"Lone Star Historian" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine.
One of my favorite Hill Country towns is Mason. More than four decades ago I carefully researched Fort Mason and crafted a scale model of the frontier outpost. The model still is displayed in the Mason County Museum, which is housed in the community's two-story rock school, built in 1887. I also brought my Traveling Texas History classes to Mason, principally to show them the superb 19th century architecture produced by German-Texan settlers.
|Mason County Museum, housed in 1887 school|
During the 1870s the county was wracked by the vicious Mason County War, also known as the Hoo-Doo War. The end of frontier violence brought steady but slow growth as a ranching center. Skilled German masons erected solid handsome churches, homes, and commercial buildings, many of which still stand as tangible connections to the community's past. The town's large square features shops and restaurants, as well as the Odeon Theater, the oldest continuously-operating movie house in Texas. On the south side of the square is the quaint 1882 jail. The picturesque courthouse was built in 1909.
|"Old Yeller" statue in front of library|
For more information : http://masonchc.org