Heritage, Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 1991 Page: 22
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It's hard to believe the number of people
who came tromping through the mud
to attend the second day of the Harvest
Festival at Heritage Village Museum.
It was mostly the far-away folks who
braved the monsoon that moved through
Tyler County that Sunday morning, October
21. They had planned to come, and so
they did, parking at the airport, riding the
bus to the Village and enjoying the demonstrators
who braved the elements.
The soggy day began at 8:30 in the
morning, when Texas Revolutionary Encampment
families came down off the hill,
where they had camped out over night, to
join Festival workers for an early morning
church service held in the Village's new
old Cherokee Church. It was a step back in
time, watching young and old, all dressed
in period costume, joining together to sing
and worship and hear a moving sermon by
the Reverend Fred Hill of Woodville.
And while the Village and many of its
visitors got a good wetting down, spirits
were never dampened. Everyone made the
best of the situation and had a good time,
seeing what there was to see; and hearing
the Dulcimer Society play and the Martin
Family Singers perform in the church.
In between the drops, they dropped by
the Heritage Society booth for a dish of the
hot apple sauce that was simmering on an
old potbellied stove, a perfect topping for
their Indian tacos, served by our good
friends from the Alabama/Coushatta Reservation
in nearby Polk County.
In spite of Sunday's deluge, the final
tally shows an increase of 70% over last
year, a nice boost to our recognition as a
major educational facility as well as our
And so, as they say, wait 'til next year!
It can only get better.
One of the better things that took place
at Heritage Village Museum this season
was an evening of superb storytelling, as
Ghosts of Texas Past made their eerie
presence and spine-tingling stories known
in a pre-Halloween spook-out the evening
of October 27.
Referred to as the first annual BOO
Y'ALL, the evening of dark and ghostly
storytelling offered still another look at the
history of Texas. It was a family affair. Children
had to be accompanied by an adult.
Groups were led by flashlight on an
hour-long tour of a darkened Village stopping
at six different candle-lit buildings to
hear a ghostly story from Texas' past.
There was the story of the pebbles on
the roof at Peach Tree Village, as told in
the Tolar Cabin. The old depot from Hillister
offered the perfect setting for the stories
about the Bragg Lights that can still be
seen along an old logging road near
Saratoaga in Hardin County.
There was a story about a blacksmith,
told in the Village Blacksmith Shop, of
course, and the tale of the disappearing
school teacher, told in the School House.
A "Dr. Roberts" from Tyler County's past
told his story in the Physician's Office, and
the Music Shop offered the perfect setting
for a heartrending story of lost love.
It was one of those magical evenings
that became an instant Tyler County tradition,
as folks sat down over a cup of hot
spiced cider and steaming ginerbread and
talked about their tour and the stories they
"We'll be back next year," they said.
"You are going to do it again next year
But, of course. It's an annual event.
Dottie Johnson is editor of The East Texas Echo,
a monthly museum newspaper.
22 HERITAGE * WINTER 1991
The Planning & Resource People
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 1991, periodical, Winter 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45422/m1/22/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.