Tuesday, November 04, 2008

More Upland, Upton County, Texas

I have been sick with some sort of flu-like crud and haven't felt like posting, or much of anything else. I was very pleased to get out in the sunshine on our day trip to Upland. It was worth it. And for those who are wondering, I'm feeling much better, thank you.

The pictures I posted yesterday were of my brother and my best friend Donna. A few pictures of me were attempted, but I look like hell and forbade any to be posted.

I was glad you all were curious about the ghost town of Upland, but
I'm half-afraid to write much. While we didn't cross any fence lines, we had an good inkling it was on private property. And what a shame, too. Such a piece of history sitting out there just rotting away. You see, the buildings remaining and crumbling there used to be the county courthouse and jail!

Before Upland was founded, in the late 1800s there were only three families in the county, all open range ranchers. Another man, a man named Henry Halff had a dream and bought the land onto which the town of Upland would be situated. For only the price of the filing fee, he sold lots for businesses and homes. A school was opened in 1908 and the town was made county seat in 1910. But like so many ghost town stories of the West, when the railroad bypassed Upland and instead went through nearby Rankin, it was the beginning of the quick end.

By 1918 there were so few people and families to serve, the Upland post office closed. But the courthouse still wasn't paid in full. Previous residents had no choice but to continue to pay for several more years.

After learning that it wasn't even paid for before it was abandoned makes it all the more sad to me. We three had a feeling the building had been used as possibly a restaurant or pavilion at one time. But it's hard to imagine any real use for it -- it really is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded on all sides by mesquite and pump jacks.

What to do with a crumbling old courthouse, jail, and outbuilding, barely accessible by a "rut road" as Casey called it (which led to lots of Scoobie Doo wordplay)? The place had been picked clean of artifacts, by previous trespassers I'm sure. For us the place made a wonderful adventure and backdrop for a day of taking photos. Maybe it's long outlived its purpose, but the great silhouette of the courthouse can be seen for miles, calling like a siren to the curious.


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7 comments:

The Boisterous Butterfly-by said...

We don´t have old abandoned places like that around here, where space i so precious, so you are really lucky to get to wander around an old little town like that. I guess it was never meant to be, because of the darn railroad. What´s interesting is, that so much of it is still left standing. That´s why I agree with you that it must be on private property.

Bobbie said...

Gosh...I love the way the dry air preserves things out west. Here it is so damp that everything rots quickly.

Bev said...

Poignant photos of the remains of the carved wooden staircase amid the ruins which hints of if not a glorious past then better days, like the staircase of the Titanic (perhaps lol)

We have abandoned houses around here, usually farm houses. I cross some fields past an abandoned farm and admit that I break into a run past it because I am spooked....

Jomamma said...

There are lots of old abandoned places like that out in West Texas. But be very careful where you walk... never step on old boards, not because of the nails, but because they could be covering an old well! We found one once on my brother's place south of Loraine, TX. He brought in a well and started pumping water from it for cattle.

Godinla said...

Feel better.

Frances said...

oh thanks, Debi, good to have our curiosity satisfied. I'm sure you don't look like hell, but we will take the excuse! LOL
I'm going to follow up on the links. It is so interesting - happens in so many countries, migration to the cities. When the crops fail, what else can farmers do?

John said...

The bottom two are jpg poetry.

I am a sucker for a staircase.

I got crud and did not even stay up to see who won....missed the victory speech.

Newspapers in NY City are all sold out. As if man landed on the moon.