To reach Acton, we had to take State Farm road 4 and wind through the countryside a few miles until reaching the cemetery.
It was a beautiful Fall day! We parked, then respectfully walked through the cemetery to Elizabeth Crockett's grave, where a father and his two children were examining the gravesite.
The fenced area surrounding Elizabeth Crockett's grave site has the distinction of being the smallest state park in Texas and is considered a historic site. Atop the monument, a woman has a hand to her brow as her eyes search the horizon...is she looking ahead to the next mile of her journey or hoping to capture the sight of a returning loved one?
The walking tour guide gave us a little more information: Elizabeth Patton Crockett traveled to Acton in 1856 with her son, Robert Patton Crockett and daughter, Elvira, to claim land awarded her for the bravery of her husband, Davy, at the battle of the Alamo.
Robert built a small log cabin on their land on Rucker's Creek, located in the northeast corner of Hood County. Two years later he sold his first home and built another cabin a half-mile further up the creek. This is where Elizabeth Crockett lived until her death in 1860. The cabin was moved to Dallas, but a marker was placed at the original site that is now privately owned land.
The statue at Elizabeth Crockett's gravesite was erected to honor Texas pioneer mothers by the state in 1911. Robert Patton Crockett and his wife, Matilda are also buried in the Acton cemetery.
Acton is a small, out of the way town located near Granbury, that has something to boast of, too--its the oldest settlement in Hood County and it has a connection to Davy Crockett of Alamo fame. (see Acton cemetery tip)
But, first things first. Acton was settled in the 1850's and the *Comanche Peak Post Office was established in 1856. By 1855 a water mill was built along Acton's Walnut Creek, which ground the settlers growing grain crops. Aaron Farris, the mill proprietor, built a still near his water mill but it was dismantled by Mrs. Farris upon the advice of a local preacher--who was also a revenue officer.
Clarence P. Hollis, the town's first merchant, gave the town its name. He was the official postmaster in 1857 and donated 1.43 acres of land for a public square in the 1860's. (from the Walking & Driving Tour of Historic Granbury and Hood County)
*Comanche Peak is a mesa that is 1,129 ft. above sea level that is the area's most recognized landmark formerly used as a base of operations by the Indians, for ceremonies and tribal dances and used as a lookout point. It is now private land.
The Overlook provides a great view of the De Cordova Bend Dam was named after A.L. Brooks Jr, a member of the Brazos River Authority's Board of Directors. He was a strong proponent and spokesman in the efforts for development and conservation of the water surface resources.
This cemetery was used by the residents of The Colony which was a community established by former slaves who came to Hood County with their southern white owners in the early 1950's. After emancipation they began to settle in this area and many owned land under a state law. By the end of the Depression era of the 1930's most of the adult residents had left the Colony for nearby towns and many of the younger community members left the area completely although most chose to be returned to the Colony Cemetery for burial. Some of the graves date back to 1876 or earlier. At one time the cemetery was also known as Pleasant Chapel, Mt Zion and Hightower.
The Colony Cemetery is an important record of the history of Hood County especially the African Americans who were born in slavery and who carved out new lives after their liberation which paved the road for freedom for their descendants.
Located between Granbury and Tolar, four miles north of Highway 377 on County Road 103.
Fort Worth is only 35 miles northeast of Granbury. This is where the old west is wonderfully preserved in the Historic Stockyards District. There are also wonderful museums, art galleries, theatres and great shopping. The Fort Worth Zoo is also a wonderful zoo to visit.
Dinosaur Valley is in Glen Rose... a short drive south of Granbury. You can explore where dinosaurs once roamed the area and see several of their foot prints in the Paluxy river bed. The State Park has plenty of opportunity for outdoor walking, picnicing and swimming. The Creation Evidence Museum is also there.
Take Hwy 144 to US Highway 67 then to FM 205 for 4 miles to Park Road 59; then go one mile to the headquarters
Glen Rose is just a short drive south of Granbury and is known for many things to visit. Fossil Rim is a wonderful wildlife Centre where you can drive around and see an exotic array of animals up close and personal and even feed many of them from your car. Certainly well worth the visit.
Chalk Mountain is a ghost town some 12 miles west of Glen Rose. The main attractions there seem to be the cemetery which holds over 350 graves but I have to say that I went from one end of the road to the other and found nothing. The signpost to the cemetery is at the beginning of the road but you see nothing further to indicate where it may be. The other 'attraction' is the Chalk Mountain Masonic Lodge. This lodge was chartered on December 8, 1904 and moved to its current spot in 1989. The top part of this lodge was moved from the 2nd story of the original building and put on a new foundation and cement block. The images of a ghost town that I had wasn't quite what I found.
South East of Granbury. Off US 67 on Road 198 in Erath County.
Tolar is a tiny little town just 6 miles southwest of Granbury. It was first established around 1890 when a post office opened. Its early days were as a trade centre for area farmers and ranchers. There was also a gin, a general store and blacksmith shop. By 1914 the number of residents had reach 460 but declined to around 283 during the Great Depression. Today there is probably only around 600 residents.
Tolar is visited more for the Windmill Farm.
This lovely little church was originally built around 1900 as a country church on the bank soft the Brazos River in Dennis Texas. The church was named after the founding fathers of Texas Refinery corp, A.M. Pate Sr and Carl Wellner.
Its new home is on the grounds of the Pate Museum of Transportation. Hwy 377, Cresson.
Along Hwy 377 just north of Granbury in a town of Cresson you will come across The Pate Museum. The museum contains many aircraft, from the early propeller driven to jet fighter planes, are lovingly restored and in good condition.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance is free of charge too
Hwy 377 Cresson.
Amongst many of the exhibits you will also see a complete space capsule along with a cut-a-way mock-up showing the inside of a capsule. The Museum was founded in 1961 and amongst the collection displayed on the grounds, there are also many antique and classic cars inside the main building. One was the Texas Longhorn Car which was handcrafted in San Antonio and took 12 years to build.
Pate Museum of Transport
Hwy 377, Cresson
This historic marker is near the site where about 25 raiding Indians jumped and killed a fox hunter (Rigman Bryant), shot his dog and stole his horse. Later in the day the Indians and stolen horses were seen by a minister (Silas Scarborough) W C Walters and a negro. The negro was urged to join the Indians who then shot him full of arrows when he refused. In a few hours the Cavalry attacked the Indians and recovered the stolen horses. One Indian was killed and the others chased away. One settler was shot and the wounded Negro died a week later. It was claimed as a Civil War Frontier victory.
There were about 5 or 6 bullet holes in the historical marker… I guess someone didn’t know the fighting was over.
The marker sits in a picnice area on FM144 off Hwy 67 just north west of Glen Rose and south of Granbury.
The De Cordova Bend Dam sits on Lake Granbury – both were constructed by the Brazos River Authority and created by a 27 mile loop in the Brazos River. Construction began in 1966 and was completed in 1969. The area was named for Jacob de Cordova, an early Texas pioneer who explored these parts back in the 1850’s.
HCR 309 off S. Hwy 167
A lot of the windmills are operating and in the stillness of the countryside you can here them whirring or in some cases clanking away. You can drive through the 26 acre property or take a stroll in amongst them on your own. Guided tours are also available. As you arrive at the gate, there is a box where you can obtain some literature on the various windmills, their dates, sizes and which areas they have come from along with a little background on their use. More windmills are added as they are restored.
Tolar Windmill Farm.