Tag Archives: Railway museums

Memory Lane Trip~Part 6

25 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 6 – Sunday 4/22/2018


This morning I headed north on I-35 to visit the New Braunfels Historic Railroad Museum located on W. San Antonio Street, in New Braunfels, TX.  This museum is a restored 1907 train depot that served the International & Great Northern (I&GN), MOPAC, and MKT railroads during what was called the Golden Age of Railroading (1865-1918).  The museum displays memorabilia and artifacts related to how the I&GN and other railroads affected the New Braunfels area over the years.  The museum has several beautifully restored pieces of rolling stock, including a small 1942 fuel-oil fired steam O-6-OT Porter Locomotive, and a 48 seat 1922 Pullman Dining Car that can be rented for special events.



Leaving New Braunfels, I continued north again on I-35 several miles, to visit Dick’s Classic Car Museum located in San Marcos, TX.  This is a large museum displaying around 50 beautifully restored cars from the 1930s – 1950s, including a rare 1948 Tucker Sedan.  The Museum also includes a restoration area, where the cars are brought back to life, and also offers an event center.



While I was in San Marcos, I stopped by the Blue Skies Aviation maintenance and repair facility located at the San Marcos Reginal Airport, to see what they might be working on, but they were closed.



I also looked for the San Marcos Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) there at the airport, but couldn’t find it, as most of the hangers were closed, and there was little activity on this Sunday morning.  So I headed on into the west side of Austin, TX to visit the Texas Military Forces Museum.  The museum didn’t open until 10:00, but Wikipedia informed me that the museum is located within Camp Mabry, in building #6, which was built in 1918 as part of the original camp.  The museum displays memorabilia and artifacts related to the history of the Texas Militia which dates from 1823 (when it was formed) to the present.



Now I headed to downtown Austin to visit the Bullock Texas State Historical Museum.  The museum didn’t open until noon, and I had a lunch date with my cousin Pat, so I didn’t get to visit the museum.  But, Wikipedia says the museum is a large three-floor edifice filled with artifacts and memorabilia dedicated to the “Story of Texas.” The museum also includes a 200 seat multimedia theater (Texas Spirit Theater) and a 400 seat IMAX theater.



I had made arrangements with my cousin Pat and his wife, Lee, to meet for lunch at the Saltgrass Steak House located in Round Rock, TX.  Since it is situated on an access road, adjacent to I-35, Greta had trouble finding the restaurant.  After much back and forth, we finally found it and had a wonderful visit and a nice long lunch.  Their Chicken Tortilla Soup and ½ Texas Cheesesteak Sandwich combo was excellent.  Pat is my first cousin on my mother’s side, and I had not seen him for almost 20 years.  My sister, Judy, has kept up with that side of the family better than I have, so as you might imagine, we had lots to talk about.



After lunch and a wonderful visit, I bid Pat and Lee goodbye and went looking for the Chisholm Trail Park there I Round Rock.  There was not too much information at the park, but Wikipedia informs me that the Chisholm Trail was named for Jesse Chisholm, a rancher, who laid out the trail. He made it famous in the years after the Civil War, by driving many herds of cattle from ranches in the Red River and south Texas ranches, to the rail heads in Hays and Kansas City, Kansas.



The Chisholm Trail passed through this area, marked by the large round rock in the middle of Bushy Creek. That rock located a low water crossing spot for cattle and wagons alike.  The area became known as the “Bushy Creek Crossing at the Round Rock” by cattlemen as well as western traveling pioneers.




            —–Stay tuned – This day’s activities will be continued next week—–   






Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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 Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels 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 there 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.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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