Heritage, Summer 2004 Page: 35
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The basement was never a repository
for documents, as originally
planned, but it did become storage of
a different kind. It is now used for
housekeeping and additional facilities
for keeping furniture and supplies. In
addition to the five guest rooms on
the top floor, a large banquet facility,
The Geneva Room, is also located
Besides the surprise change in business
plans, Darr also encountered unexpected
"Bringing the building up to code,
while maintaining its historical integrity
and staying within budget was tricky.
The elevator was one of the bigger challenges.
As you can imagine, the technology
of a 1967 elevator is quite outdated,
and modernizing that feature
didn't happen quickly."
With surprises happening on an
almost daily basis during the renovation,
what has not been unexpected for
Darr is the success of her venture, which
she named The Landmark Inn.
"Business is good and growing; we
have great support from the community,
area businesses, and the entire East
Larry Morgan, president of the
Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce,
believes that Darr's project has also
brought good things to the community.
"Since the completion of this restoration,
others from outside of the area
have bought old vacant buildings. This
project has proven that investing in
Jacksonville is very good business."Gene
Heritage Tourism Front and Center in 8ast Texa6
For those who enjoy an education
vacation, travel around the
Jacksonville area offers many learning
Starting in Jacksonville, travelers
can find the Texas State Railroad only
15 miles down the road in Rusk. One
of the nation's largest steam train
operations, the track was built in
1896 to bring raw materials to the
East Texas Penitentiary smelting
facility. Even though foundry operations
at the prison stopped in 1913,
the railroad continued to function as
a common carrier, providing both
freight and passenger service. Later,
the railroad transported timber to
company sawmills, but by the 1970s,
it had fallen into disrepair. In 1976,
the Texas Parks & Wildlife
Department opened the railway,
which preserves and recreates the
history of American railroading. For
information call 903-683-2561 or
1-800-442-8951 (in Texas only), or
Those interested in early cultures will
find the Caddoan Mounds State
Historic Site worth a stop. Located on
State Highway 21 about six miles
southwest of Alto in southern
Cherokee County, the Indian site consists
of three large earthen mounds, as
well as a large portion of a prehistoric
village. After much study, scholars now
believe that Early Caddos, probably
from the area to the northeast, founded
a permanent settlement at the site
between A.D. 850 and 900. Now a historic
site operated by the TPWD,
Caddoan Mounds has a visitors' center
and a self-guided trail tour.
Nacogdoches is about one hour
from Jacksonville. Plan to spend some
time there touring spots such as the
Mound Street Caddo Site (Old
Washington Square), the Oak Grove
Cemetery, The Sterne-Hoya House, or
stroll down the city's tree-lined streets
to see the beautiful historic homes of
some of Texas earliest settlers.
Contact the Nacogdoches Chamber
of Commerce at 936-560-5533 or
online at www.nacogdoches.org.
So whatever your
travel fancy, when it
comes to summer
East Texas has
all the answers.
HER I TAGE W SUMMER 2004
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2004, periodical, Summer 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45373/m1/35/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.