Cross Timbers Trails - Fall 2012

Page 1



Cross Timbers Trails VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2 WINTER 2012






A REAL Face “I just like the people here. Everybody is so friendly and willing to help out with anything you need, and they're cool people to hang out. It feels like a pretty big school, it's not a huge school, but the classes are smaller so it gives you more one-on-one time so the teachers actually learn your name and learn who you are.” SEAN GUINYARD Freshman kinesiology major and future athletic trainer, from Fort Worth Quoted in the Abilene Reporter-News

Become a part of something larger —

but uniquely your own. At Tarleton, you are more than a face in the crowd.


Jay Procter Farms, Inc. PO Box-108 Lingleville, TX 76461 . (254)-977-3553 .

BUY YOUR SPRING 2013 AD NOW! INSIDE FRONT/ INSIDE BACK COVER: $700 BACK COVER: $900 FULL PAGE: $500 HALF PAGE: $300 QUArTER PAGE: $175 ONE EIGTH PAGE: $75 Phone: (254) 968-9132 Fax: (254) 968-9411 E-Mail:


BOSQUE COUNTY 06 Local Residents “Flip” Clifton 07 A Horny Toad Walks Into a Bar... COMANCHE COUNTY 08 A “Penny” For Your Thoughts EASTLAND COUNTY 09 A Piece of Eastland’s History Restored SOMERVELL COUNTY 11 A Working Artist’s Studio & Gallery PALO PINTO COUNTY 12 Native American Artist Brings Cowboy Culture to Light ERATH COUNTY 16 A Step Back in Time at Oak Dale 17 Blast Into the Past HAMILTON COUNTY 18 Hamilton Central Perk 19 Hico Pecan Street Inn & Drink Shoppe 19 Small Town Pop HOOD COUNTY 20 Inland Getaway 22 Miyako’s: A Gem of the City 23 Kitchenware on the Square

COVER STORIES A Horny Toad Walks Into a Bar…

07 11 12

A Working Artist Studio & Gallery Native American Artist Brings Cowboy Culture to Light

Cover Photo byy Jennyy Cline Artist Jerryy Toney’s y personal p favorite,, the Nation’s chandelier. A three tiered light g with a Native American scene and iron feathers for hanging. g g Story on Page 12.


Kitchenware on the Square

photo by Briley Garrett

A close up view of scented oils at Uncommon Scents.



Welcome to the second issue of the Cross Timbers Trails magazine! Inside this edition you will find hidden treasures including eateries, unique shopping places, and new places to visit while you are here in our part of Texas. The Cross Timbers region consists of eight counties: Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Hood, Palo Pinto, and Somervell. Inside this publication you will find yourself taking a trip through all the counties and finding the well-kept secrets that are hidden in them. I challenge you to explore what the Cross Timbers has to offer and

let yourself be a part of what each county keeps close to its heart. A native of Montana, I keep learning new things about Texas and the Cross Timbers every day even after living here for the past four years. The Cross Timbers is a warm place that feels like home. All of the counties are full of local business and events for those of all ages and who are from areas near and far. You can find more stories, as well as our past issue, online at Like Cross Timbers Trails on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ CTTMagazine12. ď‚•








Jenny ny CLI CLIne ne Briley GarRett Monet GeRald Megan KRamer Jessica essica Lee LauRen LIght Caleb leb McCaig MeLInda Newton Brittany Owens TRe Revor vor Peele Rhyland Pittenger r Kandace Willett Kiley Widmann LauRen Wright


Cross Timbers Trails is published by Tarleton State University Department of Communication Studies Box T- 0230 Stephenville, Texas 76402 254-968-9132



LODGING & EVENTS Ashley ARapis Azia BRanson Dallas BuRCh OLIvia Cislo Angela Dittman Jaquelyn Driscoll Becca Escobar


Jordan GarRard Anastasia GRay victoria gReer George Houston Hall Ashton Hamilton Josh Harville Haley Knox

Mark Mallory Kate Murphy Rachel Peoples Keauno PeRez Hillari Raemsch Kelley Rumsey LInsey SandeRS

Dawelo SeaRS Jessica Sherman Jordan Simons Cassie StaFFord Alexis ViRay-Edwards Marissa Westbrook

Fiddle Steak

Family atmosphere, great home cooked food, and wonderful service are just a few things which set Fiddle Creek Steakhouse apart from the rest.

Creek House

I remember my first visit to Fiddle Creek like it was yesterday. Upon entering we were greeted in a rustic western style entry way by their hostess. Straight ahead through the saloon style doors sits the bar area. To the left is the dining room. We were seated at a large table big enough for the whole family, whcih is difficult to find in a small town. Old pictures and brands from locals serve as decoration in the resturant. It was so cool to ask servers questions about the various brands and see all the old pictures. Our food was DELICIOUS!! The rich flavors in the steak and crispness in the salad made for a very happy family. Fried pickles are a must with my family and Fiddle Creek’s are to die for! Full of flavor and made fresh when you order. My family has been going to Fiddle Creek for years. From large celebrations and family get togethers to small date nights with my husband, Fiddle Creek is able to accomodate. Each time offering the same great service and delicious food. This is what keeps customers coming back day after day. Sincerely, Sarah Smith Fiddle Creek is open Tuesday-Thursday 11am- 9pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm; and Sundays 11am-9pm. They can be reached at (254)968-7500.




A lot must be considered when it comes to making business decisions. Some people give most thought to money, while others think about their own fulfillment in the long run. Sometimes, though, business ventures are not decisions at all, but the product of a deep sense of community and social responsibility. Just ask Phyllis Gamble and Mechelle Slaughter, the “flip”-ers of Clifton.

In the most basic sense, to “flip” a property means to renovate it. Many people flip property to quickly resell it and make a profit, but Gamble and Slaughter were not looking for a profit. Instead, their renovation ideas stem from the simple desire to do good things for Clifton. Their most recent project, the Screen Door Inn, exemplifies their beliefs. Sharing a mutual enthusiasm for Baylor

sports, Gamble and Slaughter’s relationship evolved from friends to business partners when they realized they also shared a love for small, rural communities like Clifton. This love took on a physical shape when they began their first building restoration, the CLIFTEX Theatre. “We simply were trying to do something positive for Clifton … and wanted to make sure communities like Clifton were here for future generations,” Gamble said. The CLIFTEX is Texas’ oldest running movie theatre, boasting quite a colorful history of its own. It was there that Gamble and Slaughter found their next project— the Brooks Building, located right across the street. The Brooks Building was destroyed in a fire in 1906 and immediately rebuilt, the second floor serving various uses for roughly five decades. Then business died away and the building sat empty, quietly falling apart. “We were literally watching it deteriorate right before our eyes and often said, ‘I wish somebody would buy that building and do something with it.’ Turned out that ‘somebody’ was us,” Gamble said. With the help of local contractors and other service providers, Gamble and Slaughter began a nine-month restoration project that resulted in the grand opening of the Screen Door Inn in February of this year.


photo by Megan Kramer

The Screen Door Inn bed and breakfast is located at 110 N. Avenue D in Clifton. To make a reservation or learn more you can call them at 254-675STAY or visit them online at


Both Gamble and Slaughter wanted to preserve the historic charm of the building while simultaneously creating a comfortable, modern atmosphere for guests of the Screen Door Inn. They achieved this by keeping select features of the original building and combining them with modern amenities. For example, the Inn gets its name from the screen doors that once provided air circulation throughout the building. The building now has air conditioning, but the screen doors were preserved and hang on all room doors. They also left some

areas of the original brick walls exposed, and the beaded ceiling, bead board walls, and pine floors of the Inn’s hallway are original. Gamble and Slaughter hope the preservation of the building’s history will have a positive effect on business. “We think historical buildings can be enjoyable and educational, especially in communities like Clifton. Most residents remember these buildings from their childhood. Now they are enjoying [them] with their children and grandchildren,” Gamble said. Back in the 1900s the second floor of the Brooks Building served various uses, including boarding house, hotel, and apartments, so naturally the Screen Door Inn’s seven rooms are all on this floor. Each room carries its own name and unique decor, which Gamble and Slaughter drew from the surrounding community. “We believe Bosque County is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and so are its people,” Gamble said. Consequently, they named one room Bosque, and another Jennie’s Garden, after Jennie Gilliam, Bosque County’s oldest living resident. Breakfast is served in the cafe, Somethin’s Brewing, on the bottom floor. This specific area of the building was formerly the Corner Pharmacy, and the cafe has preserved many of its historic features, such as the soda fountain, Italian marble bar, bar stools and stained glass bar back. Gamble and Slaughter’s renovation work benefits the Clifton community and also gives satisfaction to the “flip”ers themselves. “Both projects have allowed us to meet and get to know almost every person in the county, from age 2 to 92,” Gamble said. “We learned to appreciate and admire the skill and expertise that it takes to make a building or, in some cases, put them back together.” As for future flips, the women do not have any specific ideas. Gamble said, “We do not have plans for other restoration projects; however, we didn’t plan to do the Screen Door Inn either … so never say never.” 

bosque county

Algren said. He should know, since he frequents the bar every Wednesday night with about 100 other locals, and also for any event or band it hosts. Sandi Carlson, who co-owns and works at the bar with her husband, could not agree more. During an interview, she remembered an elderly woman of about 82 who would come in after church on Sundays and talk with every biker who stopped in. “It doesn’t matter—everybody gets along with everybody.” Another reason the Horny Toad is so popular could be because of the fact that it is the only bar nearby. Mix that with the family-friendly atmosphere and a bar full of the favorites, and you have Party Central. But the bar offers more than just a great atmosphere and drinks. The Carlsons welcome bands every second Saturday of the month and karaoke enthusiasts every fourth Saturday. Alongside the monthly events, the bar invites everyone out for photo by Rhyland Pittenger local celebrations like Septemberfest, Upon entering Cranfills Gap is the welcome sign “if no one’s home, we’re in Vegas.” In 2008 many residents Baconfest, and any other fest they can won a free trip to Vegas bringing the small town to the big city. They also welcome the big city to their small think to host. town at the Horny Toad Bar and Grill. The Carlsons also provide famous out the door. burgers, which were listed in the Cranfills Gap is mostly unknown, magazine, Bite of Wisdom, not only for even to surrounding towns, yet most of their odd names, but for their juicy beef the Horny Toad’s business surprisingly and fresh sourdough jalapeño cheese comes from cities like Fort Worth, bun. Other favorites include beer-battered Denton, and Waco. onion rings, jalapeño cheddar poppers, and “I’d say about 90 percent come from chicken quesadillas. the metroplex,” owner Owen Carlson Since the bar’s opening in 2006, the admitted. Carlsons and their family have opened it up to the community as more than Carlson reports that bikers “come just a bar. It is associated with Niki passing through” and stop for lunch on BY RHYLAND PITTENGER Covers the Cold, a fundraiser dedicated their way to wherever they are going. Besides these and locals, the Horny Toad to collecting blankets, jackets and other can expect Norwegian travelers to drop basic necessities for the colder months In 2008, nearly half the residents of in on occasion. That’s right; people come and distributing them to children in Cranfills Gap received a free trip to Las need. For more information about the Vegas as part of a marketing campaign. all the way from Norway to enjoy the fundraiser and the story behind it, you can The publicity stunt emphasized bringing tiny town and its thriving bar. visit The Horny small towns to the big city for a According to Mayor Russell Algren, Toad also has its own website at www. luxurious getaway. However, Cranfills also a Toad regular, Norwegians first, as well as a Facebook Gap has something that brings city settled this area. Now there are three page. slickers to its small town for a different families who vacation in Cranfills Gap It’s just a bar—with billiards, drinks kind of getaway—the Horny Toad Bar about twice a year and stay for two to and food, a jukebox and dim lighting. But and Grill. three months at a time. The “Gap,” as it’s the Horny Toad, a place for any group If you’ve ever been to a bar and grill, the town is nicknamed, takes pride in of people to gather for any occasion. It’s you know what to expect: a bar, billiards, this fact, and playfully argues that it is a small-town refuge for bikers and city maybe a jukebox, dim lighting, etc. And the “Norway capital of Texas,” despite slickers who grow weary of bright lights Clifton’s official claim. if you’ve ever been to the Horny Toad in Cranfills Gap, that’s exactly what you So, what is it that lures about 40,000 and tall buildings. It’s a story in itself, inviting characters from all walks of life to would find. What you wouldn’t expect travelers a year to the Horny Toad Bar add to the plot.  to find is 100-plus people hanging out at and Grill? this one bar of a 281-resident town, with “You can’t beat the friendliness,” bikes lining the street and a line winding





Clifton Inn 923 North Avenue G, Clifton 254-675-3333

Lakeside Village Marina Motel 265 FM 927, Morgan 254-775-4444

Norwegian Country Tour of Homes Clifton Chamber of Commerce Clifton December 1

Best Western Velkommen Hotel 1215 N Avenue G, Clifton 254-675-8999

Cliffview Resort 180 County Road 1802, Clifton 254-622-8897

The Arts of Christmas at Bosque Arts Center Bosque Arts Center December 1

Lakehaven Bed & Breakfast 321 County Road 1630, Clifton 254-622-3449

Open House at Meyer Observatory Meyer Observatory December 8

Dahl House Residence Bed & Breakfast 410 Avenue M. Clifton 214-368-1625

A Very Bosque Christmas Civic Music Association December 14

Circle Motel 9307 Texas 6, Meridian 254-435-2851 bosque county

Lutefisk Supper Cranfills Gap Lions’ Booster Club December 1 Christmas Parade City of Valley Mills December 8 Clifton Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet Chamber of Commerce February 23 Clifton Arts Association Fest Clifton Arts Association May 11-12 Bosque Tour de Norway Clifton Chamber of Commerce May 18 7




America’s Best Value Inn 508 W Central Ave, Comanche 325-356-5267

Whispering Oaks Lodge 124 Arrowhead, Comanche 254-893-2064

De Leon Inn 408 W Navarro Street, De Leon 254-893-2037

Comanche County RV Park 4574 Farm to Market Road 2318, Comanche 254-893-7040

Country Comfort Inn 900 W Central Ave, Comanche 325-256-3545



Why are coins left on graves? In Greek mythology, it is so the deceased can pay Charon, the boatman of the Underworld, for passage to the other side of the river Styx. Some believe it will bring good luck, or just want to leave a piece of themselves as a marker for their passage and esteem for the departed. There does not seem to be one definitive answer. However, when it comes to the solitary grave just near Sipe Springs in Comanche County, one reason seems to fit: that the deceased is well loved and respected, and has not been abandoned or forgotten.

Country Christmas De Leon Chamber of Commerce December 7

Santa Shuffle 5K Comanche Chamber of Commerce December 8

Cora’s Christmas Comanche Chamber of Commerce December 7-9

Wine Dinner Brennan Vineyards December 14

Sipe Springs (pronounced “seep”) is located at the intersection of Farm roads 1477 and 587 in northwestern Comanche County. The town was settled in 1873, and once held a booming oil economy and population. Unfortunately, the oil fields proved shallow and the town slowly declined to around 25 people, a cemetery, volunteer fire department, a masonic lodge and the small grave on County Road 185. The grave is hard to miss; its perimeter is lined with stones and is covered by flowers, toys, dolls, stuffed animals, an American flag and dozens of other random objects. The foot of the grave is marked by a granite stone, etched with the words “Little girl, Age 3, Name Unknown, Died 1870, Moving West,” and an older handcarved stone asking, “Who is this Little Girl? Age 3, 1870s.” There are two other markers at the top, each just as vague and twice as worn. The markers are dotted with

photo by Megan Kramer

coins, namely pennies, which seems to be how the grave got its nickname as the “Penny Grave.” The objects and coins are gifts left by residents of Sipe Springs and people just passing through. Not much is known about the child buried there, but many stories surround her. According to Texas Places and Faces, the area legend is that “the little girl and her family were traveling west with a wagon train. The child supposedly fell off the back of the wagon and died from head injuries. Her grief stricken family – miles from home – felt they had no choice but to bury the child there.” Texas Parks and Wildlife says the community has always heard that “it is a 3-yearold girl who died of sickness in 1870 (or thereabouts) while her family was traveling west in a covered wagon. Before the family moved on, they buried their daughter by the side of the road.” Even Tom Alford, the Sipe Springs cemetery caretaker, could only offer that the girl died while traveling and later on the county road ended up a few feet from where she was buried. “There’s just not much information about that little grave,” Alford said. With most of the town gone, it seems there may always be mystery surrounding “Penny.” She is not listed in any of the volumes of Comanche County Gravestone Inscriptions, which the Comanche Public Library’s own Margaret Waring wrote and compiled with her son, Samuel J.C. Waring, nor does there seem to be information about her in any other piece of the library’s collection that mentions Sipe Springs. No one ever moved the grave to the cemetery, even though the land was donated in 1873. “The county maintains the grave because it’s on a county road, not in a designated area,” Alford said. “When they come to maintain the road, they care for the grave, picking out the dead flowers and such.” Residents of Sipe Springs may have tended the grave at one point, but Alford says there’s nothing left of the town anymore. Even still, the people of Comanche County haven’t given up on “One of the Prettiest Inland Towns in Texas.” Ask Waring about Sipe Springs, and she’s ready with a county map and advice on the route with the best view. Whether you just like to travel or you would like to visit “Penny” and leave her a gift, if you’ve never been to Sipe Springs Waring says simply, “Well then you must go.”

The “Penny Grave” in Sipe Springs is located on County Road 185, just off of FM 1477. Many people have left gifts on the grave, including coins, dolls, stuffed animals, assorted toys, and ceramics.


comanche county

closed in the ‘70s. The Connellee closed down due to the building of Interstate 20, which rerouted traffic, and the building needed to be updated. Mabel Grimes Bradley attended her senior prom at the Connellee in 1953 and wanted to have her 50th class reunion at the hotel. In 2004, Bradley and her husband, Bill, started the Eastland Community Foundation to begin the renovations of the ballroom on the eighth floor, the east and west rooms, and the lobby. They also added an outdoor garden, in memory of her grandparents, called the Grimes Memorial Garden. The renovations of the Connellee were completed just in time for Bradley’s 50th class reunion. “Eastland was blessed with the renovations of the Connellee,” Wharton said. The Eastland Community Foundation has a 50-year lease on the Connellee so it can oversee the day-to-day operations and renovations of the building. The Connellee, which stands eight photo by Lauren Wright floors tall, is the tallest building in The entrance to the Connellee Hotel with original checkerboard flooring and lobby desk. The hotel is located Eastland according to the Eastland at 209 W. Main St., Eastland. Foundation website. “The Connellee is a piece of Charles Ulrich Connellee, one of Eastland’s history,” the three founding Wharton said. “I love fathers of hearing stories from Eastland, had “IF ONLY WALLS the visitors about a dream of how they used to starting his COULD TALK THE come to the hotel own hotel. STORIES WE WOULD and could hear music He also saw flowing from the the need for a HEAR.” ballrooms.” hotel because the town of The Connellee g DEBBIE WHARTON h Eastland, was now is used for many bustling during different purposes. the oil boom. The first floor has a Highway 80 was the main road that BY LAUREN WRIGHT historical lobby, caterer’s kitchen, and went through downtown Eastland, the East and West rooms are used which made the town a hot spot. for showers, luncheons, and small Connellee’s dream came true in 1928 business meetings. The Eastland The original checkerboard flooring and when he opened the Connellee Hotel. Chamber of Commerce and Visitors reception desk are just two possessions On a plaque in the hotel, Connellee Bureau are also located on the first that make the Connellee a beautiful floor. The seventh floor is occupied was quoted saying, “This is the place. From the grand piano on the by the Connellee Dispute Resolution proudest moment of my life, it is my left to, the old telephone booths, the Center, which utilizes the space for dream come true!” Connellee has a lot of history to tell mediations, depositions, and small visitors. When the Connellee opened, it business meetings. The eighth-floor was a 100-room hotel, and each “If only walls could talk the stories we ballroom hosts receptions, proms, room had its own bathroom, which would hear,” said Debbie Wharton, the banquets, private parties and business was unheard of at the time. On the executive director of the Connellee Hotel first floor, there was a restaurant that conferences. Floors 2-6 are a work in and Civic Center. served free coffee until the hotel was progress for future use. 



LODGING Eastland Bed & Breakfast Hotel 112 N Lamar St, Eastland 254-629-8397 Econo Lodge Eastland 2001 I-20 West, Eastland 254-629-3324 Days Inn 2501 E I-20, Eastland 254-629-2655 Holiday Inn Express 1460 E. Main St., Eastland 254-629-8071 eastland county


La Quinta Inn & Suites 10150 I-20, Eastland 254-629-1414 Eastland Hotel 112 N. Lamar, Eastland 254-629-8397 Budget Host Inn 2001 I-20, Eastland 254-629-3324 Super 8 Motel 3900 I 20 E, Eastland 254-629-3336

The Way Things Were: Texas Settlers and Their Building 1860-1930s Eastland County Museum Humanities Texas Exhibit January 3 Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence 114 S Seaman St, Eastland, Museum and Art Events March 1 – March 30

The Dust Bowl 114 S Seaman St, Eastland Museum and Art Events May 2 – May 25

The Ray Price Show Leaon River Cowboy Church on South Service Road in Olden November 17 7:00pm

The Blessings Of Liberty: The U.S. Constitution 114 S Seaman St, Eastland Museum and Art Events July 5 – July 27

One Starry Night 309 W. Main Street, Eastland December 1 5:00pm Chamber Mixer 209 W. Main St. Eastland Connellee Hotel December 3 5:00pm


: :DVKLQJWRQ Suite #1 Stephenville, Texas (254) 918-0322


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all photos by Jessica Lee

Owner Tonya Fonseca stands in front of her art studio at 111 Elm St., Glen Rose.

A WORKING ARTIST STUDIO & GALLERY BY JESSICA LEE Stepping into A Working Artist Studio & Gallery in the historical part of Glen Rose, you cannot help but feel an immediate sense of comfort. The walls are decorated with various pieces of artwork that burst with color and stuffed contentedly in the corners of the studio are both finished and unfinished projects by people of the community. “I do everything I can think of to provide art programs for the community,”


says the owner of the studio, Tonya being known as a “one-stop studio Fonseca, as she sits comfortably in for everyone’s creative needs” in the front of me removing her glasses. Stephenville Empire-Tribune, Fonseca says that because A native from she has a portrait artist Glen Rose, and a graphic artist Fonseca left the “HAPPINESS working under her, all all-too-familiar AND HAVING A of their different artistic town at the backgrounds cover all age of 18 and PEACEFUL HEART IS of art, which spent many ENOUGH FOR ME.” forms results in this artistic years traveling dream team being able around the to complete any art United States. g TANYA FONESCA h project presented to With a dream them. An example of this of being an is the “Greetings from Glen interior designer, and after obtaining Rose, Texas” mural painted on the an associates degree in art from side of the Glen Rose Auto Parts Northeast Alabama Community building. “I’m real ambitious and College, she eventually became an creative,” says Fonseca as she gets interior designer and art teacher in up from the table to show me more Sealy, Texas. Fonseca says that in finished projects inside the studio. ASAP (After School Art Program), As she shows me a picture of a saw she taught an average of 80 students blade that one customer brought in per week, and because of this the with hopes of the local artist being program was a huge success. “I able to turn it into a masterpiece, watched those kids grow up.” in which she succeeded, Fonseca Once back in Glen Rose, Fonseca claims that over the years she has opened the Green Pickle, which was had experience painting on various an art studio that turned into a beer surfaces. “The problem with being an garden. artist is keeping yourself reeled in… After selling the Green Pickle, she focusing on one thing at a time that I opened A Working Artist Studio & could paint or make a masterpiece.” Gallery. A building that was once Besides the fact that she grew a feed store, it has a loading dock and no running water, but Fonseca is looking to have that fixed by December. Even though the building only has the space to accommodate 12 people comfortably, the local artist says that she has no problem getting business or scheduling classes. “It’s art entertainment, is what it is,” says Fonseca, referring to the classes she offers at the Inside the studio are work stations and artwork displayed. studio. These classes include painting your own pottery, ceramics, $5 ornament up in Glen Rose, Fonseca says that painting during the Christmas and she returned because she wanted to Thanksgiving holidays, two hour raise her youngest of three daughters private painting classes with stepin a town that strongly supports its by-step instructions where you can children. “Happiness and having a bring your own alcoholic beverage, peaceful heart is enough for me,” and a summer art program for kids says Fonseca as she smiles at me that takes place every Thursday from across the table. “I’m an artist, throughout the months of June and and I’ve always been an artist.”  July. When asked about her studio

LODGING America’s Best Value Inn & Suites 1614 NE Big Bend Trail, Glen Rose 254-897-2111 Bussey’s Something Special 202 Hereford St., Glen Rose 254-897-4843

somervell county


The Lodge at Fossil Rim 1789 County Road 2009, Glen Rose 254-897-2960 Riverside Cottages 1140 County Road 315, Glen Rose 254-485-5300 Rough Creek Lodge 5165 County Road 2013, Glen Rose 254-897-3700

Dinosaur Valley Jackpot Show (20th annual) Glen Rose December 8 Spartan Race Rough Creek Lodge and Resort Glen Rose December 9

Brother-In-Laws Roping Kirby Hill and Jason Bottoms Somervell County Expo Center, Glen Rose December 28-30 Nolan River Kennel Club Dog Show Somevell County Expo Center, Glen Rose January 4-6

Paluxy River Spring Bluegrass Festival Oakdale Park Glen Rose April 4-6 Lone Star State Dulcimer Festival Oakdale Park Glen Rose May 10-12




Days Inn & Suites Mineral Wells 107 Washington Road, Mineral Wells 940-468-2727 The Lodge on Lake Palo Pinto North Lakeview Drive, Palo Pinto 940-769-2600

Silk Stocking Row Bed & Breakfast 415 Northwest 4th St., Mineral Wells 940-325-4101



Knights Inn 4103 Hwy 180 E., Mineral Wells 940-325-6956

Hillbilly Haven Campground and RV Park 1081 West I-20, Millsap 817-341-4009

Best Western Club House Inn & Suites 4410 Hwy 180 E., Mineral Wells 940-325-2270 Coffee Creek RV Resort and Cabins 13429 S. Hwy 281, Santo 940-769-2277


Texas Star RV Resort and Bluebonnet Hall 4586 South Hwy 281, Mineral Wells 940-325-0123 The Cliffs Resort 160 Cliffs Drive, Graford 940-779-4555


Boyce Ditto Public Library’s Preschool Story Time Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce, Mineral Wells Every Wednesday Frontier Christmas Palo Pinto December 13

Old Jail Museum Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce Mineral Wells Every Thursday through Sunday Possum Kingdom Children’s Christmas with Santa Claus Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce December 8

Upon meeting Jerry Toney, one for a rustic chandelier to beautify may be surprised to learn that their home. They failed to find one this green-eyed, Native American, they felt conveyed the warmth and distinction of the true western spirit. tattooed, self-confessed former biker Verla suggested Toney build is, at the heart one; after all, he had the skills. of hearts, not “THE THING only an artist, Toney grudgingly accepted the but a cowboy challenge. I ENJOY THE artist. The After 10 or so attempts, master tool MOST IS THE Toney established a geometric and die that he credits for the COMMUNICATION formula maker and balance in his lighting. “Eye four-time WITH THE candy is geometrically correct. patented If the geometry is not there, CUSTOMERS.” inventor then the light is not right,” he found his said. calling as g JERRY TONEY h Unaware that the balance owner and and symmetry that are so welllighting designer incorporated into the design are for Cherokee Ironworks. integral to its appeal, one may be Toney accidentally became a summarily overwhelmed with the chandelier artist when he and flawless flow and artistry of the BY JENNY CLINE wife, Verla Toney, were searching piece and is likely to presume it just happened effortlessly. The Cherokee Ironworks showroom is a splendid presentation of Toney’s work, and bathes entering seekers of light in a soft, diffused, golden glow, reminiscent of the lamp lit days of the Old West. Toney said his intention was to “make the object the light and not the light the object.” He accomplished this by developing a special adhesive, which he patented, to join Lexan plastic with muslin in a canvas that softly illuminates and backlights the sculptural features of each fixture. The showroom exhibits everything from light plate covers and simple, singular sconces to monumental chandeliers that illustrate cowboy life and even movie scenes, such as the 3:10 to Yuma chandelier. Every fixture is gracefully irradiated with a silhouette-like figure or scene that is emblematic to western culture. While every piece he designs is demonstrative of his passion for cowboy culture, one in particular holds an exceptional connection for all photos by Jenny Cline him. “The Nations chandelier… that’s Artist Jerry Toney poses at Cherokee Iron Works located at 201 W. Hubbard (Hwy 180 W). For more Jerry’s favorite; that’s my piece. That information contact by phone 940-325-4300, fax 940-325-4326 or e-mail at to me is the balance of Indian art,” Cherokee Iron Works is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is closed on Verla said. Sunday.

This stunning fixture is aglow with Native American symbolism and suspended by iron feathers for hanging. Although he relates deeply to his Cherokee roots, Toney said,

Toney’s first bike-to-motorbike conversion.

“I am a better cowboy artist than I am an Indian artist.” This particular creation challenges that statement. Toney said he gets his inspiration from people’s hearts. “I think that it’s an honor to have someone buy even a small piece, a candleholder, anything that I’ve built with my hands; they’re going to take that and honor me by putting that in their house.” Toney also creates custom lighting, consulting extensively with clients in order to bring their vision to light. “The thing I enjoy the most is the communication with the customers. I like building the lights after they tell me what they want; but, to communicate and build something that somebody asked for and them go ‘that’s what I ordered.’ It’s more fulfilling to communicate with people than it is just to build something out of metal.” His art is meaningful in that it “makes your house happy,” as Toney describes, and also in a broader scope of preserving a part of an historic, rich, American culture. His passion and artistic contributions were recognized in 2003 when he was awarded the Western Way award by the Western Music Association, an award presented to people who keep the western way of life alive, which he proudly displays on the wall behind the counter. A man of many talents, Toney not only has four U.S. patents, but he also converts bicycles to motor bikes. He purchases the bicycles palo pinto county

from a company in New York and the motors come from Harley-Davidson. Toney designs and builds the sheet metal and casings for the adaptation and builds both single cylinders

and V-twins. His first endeavor at this conversion cost him close to $30,000 and is not for sale. However, he has perfected the modification process and has recently begun to build bikes to order starting at around $2,500. These retro curiosities will drive up to 40 mph and are very much an artistic yet functional amusement, a nostalgic reflection of times-gone-by. Such imagery cannot be achieved without understanding the mathematical and technical processes required to actualize an artistic vision, and Toney’s years of experience as a master tool and die maker, inventor and businessman have given him such skills. His creative vision and artistic spirit, however, are deeply rooted in a passion for beauty and a way of life that can only be gained by an open-hearted approach to experiencing life and truly living it. 

The guitar light captures the country music spirit inspired by cowboy culture.


LODGING Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites 121 Lockhart Street, Stephenville 1-800-315-2621 Hampton Inn & Suites 910 South Harbin Drive, Stephenville 254-918-5400 Econo Lodge 2925 West Washington, Stephenville 254-965-7162


September Song Bed Breakfast 615 North Clinton Street, Stephenville 254-965-6104 Hoof Prints Ranch 1495 U.S. 281, Stephenville 254-968-4393

EVENTS Chambermix Goin Nuts December 6

Kyle Park NYE Blowout The City Limits December 29

Chicken House Flea Market 8080 US 377 Dublin December 8-9

Artist Exhibit Featuring Rick Kime Opens Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council River North Gallery January 5

Holly Jolly Christmas Stephenville Chamber of Commerce December 11 “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” The Cross Timbers Area Community Theatre December 18

Artist Reception and Exhibit, Rick Kime Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council River North Gallery January 10 Annual Chamber Banquet & Auction City Hall at City Limits February 22

Artist Exhibit Featuring Grant Reid Closes Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council River North Gallery February 23 Theatre at Tarleton Presents “Chicago the Musical” Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center, Tarleton State University February 27 – 28 Parent’s Night Out at In-Zone March 8

all photos by Briley Garrett

Owned by Sheryl Bailey, Uncommon Scents is located on 305 E. Washington St. in Stephenville. The most popular scent sold is Leather, and the best seller is the Spicy Lavender Vanilla sea salt scrub, which embodies two differently sized salts, ground lavender and seven different oils.



Rocking your signature scent is not so impossible after all. Uncommon Scents, a business located in Stephenville, has made it possible with more than 280 scents, and an endless amount of scent combinations. So, how to get started? The process begins at the scent bar. There are actually two scent bars, each containing the same scents labeled and categorized into individual tubes. The scents are categorized by flower, fresh, earthy, wine, candy, kitchen, tropical, fruit, zodiac signs, designer, and essential oils. Begin with selecting a scent you “love” and center the fragrance around it. If there is not a particular scent in mind, start sniffing until something strikes your fancy. Play around with the different scent combinations and mixtures. Put a drop of each scent on your wrist, at least an inch apart, so the scents can stay as pure as possible, then mix together using your finger, add more if desired. So how much is too much? Employee Erin Terpstra said “nothing is too little or too much.” It’s all about personal preferences -- some will make their fragrance using two or three and others could use up to five or six. There is no limit to the number of scents you can incorporate. Once the scent or scents have been selected, decide which products to infuse. They have anything and about everything ranging from their homemade sea salt erath county

scrub ($8-20) to a fun and colorful ornamental car freshener ($4.95). After the basics, turn it over to the experts to help mix up that special blend. They begin their process by putting an unscented version of the product into the desired size container, and infusing the product using little drops of each scent. Terpstra said she does not stop mixing until it is exactly how the costumer envisioned it. The last step, which pulls everything into one, is the naming process. It is important to find a name that properly defines that particular scent. Once the name is set in stone, Uncommon Scents provides a recipe card, which is used to jot down ingredients that it will keep on file for future reference. All in a day’s work you can create your signature scent, bond with the ones you love, and relax while doing something “fun and… uncommon,” owner Sheryl Bailey said. Not only can you create some special memories, but it’s cost effective, and you don’t have to spend a scented arm and a leg doing so. 

Owner Sheryl Bailey displays one of the two scent stations and oils.




“I have always wanted a diner, but never thought I would do it,” Robin Fanning said. “We have always loved diners, and we always like to find places like this when we travel. We like the little out-of-the-way places, and the ornate and more original style stuff.” It is not just the décor that dates BY BRITTANY OWENS back to the ‘30s, the Soda Shoppe is an 1932 house from Thurber remodeled to dish up ice cream to Through the pink wooden door and all who visit. The house next door, onto the original hardwood floors, you nicknamed “The White House,” was the childhood home of owner, and are thrown back into a much simpler day and time. The walls are covered in has now become the banquet room, local memorabilia from the 1930s, and holding up to 100 guests for dinner. Asleep at the Wheel is on the stereo. Oak Dale has a family-friendly You have now just entered Oak Dale atmosphere that welcomes anyone Steakhouse and Soda Shoppe in Oak who is looking for something out of Dale, Texas. the ordinary. Children play in the backyard on the old cars and broken Located a few minutes off the down wagon while adults trade Stephenville square, this steakhouse stories from the past. provides hungry families with great food, for a great price. Run by People of all ages are attracted husband and wife team, Todd and to Oak Dale because of the old time Robin Fanning, this eatery truly is feelings. “The older people really do a family affair, with all three of the like it because a lot of people were Fanning daughters working together. actually raised in Oak Dale, and they get to look at the pictures on the The land has been in the Fanning walls and the menu,” Robin Fanning family since the ‘50s, but was never expected to become one of the leading said. steakhouses in Erath County. Oak Dale was voted “Best Steak


photo by Brittany Owens

Heading north on SH 108 from Stephenville, a bright yellow truck greets customers at the entrance to Oak Dale Steakhouse and Soda Shoppe.


in Erath County” by the Stephenville Empire-Tribune’s Reader’s Choice Awards for two years in a row. They serve up Sterling Silver Premium steak in all cuts from sirloin, strip, rib eye, to prime rib. “We have a lot of people that are in the meat business, and they come here to eat meat,” Fanning said. “You don’t get this kind of steak in most places.”


Great steaks and drinks are not the only things that this hidden gem has to offer. The soda shoppe makes fresh homemade ice cream daily that can be a real sweet treat. The recipe, which was blended from both sides of the family, is made in traditional vanilla and banana. “A lot of young people have never had homemade ice cream until they come here,” Fanning said. Oak Dale’s cook, Laura Huerta, has been serving up mouth-watering meals since the opening in 2009. Not only does she prepare dishes that keep customers coming back for more, she also bakes all of the pies from her own family recipes. Most steakhouses will hand customers a beeper and ask them to wait in a crowed lobby until a table opens up – not Oak Dale. They have a Wild-West town, created from old school houses from Lipan, right off the back porch where patrons can mosey through as they wait to be seated. There is a working saloon, which serves beer and wine, but party goers beware, the sheriff’s office is located at the other end of the row. The general store houses newspapers, children’s books, and vintage toys dating back to the ‘30s. If customers are looking for an upbeat, family-friendly atmosphere, Oak Dale Steakhouse and Soda provides a nostalgic step back for those wanting to relive yesteryear.

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with a little fence around the front. This was home to John Tarleton, the man who donated the land for the university that now bears his name. When Tarleton came to Texas from Tennessee, he found the cabin, which had been built by squatters, on part of the 10,000 acres of land he had acquired. According to Ritchie, Tarleton did not move onto his property right away, due to the fact that he found a tribe of Native Americans there. Instead, he went to Waco, where he married and divorced, and eventually returned to live in his ranch house and pursue cattle ranching. Inside the house visitors may find artifacts relating to John Tarleton as well as the university. “We have a copy of John’s pre-nuptial agreement, and we have a copy of his will that donated his land for the college,” Jeschke said. For those interested in Tarleton history, this house truly is a hidden gem. Grassburs, which are the official yearbook for the university, cover a wooden bookshelf in one of the rooms. The oldest one dates back to 1916. In addition to touring visitors, the museum also hosts weddings at its Chapel on the Bosque. The one-time Presbyterian church building was built in 1899 near where the current First Baptist Church of Stephenville sits. The museum acquired the building when expansion threatened to demolish the church. The chapel is Jeschke’s favorite part of the museum. “That’s my baby, so to speak, because I work with the weddings— booking them and stuff.” The 19-centurystyle white chapel offers a beautifully classic setting to tie the knot. photo by Kandace Willett Ritchie says her favorite part about the The Stephenville Historical House Museum is located at 525 East Washington St. in Stephenville. museum is the activities, especially one Office hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. For more information of the annual festivals, Bygone Days on contact 254-965-5880 or visit the Bosque, “because it’s such a family activity. The enrichment of Stephenville— preserving that and our history is Jeschke, the museum office manager, important.” says was Elizabeth Berry’s forte. A summer camp, Camp Pioneer, is also “The first question out of kids’ available for children to learn more about mouths when they visit is ‘is it Erath County history. Speaking of a past haunted?’” Jeschke said. “I don’t camp, Jeschke remarked that the kids sat believe in ghosts or little green men out in the heat of the sun “mesmerized” until I see it. I’ve by Ross’ tales. felt, but never BY KANDACE WILLETT For those interested seen anything in history, the here.” “THE FIRST QUESTION Stephenville Historical David Ross, House Museum is the At the Stephenville Historical OUT OF KIDS’ MOUTHS the weekend perfect destination. House Museum, visitors can find docent, said WHEN THEY VISIT IS Self-guided tours are ghost stories, tales of adventure, “the son of one offered all day every artifacts from Tarleton State ‘IS IT HAUNTED?’” of our business day and guided tours University’s history, and the perfect managers in the are offered Tuesday site for a country-style wedding. past swore he through Saturday, The museum property, which sits on g VERA JESCHKE h saw a woman 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Washington Street near the Bosque in floor-length Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. River in Stephenville, includes 11 black dress No matter if you are buildings, with almost all of them wanting to explore the housing historical artifacts from Erath standing on the landing of the stairs.” A paranormal grounds in-depth or just take a quick County. team later set up a recorder, but look around, the Stephenville Historical The oldest home in Stephenville never found anything. House Museum allows the Indiana Jones is one of the buildings belonging to in all of us to go on a little adventure and Robin Ritchie, the board director the museum. It was built by James discover the hidden treasures of Erath of the museum, said “their story is Berry, a sergeant in the Civil War, in County’s past.  that Washington Street is so busy 1869. When you enter through the that it is never quiet enough to get doors of the limestone cottage, you anything.” are greeted with 19th century music playing softly in the background and Toward the back of the museum the aroma of apple pie, which Vera property sits a wooden ranch house



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Pecan Street Inn Corner of N. Pecan St. and Hwy. 6, Hico 817-312-8907

Little Bear Creek Ranch 4660 W. Hwy. 36, Hamilton 254-386-8658 Hamilton Guest Houses

Magnolia House, Patsy’s Place, Hickory Q 407 E. Standifer St., Hamilton 254-386-8212



Where do you go when “your job’s a joke, you’re broke, and your love life’s DOA?” Don’t get stuck in second gear, find fun and comfort in Hamilton’s cozy bistro, Central Perk. Located just off the path of where Highway 281 and 36 meet, sits Hamilton Central Perk, a familyowned bistro and sandwich shop. Open by Blanca Sepolio and her three children in June 2008, the bistro is inspired by the hit sitcom Friends.

EVENTS Budget Inn 704 N. Rice, Hamilton 254-386-8959 Flying B RV Park 8th & Chestnut, Hico 254-485-5793

Christmas Parade and Tour of Homes Chamber of Commerce, 254-796-4620 December 1

Mark Sepolio, Blanca’s husband, is a general contractor who renovated the antique house that is Hamilton Central Perk. The house was originally built on farm land just outside of Hamilton, and had many owners until finally purchased by the Sepolio family who transformed the home into what it is today, complete with blackboard menu, black and white photographs, and various state license plates on the wall. Items on the menu include the Monica, the Joey, the Ross, the Rachel, even the Gunther and a Marcel salad. For non-Friends enthusiasts, these are names of the characters on the show including Marcel, one of the character’s pet monkey. Now do not panic if you hear that Ross and Rachel are on a break, it only means that Blanca is running low on bacon because both sandwiches share the ingredient. The most popular menu item, although not Friends-themed, is the stuffed avocado, which you can have stuffed with chicken, egg or tuna salad. All

Texas Steak Cook-off 254-485-2020 May 18

the items are made with the freshest ingredients including coconut flour and oil for their fresh pies and whole grain bread made by Blanca’s sister. Mark said you “can’t find a place in Hamilton that has as healthy food and is clean with quick service as Central Perk.” With all three kids graduated and moved away, Blanca mainly runs the bistro with Mark helping in the mornings. A picture hangs on the wall of all three kids as well as a blue star flag on the window for one of the sons who is serving in the military. The family is originally from Houston, but moved after the influx of people from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. When they moved to Hamilton, it only took three months for the family to create and open Hamilton Central Perk. Blanca has been an avid fan of Friends, even owning the Friends trivia game and all 10 seasons of the show. Customers of Hamilton Central Perk vary from Hamilton locals to guests from as far as New Zealand. Next to where you order, signatures from foreign religious leaders, a rodeo cowboy and a hand drawn picture of a horse by Race Hoss can be seen. The guest book shows more people from around the country and the world who have stopped and enjoyed the great service and food. Hamilton Central Perk has received the award for the Best Sandwich out of four surrounding counties for the past two years. Hamilton Central Perk is the perfect stop whether it is just for a morning coffee or a healthy afternoon lunch. 

photo by Jenny Cline

Hamilton Central Perk is located at 423 South Rice St. in Hamilton and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Hamilton Central Perk also delivers in Hamilton. “I’ll Be There for You” is the title of a song recorded by the American pop rock duo The Rembrandts recorded in 1994. It is best known as the theme song to the hit sitcom Friends.


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Dublin, homemade Bloody Mary mix from Drinkology out of Dallas, Texas Pecans and other goodies from Gilbert Pecan in Santo, sausages from Pederson’s in Hamilton, Wine-A-Rita mix from Texarkana, summer sausage, beef jerky and smoked cheeses from Butler’s Smokehouse in Stephenville, specialty sodas from Dublin Bottling Works in Dublin, Eventide bottled water from Parker County, Crazy Water from Mineral Wells, and specialty coffees from Austin, Fort Worth and Tyler. She also carries BY MELINDA NEWTON many wines from local wineries, Fort Worth and Waco whiskeys, Texas-made rum and several Texas-made vodkas. Every once in a while it is nice to get Her family has been in Hico for 13 away, and when that feeling strikes Hico’s Pecan Street Inn and Drink Shoppe is ready years. They own a ranch between Hico and Stephenville, with a business in the for you. With three quaint little rooms, and a Shoppe located directly below with local goodies, the Pecan Street Inn and Drink Shoppe is the place for a drop in. The inn is located near downtown Hico conveniently on Pecan Street, which intersects Highway 6. Since the inn all photos contributed by Jennifer Jones is walking Pecan Stree Inn and Shoppes is located at 202 North Pecan Street in Hico. You can distance to downtown contact them at 817-312-8907 and at Hico, guests who are staying at the Inn are in perfect location to some of the best things that the Western industry teaching team roping and producing saddles and crooked small town has to offer. stirrups. Her mom also refurnishes Owner Jennifer Jones said, “I have antiques and makes custom design always loved stores with local goods and western furniture. Her younger brother restaurants that use all local ingredients, is a professional team roper and is it’s just who I am.” With her love of sponsored mainly by Jelly Belly Candy localities, she offers local goods all Company. The Shoppe also carries over the store. When you walk in you Jelly Belly candy, mostly their “Cocktail are surrounded with local specialties Classic,” soda flavored, and Jelly Belly such as Eagle Mountain Cheese out of sodas to keep with the theme of the store. Granbury, Veldhuizen Cheeses out of



Texas visiting other popcorn businesses picking up any tips that anyone would offer. Finally, owners of another popcorn store in Southlake, Texas, offered to teach them the ropes of the business, from how to pop, flavor, and cook the popcorn. Hico Popcorn Works has been BY CALEB MCCAIG conducting its business in Hico ever since P-pop! That’s not a balloon popping; then. They can color popcorn in almost it’s the sound of Hico Popcorn Works, a small business located in downtown Hico, any color that you can think of, for any event. Weddings, parties, and gifts are right off of Highway 6, and the always perfect occasions for some of the products scenic Highway 281. they offer. And this isn’t just your everyHico Popcorn Works was opened by day popcorn with butter on it either. The Steve Douglas, a former Apple employee, range of flavors is something that will have and Donna McInnis. They moved from you scratching your head trying to decide the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2005, to which ones to purchase. They vary from find a small Texas town with a downtown typical, everyday flavors such as yellow shopping area, and an older house that cheddar, white cheddar, movie theatre, they could restore. After a few years caramel, and kettle corn, to some that the house they purchased was a project you may never have even considered on and getaway, and they had made many popcorn such as ranch, garlic parmesan, friends in the Hico area and decided to salt and vinegar, dill pickle, cinnamon make the move permanent. toast, and spicy jalapeno. There’s even one In 2009, they decided to start a called “backyard grill,” which is popcorn business and pitched the popcorn idea. covered with Steve Douglas’ own steak They traveled around the entire state of rub, which taste like it was a match hamilton county



Jones said “Jelly Belly Candy Company touches every part of our family’s business so it was only natural that I would carve a spot for them in my store.” With liquor purchases you can also find a few small sample bags of the jelly beans in your sack. At the inn, each of the three rooms has a western rustic theme that looks great throughout. The first room has two queen-sized beds and a bathroom that holds a large shower. Unlike the other rooms this is the only room that doesn’t have a claw foot tub. It is priced at $110 per night. The second room has one king-sized bed and a claw foot tub with a showerhead attached; it is priced at $98 per night. Last but not least is the third room that has two queen-sized beds, a bathroom with a claw foot tub, and separate shower. It is also priced at $110 per night. Each room has a touch for each different occasion such as a family getaway, honeymoon, or anniversary celebration. Those rates are for a two night stay or more. A $25 cleaning fee is added for one night stays. The arrival of the Inn and Drink Shoppes has brought more life to the small town of Hico. If you find yourself needing to get away or just driving through, stop on in and meet the lovely staff and check out everything that they have to offer.  made in heaven. Thomas Ferguson, a customer, and Tarleton State University student, says “Hico Popcorn Works is one of his family’s favorite places for gifts, and thank you’s.” He also says “The white cheddar flavor is absolutely addicting. And that if you can’t find a flavor you like in there, then you must be crazy.” Another great thing about Hico Popcorn Works is that they are always in stock. He says the amount of equipment they have in the store “is almost unheard of” in the popcorn business. He said, “I never want to be out of commission if I can prevent it,” and it doesn’t look like he will be anytime soon. Hico Popcorn Works is definitely a place worth stopping by if you are cruising through Hico. The town is friendly, scenic, and full of unique businesses to visit. Hico Popcorn Works is sure to amaze your taste buds, and make sure that you’ll come back sometime soon! They are open six days a week, 11-5 and closed on Tuesdays. 





A&A Lakeside Cabin 3211 Sunrise Ct. Granbury 817-230-4086

Contrary Creek Cottage 1303 Osage Ct. Granbury 817-563-2050

Dinosaur Trail Cabins and Cottages 2800 Hwy. 144 South Granbury 817-573-3023

The Windmill Farm Bed and Breakfast 6625 Colony Rd Tolar 254-835-4168

Brierhouse B&B 7711 Colony Rd. Tolar 254-835-5159

Granbury’s 29th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes-“The Tradition Lives On” Historic District of Granbury December 1 11-10 Art in the Cart HEB Market December 1 First Saturday of Every Month Breakfast with Santa at Camp El Tesoro December 8 8-11

Run For Your Lives Big Longhorn Ranch December 15 D’Vine Wine Presents: Merlot, Music, & Massage Historic Granbury Square December 28 6-8 Last Saturday Gallery Night Historical Granbury Square December 29 6-9

Hood County Junior Livestock Show Granbury Reunion Grounds January 9-12 Monthly Low Costs Spray/Neuter Clinic Cowboy Country Animal Clinic February 28 8:30 Kiwanis Club Buffalo Gap Restaurant April 4 12-1



Just outside the historic square of Granbury lies 200 yards laced with imported sand, tiki huts hovering over picnic tables, outdoor showers, restrooms, and a kiddie splash pad. Instead of driving nine hours to the closest beach, Granbury City Beach Park provides a place for the public to enjoy the water on a lake with a beach atmosphere. Constructed in the fall of 2008, the beach was originally an amenity for the Granbury Resort Conference Center. Authorization manager Pat Shepard of the conference center said, “The beach is wonderful and brings a lot to the community. It’s also free to the public and I encourage everyone to visit it just once.” Not only do people from the surrounding areas visit, but also

all photos by Ashley Parker

A long stretch of white sand on beautiful Lake Granbury. The park is located on East Pearl Street next to the Hilton Garden Inn.


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a full refreshment bar serves a variety of snacks and beverages, excluding alcoholic beverages. Mickey Parson, mayor pro tem of Granbury, said, “I don’t think I have driven past the beach and not seen anyone there. It’s what we call the hot spot of Granbury.” It seems as if people are flocking to this inland beach which in return, helps the community. “We have students that come from the local college over in Stephenville and “I DON’T THINK I HAVE that just helps with attracting DROVE PAST THE BEACH more people. And AND NOT SEEN ANYONE in return those students spread THERE, IT’S WHAT WE the word to get our CALL THE HOT SPOT OF name out there,” Parson said. “The GRANBURY.” citizens of Granbury come first, whether g MICKEY PARSON h that’s building an inland beach to go along with the other three parks or hiring a full security service to monitor the beach daily to keep the citizens happy and the environment family friendly.” Granbury City Beach Park adds to the growing popularity of what Granbury offers its citizens and visitors and is just one place in Granbury to splash into. 

One of the tiki pavillions at the park, perfect for picnics or to cool off in the shade.

people from the bigger cities that are a little farther away. “It’s attracted more people 100 percent. I’ve had guests check in from all over the metroplex area and that also helps greatly with the local business,” Shepard said. She also added that she has seen everything from weddings to birthdays and even church events held on the beach. The beach offers the rental of a large pavilion and six smaller pavilions for up to four hours for a reasonable price. Julie Smith, a resident of Granbury, said, “I rented the large pavilion last week for $50 and that got me four hours of shade for my son’s ninth birthday party.” Events and activities attract a lot of people to this beach, “not to mention that the people out here are always friendly and even the teenagers that come out are very observant of kids and to watch what they say and do out here,” Smith added. Even if you do not bring your own refreshments, there is no need to worry: Located on the beach is a child’s play area for those who are too young for the lake, and also for the young at heart.

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In many counties, Texas enjoys a chef where the table’s meals are its rustic charm and shies away cooked on the cooktop in view from big city life. Although there with creative knife tricks to create are many benefits to entertainment. a relaxed area, it “My favorite part is always pleasant about it aside from the “WHAT’S NOT TO to have a few food is the way they big-city worthy LOVE?” cook. It’s always fun to gems for dining. have someone grilling Miyako Japanese right in front of you. g LANCE MCFARLIN h Restaurant is Plus, the tricks are privately owned always a good time,” and found in BY KILEY WIDMANN said Lance McFarlin. Granbury. They McFarlin explained he was specialize in sushi, sashimi, and not a fan of sushi, but the hibachi hibachi. For a group wanting and the grilling is what attracted him hibachi, each table is assigned to Miyako’s. His group enjoyed vast and diverse types of Japanese food. Miyako also finds new ways to impress customers. “If you want certain types of sushi, you can go up to the bar and tell them how you like it. We even can make news rolls. We make new rolls all the time,” said Sam Kijnitchee, a waiter at Miyako. Kijnitchee explained that the menu for sushi and sashimi is extensive with cooked choices for customers not accustomed to raw fish. Looking at the menu for cooked items, some of the dinner menu was priced under or around $6. There are also salads like the seaweed salad and the calamari salad that should be recommended to anyone entering Miyako. The attire for Miyako is considered casual, but the atmosphere is what makes the restaurant seem elegant. Lights are dimmed, creating a glow around the room with piano music played overhead. Aside from the quality of the food, the service will also turn customers into patrons. During a meal, members of the wait staff is known to be personable and photo by Jessica Lee professional to everyone, not just the tables they wait on. Miyako is located at 715 Autumn Ridge Drive #104 in Granbury. Hours of operation are 11:30 a.m.9:30 p.m. Sunday-Saturday. You can call them at 817-579-8668. Miyako Japanese Restaurant holds a diverse menu for customers who appreciate both cooked and uncooked fish. McFarlin also explained there were other types of meat that guests of Miyako could enjoy if fish was not a preference. “I still don’t like sushi, but I do love regular Japanese food. I mean, it’s really just chicken and steak. What’s not to love?” 


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KITCHEN WARE ON THE SQUARE BY MONÉT GERALD The small shop on the Granbury square is a far cry from the Chevrolet dealership it was once was many years ago. One step into The Pan Handle and the senses are greeted with the smell of fresh coffee and warm, bright colors. A look around and you’ll find tea cups and coffee mugs, serving platters and cutting boards, a rainbow of spoons, spatulas, and whisks, and an array of other gadgets and doodads you didn’t know you needed for your kitchen but now must have. Heather Cleveland took a chance opening her gourmet tool shop in the fall of 1993 in the midst of a recession, but a leap of faith with naysayers in her ear proved to be the right move. Sitting in a coffee shop across the street from her store, Cleveland recalled her childhood fondly with talk of making crepes and Greek streusel, and named her mother as the inspiration behind what has become a staple in the Granbury community. “I grew up in a gourmet household,” Cleveland said. “My mom was always an intrepid, adventurous cook. She would try anything.” While she was in college studying photography and art history, Cleveland thought of her memories in the kitchen and after consulting with her mother, who was working in a kitchenware store, they mutually generated the concept for The Pan Handle. Though the term “gourmet” may scare away those who are recently mastering the art of boiling water, Cleveland emphasizes that her shop specializes in everyday, as well as gourmet, cookware. She wants to make sure that her store appeals to a wide range of people and cooks. “I want to meet the needs of someone just starting out cooking or getting their kitchen together or a professional chef that needs something more advanced.” In accessing the range of people Cleveland wanted to reach, the Weatherford native was methodical in choosing Granbury. “Granbury was seen as a retirement community but now has a range of ages from young people to families.” She loves that the area is a convenient distance from the Fort Worth and Dallas areas but is still surrounded by similar small towns and close-knit communities. “There’s a quality when you come to Granbury that’s intangible. There’s a feeling about Granbury that’s very comfortable; you feel good when you’re here.”


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sommelier, holds the classes once a month. Cleveland can attribute the success of The Pan Handle to persistence, endurance, and customer service. When renovations first began for The Pan Handle Cleveland recalls passersby saying they did not think a niche store would work in Granbury amongst the antique stores and gift shops. Cleveland knew she could not be the only one with a weakness for “kitchen things” and has today’s cooking industry to thank partially for her shop’s success. “With the popularity of the kitchen shows and the cooking networks and the personalities and the competitions all it’s done is help build my business.” And Cleveland has one woman in particular to thank: “Martha Stewart was hitting her peak right about the time I opened. Martha sold a lot of kitchen stuff for me.” Cleveland has kept her shop in business for 19 photo by Jessica Lee years on one simple fact: people still have to cook For reservations please call The Pan Handle at 817-579-1518 or vist them at 106 N. Crockett in Granbury. Address and directions of and eat. “When people do the residence will be given at the time of reservation. cook at home they want the good tools and the things Shortly after opening her store, that make cooking fun and not feel like a Cleveland decided she wanted to chore.” expand what she could offer her In the years that The Pan Handle has clientele. She wanted to educate been opened Cleveland has seen two her customers and build a loyalty recessions, 9/11 and other economic with them while giving them a fun events that could have been detrimental experience. She decided to start to her business. “No matter what the holding cooking classes in 1998, which she described as “dinner and national mood is – we don’t feel like going out, we would rather stay home a show.” with our families. That usually involves “By the end of the night you’ve cooking.” had a great meal with a great beer Even though people or wine pairing and have to cook and eat, they you’ve gotten still have their choice to meet a really where they get their “THERE’S A FEELING of cool guest chef. supplies. Cleveland It really is a ABOUT GRANBURY says what sets The Pan social event,” Handle apart from larger THAT’S VERY Cleveland said. chains that may have Ever COMFORTABLE; YOU lower prices is customer progressing, service. Cleveland’s FEEL GOOD WHEN naturally the staff is intimate with next step for YOU’RE HERE.” approximately five Cleveland was employees. One point wine classes. of pride is that she and She began the g HEATHER CLEVELAND h her staff remember classes in 2003 customers and what after taking a they’ve bought in the wine appreciation past. She said she wants course at Texas people to feel at home and comforted, so Christian University. Though they offer a cup of coffee when customers Cleveland does not sell wine in enter the store. Cleveland had tears in her store, she sells many wine her eyes when she recalled an encounter accessories and realized that with a customer that told her she comes more people were beginning to into the store when she’s having a bad consume wine and wanted to take day because it makes her feel better.  the chance to educate them. Ray Raney, instructor and certified


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