Based in Williamson County, Texas, WHY ARE Y'ALL HERE? is a travelog by Spencer Darr. His posts explore Texas counties through photos, maps, music, videos, writing, and--most importantly--interviews with local residents about why we are where we are. Y'all enjoy!

A Dungeon with No Door and A Mission of the Goats

A Dungeon with No Door and A Mission of the Goats

After a harrowing 8 hour Saturday changing the 8 spark plugs and wires on the Ranger (4 cylinders, 8 plugs, thanks Ford, I don't know if the 20 extra horsepower is worth that many plugs). I'm neither mechanically inclined nor disinclined, but if you're wondering why it took that long, I didn't remove any manifolds or the throttle body and ended up dicking around with ratchet extenders through holes smaller than my hands. Oh, and my rachet broke removing plug #5, so I spent a couple of hours getting a taxi to and from Home Depot to get a new rachet. After all was said and done, I have never been happier to hear a truck start than I was when my grease blackened over bloody nicked hand turned the key after I finished a $350 job for less than a hundred bucks.  

Since I'd had enough car maintanance for one weekend, I took the truck in for an oil/fluids change and took off to the closest counties of the unexplored in the vacinity.

GUADALUPE COUNTY

I figured I'd check this place out in Seguin sheerly because I thought the name of it sounded neat. Sebastopol is a name of a Ukranian city, and the first people to occupy the house had a thing for Ukrainian/Russian named things, so that's what they called the house according to the tour guide who graciously took my party of one on a guided tour of the house on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

One of the house's biggest know claims to fame is its unique "limecrete" architecture, a predecessor to the more common known and still used concrete architecture of the current time. A slightly lesser known feature of the house, which the tour guide saved for the end of the tour, is a completely enclosed "dungeon" below the front porch of the house. Accessable via the basement from a door outside and in the back of the house, a 3 barred-window space sits in the back of the basement. The original house design did not include any doors to the room, and no one since the house's original, mid-19th century inhabitant had accessed the room until Texas Parks and Wildlife took over the house in 1970s and started doing restorative rennovations. The use of the room is also only speculated, some believing it was used to incarcerate runaway or disobedient slaves, others think it was used as secret safe room for the people of the house to hide and protect themselves from Union ransackers during the Civil War. At any rate, no one really knows how the room was accessed or what it was used for originally; the tour guide said photographs of the space occasionaly contained strange shadows and orbs of light.

WILSON COUNTY

I was hoping to see some ruins of the Mission de las Cabras, but the gate was closed and locked. I did get some photos of a flock of pheasents who were wondering around the historical monument when I pulled up. They hastily retreated beyond the gate; I bet they know where the ruins are and have seen them many times, lucky bastards.

Jordan, the Longhorns of San Angelo State Park, and I

Jordan, the Longhorns of San Angelo State Park, and I

First Shots, Lone Wild Flowers, and The Big Tree Near the Beach

First Shots, Lone Wild Flowers, and The Big Tree Near the Beach