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03/22/19 – #16 Lee County Courthouse Giddings, Texas

I really like it when people comment or share their thoughts and suggestions about my blogs. At least I know somebody is reading this stuff. Well, a while back my daughter, Tisha, called and suggested I add numbers to the courthouses. I liked that idea. So from now on you’ll know at a glance, I still got a lot of Texas to cover – 238 courthouses to be exact. Glad ya’ll are going along for the ride.

Its been a while since I got to add another courthouse to my portfolio. The weather has been the biggest hindrance, but also we sometimes have to deal with life in general. However, today all those things opened up and allowed me the opportunity to take a ride through the countryside and end the day next to Lee County’s courthouse in Giddings, Texas.

During the winter months the only good times to photograph a courthouse seemed to be weekends. With the change to daylight savings time, I now get a couple of extra hours after normal business times for the streets to clear and allow some pretty good access for my pictures. I took advantage of 6 PM Friday afternoon to have full access to all sides of Lee Counties’ pride and joy.

Lee County 1

#16 Lee County Courthouse, Giddings, Texas

The history of the courthouse is kind of interesting. Why would anybody think it was cool to model a Texas building after a New York State building? Also, the picture is made on the north side of the building. The front appears to be the west side, but that side has a fire escape which I thought detracts from the overall beauty of the building. The real cool part is the entrances at each of the corners; and for that you get a historical registry marker.

Lee County 2

Lee County History

Now for some embarrassing info on yours truly.  Hurried on up Hwy 77 to get to Rockdale before dark, and I got there okay. Rode around the downtown area and could not find the courthouse? Dark was slowly moving in so I asked (I know men aren’t supposed to ask for direction, but I did) this very nice lady at the Conoco gas station, “Can you tell me where the courthouse is located?” And in a very polite way she said, “Get on Hwy 77 and go to Cameron, Rockdale is not the county seat of Milam County.”

So, it got dark, and tomorrow I’ll stop in Cameron for another courthouse picture.

Later, Bud…

01/27/2019 – #15 Jefferson County Courthouse, Beaumont, Texas

Woke up early this morning thinking about riding to Beaumont to capture the Jefferson County Courthouse. (That just doesn’t have a good sound to it; take a picture is much better.) The weather forecast said partly cloudy and 63 degrees. However, looking outside there was a heavy fog and 40 something. So a 9 AM departure was not gonna happen. Along about 11:00 things started to clear up and I got the KLR out for its photo shoot in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The KLR is my favorite motorcycle. I’ve own it since 2000 and we have traveled most of North America together. We logged 73,000 miles seeing all but four states and three Canadian Provinces. We’ve ridden across Mexico and up the Baja peninsula from Cabo to California. And that’s just a few of the adventures we have shared, and not once has it left me on the side of the road.

Check out my other websites to see where we been:

Buds Trip to Alaska

Buds Trip to Nova Scotia

Buds Trip to Cabo

I’m sure you’re here to see the courthouses not to hear me ramble on about a great motorcycle.

We took off for Beaumont going to Cleveland and picking up Hwy 105 east through Moss Hill, and Sour Lake. For those that are not aware, Sour Lake is the Birth Place of Texaco; however, Wikipedia says it was founded in Beaumont (they need to read what’s on the water tower as you pass through town). Texaco has moved on long ago and Sour Lake is still on Hwy 105.

jefferson county 2

#15 Jefferson County Courthouse, Beaumont, Texas

I couldn’t get a good shot with the bike being right in front of the courthouse, so I moved the bike across the street. This highlights the bike (the KLR likes to be featured) and allowed me to capture the magnitude of the “Tallest Courthouse” in Beaumont.

I didn’t see the usual historical marker so I went searching on the computer when I got home. This is what I found:

The Jefferson County Courthouse is one of the tallest courthouses in the state, and is an excellent example of Art Decoarchitecture. Built in 1931, it is the fourth courthouse built in Jefferson County. It was designed by Fred Stone and Augustin Babin, and is thirteen stories high. In 1981, an annex was added to the west side of the courthouse. This is from: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

So, that’s it for today’s adventure. Hopefully, the weather will warm up and the ridding conditions will improve. Then I’ll checkout another courthouse.

Later, Bud…

01/05/19 – Another Beautiful Day in Texas

and as always a great day for a ride. Yesterday morning my friend Sam called and suggested we get together for a ride through the countryside. He had already talked to my son Scott, and nephew Rob and they were both in. We were to meet at Rob’s house in Conroe between 9 and 10, then ride west from there. I got there 10 minutes late and learned that Scott had to work (one of those demanding things that goes with being self-employed).

We got on the road about 11:00 AM and headed for FM 1375 through the National Forest. Then through Richards and on to Anderson. Of course we stopped at the only watering hole along the way, just outside of Richards. I discussed with the group stopping at the courthouse in Anderson so I could get a picture.  These pictures are with my cell phone, not the good camera, so the quality is not so good.

I’ve often stopped at the Grimes County Courthouse when passing through Anderson; it’s one of my favorites. It’s hard to miss setting high on the hill, and can be seen from all directions coming into Anderson.

grimes county courthouse 1

#14 Grimes County Courthouse, Anderson, Texas

grimes county courthouse 2

Courthouse historical marker. This is the first courthouse I’ve photographed that is recorded as a Texas Historical Site – pretty interesting.

grimes county history

Here’s some history on Grimes County.

grimes county selfie

…and here’s my riding companions for the day, Sam, Rob, and Jo (front to back). This was supposed to be a group selfie, but after Sam managed to cut me out of the picture three times, it was time to go.  I fixed it by adding my picture in behind Jo.  PHOTO BOMB!

After the photo session it was on to Carlos, Snook, Independence, and back to Conroe. Not bad for a January ride in Texas.

Later, Bud…

01/01/19 – Happy New Year !!!

I have heard that on New Years Day you are supposed to do something that you would like to do throughout the year. So, I went motorcycle riding. Rode up to Crockett, county seat for Houston County. I rode around the courthouse square a number of times over the years as I traveled through Crockett or went there to eat at the Moosehead Cafe, which is right there on the square across from the courthouse. In fact, I believe Marvin captured his picture of the Houston County Courthouse while I was in the cafe having coffee and pie.

Crockett is about 65 miles from my home and I felt the appropriate bike for the picture was my 1974 Honda CB750 K. It is quite photogenic, and rather proud of its 1st Place win at the Wolf Creek Custom Car and Bike Show this past October. Compared to one of my newer bikes it is not as comfortable to ride, but it is very dependable and runs great for a 45 year old machine. A side effect of riding the bike is the attention it brings when I stop somewhere. People gather around and say things like, “My first bike was one like this, or my neighbor had one just like this when I was growing up,”

So, on to Crockett. It’s a straight shot up Hwy 19 through Trinity. Same way back. Being New Years Day all the businesses around the square were closed, even the Moosehead, so no pie today. Had the whole front of the courthouse to park. The Honda looked kind of lost in front of this huge building with nothing else around. Also, the Honda does not have a place to safely attach my camera case, so the pictures were shot with my cell phone. Here’s what I got.

Houston County 1

#13 Houston County Courthouse, Crockett, Texas

Houston County 2

This picture is cropped to show the Honda a little better. Can you tell I’m very proud of this ol’ gal?

Houston County History

The Courthouse History.

An early observation seems to be that many of the counties have had multiple courthouses, and many were lost to fires and poor construction.  I had to look up the word “razed.”  This is a word I was not familiar with the meaning.

By the time I got home the sun had set and I was cold, but other than the elements I had a great ride and a great start to 2019.  Hope you did, too.

Later, Bud…

12/28/18 – Last one before 2019…

It’s Friday, the sky is bright blue and clear. There’s a brisk wind out of the north which makes the 60 degree temp feel cold.  I called my nephew, Rob and he is going to meet me for a ride to Groveton, Texas and the Trinity County Courthouse. My thinking is: it’s Friday afternoon and the last working day of the year for a small east Texas town, there should be minimal traffic around the courthouse, and a great opportunity to park my bike in front for pictures.

Got my Honda Africa Twin out of the garage, checked and aired up the tires, and we’re ready to go.

Met Rob in Point Blank and we rode to FM-356 in Onalaska. Took 356 to Sebastapol and FM-355 which leads to downtown Groveton. 356 provides great views of Lake Livingston and 355 is just a great 2-lane blacktop for 14 miles. During this 14 miles we encountered about three areas with signs that stated “Loose Gravel”.  I hate loose gravel, especially at 70 MPH. I guess the signs were old and the gravel had time to pack down, but it ain’t worth the chance, I always slow down and approach with caution. On the way back – will that’s a different story.

Before heading to Groveton, I did a little research about the courthouse. Appears Trinity County has two; one is a showplace and the other is a functioning court. Even has the office for the District Judge.

Here’s pictures of both:

Trinity County 1

#12 Trinity County Courthouse, Groveton, Texas

This is a classic Texas Courthouse.  Isn’t it a grand looking building?

Trinity County History

… the history.

… and the other courthouse.

Trinity County 2

Also, a classic Texas Courthouse.

This weekend is suppose to be in the 40s, so I think I’ll leave the bikes in the garage. Maybe work on the 1978 Honda SS, and get it ready for a photo shot.

See ya next year, Bud…

12/16/18 – Rode a big loop …

and wound up where I started. When looking at my map it appeared I could pickup three courthouses today by riding a loop from Coldspring to Kountze, Woodville, Livingston, and back home to Coldspring. Total mileage was about 170 miles. It could have been a bit shorter, but I choose not to follow my navigation app and added an extra 10 miles to the trip.

I won’t go into details of the route I took to Kountze. I don’t think Stringtown Rd. is on the map; however, it was picturesque and worth the extra miles (and time).

First stop Hardin County Courthouse. A bit unusual so I took a couple of photos from different angles.

Hardin County 1

#9 Hardin County Courthouse, Kountze, Texas

This is from the west side of the courthouse; the only place to park the sidecar and have it in the picture.

Here’s a bit of diversion.  I like motorcycles with character, and lets face it a 2003 Suzuki VL-800 lacks character.  But hang a sidecar on it and instance CHARACTER.  Everywhere you stop people want to talk about it.  A guy passed me today driving an ol’ Buick with fenders flapping, pulled along side me so he could give it a Thumbs Up.  Made me proud to be driving something with Character.  Now on with the show…

Hardin County 2

This is from the street side (north side of the building), no place to park and the sun was in the wrong place to get a really good shot.  I had to adjust, and this is what I got.

Hardin County History

I read this marque a couple of times trying to determine the two very different architectures, and here’s what I came up with: The dome and columns in the front of this new(er) building are reproductions of the original old courthouse, or they actually came from the old courthouse and placed in front of the new one. Both of my conclusions are wild ass guesses. You are welcome to come up with you own theory.

Hardin County 3

I rode around town looking for the law offices referred to on the marque and didn’t find anything that resembled what is described here. So, from Kountze it is a straight shot up US 287 to Woodville, and my second courthouse for today.  BTW – Mama Jack’s has an excellent Sunday buffet.  Right there on 287.

Tyler County

#10 Tyler County Courthouse, Woodville, Texas

Not a lot to say about Tyler County’s Courthouse. They did provide me with adequate parking for my picture. It’s a cool ol’ Courthouse, very representative of the period when it was built.

Tyler County History

Now it’s a straight shot on US 190 from Woodville to Livingston, and Polk County. There was a lot of traffic on 190 for a Sunday afternoon, and I was guilty of holding up many of the folks that wanted to run the 75 MPH speed limit. Top speed on the side hack is only about 65. I did move over where it was safe for me to do so to let’em go around. Just trying to be considerate of the other drivers.

Polk County

#11 Polk County Courthouse, Livingston, Texas

When I got to Livingston, the traffic in town was not that bad and I got to park right in front of the courthouse. Nice looking courthouse that I’ve admired for the 20 years we have lived in this area.

The holidays are just around the corner and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to take some more pictures, but it will most likely be next year.  So, please check back and see my progress.  This is not as easy as going to Alaska and back.  Bud’s Trip To Alaska check it out.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !!!

 

12/15/18 – A couple of close ones…

Saturday morning and the sun is shinning, not a cloud in the sky and a great day to go for a ride and take pictures of courthouses. Since the temps are only expected to get in the low 60s today I though I would take a couple of pictures a little closer to home. Coldspring is only six miles away and Conroe is 40.

So I suited up for the cold, pulled the sidecar rig out of the garage and it wouldn’t start. The battery is just not strong enough to make it catch. Hooked up the battery charger and while it’s charging, checked the tires and did the rest of the pre-flight. Thirty minutes later and I’m on my way.

Pulled up in front of the San Jacinto County Courthouse and not another vehicle to obstruct the view.SJC

# 7 San Jacinto County Courthouse, Coldspring, Texas

SJC History

Here’s a little information about Coldspring, I bet you didn’t know.

Conroe is about 40 miles away and the back roads are perfect for the slower speeds I drive the sidecar. Took Hwy 150 west to Evergreen, FM-946 to Dabney Bottom Road which turns into County Line Road in Montgomery County. Worked my way through the back streets of Conroe to the courthouse.

Montgomery 1

#8 Montgomery County Courthouse, Conroe, Texas

Wow, what a different view from the one in Coldspring. Cars are parked in every space in front of the courthouse, except the one right in the middle. They must have left it just for me and the hack. You can’t really see the courthouse, it is behind all the trees. So be it. Some courthouses are like people; they are not very photogenic.  And to make matters worse, the afternoon sun is in just the wrong place.  Most of the time I can maneuver where I’m standing when I take the picture to reduce or eliminate the sunspots.

Here’s another angle.

Montgomery 2

Montgomery History

The marque doesn’t say anything about the courthouse, but I guess it implies it was one of the buildings built with brick and stone.

Tomorrow I plan to head out east and take a few more.

Later, Bud…