The Space between Waco and Abilene, Texas
A gothic building rose out of the landscape as we headed northwest from Waco to Abilene on Highway 6. Was it someone’s mansion? A government building? Or the façade of a movie set? We had to investigate.
Bosque County Courthouse
We wound our way through the streets of Meridian, Texas, to the building’s location. It wasn’t hard. No other buildings were close to its height. The downtown area was quiet and offered plenty of parking on Monday, March 12, 2018.
Not satisfied with clicking one photo of the building and moving on, I had to walk around the structure to catch its image from as many sides as possible given the position of the sun.
Oh, and I couldn’t forget to pick up the detail in the clocktower.
Now, we had to see the inside. We entered the Bosque County Courthouse from a back door expecting to see bailiffs staffing a security checkpoint complete with a scanning machine, the usual protocol for government buildings since 9/11.
Creeping along the dark hallway was like entering the early 1900s. The ceiling towered above us, wainscot the color of chocolate milk covered the lower part of the walls, pumpkin-colored paint on the upper portion. An ornate iron staircase loomed ahead. We turned a corner and finally arrived at a desk in the middle of the first floor.
“May I help you?” the bailiff asked. After explaining what we were doing there, the uniformed man proceeded to tell us the history of the building, told us to go see the courtroom upstairs, and gave us a little tour downstairs.
I commented on the security difference from what we were used to seeing. He pointed to the four monitors at his desk where he watches people coming and going. He had seen us enter the back door. “It’s usually pretty quiet around here, not like in the larger counties,” he said.
The town of Meridian has a population of less than 1,500 and less than 20,000 people call the agricultural county home.
Bosque County would be a great place to get away from congestion and crowds. Visitors can roam around the little country towns exploring museums, galleries, and historic buildings, or enjoy the fishing and other water activities at the Bosque or Brazos rivers, or Lake Whitney.
Source: The Texas Historic Commission
- Designed by Ft. Worth architect J.J. Kane
- Oldest Texas courthouse building in continuous use
- Three-story limestone in the Victorian Gothic Revival style
- Two major renovations:
- The 1934 WPA project replaced the entire roof structure with a flat concrete roof. The clock tower was removed replaced with a single clock face, and steel windows replaced the wood ones. Within the forty years after the WPA project, additional work had lowered ceilings to hide mechanical and electrical installations.
- The rededication of the building on September 22, 2007, showcased the 2005-2007 restoration, which included reconstruction of the original clock tower and the four corner roof turrets, replacement of windows and doors with historic wood reproductions, restoring the ceilings to their original height in the courtroom, halls, and public spaces, and the reconstruction of wood wainscot paneling.
It’s always serendipitous when we find a town with the same name as one in California. It turned out that our stomachs were growling when we arrived at the city limits of Dublin, Texas. We live near Dublin, California. Finding a spot to park posed no problem. The library was closed on Mondays.
The W.M. Wright Historical Park across the street provided a place to take a walk after lunch.
Spring break must have cleared most everyone out of town. There wasn’t much activity in the business district during the hour we were there.
I wish we hadn’t been anxious to continue on to the RV park in Abilene. It would have been nice to visit the Dublin Bottling Works that has been in business since 1891. They still bottle sodas made with pure cane sugar. No high fructose corn syrup for them. Poking around in the three museums—Ben Hogan (the golfer), Dublin Historical, and Dublin Rodeo Heritage—also would have been interesting.
We arrived in Abilene around 4:00 p.m. and commenced our set up routine. After Jon had hooked up the sewer, water, and electricity, it was time to extend the living area slide. I heard a whirring sound, but the slide did not move. Uh-oh!
The good folks in the Whistle Stop RV Park office gave me a card for Young’s RV and Trailer Repair. Jon called at about 4:50 p.m. Yes, Rick could come out in about an hour. “Tomorrow morning would be okay.” “No, I’ll be there,” Rick said. Fortunately, it was a quick fix. A bolt had wiggled loose, which prevented the gear from engaging. Rick found the bolt, put it back in with some bailing wire so it wouldn’t back out again, and we had a freshly lubed and working slide. Thanks go out to Young’s RV and Trailer Repair in Abilene, Texas, for the best service ever. Find them on Facebook at Young’s RV Repair.
Next up we visit Buffalo Gap Historic Village, Abilene State Park, and the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.