochures for local attractions and those sites throughout the state of Texas. Juanita Mason was manning the visitor center when we happened by one Saturday afternoon (pic #2). She extolled the annual events of the town and directed us to public restrooms, which were a block or two away. Sorry, no facilities are available at the visitor's center.
Be sure to sign the guestbook before you leave!
Driving into town on a recent Fall weekend, we encountered blocked off streets and tented booths circling the historic county courthouse. It was MARKET DAYS (pic #2).
Each second Saturday of the month, artisans, crafters, musicians and food booths come to the town square March through December from 10am-5pm.
I imagine the number of participants ebb and flow depending on the weekend, but residents can count on the prescribed day and time.
Heartstrings was performing as we made our rounds. There were at least four different CD's neatly laid out on a table in front of them. I really enjoyed their music and should have bought a cd, but I can always try to find them on the internet.
Georgetown has the distinction of being known as the "Red Poppy Capital of Texas". Each Spring the town celebrates with a festival held in the historic town square.
It was interesting to learn that seeds from red poppies were first brought to Georgetown after WWI, when Henry Purl Compton sent them to 507 E. 7th Street where his mother lived. After planting them at her home, they were duly spread around town 'by birds, bees and even people' as the tale goes.
I read that Georgetown is one of the few places in the United States where red poppies reseed themselves year after year. What a spectacle that must be!
The event activities include live music, an open car show, parade, arts and crafts, children's center, food booths and a 5k race. Shuttle service is provided. Next scheduled festival is April 25-26, 2009. See website below for future dates.
We stopped to explore Inner Space Cavern when our grandson was visiting us this summer. I highly recommend seeing this amazing site!
pic #2 Tram to the Underground
According to a small booklet I picked up in the gift shop, the rocks composing Inner Space Cavern are over 90 million years old. A series of vertical faults fractured the limestone from Waco to Del Rio, Texas--this is known as the Balcones Fault. You can actually see the line of this fault inside the cavern. Groundwater seeping through these cracks, led to the formation of the cavern.
Inner Space Cavern was discovered in 1963 when core samples were taken to test whether the ground could support a large highway overpass planned for that area. These core samples revealed an immense cavity underground.
Within months the Texas Speleological Society obtained permission to delve into the depths, discovering a huge cavern system. Soon after, a group of businessmen organized a corporation to develop the cave. So far, 4 miles of cave has been mapped, with a portion open to the public.
Hours are daily 9am-6pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day; 9am-4pm weekdays after Labor Day; 10am-5pm weekend schedule. Closed for 2 weeks prior to Christmas and reopening on December 26. Group rates with reservation.
THERE ARE MANY GRACEFUL OLD HOMES in Georgetown. Just drive around and enjoy them.
According to "Sperlings Best Places," the cost of living in Georgetown is 93.6% of the national average.
Here are five examples of homes:
THE BOOKSTORE IS LOCATED ON THE UPPER LEVEL of the Student Union. If you are a t-shirt collector like me, this is apparently the only place where you can purchase a Southwestern University t-shirt or other memorabilia like coffee mugs and so on.
Southwestern University's campus has been called one of Texas' most beautiful and best-planned college facilities. The roof of the main building can be seen from quite a distance (along with the dome of the county courthouse). There are more than 30 buildings on 500 acres.
The Masonic Lodge was built 1900. This building was a major sight in Georgetown's skyline. The ground floor first housed a drugstore and a post office. The masons continued to meet upstairs until 1982 when the building was sold.
On the ground floor is a Chinese Restaurant 'Orient Square' which has two large stone lions guarding the entrance. Quite an interesting mix of architecture coupled with a touch of Asia.
McDougal-Booty Building is one of the buildings on the square which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was originally built as two separate one-story buildings in the 1890s. At the turn of the century they were purchased by a prominent local businessman who added an entrance and stairway between the two structures, then added an entire second floor which is now a bed and breakfast (Inn on the Square).
There are ornate pressed metal cornices which decorate the cut stone facade of the building. Next door on the corner is a fine crafts and gifts gallery which had some wonderfully different things but fairly pricey as well.
Williamson County's Courthouse is styled in Greek Revival. The Courthouse is actually the county's 5th courthouse since 1849. There is a large copper dome topped by the figure of justice and surrounded by four large clock faces. In 1923 the first successful case in the nation against the Klu Klux Klan was prosecuted. The victim had been kidnapped, chained to a tree and covered in tar and blood.
P.H. Dimmitt & Co was built 1901 in a Romanesque Revival style. You can actually see hand tool marks on the stone. It was originally intended as a hotel but became everything from a dry goods store, millinery, oats storage, professional offices and even a motion picture house in the 1920’s. By 1925 the corner space was used for a drugstore and soda fountain and became the favourite gathering place. There were spikes put on the arched window sill to discourage loitering.
11 Waters Edge Circle, Georgetown, TX, 78626
Good for: Solo
600 San Gabriel Village Boulevard, Georgetown, Texas, 78626, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
451 North IH-35, Georgetown, Texas, 78628, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families