When Jim arranged to be near an airport I questioned Harlingen? Why drive the whole of Texas to the southernmost tip?. My weather wimp declared this is what they call Winter Texans, where retired Texans like to winter for the heat. Yesterday in the bitter cold we ventured out in the rain to visit the Harlingen Arts and Heritage Cultural Museum. And, yes, I’m poking fun at Jim about the horrible weather.
At the center, the staff was removing their Christmas Extravaganza and the museum exhibits were in temporary storage. The local organizations and businesses trim themed trees for everyone to enjoy for the season. A couple trees hadn’t been dismantled yet and the display must have been spectacular. Open for visitors were three buildings, Harlingen founder, Lon Hill’s house, Paso Real Stage Stop and the old Harlingen Hospital.
Lon Hill moved with ten wagons to this part of the world and built here and settled in and founded the town. The house above was his second house, which is open to the public.
The completely furnished house was quite beautiful.
Notes on various items were attributed to family members who donated stuff for the museum.
I was impressed with how prosperous the Hill family was, considering he was from the approximate same generation as my grandparents who struggled and worked very hard but didn’t live as sumptuously as the hills off the land. Then from one note I learned that Lon brought his slaves with him and it all became quite clear. I tend to forget that Texas was a slave state.
The curator’s told us the next cultural center exhibit would be their yearly quilt show, beginning January 16th. We will miss it, but the Hill house bedrooms had many nice quilts on view besides this crazy quilt. The house was very worth visiting and well done.
Someone rescued the school bell.
The Stage Stop had the most beautiful cash register. Makes one long for the days of such craftsmanship.
The old PBX machine reminded me of my first major job at age 17 working one not much bigger than this. The Stage Stop also served as a telegraph office and post office.
The hospital, like the house was so completely furnished, it made one think they just walked away and left everything in it. A very complete dental office above.
The color blindness test gave me a chuckle.
The eye doctor gave very simple tests, but, glasses were such a precious invention. The optician performed such a needed service for those times. And, I swear the eye chart is the same one used today.
The surgery, cribs, hospital beds, pharmacy, all so complete and well done. So often we see medical items in a museum, but the whole hospital completely furnished is an eye opener. The braces on this wall give evidence of the horrible polio epidemic that struck during my own time.
I’m beginning to rightly own the title of old-timer I suppose, though I certainly don’t feel old. The buildings were unheated and we moved through quickly and on to the grocery store to stock up on things I like to cook. (Jim is a mono eater.) But, I gotta have Greek yogurt, onions, garlic, lentils, lots of veggies and, the spinach souffle I made and the soup for today, heated up the motor home. Tasted great.