Driving Tour - Historical
Go to the downtown Post office to the Photo-op courthouse, where it stands in two states at the same time. There you can get information on a driving tour. Experience some of the history of the area from within your car! Seems like a great Idea, maybe that will catch on in other places as well.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Garrison McLain House
This beautiful old home was built in 1895. It is a wonderful example of Victorian Queen Anne architecture and has been listed on National Register of Historic Places. Augustus M Garrison was a local prominent attorney.
This area of town was known as "Quality Hill". The current owners are only the 3rd outside of the Garrison family. They offer fine facilities for hosting parties, weddings and other special occasions.
Scott Joplin - King of Ragtime
Scott Joplin was a master composer of classic ragtime music and was influential in the formation of 20th century music. His birth date and place is uncertain but it is believed around July 1870 and mostly he either was born in Texarkana or came here at a very early age. While he clearly had talent on the piano, his parents insisted he study classical music but by the age of 11 was able to play 3 musical instruments, and compose music. He travelled the country performing mainly to patrons of saloons, brothels and skid row restaurants however his reputation soon spread to the middle class white community. During this time he settled in Sedalia, Mo., where he was able to complete a in music at the George R. Smith College for Negroes. In 1907 in an attempt to gain more recognition he moved to New York but unfortunately his hopes were dashed. He died at 49 weak and broken and was buried in a pauper's grave that remained nameless until 1974.
Ragtime revived itself and peaked in the 1970s with new recordings of Joplin's music which were produced for the first time on classical labels, set classical sales records. This growing awareness inspired a film director to use Joplins music (The Entertainer) in his movie "The Sting" which of course really brought public attention. The result of the interest in ragtime music was unprecedented in music history. In 1976 he was posthumously awarded "A Politzer Prize Special Award" for his contributions to American Music.
This colourful outdoor mural is displayed to depict Scott Joplins life and accomplishments.
Museum of Regional History
The museum is located in the oldest brick building in Texarkana and features exhibits which inform of the regions history, its agriculture, early industry, civil rights and World War II. There is also an exhibit on Scott Joplin "Father of Ragtime Music", Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter and Conlon Nancarrow.
You can also view pottery made by the area Caddo people along with artifacts and tools and learn about the early Spanish and French explorers.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm. A small admission is charged with children under 5 free.
Salvation Army Band Bronze Sculptures
On the corner of E. 4th Street are bronze sculptures depicting a Salvation Army Band. They were commission and donated by Ross Perot. The central figure features his older brother Gabriel Ross Perot Jr who would delight in singing and dancing with the Salvation Army while they played in the streets during the Depression. The older brother also passed around the tambourine for collections. Ross never knew his older brother as he died in 1927, 3 years before he was born. The likeness was taken from old family photos.
Gabriel Ross Perot Jr
Also in the lounge is a bronze statue of Gabriel Ross Perot as a boy. His younger brother Ross, had this commissioned along with other bronze works that are displayed on the Arksansas side of Texarkana.
I had a wonderful tour of the theatre and am very grateful to Denise Canon. She was extremely helpful and her enthusiasm really rubbed off. She has a great love of the theatre and is only to happen to turn all the lights on for you and give you a run down on the history as well as its current position in the community. I was quite amazed by the number of high profile shows that were coming up in their agenda.
Beech St First Baptist Church
The Beech Street First Baptist Church is quite an amazing piece of architectural distinction. Its not something you can miss driving down State Line Avenue. It is one of the largest churches in Arkansas.
House of Wadley
This home is a well known residence in Texarkana. It was built in 1895 by one of the ten richest men in the United States ? John Keener Wadley. Both he and his wife were known for their charitable causes. They donated much of the founding money for the Wadley Hospital as well as founding the Wadley Cancer Research Centre in Dallas. During their time in the house they had many honoured guests such as Dwight Eisenhower, Bing Crosby and Bryon Nelson.
The architecture is Queen Anne Victorian with a wrap-around veranda porch. There are oversized windows, a magnificent stairway an 3 parlours. They also have a two-story carriage house on the property.
St James Episcopal Church
The early local congregation for this church met in 1876, the first parish meeting was held in 1877. The land was donated by the Texas and Pacific Railroad with citizens from all faiths contributing to the building of the church. In 1893, 1910 and 1926, the church was altered and enlarged to its present size. The parish was pioneered to aid the elderly and other community services. The church has been listed by the Texas Historical Commission.
James Bowie Monument
James Bowie was a hero of the Alamo and for whom Bowie County was named. He is also known more for inventing the Bowie Knife. Although he was born in Kentucky, he spent most of his life in Louisiana before moving to Texas to join the revolution. There are many stories of his spirit and courage which has made him one of the most colourful heroes of Texas history.
Erected to commenorate soldiers of the Confederacy and their mothers. The figures were carved in Italy with a special government permission which was necessary to import them during World War I. The inscription says :
"To Our Loyal Confederates"
"Oh, great Confederate Mothers, we would paint your names on monuments, that men may read them as the years go by and pay tribute to you, who bore and nurtured hero sons and gave them solace on that darkest day, when they came home, with broken swords and guns."
The Vietnam Memorial
Both the Korean and Vietnam memorials are identical - a 32-foot curved wall of bricks, concrete, and granite (black and grey) panels. On the two panels are engraved almost 400 names of the local heroes. The memorials sit on the State Line of Texas and Arkansas.
Top Security for Art Works
The Regional Arts centre displays art exhibitions 12 months a year with the only high security galleries between Dallas and Little Rock. There is also a unique reproducing player piano in the centre. Going on all year round is also workshops, film series and tours, classes and lectures.
The Old Courtroom
The old courtroom is now a grand hall (The Horace C. Cabe Great Hall) with a 26ft high ornate ceiling. The room is also used for weddings, receptions, seminars and political rallies along with concerts.
Reminants of the Past
There is a wonderful ornate open-cage copper elevator which can take you to the 2nd and 3rd floors of this build or you can take the stairs made of the original marble. There is a the "For Arts Sake" gift shop on the first level (ground floor).
4545 Cowhorn Creek Rd, Texarkana, Texas, 75503, United States
Good for: Couples
4601 Cowhorn Creek, Texarkana, TX, 75503
Good for: Families
4209 Mall Drive, Texarkana, Texas, 75503, United States
Good for: Solo
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