Memory Lane Trip~Part 3

27 Jun

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 3 – Thursday 4/19/2018


After breakfast this morning I took a little side trip, off of I-10, north on SR-27 to visit the Dequincy Rail Road Museum located in Dequincy, LA.  This was a very small museum and I got there before they opened. I took a photo of their steam locomotive #124 and their restored 1923 railroad Depot, and then headed on down the road to the next museum.



Next on the list this morning took me across the border into Texas, where I visited the Fire Museum of Texas located in Beaumont, TX. This is the restored 1927 Beaumont fire engine station, which displays several beautifully restored pieces of 19th century firefighting apparatus, and several fire engines/hook & ladder fire engines from the early and mid-20thcentury.



While I was in Beaumont, and just a few blocks away, I also visited the Texas Energy Museum.  This was a very large modern museum with exhibits, artifacts, and memorabilia that major on the progress that the state of Texas realized, as a result of the development of the local oil industry.



Just around the corner from the Texas Energy Museum was the small restored Travis Street Electrical Sub-station, which has been converted into The Edison Museum.  This small sub-station gives the visitor a view of how electrical power was transferred for residential and commercial use back in early 1929, to keep the city of Beaumont lighted and running.


Next on the list was a visit to The Clifton Steamboat Museum located some 12 miles west of Beaumont. This museum was created by Mr. D. H. Clifton, who was an avid fan of Civil War maritime technology. The museum is filled with beautiful renderings of Civil War maritime battles and miniature models of many of the Civil War battleships and Ironclad’s of the period.  Mr. Clifton took it upon himself to single-handedly rescued the 1938 tugboat “Hercules” that was scheduled for the scrap yard, and moved it to his museum location in 1994.  Old “Hercules” could stand a new coat of paint in my opinion.



Now I headed west on I-10 again, to visit the Royal Purple Raceway (Now called Houston Raceway) located in Baytown, TX.  This huge sports complex includes a ¼ mile dragstrip (NHRA) and a 3/8 mile oval dirt track.  The pit area is large enough to accommodate 400 racing rigs, and the spectator viewing area seats 30,000.  The activity was electric at the raceway the day I was there, but sorrowfully it was all in preparation for the weekend event that I would miss.  Maybe I’ll catch an event next time I’m in the area.



I had no idea of what a big mistake I would be making when next I tried to visit the Battleship Texas (BB-35) located in La Porte, TX.  Road construction was terrible and had Greta so confused she couldn’t find the location. This was complicated by the fact that coming on the shortest route from Baytown, she had me using ferries which I didn’t have time for.  So, after several tries, I just gave up and headed for my next museum.




Note: This day’s activities will be continued next week.


—–To be Continued—–




Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 58 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, writing blogs for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing. He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville. Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

Bill’s favorite Scripture is: Philippians 1:6

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