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LETTER FROM THE KIMBLE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
TOURING JUNCTION & KIMBLE COUNTY
PADDLING PUT-IN & TAKE-OUT
LONG AWAITED RESTORATION OF 94-YEAR-OLD COURTHOUSE
HANKINS DRUG STORE
SUMMER CLASSIC RODEO WEEKEND
UP & BACK BOAT RACE
MURAL FOR CITY OF JUNCTION
Welcome visitors!....to one of the most beautiful areas in the great state of Texas! I know, I know.....everybody says it. I encourage you to come see for yourselves. With miles of running water for fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and camping under the dark, star-filled skies....adventurers to Kimble County find that their experiences in “The Land of Living Waters” far exceed expectations.
To those of you interested in escaping fast-paced urban life, you’ll find that your time here can be as tranquil and restorative as you want it to be. Still, throughout the spring and summer months, there are fun activities, with a casual country flavor, for you to explore and enjoy. Think rodeos, parades, cool, smooth water, fat fish! You’ll find more about these in this guide for visitors such as yourselves.
And, if it’s hunting you’re interested in, this is the place to be! There’s some venison on the hoof waiting for you in Kimble County.
In this guide, we’ve provided a sampling of the resources and activities available during your visit here. We’ve also included a bit of the interesting history specific to this region, and info on exciting new improvements in the works around our county.
I thank the staff of The Junction Eagle for the extra time and hard work required to prepare this publication. Asia Happner took the lead in putting together this “Visitor’s Guide”, a major project in addition to her regular responsibilities at the paper, and I think she did an excellent job. Apparently I’m not the only one who appreciates our guides, as we consistently get requests for them from folks around the state and the country, plus, they are used by the Chamber of Commerce to distribute to folks who want to know more about Junction and Kimble County.
We are so grateful to the several authors who have contributed to this guide and to the shutterbugs who have shared their pictures. We asked for photos to highlight the beauty and activities of Kimble County. We were wowed at the gorgeous photos we received from Joyce Malatek, Kaylei Jameson, India Houser, Laurie Oliver, Clay Sterrett, Robert Stubblefield, Barbara Barnes, Kimble County Historical Museum, Jordan Keeton, TTU-Junction, Rick Peurifoy and Maryetta Johnston. Thank you for making your photos available to be included here!
Please shop with our advertisers. The businesses who have advertised in this guide are prepared to help you find whatever you need. They appreciate your business and will go out of their way to make sure you are well served, with typical Texas Hill Country hospitality.
Thank you for choosing to visit us. We’ll look forward to seeing you again, because visitors to Kimble County tend to return... and return again... and then, often, they decide to stay!
MAJOR PROJECTS UNDERWAY AT SOUTH LLANO RIVER STATE PARK
DEBBIE COOPER KISTLER, PUBLISHER
OUTDOOR LEARNING EXPERIENCE AT TTU-JUNCTION
HCA’S 17TH ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST
PREPARES FOR UPCOMING
LETTER FROM THE K.C. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Welcome to beautiful Junction, Texas!
In our humble opinion, you’ve just stepped foot into one of Texas’ friendliest towns. Here in our corner of the state, you will find gorgeous scenic landscapes, beautiful rivers, and numerous recreational opportunities. All of this, plus great shopping, amazing food, and a rich history.
There is a little bit of everything for everyone in Junction. The stores in town offer a wide variety of clothing and jewelry to fit anyone’s taste, furniture and home furnishings, and there are some fantastic resale shops! Our merchants also have all your sporting goods and recreational equipment needs covered…just in case you run out of bait while fishing or misplace your kayak paddle. And if history
is your thing, our excellent Kimble County Historical Museum will fill that need for you. This wonderful museum is chock full of artifacts and all the information you need about Kimble County and Junction.
After all that touring, shopping, and fun on the river, you have probably worked up an appetite. Our town has several options for you. Most of our restaurants are locally owned and we also have a few franchises. From BBQ and Mexican food to all-American classics, Junction is bound to have food to meet your cravings.
If stargazing is your thing, we have you covered! Our night sky friendly community offers a great view of our galaxy. On a clear night, you’ll see stars you swear you have never seen before. We’re so dedicated
to this that our state park, South Llano River State Park, was designated as an IDA (International Dark-Sky Association) Dark Sky Park. We’re not kidding about our night sky around here.
Whether you are here to hunt, fish, swim, kayak, bike, hike, golf, bird-watch, play disc golf, shop, or take in scenic views, Junction has something for everyone. We’re glad you are here and hope you enjoy your stay. If you have any questions or are curious about what Junction has to offer, please drop by the Kimble County Chamber of Commerce office. We love meeting our visitors!
TOURING & KIMBLE COUNTY
by the late Frederica Wyatt Miles upon miles of pristine waters meander through Kimble County, and the highways and byways along the streams and adjacent hills provide an unusual view of this area of the Hill Country.
The scenery is unsurpassed by any other part of the state. Wildflower drives boasted by neighboring counties pale in comparison to the panoramic countryside of the local area.
Although travelers catch a glimpse of the hills and streams as they travel hurriedly along the Interstate highway bisecting the county, those who opt for a relaxing motor trip can choose other routes via the many roads traversing the area.
A map of the county appears on pages 28 & 29, but because of size limitations, not all the routes in this story are shown. A more detailed map can be picked up at no cost at the Chamber of Commerce of Kimble County, 402 E. Main St.
Leaving the eastern limits of Junction, a drive along Loop 481 via the overhead suspension bridge, the traveler can view the waters forming Lake Junction as the river blends into a backdrop of Lovers’ Leap and Alta Vista Mountains. Bypassing Farm-to Market 2169 and saving its surprises for another trip, the motorist accelerates to climb the steep road carved from the side a mountain named in memory of a legendary Indian couple who leapt to their deaths because their love was forbidden by their tribes.
Before reaching the summit of the hill, a sign beckons to the right to a scenic area, where a breathtaking view of the city and its surroundings is an awesome sight. The concrete cross, erected many years ago by the Men’s Bible Class of Junction, and a gigantic Old Glory proudly flies in the breezes adding patriotic emotion to the site. This park
area was donated in 1934 by Mrs. Frank L.Wilson in memory of her husband. For some, the access to the overlook is easier if they continue to the top of the hill, turn around, and approach the entrance from the east. Loop 481 continues on past a roadside park, where the right-of-way is bright with redbud blossoms in the springtime. Ultimately, the loop intersects the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10.
FARM TO MARKET 2169, WEST
If the motorist opts to turn right on 2169 after crossing the suspension bridge (South Llano River Bridge) over Lake Junction, his view will reveal the rugged face of the Lovers’ Leap mountain as the road continues over a bridge above Cedar Creek. The old Scudder Water Hole is at the mouth of the creek as it flows into the South Llano River to the right. To the left on Kimble County Road 181 is the site of the annual pageant staged by local talent each Easter Eve.
The paved FM 2169 is routed past the rodeo arena, where many horses were raced in days gone by. The facility was erected in 1935 by the Hill Country Fair Association and is still a popular site for staging rodeos. The excellent golf course is adjacent to the arena. The Boy Scout camp grounds, inaccessible to the general public, are next. The 2169 route then leads to the en-
trance of the Junction Campus of Texas Tech University.
FLAT ROCK LANE
Approaching the Tech entrance, turn right onto Flat Rock Lane and follow the road to the old crossing on the South Llano River.
This is one of the more spectacular views of the sparkling river. Flat Rock Lane will shortly intersect Highway 377.
US HIGHWAY 377, SOUTH
A left turn onto the highway leads to a scenic drive with meandering curves and water crossings. Before the days of modern highways, the river was forded every mile or so as the traveler made his way in a southerly direction.
By the time the southwestern city limits are reached on 377, historical markers will relate the histories of the pioneer Bradbury Settlement and the Christmas Eve killing of young Isaac Kountz by Comanche Indians in 1876. The historic ranch established by John J. Smith is along this route. At Crisp Creek, another marker tells of the early FourMile Dam.
South Llano River State Park and Walter Buck Wildlife Management Area are on the left on Park Road 73.
Continuing along 377, the highway crosses Potter and Joy Creeks, and at a distance on the left, Chalk Bluff, at the mouth of the creek bearing the same name, is a familiar landmark. Long ago, tourist cottages were located along the
banks of the river, offering a delightful respite for well-to-do tourists from the crowded cities. After crossing Fox Hollow, one arrives at the historical site where the pioneer R. M. Turner family established an early ranch.
Crossing Bailey Creek, one finds an historical marker on the left describing an early roundup of a lawless element who “holed up” in the area. The next creek crossing is at Cajac, site of the historic Wooten Cemetery.
A bit further, a crossing of the South Llano River provides a breathtaking glimpse of the beautiful stream. A restored Evergreen schoolhouse, now utilized as a residence, is on the left before crossing a murmuring streamlet known as Fleming Draw.
Another crossing of the South Llano River is imminent, and the view on either side is exceptional. To the right is the mouth of Little Paint Creek. The next surprise comes as the road dips, and there, historic Telegraph Store comes into view. A marker relates the legend and lore of the area. Nearby is the ranch homestead established by the late Governor Coke R. Stevenson, who served in the highest office of Texas from 1941 to 1947.
The motorist continuing on 377 reaches Telegraph Hill, a steep and formidable ascent. KC 120 leads to the Watson Divide, but we advise the winding 377 for the most spectacular views. Home Draw and Christmus Hollow (so named for pioneer Theophilus Christmus — not “Christmas”) are to be approached with caution. In the distance, one can catch a glimpse of Paint Creek and its adjacent bluff. Further along, a deep canyon on either side of the road is Bowie Creek, for the legendary Jim Bowie of Alamo fame.
Shortly, one approaches the dividing line between Kimble and Edwards counties. For those wishing to continue their southward journey, sites in the next county include Seven Hundred Springs (inaccessible to the public except for one Saturday each year when Connie Sue Low, chairman of Kimble County Historical Commission, is privileged to host a “day at the Springs” for all interested persons).
Further along, there is a roadside
TOURING & KIMBLE COUNTY
park overlooking Contrary Creek as it unites with the South Llano River. The Guthrie Crossing of the Llano is near the old Paint Rock Springs, a stop on the Fort McKavett-Fort Terrett-Fort Clark Military Road.
STATE HIGHWAY 41
As you near the “top of the world”, Highway 41 leads east to the Garvin Store area. Several dry crossings of the headwaters of Paint Creek are along this route. If you choose to continue on 377 to Rocksprings, you pass the entrance to the Devil’s Sinkhole.
We suggest you opt for Highway 41 and travel until you reach Highway 83, and then turn left to return to Interstate 10 east of Junction. A portion of the famous Y-O Ranch is along the 83 route, and the ranches along the way reflect a memory of the Old West. You will traverse a part of Kerr, Edwards, and Kimble counties as you pass this way.
US HIGHWAY 83
Following Interstate-10 westbound into Junction, a right turn on US Highway 83 will lead into Menard County and on to the northern limits of the lower “48”.
As one passes the entrance to the airport, the Callan Graham Field, and the Coke R. Stevenson Memorial Center, an historical marker tells of the Christmas Eve killing of Sam Speer in the Indian at-
tack of 1876.
An adjacent marker relates the history of the first court held in Kimble County. The site was in the distance, along the main waters of the Llano River.
The county seat, in 1876-77, was old Kimbleville, but no courthouse had been built, so the court sessions were held under the spreading canopy of oak trees.
US Highway 377, northeast, directs a traveler to London, but that course can be earmarked for another trip!
A steep incline known as Foley Hill on 83 is ascended as the valley of the Llanos is left behind. The ranch country is scenic and a delight for sightseers, as wildflowers, blossoming redbud trees, and sumacs line the highway. Crossings of the headwater draws of Gentry Creek are some of the landmarks with informational signs erected by the Texas Department of Transportation. The roadside park along the way provides an invitation for a relaxing “break” for the traveler.
As the highway nears the northern limits of Kimble, a country lane (KC 370, popularly known as “Whiskey Road”) leads to London. But, continuing on 83, the head draws of Big Saline Creek are ahead.
The next “fork in the road” is FM 1773,
also known as Palmer School Road. That road leads to London, and if time permits, a traveler may want to return home via that route.
FARM TO MARKET 1221
At the intersection of 1773 and 1221, the Saline Community will be along the way. Several dry crossings of Little Saline Creek are encountered, and the historic cemetery and school are interesting landmarks of the Little Saline Community just over the line in Menard County.
US HIGHWAY 377, NORTHEAST
If the traveler chooses to take the 377 exit near Junction, he will find unexpected sites along the way. Gentry Creek, and the cemetery bearing the name of the pioneer Raleigh Gentry family, are landmarks along this route. Teacup Mountain, an unusual geological formation, is on the left as you view the Bradbury Mountains and Mesa Flats. A county road (KC 314) is on the right before reaching the ruins of the Teacup School. On 377, Reynolds (or Runnels) Peak is on the left, and Red Creek lies just ahead. To the right, FM 3480 cross-
es the creek and connects with FM 385. But continuing to travel in a northeasterly direction on 377, one reaches Reichenau Gap, where an historical marker relates the history of Adolph Reichenau and his namesake gap in the hills.
A short bridge spans the Big Saline Creek on the approach to London. The community cemetery is on the right, and signs mandate a slower pace through the little town. The post office was established in 1882, as related by an historical marker.
Churches, businesses, a dance hall, residences, a community hall and fire station are proof the town is alive and well. A capsule history of London is revealed on a marker at the community hall. A short distance away, Highway 377 passes the tri-county intersection of Kimble, Mason and Menard. The highway leads directly to Mason.
FARM TO MARKET 2169
East FM 2169 at Junction basically follows the route known as the Old Spanish Trail.
It was a portion of the San Antonio to Fort Terrett Road. Near town, it is now a corridor leading to local industries. As one leaves the northeast limits of
TOURING & KIMBLE COUNTY
Junction on 2169, he finds an historical marker telling of “Old Oliver,” a pecan variety developed by the late Y. P. Oliver. The ancient river bed known as “The Bogs” is twice forded before the traveler reaches Cloud Point, halfway between St. Augustine, Florida, and San Diego, California, on the OST. To the left, on private property, is the 1879 rock home built by William J. Cloud. A marker adjacent to the one for Cloud Point, gives a brief history of the settlement established by Alfred P. Browning and John A. Miller.
On further, three low-water crossings provide a breath-taking vista of Johnson Fork Creek. The next intersection is at Segovia, a namesake of a city in Spain. A turn to the left will take one past a crossing of Sycamore Creek and on up the “big hill”. FM 479 is on the left, but for this time, we suggest staying with the 2169 route. The road crosses under Interstate 10 and leads past Joy Creek and other streams and draws.
US HIGHWAY 290
Signs will point the way until one reaches Highway 290, where an overpass on Interstate 10 will take one to the designated route eastward. Here again, several dry draws near the heads of streams are crossed, including Little Devil’s and the Pedernales Rivers. FM 479 is by-passed before turning left on FM 385.
FARM TO MARKET 385
FM 385 in the eastern part of the county provides an unusual vista of the Blue Mountains. The White Bluff community is along this route between Harper and London.
The road crosses Falls Prong, Little Devil’s River and James River, and the descent down Coffey Hill is exciting.
The Brown community and its cemetery is along the way. This is the route traveled by Don Francisco Amangual and his cortege in 1808 while mapping a road to Santa Fe. One of the more
enchanting views along this passage is from Jones Hill, as travelers descend into the Llano River Valley.
Just before the crossing on the Llano (known today as Yates Crossing, but in an earlier time, as Beef Trail Crossing), FM 1871 winds into Mason. Along 385, one continues a drive that will culminate at the intersection with Highway 377, three miles south of London. We suggest stopping south of Yates to read the legend of the Beef Trailing Crossing etched on an historical marker. A waterfall empties Red Creek into the Llano above Yates Crossing. During rainy seasons, when the creek is flowing, the waterfall is a captivating sight.
FARM TO MARKET 1871
FM 1871 is another scenic route, and it is reached by a turn from FM 385. Myriad creeks are crossed as one journeys toward Mason. Along this road is the site of the John L. Jones Ranch, memorialized by an historical marker. A highway sign denotes the Blue Mountain community, and the road passes an intersection with the James River Road. In Mason County, another crossing of the Llano offers a splendid view. Known familiarly as White’s Crossing, the river is an enticement for sightseers and anglers.
FARM TO MARKET 479
Another distinctive route near Junction is FM 479 off Highway 2169, east. This course is within the bounds of the Blue Mountains, and the unpaved county route (KC 420) known as Blue Mountain Road, connects 479 with 385. However, if one continues eastward on 479, he will cross Jim Little Creek and enjoy glimpses of wildlife along the way. Just before reaching the James River, the road passes near the old homestead of frontiersman and Texas Independence veteran Creed Taylor. Immediately left, are the remains of a post office, known as Noxville since 1912. This was “new” Noxville, for the original Noxville is several miles further along this course. The communities were named for Noah Nox, who settled in the area long ago.
KC 443 is near “new” Noxville and connects FM 479 with US 290.
The ranching country is scenic, and one leaves “old” Noxville to the left as the stream known as Little Devil’s River is spanned by a lowwater concrete bridge. The Noxville School, built in
about 1880, is still standing (but is now on private property.) The Noxville Cemetery is some distance off the traveled road on KC 473. More ranches are traversed before travelers reach the intersection of 479 with 290, a short distance south of the town of Harper
FARM TO MARKET 2291
Following another scenic road, the traveler is greeted by water crossings, mountain scenery, and historic sites along FM 2291, northwest of Junction. The route can be accessed via IH-10, about six miles west of Junction at the Cleo exit ramp.
After the first crossing of Bear Creek, what appears to be a “mirage” appears on the horizon. Actually, it is a threestory mini-castle built by Englishman William Hall in the 1890’s. He named the structure “Brambletye,” and a capsule history is related on the historical marker there.
Nearby is the site of one of the first settlements in Kimble County, and an historic cemetery adjacent to the road has been in use since 1870. Another crossing of the creek is just ahead, and one will pass the site of the first Murr ranch in Kimble County. Henry and Adam Murr, natives of Pennsylvania, settled in Kimble after their discharges from the Army at Fort McKavett.
Shortly after again crossing historic Bear Creek (this is the west tributary of the creek and was once known as Viejo),
a traveler will approach the site of the historic Morales Ranch. Nearby is Cleo, once a thriving post office. The Bear Creek schoolhouse still serves as a community gathering place.
Two more crossings of Bear Creek are ahead on 2291, as the traveler continues northward. Ranches are on either side of the road, and the old Spiller schoolhouse sits to the right of the paved road.
This route is the pre-1941 JunctionMenard Highway, and 2291 eventually leads into the town of Menard.
FARM TO MARKET 1674
FM 1674 follows a westerly direction out of Junction. This segment of highway was once a part of Highway 290, also known as a portion of the Old Spanish Trail. The road crosses Elm Slough, draining from the north, before one catches a glimpse of the North Llano River near Falls Creek. Two historical markers near the Bolt Ranch relate interesting history.
A campsite of Marquis de Rubi in 1767 was at the junction of Bear Creek with the North Llano River, and during the settlement of the county, a Texas Ranger camp was at the same location.
The six-mile crossing of the North Llano on 1674 is a short distance past the turn off to 2291. Some creeks (dry except in the wet season) include Nixon Draw and Calf Creek. Ten-mile crossing of the Llano just past KC 2731 provides another scenic view. In an autobiogra-
TOURING & KIMBLE COUNTY
phy, Peregrinations of a Pioneer Printer, J. Marvin Hunter wrote of a trip in 1898, “The distance to Sonora (from Junction) was sixty-five miles, and the road was not much more than a cow trail. I remember we went up the North Llano for twenty miles, crossing that beautiful stream many times. It was in the month of March, and while glorious Spring had not yet burst forth, the scenery along the route was entrancing, and the rippling waters and overhanging crags presented a grandeur that cannot be described by my pen.” FM 1674 forks as one leaves KC 274 to the left. The route of 1674, straight ahead, will ultimately lead to ranches located in the Bois d’Arc area of the county. We suggest a right turn, where an underpass on IH-10 allows the traveler to continue a journey past Stark Creek and on to the Copperas community. The historic cemetery, school, and the old Methodist Church are located there.
After a crossing of Copperas Creek, a sign on FM 1674 notes that Ft. McKavett is some miles to the north.
Continuing on the route first taken, Loop 291 will take one to an overpass of the interstate highway and lead to the Buck Hollow community. A bridge spans the North Llano just above its confluence with Maynard Creek, and the traveler continues on to another interstate underpass, where the community of Roosevelt is on the horizon. The Presbyterian Church that doubles as a community center is on the left, as well as the remnants of the old schoolhouse. A nearby marker relates the Fort McKavett-Fort Clark-Fort Terrett military road traversed the countryside at this location.
The historic Roosevelt post office, Lyssy and Eckel Feeds, Simon Brothers Mercantile, Backdoor Cafe and several residences are located at this townsite.
After leaving Roosevelt in the background, the River Road (KC 260) is on
the right. The current route continues up the steep incline known as Roosevelt Hill. After reaching the summit, a left turn again takes the traveler over IH10 and then the access road continues parallel to the Interstate in a westerly direction.
SUTTON COUNTY ROAD
Sutton County is just ahead, but a short drive a bit further will add a delight to the trip. Another overpass is negotiated, and the county road offers an outstanding vista of the landscape as the route dips into the North Llano River Valley near the Cedar Hill Church of Christ. Turning left, one finds the serenity of Camp Allison is phenomenal. Shortly, the road bypasses the Cedar Hill School just before another fording of the river. Eventually, the road will lead past old Fort Terrett, now a ranch headquarters. The fort is on private property and not open to the general public. The route leads back to the IH-10 access route, where a left turn will lead to the overpass, and one’s course is retraced back to Roosevelt.
KIMBLE COUNTY ROAD 260
Although KC 260 is unpaved, the drive is worth the effort of pacing to a slow speed and enjoying the surrounding beauty of the river and the hills. At the southwestern edge of Roosevelt, the road is accessed. It winds along the North Llano River; hence, the local name “River Road”. This was the old Junction-Sonora highway and was a part of the OST route in earlier days.
Along 260 is the Cedar Hill Cemetery, and we suggest returning to Roosevelt from this point. A river crossing just beyond the cemetery is a bit treacherous to the novice driver and to those unfamiliar with the riverbed’s eccentricities.
FARM TO MARKET 1674, NORTH
Still another interesting route is FM 1674 as it traverses the countryside on the way to old Fort McKavett, now a State Historical Park. That site is one of the best preserved frontier forts in the state.
Both East and West Copperas Creeks flow along 1674 on its northbound route.
A marker will tell of the site known as the Coalson-Pullen Settlement. The Murr Community, with its neighborhood church near the highway, is “out this way”.
After reaching the Fort, a left turn is toward Sonora, while a right turn will lead into Menard.
KIMBLE COUNTY ROAD 370
In the northeastern part of Kimble, County Road 370 west of London between Highways 377 and 83 was dubbed “Whiskey Road,” probably because it was a direct route between London’s dance hall and the liquor store just over the line in Menard County. Today, the road has many crossings of Big Saline Creek before reaching a plateau. There are ranches and a subdivision of rural homes.
KIMBLE COUNTY ROAD 321
Nearer Junction, the Pipe Line Road, so named because the Texas-New Mexico Pipe Line’s facilities were erected along the route, is actually KC 321, off FM 2169.
A wondrous view of Johnson Fork Creek is along this route, and after a while, after winding past mountain peaks and crags, a spectacular view of the Llano River greets the eye. At the end of the road, a decision must be made whether to take the left or the right fork. If one turns left, the Grobe Crossing of the river is a short distance away. This route, KC 314, leads to an intersection with 377.
KIMBLE COUNTY ROAD 320
The right fork of the road will bring surprises. A wondrous view of the river is ahead as the road (KC 320) parallels the stream for a distance. Both Sycamore and another stream known as Cedar flow into the river along the way. The historic Ivy Chapel and School are along this route.
The county road eventually intersects FM 385.
KIMBLE COUNTY ROAD 210
The county road known as KC 210 off FM 2291 leaves Cleo behind as it meanders west with scenic crossings of West
Bear Creek. Even the head draws are spectacular, although they are mostly devoid of water except during the rainy seasons. Once upon a time, a post office serving the ranches of the area was located along the way and was known as Roca Springs. The road intersects the Fort McKavett Road (FM 1674).
KIMBLE COUNTY ROAD 450
An account of country lanes would be incomplete without mention of the old Segovia Road (KC 450) This was a part of the old Fort Terrett to San Antonio Road, and later a portion of the Old Spanish Trail. The road winds easterly from the Segovia Truck Stop complex, and first crosses Sycamore Creek. The Segovia schoolhouse, now a private residence, is on the right, and the remains of a once-thriving post office are adjacent to the road.
Two crossings of Johnson Fork Creek are along this course, and the Johnson Fork Settlement, founded by the Joys and other families, is commemorated by an historical marker near a Johnson Fork tributary known as Joy Branch. Remnants of old rock fences can be seen along the road. One can enjoy a panoramic view of Joy Valley as a steep hill is ascended. The end of the road intersects with FM 2169.
KIMBLE COUNTY ROAD 410
Another county road that bears mention is KC 410. It crosses Johnson Fork Creek and after meandering on a plateau, dips suddenly into the Sycamore Valley. KC 410 is a link between 2169 and the Blue Mountain Road.
Because of space constraints, this article has touched on only a few of the many country lanes in Kimble County.
They are maintained by the county, but they criss-cross private properties. It is well for each motorist and passenger to remember that all flora, fauna, driftwood, rocks and the like belong to and are under the control of the landowner and should not be taken from along the road. Some roads are dead-ends with no outlet, while others are a short-cut between heavier traveled roads.
Slow speeds and careful driving are a must, as many of these routes are caliche-based and unpaved. Their locations are along streams, for in bygone days, it was a must to have water nearby for weary travelers, for horses used for transportation and for livestock being driven overland.
Enjoy your drive “off the beaten path” in Kimble County.Robert Stubblefield
Paddling Put-in & Take-out Locations
SOUTH LLANO RIVER MAP
Junction CITY PARK
CROSSING STATE PARK TAKEOUT 11.2 MILES
MAIN LLANO RIVER MAP
YATES CROSSING TAKEOUT 20.4 MILES
BOONE’S CROSSING 3.6 MILES FIRST ROAD CROSSING 1.4 MILES *
TPWD Day Parking
KC 150: text 325-446-3154
Cupgrass: text 512-407-9357
SECOND ROAD CROSSING PUT IN 0.0 MILES *
If tubing or kayaking is your heart’s desire, the South Llano Paddling Trail at Junction is one of 38 official Texas Paddling Trails. The views are spectacular!
The designated “trail” begins southwest of Junction at the South Llano River State Park, continues downstream to Flatrock Crossing and ends at Junction Schreiner Park (City Park) above the dam.
Kayakers or canoers can leave a vehicle downstream or hire a shuttle service for launch or pickup. Parking is available
I-10 .5MILES DAM PUT-IN 0.0 MILES
TAKEOUT 15 MILES 377 N. Junction
Day parking for paddling trail only (no fishing or hanging out). You must text make and model of vehicle to landowner number above. * The only suitable stretch recommended for tubing.
at the South Llano River State Park for a small fee and is free at Schreiner Park.
Those planning to float or paddle the river are encouraged to visit the South Llano River State Park office for river condition information and cautions, approximate paddling times and fishing and current wildlife info. There are small rapids, occasional riffles and runs, but the river is relatively flat. Groups of friends and families will have an enjoyable time floating one of the most pristine rivers in Texas.
Throughout the year, Kimble County boasts several hundred different species of birds. Whether you are an experienced birder or an admirer of nature, you will likely notice the variety of beautiful winged creatures.
The area’s rivers and numerous streams, as well as its geological and biological diversity, make Kimble County and Junction an excellent area
Locations are now listed on the Heart of Texas Wildlife Trail West on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Among the favored spots on the Trail’s Llano Loop are the Junction wastewater treatment ponds, the Schreiner Park, Texas Tech University at Junction (with advanced permission), the South Llano River State
KIMBLE COUNTY BIRDS
Eared Grebe (winter)
Pied-billed Grebe (winter)
Great Blue Heron
Green-winged Teal (winter)
Blue-winged Teal (migrant)
Northern Shoveler (winter)
American Wigeon (winter)
Ring-necked Duck (winter)
Lesser Scaup (winter)
Ruddy Duck (migrant)
American Kestrel (winter)
Various “peep” sandpipers (migrant)
Great Horned Owl
Downy Woodpecker (occasional)
Northern Flicker (winter)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Loggerhead Shrike (winter)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (winter)
Cedar Waxwing (winter)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (winter)
Clay-colored Sparrow (migrant)
Savannah Sparrow (migrant)
Song Sparrow (winter)
Lincoln’s Sparrow (winter)
White-crowned Sparrow (winter)
Dark-eyed Junco (winter)
Western Meadowlark (winter)
Yellow-headed Blackbird (migrant)
Pine Siskin (winter)
Park and the adjoining Walter Buck Wildlife Management Area.
Just five miles southwest of Junction off Highway 377, the state park offers several high quality wildlife observation blinds. The maintained river habitat and feeding schedules assure that visitors don’t have to be seasoned birders to spot and enjoy the array of birds inhabiting the area.
Long awaited restoration of 94-year-old courthouse to beginby County Judge Hal Rose
Kimble County’s aging courthouse is finally going to be restored to its historic condition. This long anticipated restoration is the result of Commissioner Court and other community leaders’ efforts for more than twenty years. The restoration is being made possible through a cost-sharing grant with the Texas Historical Commission.
The current courthouse was preceded by two others, one built in 1878 and the other in 1885. The 1878 courthouse
sheriff allen Castleberry
Golf Tournament Scholarship
Held annually in April at the Junction Golf Course
We are committed to raising scholarship money so that students from Junction who aspire to attend Texas A&M University will have the resources available to them. Check our social media for more information on Club events.was destroyed by fire. The second courthouse was also damaged by fire in 1888, but it was repaired. built in 1929, was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 2000. An annex was added in 1973 for the District/
County Clerk’s Office. As that annex was not part of the current original courthouse it will not be replaced as part of the historic renovation.
According to the Landmark designation, the courthouse was “designed by San Antonio Architect Henry Truman Phelps (1871 - 1944). Between 1904 and the early 1930s, Phelps designed courthouses in more than ten Texas counties. While he based the Kimble County Courthouse on classical plans, its features are expressive of a new era in architectural design. By the late 1920s, Phelps’ designs had evolved to reflect the influences of the art moderne style. This [is] evidenced by the building’s geometric ornament, cast stone pilasters and stepped parapet and square pattern belt course.” More information on the courthouse’s history can be found on links at the website, http://texasescapes.com.
Former County Judges Andrew Murr (now a State Representative) and Delbert Roberts, with the support of many County Commissioners, were instrumental in finally obtaining funding for the restoration after 20+ years of trying. In 2022, the County received a Historic Courthouse Preservation Grant from the Texas Historical Commission. For a while now, unavoidable and continuing costly repairs have been required at the courthouse. There have been foundation problems, a leaky building, no working elevator, and other failing, old equipment that has become increasingly difficult and costly to repair, if repairs could be made at all. To say the least, main-
taining the building became cost prohibitive and not a good use of taxpayer resources.
The County Commissioners Court cannot, on its own, make renovations to the building without careful coordination with the Texas Historical Commission due to the Landmark designation. The currently estimated cost of the restoration project based on the initial architect’s plans made in coordination with the Historical Commission is $9,406,432, with the county’s share being $4,320,968. The County is now working closely with its construction manager, JC Stoddard, and architect for the project, Hutson Gallagher, to develop a firmer and hopefully lower construction estimate and bid for the project. If things go as planned, the restoration work on the courthouse could begin as early as June 2023, with a move-out date in late May for the offices in the courthouse. The courthouse restoration project is anticipated to take at least two years to complete.
The Commissioners Court looked at a number of options for temporary office space for county offices and ultimately decid-
ed that improving community buildings and paying rent to local owners would be the best choice for temporarily housing the county offices. The plan is for the offices of the District/ County Clerk, Treasurer, Probation (Adult and Juvenile),
Ag Extension and DMV to be in the former Medical Clinic Building at 105 Reid Road; the County Judge’s office will be across the street from the Courthouse at 127 North 6th Street and the Justice of the Peace’s office will be at 415 Main Street (along with storage of furniture and other items that will not regularly be used during the renovation). Regular court dockets are planned to be held at the Stevenson Center with trials to be held in one of the local church gymnasiums and adjoining rooms.
A top priority for the Commissioners Court is to carry out the restoration project in a cost-effective and timely manner. The current elected members of the Commissioners Court are County Judge Hal Rose and Commissioners Dennis Dunagan (Precinct 3), Kenneth Hoffman (Precinct 4), Brayden Schulze (Precinct 1), and Kelly Simon (Precinct 2).
The County Park lies just across the South Llano River from Schreiner Park. It can be accessed by going east across the South Llano River Bridge and taking the first left. The park closes each night at 10 p.m., and no overnight camping is permitted. Also, public consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
On both the south and north ends of the park are restrooms and playground equipment. The park also contains sand volleyball courts, a basketball facility and part of the local disc golf course. Throughout the entire park, wheelchair-access walkways connect the various improvements to private picnic areas, where families can gather to cook on BBQ pits and grills.
The natural assets of the park site are numerous. Large pecan trees provide a canopy of spring/summer shade, and the view across the small lake into Junction is picturesque. The park also features a canoe launch, allowing those with watercraft easy access. By paddling around the lake and upstream a bit, an angler can gain access to great fishable water.
COUNTY PARK SCHREINER PARK
Located along the western bank of the South Llano River, just below the historic metal suspension bridge that leads from town to Interstate 10, Schreiner Park, also known as City Park, bids welcome to locals and visitors alike.
A dam spans the river at the park, creating a reservoir that provides Junction with drinking water. Lake Junction, as some call it, is an attractive location for fishermen who want to set up a lawn chair and fish from the bank. The park is dotted with picnic tables and barbeque pits, and throughout the spring and summer, families can be seen gathering for outdoor meals, reunions and even washer-pitching. Organizations use it for group events.
There is a large pavilion which provides a covered gathering place. Located next to the pavilion, a basketball court is available. Part of the local disc golf course is also available. The park also contains a pool complex.
Public consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
JUNCTION’S PUBLIC POOL & SPLASH PAD
Don’t let Junction’s small town population fool you! The Schreiner Park (City Park) boasts a large public pool with a splash pad for children.
The pool and splash pad are usually open from late May until the beginning of August, Tuesdays-Sundays, closed on Mondays. Regular swim usually takes place in the afternoon with adult swim in the morning. A designated “family night” takes place a couple nights a week. The pool and splash pad area can also be booked for parties.
Swimming lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced swimmers are also available.
An updated pool schedule and pool contact list will be posted on the City of Junction website prior to this summer’s swim season.
TAKE A SWING AT THE JUNCTION GOLF COURSE
The Junction Golf Course is known for its beautiful scenery, wildlife and tranquility. It is located at the foot of Lover’s Leap, a scenic overlook of the city of Junction, the Easter Pageant grounds and the Hill Country Fair Association facilities.
Volunteers worked tirelessly to build the course in 1926….raising money, removing rocks, clearing trees, hauling dirt and building ponds. Today, the course is operated and maintained by the 50+ members of the Junction Golf Club.
All golfers are welcome to play. Usually,
no tee times are required, but with the limited number of carts, you may need to call to reserve a cart 325-446-2968 or for information. The course has lots of trees, ponds and a creek that make it a most challenging course.
There are women’s and men’s tee boxes on every hole. The course is open everyday from 8:30 a.m. until dark. There is a scramble each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. beginning when day light savings time starts. Join the fun, and give the local boys some competition.
Green fees are $25 per person for 18 holes. Cart rentals are $15. Disc golf players can access the disc golf baskets on the course for $10. Players are welcome to bring their own adult beverages and ice chests. Golf shoes or tennis shoes are to be worn; no boots or shoes with heels are permitted.
There are soft drinks, sports drinks, candy, ice cream and snacks available at the clubhouse. Golf balls, gloves and tees are also available.
Are you ready to test your skills on the links?
Disc golf in Junction has grown exponentially over the past 15 years. There are three full 18 basket courses to play in Kimble County: the City Park course, the County Park course, and the Junction ball golf course, where you can rent a golf cart and play in style.
The City Park course (Schreiner Park) offers free tent camping for up to three nights and incredible views, as it is located on the South Llano River. The scenic park has walking paths, picnic areas, a playground, a basketball court, pavilions and lots of shade provided by large old pecan trees.
Disc golf players are welcome year ‘round to enjoy the beautiful setting in the Texas Hill Country. Two tournaments are held annually – the Freezer (unsanctioned) and the Sizzler (sanctioned) offer challenging courses and enticing payouts.
Since the inception of these events, the Junction Lions Club has been sponsoring the Top of Texas Throw off of Lover’s Leap to benefit their local charities and scholarship fund. With its 700-foot drop in elevation, tournament players throw their discs down toward three baskets placed in the Easter Pageant grounds parking lot below in hopes of winning cash prizes.
Come see these incredible courses for yourself or visit Junction Tourism Board’s website for more details.
Whether camping on the river or staying in one of Junction’s other quality lodging options, be sure to take a look at the night sky before you rest your head on a comfy pillow.
Kimble County’s distance from any major city has aided in its low light pollution and has made it a perfect spot to get a spectacular view of the night sky.
In 2017, the South Llano River State Park became “Dark Sky Approved” by the International Dark Sky Association. The park ranks “3” on the Bortle Scale, which ranks skies numerically from 1 to 9 (with 1 being the darkest skies and 9 being least dark). This darkness provides visitors to the park with a spectacular view of the stars. This designation will ensure the protection of the dark skies not only within the park boundaries, but also for the local community and out-of-town guests.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife website offers a variety of interactive resources to make the most of your stargazing experience.
• Star Location Map
• Clear Sky Chart
• Real-Time Dark Sky Monitoring
• Current Night’s Readings
• Sun and Moon Data
• Spot the Space Station
Follow the South Llano River State Park Facebook page for night sky event updates.
DID YOU KNOW: The path of totality for the April 8, 2024, Total Solar Eclipse makes its way directly over Junction? What better way to view this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event than in beautiful Kimble County!
For all your windmill and pump services, call 325- 446-3456 or 830-459-7506
Hankins Drug Storeby Connie Sue Low
John M. Hankins was born in Prairie Lea, Caldwell County, Texas, September 19, 1877. Nellie Corkill was born in Conception, Duval County, Texas, July 7, 1880. Each moved to Kerrville, Texas, with their parents as children. They attended school in Kerrville and married there April 3, 1901.
John and Nellie and daughter Lois moved to Junction from Kerrville in early 1904, where he had worked for Capt. Charles Schreiner at Schreiner’s General Mercantile Store. John transferred to the Junction Schreiner’s store. Later in July, 1904, their second daughter Blix was born.
In 1907, they purchased the drug store from John Munn, which was located on the East side of the first floor of the second story Burt building, which was owned by Dr. J. W. Burt. Dr. Burt had his office at the back part of the building.
In 1909, Dr. Burt sold the building to the Masonic Lodge, but the drug store remained.
Hankins studied and took the pharmacy test and became a registered pharmacist in 1913. In those days, all that was required to become a pharmacist was to be able to pass the pharmacist test.
All supplies were brought to Junction in those early days by freight wagons from Kerrville, which at that time, was a 60-mile trip and took several days to complete.The drug store, in addition to being a prescription pharmacy, sold other drugs, sundries, pat-
ent medicines, ice cream, cookies, candies, fruits and sometimes at special times, like Christmas, had fresh vegetables. At times, even oysters were brought in on the freight wagons, packed in ice; and customers would bring their own containers, usually a small bucket, to pick them up.
When the freight wagons would arrive with ice, ice cream would be made and served in the drug store. What a treat that must have been.
In 1913, John Hankins and W. P. Riley purchased the lot on the southeast corner of Main and 6th Street, where there had previously been a saloon. They had a large two story frame building built. The Hankins-Riley Opera House occupied the second story, where
dances, home talent plays, minstrels, entertainment of all kinds, and a “picture show”, as it was called in those days. The shows, of course, were actually only pictures as the movies were silent.
The drug store was on the first floor. In the drug store, customers could buy pharmacy drugs, over-the-counter drugs, sundries, candies, a soda fountain, ice cream parlor, and fishing supplies, like cane poles, lures etc.
In the basement, there was soft drink bottling, and that was where the ice cream was made; the large freezers were powered by a gasoline engine.
The first ceiling fans in Junction were installed in the building. Since there was no electricity, the fans were operated by belts which were powered by a gasoline engine in the basement.
Of course, lighting was provided by gasoline lamps which had mantles and were pumped to operate.
There was a large popcorn popper, decorated like a circus wagon, mounted on wheels. The popcorn wagon would be wheeled out to the sidewalk each morning. There was a glass enclosed area where the popper operated. On top of the glass enclosure was a clown doll that delighted children as they watched it move up and down as the corn popped.
There was a large case of penny candies, each in a flat glass dish. Some children would take quite a while to select their five candies at the price of one nickel! There were also several different kinds of chewing gum: Wrigley’s like we have now and Long Tom, which was wrapped in bright yellow tissue paper with fluted ends. It was made of a long paraffin stick and sugar. Another kind of gum was called “Tickle Chickle Five Tickles for a Nickel”.
Candies also came in wooden buckets, and these candies were sold by the pound. The box candies were very popular as gifts for young men to give to their girl friends.
The building housing the drug store and opera house burned in 1927. A one story concrete building was built to replace the woodframed one that burned. There was a new soda fountain, serving all fountain drinks and ice cream. There was also a sandwich counter where crisp, butter toasted sandwiches were made and served. Curb service was offered and used extensively. There were tables and chairs and booths. The drug store was the gathering place for all ages.
One of the regular customers was Ellsworth McCampbell. He was the only colored man who lived in the community then. He was well respected and loved. He worked in the country on a ranch and would come to town each weekend to get supplies and a few drinks. He was loved by the children, as when they saw him they would run up to him smiling, and he would pick them up and hug them tightly. He spent his hard earned money buying candies for the children, keeping back only enough for his
supplies and a “few” drinks! He would walk into the drug store in the early part of the day and say to whomever was working, “Morning Glory.”
On one occasion, after more tourists began coming through Junction, Henry (Tuffy) Taylor was working behind the fountain when a young boy from out of town came in and asked for an Eskimo Pie. Tuffy had never heard of an Eskimo Pie and he replied that he did not have one. Back in those days some of the soda fountains and ice cream parlors referred to an ice cream cone as a “Say So”. The boy then asked, do you have a Say So? Tuffy thought the boy was trying to “pull his leg” and loudly replied to him, “If you want something, you say so or you get out of here!”
The drug store operated until 1946 when Hankins sold and retired. The drug store was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Moon.
John Hankins organized Junction’s first band, with practices held in the Hankins’ home. He played on local baseball teams, and built Junction’s first tennis court. He and his wife, Nettie, both worked with many civic projects. Mrs. Hankins was one of a group who were responsible for getting Captain Charles Schreiner
interested in donating the land for the Charles Schreiner Park (our present city park) which was developed and promoted to be used for public gatherings. John Hankins was a member of Woodmen of the World, Knights of Pythias and Masonic Lodge. He took the Scottish Rite degree in 1920.
He organized and served as fire chief of the Junction Volunteer Fire Department for many years. In 1930, he was instrumental in organizing the Hill Country Fireman’s Association and was its first president, served as secretary-treasurer for 20 years, and in 1951, was designated as life-time secretary and presented a gold watch by the members in appreciation for his service. Hankins charter and organizing 1928, was its first secretary-treasurer and served until his death in 1960, and was credited with 32 years of perfect attendance.
Mrs. Hankins (Nellie), and daughters Lois and Blix, were charter members of the First Presbyterian Church of Junction, which was organized in 1925. Blix Hankins Motley was ordained the first woman Elder of this church in January 1972
and served until 1976.
The Hankins had three children: Lois, Blix, J. M. (Dee).
John M. Hankins died December 27, 1960, in Junction, Texas, at the age of 83.
Nellie Corkill Hankins died June 15, 1975, in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 94.
Junction and Kimble County were very blessed with everything this couple accomplished. Like many of the early settlers of our community, they saw the beauty in Junction and Kimble County and wanted to help make it a wonderful place, not only as a to live but place where families could in safety, knowing there
SUMMER CLASSIC RODEO RODEO WEEKEND AUGUST 11 & 12, 2023
Friday & Saturday Evening
Each year, the Hill Country Fair Association sponsors a two-day rodeo and dances in Junction. On the weekend of August 11 and 12, there will be lots of fun activities: class reunions, family reunions, a parade and a car show all throughout the day. The Summer Classic Rodeo gates open at 6:30 p.m., and the rodeo events start at 7:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
Following the rodeo each evening, there will be a concert and dance at the Rodeo Pavilion just above the arena. Follow the Hill Country Fair Association Facebook page for rodeo concert performers. facebook.com/hcfajunctiontx
SUMMER CLASSIC RODEO PARADE
Saturday • 10 a.m.
The Summer Classic Rodeo Parade takes place on Saturday, August 12, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Traveling the length of Main Street and back, it will feature creative homespun floats, including class reunion floats. After the parade, be sure to check out the cars at the Martin Memorial Car Show at the Kimble County Courthouse.
MARTIN MEMORIAL CAR SHOW
Saturday • 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Do you enjoy examining antique vehicles? Are you wowed when you look under the hood? Are you old enough that the cars evoke good memories...wild memories (Ronald, Don, Dennis??)... of your youth? Well, then, the Martin Memorial Open Car Show is for you! The event is held each year in conjunction with the Hill Country Fair Association’s Summer Classic events and parade on the second Saturday in August, this year, on August 12.
Trophies and prizes are awarded. The event is held on the streets surrounding the Kimble County Courthouse in downtown Junction, beginning at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $25.00. Judging takes place at noon, and the awards presentation is at 4 p.m.
A variety of vendors selling food and other goods will be surrounding the courthouse as well. Vendor spots are $20.
Erica Rojas is the coordinator of the car show and vendors, and may be reached at 325-4465658 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
7TH ANNUAL UP AND BACK BOAT RACE
August 19-20, 2023
Attention experienced paddlers! The seventh Annual Up and Back Boat Race kicks off on August 19, at 9 a.m. at the Schreiner Park (City Park) dock. Race participants will have 12 hours to paddle and portage upstream to the First Crossing, then back down to the starting line at the park. The total paddling length of the race is about 32 miles. This event will be fun for spectators too!
Everyone is encouraged to cheer participants on at the park dock at 9 a.m. as they embark on their fun river adventure. Other points of access to track participants’ progress are Flatrock Crossing, South Llano River State Park Crossing (parking fees may apply), Boone’s Crossing and the First Crossing.
The awards ceremony will be held at the Schreiner Park pavilion at 9:15 p.m. All par-
ticipants who complete the race by 9:00 p.m. will be entered into a drawing for $1,000 cash and many other great prizes.
This will also be the second year for the Kids Up & Back Race on Sunday, August 20, at 9 a.m. at the City Park dock.
For more information or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact 325446-5087 or 512-516-9184.
A mural for the City of Junction (incomplete)by Melissa Burnard
A Texas Runs on Water mural can be seen on the side of the Meals on Wheels Thrift Shoppe located at 656 Main Street. The mural is part of a statewide campaign to celebrate Texas’ connection with the state’s invaluable water resources and to spur conversations and a broader awareness about the resources. The Texas Runs on Water website (www.texasrunsonwater.org/) provides a wealth of information about water in Texas.
The mural design was created and painted by Junction locals, Oly Limon and Christan Powers, with guidance from Big Seed’s Kristin LaRue, which, among other things, is a supporter of public art in this area of Texas. The Texas Water Foundation has developed video content to promote the mural, Junction, and the Llano Rivers, and the
video will be shared widely through social media.
The mural was made possible by contributions from the City of Junction, the Junction Texas Tourism Board, the Llano River Watershed Alliance, the Hill Country Alliance, the Kimble County Chamber of Commerce, the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, and private donors.
At the time this article was written, painting of the mural was still underway – see the accompanying photo that was taken on April 1, 2023. The website www.facebook.com/7thstreetmural shows the different stages of painting the mural from the beginning until its completion.
A block party at 656 Main Street was held on Saturday, April 15, to celebrate the mural’s completion and to welcome its presence in Junction.
Kimble County Airport (Callan Graham Field)
Join us in JUNCTION, TEXAS for these Exciting 2023-24 Events!
The Junction Area Farmers Market
Open every Saturday from March 18-December 16
KIMBLE COUNTY COURTHOUSE LAWN
9 AM TO 12:00 PM
Events with live music and free draft beer--March 18, May 27, July 1, August 12, October 14, December 16
9:00 AM TO 1:00 PM
Outdoor Women Gone WILDSM in Kimble County
Saturday, April 22, 2023
RAINS RANCH, 7 MI. S. OF JUNCTION ON US HWY 377
Just for Women! Just for Fun!
700 Springs Ranch Tour
MEET AT COURTHOUSE IN JUNCTION.
Motorcade leaves PROMPTLY at 10 a.m. for Ranch. Bring Bag Lunch and Lawn Chairs. For more info: 325.446.4219
Junction A&M Club
Scholarship Golf Tournament
Dinner & Silent Auction after tournament www.junctionaggies.com fb.com/junctionaggies
Cinco de Mayo Dance
May 6, 2023
for more info: 325.446.3190
Memorial Day Celebration
Memorial Day Monday - May 29
8:30 am - TRIBUTE CEREMONY Honoring Fallen
Veterans & Boy Scouts Troop 420 Placing of Flags FLAGPOLE AT JUNCTION CEMETERY ON US. HWY 377 S
For more info: 325.446.3157
Cowboys & Cajuns
Annually 1st Saturday in June
Saturday, June 3, 2023
ON 5TH STREET BESIDE THE COURTHOUSE
STREET DANCE JOHN CHRISTOPHER WAY BAND DANCE FOR FREE, EAT FOR A FEE CRAWFISH BOIL & COOLER CHARGE APPLIES
6th Annual “Hit for Sticks”
Benefiting Lexi Cardwell Scholarship Fund
June 9 & 10, 2023
For more info: 214.714.5653; 405.808.6959; 325.215.1600
Annually July 4th Weekend
Saturday Night—July 1, 2023 Free Fireworks Display!
DARK THIRTY • CITY PARK, ALONG THE LLANO RIVER
Sponsored by City of Junction
Saturday, July 1 PARADE ON MAIN – 10 AM
Celebrate the 4th in Junction!!!
Disc Golf Events
Sizzler July 28-29, 2023
For info: Hoyt Moss 325.446.6565 or Charlie Chapman 512.557.2482
Hill Country Fair Assoc.
Summer Classic Rodeo
Annually, 2nd Full Weekend in August- Aug. 11 & 12 HILL COUNTRY FAIRGROUNDS
DANCES & PARADE
gates open at 6:30 pm
Annual Martin Memorial
Open Car Show
Saturday, August 12, 2023
For more info: 325.446.5658 email@example.com
Up & Back Boat Race
Adult Race August 19, 2023
Kids Race August 20, 2023
SOUTH LLANO RIVER - BEGINS & ENDS AT THE DAM
For more info: Hoyt 325-446-5087, Hilary 512-516-9184
Junction’s 55th Annual
Family Fun Festival • BBQ Cook-off • Dance
Labor Day Weekend, Sat. September 2, 2023
Lone Star BBQ Society Sanctioned Cook-Off –
$5,000 Guaranteed Payout
LIVE Music • VENDORS • Kids Activities
National Night Out
First Tuesday in October City Park Pavilion
Hunters Welcome Events
1st Weekend in November
Deer Hunting Season Opens
FRI: Annual Library Bake Sale
@ WBC, LOWE’S & PARKER LUMBER
FRI: Hunters Appreciation Lunch
WEST BEAR CREEK GENERAL STORE
Sat: London Hunters Breakfast
LONDON COMMUNITY CENTER
Sat: Hunters BBQ Lunch
SIMON BROS. MERCANTILE/LYSSY & ECKEL FEED/ ROOSEVELT
Kimble County WILD Game Dinner
Annually, the Saturday after Thanksgiving
November 25, 2023
Eat Wild Game, Win Guns & Hunts & Live Auction of Hunts & Resort Trips!
• CHRISTMAS TRAIL OF LIGHTS - CITY PARK
• LATE NIGHT CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
Annually in December
• CHRISTMAS AT THE RANCH
First Saturday in December • 2 - 5 p.m.
SOUTH LLANO RIVER STATE PARK
Fun activities for the Family. For more info: 325.446.3994
• COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS CANTATA
Annually in December
FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, MAIN ST.
• Lighted Christmas Parade
MAIN STREET DOWNTOWN, ENDING IN
JUNCTION CITY PARK -
• Lions Club pictures with Santa Santa Claus will hear Children’s wishes immediately following the parade in City Park under the Trail of Lights.
Eighth Annual Junction’s “Trial on the Pecos Trail”
TSDA Sheep Dog Trials
Annually in February
HILL COUNTRY FAIRGROUNDS
6th Annual Predator Calling Contest
Annually in March
Predator Contest with Cash Prizes and Drawing at end of Contest on Sunday (Must Be Present to Win)
For more info: 325.446.3190
Easter Eve Saturday Morning. CITY PARK PAVILION
LIONS CLUB EASTER EGG HUNT 10 a.m. AGES 1-10 YEARS
73rd ANNUAL EASTER PAGEANT AMPHITHEATER BELOW LOVER’S LEAP • DARK THIRTY
FOR EXACT EVENT DATES AND TIMES, VISIT: www.junctiontexas.com OR CONTACT: Kimble County Chamber of Commerce 402 Main Street, Junction, TX 76849
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
AREA CABINS, CAMP GROUNDS AND RV PARKS
BEAR CREEK PROPERTIES JUNCTION
Off the Cleo Highway, FM 2291, on KC 210 email: email@example.com
BON TON ROULET CABINS ON THE RIVER
10 miles South of Junction on US Hwy 377 S. email: firstname.lastname@example.org 325.446.3154
CHARLIE’S BED ‘N’ BUNK
817.408.7329 or 214.649.1447 905 College email: email@example.com
COOL RIVER CABINS
866.41-RIVER 4 Miles East of Junction on Hwy 377 N. on the Main Llano River www.seedsource.com/ecotourism/cabin.asp
325.446.4620 419 College St. firstname.lastname@example.org www.airbnb.com
NORTH LLANO RV PARK, 325.446.3138, 2145 N. Main on the N. Llano
SCHREINER PARK (JUNCTION CITY PARK)
Located Along the South Llano River in Town. Swimming, Tables, Bar-be-que Grills, Small Covered Pavilion. (NO RV camping) For Reunions or Large Parties, Please Reserve at City Hall 325.446.2622
Note: Tent Camping Limited to 3 Nights
THE OUTBACK GUEST HOUSE
817.408.7329 or 214.649.1447
905 College – Back Lot email: email@example.com
SOUTH LLANO RIVER STATE PARK
For Information 1.800.792.1112
For Reservations 512.389.8900
Five Miles from Junction on Hwy 377 S. on the South Llano River
MORGAN SHADY PARK
325.215.2055 600 S. 6th St.
TREE CABINS AT RIVERS BEND
325.446.2224 701 Agarita St.
THE RIVER SPOT RV PARK
806.778.1712 312 E. MAIN
CANOE, KAYAK and TUBE RENTALS
KORNER STORE TUBE RENTALS
325.446.8823 601 S. Llano
2 Blocks from Flatrock Crossing
325.446.2829 126 Flatrock Lane
SOUTH LLANO RIVER CANOES & KAYAKS
Located 6 miles from Junction on Highway 377
South on the South Llano River
830.609.8836, 830.609.8329 or 325.446.3360
315 US Hwy. 377 South
America’s Best Value Inn - LEGENDS INN
325.446.8644 877.445.8444 1908 N. Main
LAZY T MOTEL 325.446.2565, 2043 N. Main
BEST WESTERN DOS RIOS
325.446.3700 244 Dos Rios Drive off N. Main www.bestwestern.com/dosrios
325.446.3730 111 Martinez Street
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES JUNCTION
325.215.4377 304 Dos Rios Drive off N. Main www.ihg.com
HILL COUNTRY INN & SUITES
200 IH 10 West at Exit 456
RODEWAY INN OF JUNCTION
184 Dos Rios Drive off N. Main www.choicehotels.com/ires/html/ RodewayHome
SUN VALLEY MOTEL
325.446.2505, 1611 Main email: firstname.lastname@example.org
762.227.1389 311 N. Segovia Access Road
GLORIA’S GONZALES CAFÉ
325.446.4202, 1106 Main
SIMON BROS. CAFÉ
325.446.2604 3179 W. State Loop 291
Behind Lyssy & Eckel Feeds
THE MILKY WAY 325.446.2215, 1619 Main
JUNCTION BURGER CO.
325.446.2695, 1907 Main
COOPER’S BAR-B-Q & GRILL
325.446.8664, 2324 N. Main
DAIRY QUEEN OF JUNCTION
325.446.2121, 2345 Main
COWBOY GRILL 325.446.2775, 2341 N. Main email@example.com
325.446.3541, 2031 N. Main
325.446.2629, 1606 Main www.isaacksrestaurant.com
325.446.2688, 1927 Main
Downtown London, TX, on US Hwy 377 N
of Living Waters”
325.446.8005, 2416 N. Main
MAURICIO’S QUICK STOP
325.446.4204 ,1101 Main
PADDLER’S PORCH BAR & GRILL
325.446.2829 126 Flatrock Lane
325.446.4524, 1977 N. Main
PILOT FLYING J TRUCK STOP
325.446.2085, 2342 N. Main
SONIC DRIVE INN
325.446.9200, 2337 N. Main
THE DONUT PALACE
325.446.3536, 1815 Main
TIA NENA’S REAL MEXICAN FOOD
325.446.4031, 2429 N. Main
SEGOVIA TRUCK STOP
325.446.3693 115 S. Segovia Access Road
THE HONEY BEAN COFFEE AND TEA COMPANY
325.215.1626 1502 Main St.
Monday-Friday 6am- 4:30pm
Saturday 7am-1pm Closed Sunday
EL JUNCTION BURRITO & MORE
325.215.1479, next door to CarQuest
AMIGO’S COUNTRY CORNER
325.446.3551 2349 N. Main
KIMBLE COUNTY MARKET
325.446.2432 2350 N. Main
KIMBLE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM
What started as a distant, maybe unattainable, dream for local folks is now a reality. Kimble County has a new, spacious, functional genealogy/historical museum facility. The county’s former obsolete, “what-are-we-going-to-do-with-it” hospital building has been carefully and beautifully transformed. The multi-year renovation construction is finished, and the historical artifacts, documents, photos, furniture and fixtures have been updated and catalogued and moved from the 1938 American Legion Hut building on Fourth Street.
In addition to the displays featuring the history of Kimble County and the surrounding Hill Coun-
try, the museum features one room containing memorabilia from the collection of native son, former Governor Coke R. Stevenson. There is also a dual-room area for the Frederica Burt Wyatt Genealogical Section to be used to facilitate research. A former hospital room has been retained largely intact, complete with Kimble Hospital memorabilia. There are a kitchen area and meeting rooms.
The dream has been realized due to the enormous work and financial support of many, many people. Please check out the new Kimble County Historical Museum at 130 Hospital Dr.
KC LIBRARY & THE O.C. FISHER MUSEUM
Whatever brings you to Kimble County, make plans to stop in for a visit to the local library. The recently remodeled library offers state-of-theart amenities while at the same time keeping that “small-town and homely charm”.
There are 17 public computers with access to the Internet, free of charge. Public WiFi is also available from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday, so feel free to bring your own personal devices as well.
The library offers a wide variety of magazines and newspapers and thousands of books in print, audio materials, and DVDs while also participating in a giant state-wide consortium to offer an almost endless supply of eBooks and eMagazines via the CloudLibrary app.
A beautiful coffee bar can be enjoyed in a relaxing atmosphere next to the newspaper sec-
tion of the library. Coffee, bottled water, tea and cookies are available on a regular basis. An outdoor patio is also available for those who like to relax with a good book out-of-doors.
Throughout the year, the library offers numerous programs for all age groups, including puppet shows, field trips, read-a-thons, STEM events, summer performers, an epic pumpkin patch festival, Picture with the Grinch, a newly minted gardening club, and much more.
Housed inside the Kimble County Library is the the O.C. Fisher Museum. It contains the memorabilia of US Congressman O.C. Fisher, a Kimble County native who served in Washington for 32 years and was known as “Mr. States’ Rights”. There is a duplication of his D.C. office, and relics of his political life and writings are on display.
One of the structures Junction is most known for is its majestic South Llano River Bridge.
SOUTH LLANO RIVER BRIDGE LOVERS LEAP
Construction on the quarter mile long bridge was finished mid1937 and only took 15 months to complete.
The bridge has since had several structural updates and still stands strong even after the devastating October 2018 flooding.
The pedestrian walkway on the bridge gives a magnificent view of the South Llano River and Lovers Leap.
In the preliminary stages of planning, the location for this proposed bridge was described as ‘the setting for this bridge, especially as approached from the East, is going to be simply magnificent. The new highway will come over the high hills for a splendid view of the canyons and the valley, and on down quite a large canyon to the bridge site, across a pretty stream, and into town’.
West Bear Creek at gear uP
Passing through? Staying a while?
Either way, Lovers Leap is a must see! Just less than a mile from the courthouse, this Kimble County geographical landmark towers 1,916 feet over the South Llano River valley.
To get the best view of the huge limestone bluff, take FM 2169 West past the Junction Golf Course and the Hill Country Fairgrounds. It will take you past the bottom of the magnificent bluff. At the base is a hiking trail. Take a right at Loop 481 and just a quarter mile up, see the entrance for the Frank L. Wilson Park Scenic Overlook on the southeast side of the mountain. The park is open to the public. Visible from Lovers Leap are the Junction Golf Course, Disc Golf Course, Hill Country Fairgrounds, South Llano River, and South Llano River Bridge. Sunrise, sunset and starlit nights are especially breathtaking when viewed from the top of Lovers Leap. You will not want to miss this panoramic view of Junction’s beautiful scenic valley.
KOW KICK FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL & BBQ COOKOFF
September 2, 2023
The Saturday before Labor Day, the Kimble County Chamber of Commerce hosts the Annual Kimble County Kow Kick, an arts and crafts fair, in the Junciton City Park located along the banks of the Llano River. Vendors selling arts, crafts, and food items are scattered around the park, which is covered by shade from the large pecan trees. Live music is provided throughtout the day and there are a number of fun, recreational activities for the whole family. Also featured during the event is the Annual BBQ Cook-Off. The event is a Sactioned State Championship. Contestants will faceoff to prove who has the best brisket, pork spareribs, chicken, and beans. There is a kids cook-off as well.
There are awards presented for the youngest and oldest persons attending, the longest-married couple and the person who traveled the longest distance to attend. The Little Mr. and Miss Kimble County Pageant also takes place that morning. There is no admission charge, so come join the fun!
Major projects underway at South Llano River State Parkby Park Superintendent Cody Edwards
Visitors from throughout and outside of the state have been heard referring to our community’s South Llano River State Park as a true jewel of the Texas Hill Country. It is apparent that our Hill Country gem is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for visitors. During the past fiscal year, the park attracted 63,803 visitors, generating total revenue of $456,607, which does not include the economic benefits to the community at large.
As the park’s new superintendent, having arrived in 2022, one important responsibility has been to oversee the completion of significant infrastructure projects that will make the park even more attractive for visitors. Information on these projects follows further below.
The park, which opened in 1990, is about five miles south of Junction and consists of around 2,600 acres. It was made possible
Buck, Jr. The park has one of the largest
has been designated as an International Dark Sky Park and is well known to stargazers. It is a destination for many species of birds and its four bird blinds are very popular with birders – our park is a prime habitat of the endangered Golden Cheeked Warbler. There are also over 22 miles of excellent hiking trails.
Having been in operation for over thirty years, three major park improvements are now underway, with work on other improvements to begin at the end of 2023. The park will remain open during the course of the projects.
Walter Buck’s old ranch house, which has served as the Park Headquarters, will be replaced by a new 4,473 square-foot headquarters. The old ranch house will eventually become an interpretive center with exhibits that highlight the ranching history of the land before it became a park. The new headquarters, located about mid-way between the park entrance and the old ranch house, will contain administrative offices, a park store, and will include drive-through service for paying fees and obtaining permits.
Construction of the new headquarters is expected to be completed by Memorial Day
(May 9) in 2023, with the actual opening of the new building for business taking place during June. The project is being funded by the Texas Parks and Department at a cost of $3,351,298.
Another important project is the replacement of an aged low-water-crossing entrance to the park. It will be replaced by an elevated bridge. The distance from the riverbed to the underside of the new bridge will be approximately fifteen feet. It is currently expected to open during June 2023, after which the temporary crossing will be removed. The bridge is being funded by the
Texas Department of Transportation at a cost of $2,649,387. This project will enhance existing opportunities for aquatic recreation, especially for canoers, kayakers, and tubers, as they will no longer be forced to portage around the low water crossing.
It is expected that the park’s first amphitheater will also be built and opened to the public during 2023. Construction is anticipated to begin as early as this May with the amphitheater possibly opening in the fall. Private funds will be used to pay for this project. The idea for an amphitheater was born following the tragic death of Bob Klemme, a park guest from Midland, Texas, who was struck by lightning at the park in May 2019. Funds have been donated by friends and family of Klemme, and the Friends of the South Llano River State Park have helped to facilitate the undertaking of the project.
The amphitheater will be an “open-to-theskies amphitheater, with rows of limestone blocks for seating set against a hilly backdrop.” It will be available for star gazing as well as a variety of other educational and park guest activities. The currently estimated cost of the project is around $105,000. Donations for the project are still being accepted. If one would like to donate to the project, a
donation by check (made out to Friends of the SLRSP) can be sent to: Treasurer, Friends of the South Llano River State Park, P.O. Box 174, Junction, Texas 76849.
In addition to the above projects, the park’s water and electric utilities will be upgraded with work slated to begin in December 2023.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of state parks in Texas. South Llano River State Park, along with parks throughout the state, will be conducting programs that celebrate the history of our parks and of the Texas
State Park System. The culmination of these capital projects during the centennial year of our state park system highlights the positive momentum of the Texas State Park system and sets the stage for the next 100 years. The Park staff and I, along with my wife Jamie and our 6-year-old daughter, extend an open welcome to all visitors and look forward to making your visit a truly enjoyable experience. (The park’s website is https://tpwd. texas.gov/state-parks/south-llano-river.)
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Open 7 days a week. Mon-Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm
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Fredericksburg 1020 S State Hwy 16 (830) 997-4353
At Hill Country Memorial, we are dedicated to providing remarkable health care. Being remarkable is more than a moment in time. Being remarkable requires years of excellence, day after day. That’s why we commit ourselves to you today, tomorrow and into the future.
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Simon Bros·., Mercantile & Cafe
-Since 1912 -
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Hunting license, gasoline, soft drinks, wine, all your grocery needs, and clean restrooms.
W-Th 7 AM - 8 PM
F-S 7 AM - 9 PM
Daily and weekly specials! Draft Beer!
LYSSY & ECKEL FEEDS
TGR BIG BUCK CONTEST SCORING STATION
Corn, deer pellets, deer block, bulk feed, milo, batteries and feeders, timers for deer feeders, and blinds.
Monday-Saturday 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM MAIN
modate these part-time residents.
SET YOUR SIGHTS O N KIMBLE COUNTY
Each year, the fall season is kicked off with a party on “hunting season eve” hosted by West Bear Creek General Store. Everyone is invited, so out-of-towners and locals have an opportunity to meet and greet. Along with excellent food, beverages and prizes, there’s an excitement in the air. Expectations are always high for hunting success. This year, the gathering will start at 11 a.m. on November 3.
ers Mercantile. Roosevelt is located 18 miles west of Junction off I-10. Plan to participate in the many door prizes and raffles offered while meeting hunters from all over. Lunch is served from 11:30 until the food runs out!
Hunters love coming to Kimble County. Among the rolling green hills, lush valleys, abundant streams and broad vistas typical of the western edge of the Texas Hill Country, wildlife is plentiful, as is local hospitality. Folks here welcome hunters each fall and throughout the year. Businesses and merchants make special efforts to accom-
JUNCTION HUNTERS’ GATHERINGS
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3
West Bear Creeks Hunters Lunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4
London Community Hunters Breakfast
9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4
Simon Brothers Hunters Lunch in Roosevelt
11:30 a.m. - until food runs out!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25
Kimble County Wild Game Dinner
6:30 p.m. at the Stevenson Center
The next morning, all are invited to downtown London to enjoy a traditional hunter’s breakfast at 9:30, at the community center, sponsored by the London Community Association. A bake sale usually takes place that morning as well. Directions aren’t necessary. When you get to London, just follow your nose!
After breakfast...head on over to the little community of Roosevelt for a hunter’s lunch at Lyssy and Eckel Feeds and Simon Broth-
On November 25, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there will be more great, exotic food and chances to win prizes. The Chamber of Commerce and Junction Volunteer Fire Department host the annual Wild Game Dinner at the Stevenson Center, starting at 6:30 p.m. There are raffled prizes galore and lots of guns. All you need is an appetite and a winning ticket or ten! By now, stories abound of monster bucks, majestic axis, elusive turkeys, wild hogs and of the one that got away, so there’s no shortage of conversation. Tall tales??
Remember Kimble County when you plan your hunting experience. Know that you’ll have fun, be welcomed, appreciated.......... and well fed!
You’ll want to show up early for the newly remodeled Simon Brothers Cafe weekend special dinners Tables fill up quickly!
Over the years, the fortunes of the little village of Roosevelt have waxed and waned. (Locals pronounce it to rhyme with “blue”, as did its namesake, Teddy Roosevelt, a long ago visitor.) The once-thriving community boasted a school, with winning basketball teams, a dancehall, mercantile store, filling station, hotel, barber shop, telephone exchange, churches and even a Masonic Lodge. Most of those no longer exist, though some of their remains are still visible.
Located just 18 miles west of Junction off I-10, the all-but-forgotten community gained momentum again in 1996 when the Simon family purchased an old building, which was once owned by a Simon ancestor and was named Simon Brothers Mercantile. In 2018, the mercantile and Backdoor Cafe were purchased by Lyssy and Eckel Feeds. Though under new ownership, the Simon family is still greatly involved.
The mercantile, a something-for-everyone general store, containing a post office, antiques, gasoline, feed, supplies and an abundance of personality, is the de facto community center.
Though the actual population of Roosevelt is less than 20, it provides the nexus for all socializing for the area. The unofficial “city council” roundtable meets daily for coffee, to solve problems, both local and worldwide, and to dispense advice. There are afternoon domino games and old-fashioned cheeseburgers, fries and more excellent cuisine in the aptly-named Simon Brothers Cafe.
Simon Bros. Mercantile and Lyssy and Eckel Feeds and friends host a lunch for hunters on opening day of deer season, the KC Chapter Mule Deer Foundation Banquet, a parade on Christmas Eve, a New Year’s dance with a fireworks show and whatever else might serve as an opportunity to have some fun!
STATE HISTORIC SITE
Standing atop a windswept remote hill, the remains of a 150-year-old West Texas fort beckons curious visitors to the site that is now considered one of the best preserved and most intact examples of a Texas Indian Wars (1850–1875) military post. Take in the spectacular Hill Country vistas and experience the history of early West Texas life through the real stories of the infantrymen, Buffalo Soldiers, women, and children who lived at what Gen. William T. Sherman once described as “the prettiest post in Texas.”
Visitors can spend time in the fort’s visitors center museum (the fort’s hospital building) learning about the history of the site, or experience nature along the quarter-mile trail to the fort’s spring at the headwaters of the San Saba River.
Texas Rangers at Fort McKavett-May 26, 2023 - 8:00 a.m. to May 28 202312:00 p.m.
The Texas Rangers were active throughout West Texas in the mid19th Century. In 1878, there was a shootout in between Rangers and discharged soldiers from Fort McKavett at a place called “Scabtown”, located a mile north of the fort. Come see living historians demonstrate their firearms and equipment like a Ranger of the mid-19th Century!
Nighttime Photography-June 3, 2023
Grab your cameras and come out to see the nighttime sky at McKavett! Please be on site by 4 p.m. to fill out a waiver and familiarize yourselves with the grounds. For more information, contact Rhett Kearns at Rhett. Kearns@thc.texas.gov or at 325-396-2358.
For more events, visit: https://www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/ events/5530
The Kimble County town of London has survived fires and other calamities to become a community that is proud of its heritage and its part of the history of the area.
The town was established by Len L. Lewis, a horse trader and former Union Army officer from Illinois.
The Western cattle trail went through London, and residents witnessed thousands of head of cattle being driven through their town. (In more recent years, a private airplane made an emergency landing and taxied right down Main Street in London.) Lewis was the first postmaster. Mail was delivered to his home where locals were required to pick out their own mail. He also operated a hotel, wagon yard and served as justice of the peace.
Israel Pettigrew opened a blacksmith shop, and a drug store was built by Dr. J. M. Burt, a pharmacist and “traveling” dentist. There was also a cotton gin, and optimistic residents built a school and three churches.
The London Dance Hall, a cultural icon, has been open over 100 years and features live music most weekends!
Drop by on November 4, the morning of open hunting season, for a free Hunter’s Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. at the London Community Center.
THE OUTDOOR LEARNING EXPERIENCE AT THE TEXAS TECH CENTER AT JUNCTIONby Brett Mosley Outdoor Learning Center Director
The Texas Tech Center at Junction celebrated its 50th year of providing unique outdoor learning experiences for students of all ages and backgrounds. On the banks of the South Llano River and with over 400 acres of Texas Hill Country ecosystems, the Center boasts year-round educational opportunities for students that can be found nowhere else in Texas. With summer courses for Texas Tech students, the Llano River Field Station providing research opportunities in natural resources, and the Outdoor Learning Center engaging K-12 students in STEM education, the Texas Tech Center is leading the way in providing world class natural resources research and environmental education.
A key program at the Texas Tech Center in Junction is the Outdoor Leaning Center (OLC). Since its inception since 2003, the OLC has had a unifying goal of providing elementary, middle school, and high school students the opportunity to experience science, math, and engineering taught outdoors. There is no better way to engage a child’s interest in the sciences than for them to get their feet wet doing it. The education comes from the experience.
The opportunities to study ecology for these OLC students is found in the wealth of wildlife and ecosystems located in Kimble County. Its rivers, geology, land features, and creatures give young people an experience and interest in the environmental sciences that they can carry on throughout their lives. This exposure to nature and the sciences will have a proven-positive effect on a child’s career, opinions on conservation, and connection to the natural world. The students who come to Junction to attend the OLC experience courses that can only happen here. We hope to showcase some of the exciting activities kids are engaged in at the OLC at the Texas Tech Center at Junction by highlighting
just three of the OLC’s twenty courses below.
The confluence of the South and North Llano Rivers plays a large role in the environmental studies these young people undertake when visiting. With the South Llano bordering the campus, students get the unique opportunity to learn and enjoy a special feature of our hill country community. Unbelievably, this is sometimes the first occasion that a student has had access and opportunity to set foot in the pristine waters many of us get to enjoy.
A principle focus of the K-12 Aquatic Biology course is the care and concern of Texas waterways. The South Llano River is home to a number of species of wildlife. The Guadalupe Bass, Belted Kingfisher, and an occasional beaver call the South Llano River home. But there exists a special population of organisms thriving on its bottom surface: macroinvertebrates. You may have caught a hellgrammite or crawfish to use as bait, but there are many more of these tiny species that live the South Llano River, and they can tell us so much about the river. These macro-invertebrates, which spend most of their lives in the water, give us an indication about a river’s health and we challenge these young scientists to collect them to study. Each species of macro-invertebrates has its own tolerance to pollutants. Mayflies,
Stoneflies, and Caddisflies are all low pollution tolerant. Dragonfly and Damselfly nymphs are somewhat tolerant. Midges, Blackfly larva, and aquatic worms all are highly tolerant to pollutants. By capturing, identifying, and classifying these macro-invertebrates, these future biologists can infer the conditions of the South Llano River. Taught either on campus or by kayaking the river, this course brings to the forefront the diverse life found in rivers, our connection to its waters, and the needs to conserve it. As one recent fifth grade student exclaimed, “I never knew science could be fun!”
Speaking of the kingfisher that inhabits our river, the birds that live or visit Junction make for an impactful topic for the students who come to Junction to investigate and explore. With the North American population of common birds, songbirds, and ground
birds declining at a staggering rate, the chance to see certain migratory or rare species of bird makes for a special visit. Our spring and summer bird visitors, the purple martins, are at the core of our ornithological studies. Their beautiful colorations, daring flights as aerial insectivores, and special relationship with humans all intrigue and fascinate the young people who attend. Part of the course allows students the opportunity to identify the bird species as they hike across campus. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Belted Kingfishers, various vireo species, Vermillion Flycatchers, American Kestrels, Goldencheeked Warblers, and even our Bald Eagles are all high on the students’ lists when going on birdwatching hikes. While birds are certainly found around the school yard and neighborhood of these children, seeing the beautiful bird species in their natural hill country habitat brings enjoyment along with the science. Students recognize the importance of preserving a space for these creatures while having fun birdwatching.
The classes at the OLC don’t just happen during the daytime. For overnight groups, the OLC provides a chance to see something spectacular they rarely get to anymore. Stars! Cloaked by all the lights found in the city and lacking the opportunity to spend times outside after the sun sets, seeing the exposed stars for the first time really amazes the young students. “Wow!” “I did not know there were so many!” “That is cool!” These are common exclamations once the sun sets and the telescopes come out. A common fixture in our past, stargazing is becoming less available to people. The chance to study our universe, our Milky Way galaxy, stories behind constellations, and the life cycle of stars means so
much more when you can view them in person. No other course brings out the wonder and amazement as when the students are stargazing. Constellations, meteor showers, the parade of planets, and the lunar cycle provide us a new show each evening.
Other exciting astronomical events are on the way for us too. On October 14, 2023, Junction and the TTU Center have a front row seat to an annular solar eclipse. This occurs when from our view, the moon covers the center of the Sun. The visible outer edges seen creates a “ring of fire” that is sure to amaze. The TTU Outdoor Learning Center will have educational events that day leading up to the eclipse. But the big show comes on April 8, 2024. That date finds Junction again in prime viewing location of a total solar eclipse. With the moon blocking the entire face of the Sun, the skies will darken, and the glow of the Sun’s corona can be observed… an exciting event to be sure. The TTU Center will hold educational events in the days leading up to the total solar eclipse.
While these are only a sampling of what is being taught to these elementary, middle school, and high school students, these examples show the unique environmental educational opportunities that happen at the Texas Tech Center at Junction. The Edwards Plateau region, with its watersheds, geology, hydrology, flora, and fauna play an integral role in educating and leading these young people to be the good stewards we inspire them to be.
The Texas Tech Outdoor Learning Center provides year-round exemplary educational and outreach programs to school districts, home-school groups, informal educational affiliates, and anyone who loves to do science outside. Getting kids out of the virtual world and reconnecting them with nature leads to so many positive outcomes that it so important. We are so fortunate to be able to offer these outdoor educational experiences. The TTU Center has been part of the Junction community for over 50 years offering educational opportunities in all fields. With the natural beauty, numerous ecoregions, ever-flowing South Llano River, and diverse wildlife, the TTU Center in Junction could exist nowhere else but here.
LIGHTED TREE DISPLAAY AT SCHREINER PARK
When driving through Kimble County at night in the winter on IH-10, one may notice the bright glow of Christmas lights from the interstate. Exiting off 457 and taking the Martinez Street Bridge and loop 2169 over the South Llano River Bridge will take you to the beautiful display of illuminated
November 1 - January 31
pecan trees in Schreiner Park (City Park). A total of sixty trees in the park and several in town have been decorated with brightly colored Christmas lights. The lighting of the Schreiner Park trees is the result of a collaboration of the City of Junction, Junction Tourism Board, Junction Texas
CHRISTMAS AT THE RANCH
First Saturday in December
Celebrate the Christmas Holiday at the South Llano River State Park on the first Saturday in December from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Gather around the front porch of Walter Buck’s historic ranch home and decorate trees, take pictures with Santa, enjoy some Christmas tunes on the front porch, sip hot chocolate, and more! Come dressed in your ugliest Christmas sweater for the ugly Christmas sweater contest.
Economic Development Board, Junction Lions Club and the many businesses and individuals who have sponsored the lighted trees. This year, the lights will be turned on Monday, November 1. The lighted trees make for a great Christmas Wonderland photo opportunity.
PARADE OF LIGHTS & PICTURES WITH SANTA
Annually in December
Annually the first weekend in December at dark thirty, businesses, organizations and individuals in Junction decorate their vehicles and floats in Christmas theme and travel down Main Street in Christmas Spirit. Candy and goodies are thrown to parade goers. The best place to view this small town parade is from the sidewalk in front of Kimble County Courthouse.
After the parade, head down to the Schreiner Park to have your child’s picture taken under the lighted trees, where Christmas wishes will be heard by Santa during the Lions Club Pictures with Santa event. There are usually other children’s activities taking place during the event as well as free hot cocoa and treats given away.
HCA’S 17TH ANNUAL PHOTO CONTESTby Hill Country Alliance
The Texas Hill Country – famous for its pristine streams, blooming wildflowers, star-filled night skies, and tucked-away small towns –is home to over 3.8 million people and growing fast. Home to three of the fastest growing counties in the country, the Hill Country’s population is projected to grow to 5.2 million in the next seven years. Native flora and fauna that have called the region home for millennia – from beloved gray foxes and live oaks to delicate monarchs and milkweeds – are finding their habitats reduced as our human homes continually expand into their native ranges.
As more and more people call the Hill Country home, many of the region’s most special qualities – like sweeping open spaces, clear flowing waters, and starry night skies – are at risk of being loved to death and lost forever.
This spring, the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) calls on anyone with a camera to share your view of this iconic region and its many inhabitants in the 2023 Hill Country Photo Contest, “Home in the Hill Country.” Now through May 31, 2023, entries can be submitted to HCA’s website (www.hillcountryalliance.org/PhotoContest). Photographers of all ages and skill levels, from amateur to professional, are invited to participate in HCA’s 17th annual photography contest. Winners will receive cash prizes and their photos will appear in HCA’s 2024 Calendar.
In this year's contest, we are looking for original photography that captures the vibrant beauty of our native landscapes, wildlife, and water
resources of the Texas Hill Country. Countless creatures call the Hill Country home, and beyond the wildlife and plants that reside here, we are also interested in seeing the people and communities that make up this special part of Texas. We particularly encourage photographers to consider submitting shots that feature the diversity of the Hill Country, its people, and its future.
Entering the photo contest is easy. Photos can be submitted online in just a few minutes by visiting HCA’s website: www.hillcountryalliance.org/PhotoContest
HCA’s annual photo contest spotlights the Texas Hill Country’s unique region of diverse wildlife, pristine springs, sprawling landscapes, star-filled skies, multi-generational land stewards, historic towns, and hidden oases. With a rapidly growing population and increasing development coming into the region, many of these special qualities are at risk of being lost forever.
Winning photographs will be featured in HCA’s annual Texas Hill Country Calendar, which features stunning photography from each year’s photo contest. Both the photo contest and the calendar aim to highlight the beauty of the region, provide an informative resource on Hill Country conservation, and inspire folks to learn more and become involved in the issues important to keeping the natural resources of this unique region intact.
The Hill Country Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise public awareness and build community support around the need to preserve the natural resources and heritage of the Central Texas Hill Country. Visit us at www.hillcountryalliance.org.
Junction prepares for upcoming solar eclipses
The City of Junction and other parts of Kimble County will be in the path of solar eclipses during 2023 and 2024. On October 14 of this year, there will be a partial eclipse, and a total eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the frequency with which a total solar eclipse will be visible from any given location is about once every 375 years. The total eclipse is expected to result in a great influx of visitors here.
In a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun and stops some or all of the Sun’s light from reaching Earth. Early indications of significant interest in the eclipses include a group arriving under the auspices of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that will be present at the Texas Tech Center in Junction to launch helium filled balloons for the collection of data during the total eclipse. Reservations have already been made for lodging and inquiries have also been made to lease space for large entertainment venues. And, the Smithsonian Institution, as one example, is already offering “a journey from Austin to the Texas Hill Country” for viewing of the total eclipse in 2024.
If experiences of other communities are any guide, it is
possible that tens of thousands of visitors could be coming to our area for the total eclipse, with fewer, but still a significant number, for the partial eclipse. Local planning efforts are now underway on how to welcome and efficiently deal with so many visitors.
In 2021, members of the Board of the Junction Texas Economic Development Corporation (JTEDC) began gathering information on the serious impacts that past total eclipses created for communities in the United States. The Board members shared this information with city and coun-
ty officials and stressed the need for early planning to meet the serious challenges that will be faced by both public officials (e.g., law enforcement and other first responders) and businesses (e.g., motels, RV parks, restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations).
The County-City Emergency Management Coordinator, Randy Millican, is working with various local, state, and federal organizations to identify essential requirements and to line up the resources that will be needed to respond to the needs of thousands of visitors. A task force has been established for this purpose. At its first meeting in January 2023, representatives from the following attended: Kimble County, including County Judge Hal Rose; Texas Department of Emergency Management; Department of Public Safety; Sheriff’s Department; Junction Police Department; Emergency Medical Service (Ambulance Service); Kimble Hospital; Kimble Airport; South Llano River State Park; JTEDC; and Chamber of Commerce. Subsequent meetings of the Task Force have included additional members (e.g., a TxDOT representative).
Topics discussed by the Task Force included requirements related to law enforcement (crime and traffic and crowd control);
firefighting and rescue operations; ambulance and hospital services; demands on the electric grid and city water resources; fuel supplies; adequate capacity for government and non-government communications; and sanitation (trash, disposal in septic tanks, porta potties).
Measures to be taken in preparation for the eclipses by the private sector also require consideration. In this regard, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Mark Arrazola, is meeting with local businesses. The Chamber is also developing an eclipse website that will be focused on keeping the community informed and up to date. https://www.junctiontxeclipse.com
In summary, the experiences of other communities throughout the United States with past eclipses have shown that the effects on communities can be substantial. Accordingly, local planning is underway in anticipation of the events. Unknowns remain, however, about the actual impacts of the eclipses – time will tell.
The National Safety Council and the American Academy of Ophthalmology advise that the only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special-purpose solar filters. These special filters are used in eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers. Children and young adults are most at risk for eye damage as bright light and radiation from the sun can cause heating and cook the exposed eye tissue.
The paths of the eclipses through Texas can be seen at https:// www.greatamericaneclipse.com/eclipse-maps-and-globe/texas.
Texas cities in the path of the total eclipse in 2024 and the duration of the eclipse in the cities can be viewed at https://eclipse2024. org/eclipse_cities/total/tx.
Worship With Us
BY GRACE TABERNACLE OF JUNCTION
602 S. Llano St. Services: 10 a.m. & 7 p.m.Saturday Thursday - 7 p.m. Rena B. Sue, Pastor
GOODWILL BAPTIST CHURCH 1201 North Llano Bilingual Services
THE RIVER APOSTOLIC CHURCH
143 East Pine Street
2 p.m. - Sunday
Rev. & Mrs. Shad McIntosh
CASA DE ORACION/ HOUSE OF PRAYER
1519 Main Street
Pastors James and Irma Williamson Sunday services11:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m. Wednesday service - 7:00 p.m.
LONDON BAPTIST CHURCH
U.S. Hwy. 377 10 a.m. - Sunday School
11 a.m. - Morning Worship
Bill Ragsdale, Pastor www.londonbaptistchurchtx. com
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