Friday, February 24, 2017

A Ghost Town and Mother Neff State Park

Dan is gone for the weekend. He is at a vintage car race, working with the tech crew. He really enjoys these race weekends, and I don't mind them at all. I usually try to do something a little different with my time while he's gone. So this morning, with the thermometer reading a pleasant 70 degrees, I headed about 20 minutes west to the old ghost town of "The Grove." I think someone actually gives tours on weekends, but today I was alone with the ghosts.

From what I read, The Grove started as a town in the early 1870s, and was sustained by farming and ranching. It seems to have prospered until the 1940s, when it had a little more than 100 residents. Highway 36, which bypassed the town, was partly responsible for the little town's demise.

In the center of town still stands a 28-foot-deep well, reportedly hand-dug by resident Jim Whitmore in 1872. I've read that there is still water in the well.

Jim Whitmore's well, which served the entire downtown of The Grove.
A few years ago the entire downtown was sold for $200,000 to Fran Moyer, the granddaughter of W.J.Dube, who owned the W.J. Dude General Merchandise store and was one of the town fathers.

The center shop in the red brick building was W.J.Dube's general merchandise store

The barber shop

Different cattle brands are carved all over the front of the blacksmith's shop

The saloon. I'm sure it was a booming business in The Grove.

I strolled down this sidewalk, arm in arm with a couple of ghosts

These are the doors to the US Post Office at The Grove. Notice the stained glass panels.

Since I was only about ten minutes away from Mother Neff State Park, I decided to go take a few pictures there, as well. I hiked the relatively easy trail - probably about a mile each way - through the woods to the rock water tower that was built by the CCC in the 1930s. Climbing the stairs puts you above the tree tops. The hike was really pleasant. It was mostly flat ground, and it was comfortable T-shirt weather. The birds were singing and the butterflies were flitting everywhere.

Looking down on the stairs from the top of the tower. The shadows made an interesting abstract pattern.

On the road between home and Mother Neff I stopped and took a few more pictures.

Across the road from the Lutheran Church at The Grove were these crosses and a sheep pasture.

The sheep were really curious when I neared the fence. They kept coming closer and closer, and one of the rams was trying to poke his nose through the fence.

And closer to Mother Neff I stopped to take this big guy's picture. He was quite happy to pose for me.

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