The Twelve Days of Guy Town Christmas, Day Six

December 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

On the sixth day of Christmas (2016): sharp 6 o’clock Sunday morning, $5 fine with costs, four cut-up caballeros, three maudlin lines of poetry, two fighting drunks … and a pungent suit hanging from the police station clothes tree.”

OK, this event took place in February 1885, but I was at work in Guy Town on the fifth day of Christmas when I discovered an online voice recognition software app for my Chromebook. So on the sixth day of Christmas I gave my lazy fingers a rest and dictated dictated an article about a exploratory trip of legislators and such to the great granite mountain and quarry in Marble Falls that would produce our current capitol (they had been considering Indiana marble.

I downloaded a .txt file of what I dictated my local drive, then cut and pasted text from the resulting .txt file into online Microsoft Word, made my edits, and voila! granite mountain trip 1885.docx , safe in the Cloud and on my SSD. Newly able to create simple Word .docx on my $150 Chromebook without typing will probably be the highlight of my Guy Town Christmas.

 

Granite Mountain.  

Trip of a legislative committee and guests of the Granite quarries of Burnet County and The Marble Falls on the Colorado.  

Sunday morning at sharp 6 o’clock was the hour fixed for the gathering of the members of the Senate and House joint committee appointed to inspect and report upon the accessibility and availability of the mountains of granite of Burnet County, the cliffs and beds of marble along the Colorado and Llano rivers in that vicinity. Promptly at the hour, omnibuses whirled up to the Capitol to convey to the depot of the Austin and Northwestern railroad those invited, who had been resolute enough to turn out in the early crisp morning air. The train was in readiness and a brief delay to allow some of the tardy ones of the party to come up, a quick pull of 60 miles over a well-constructed and well-managed road, landed the party at the Burnet Depot where Messrs. Mayberry, Ward, Watson and others of a Citizens Committee were in waiting to escort the party to breakfast at the Watson hotel and to tender the hospitality of the town. A hearty breakfast having appeased whetted appetites the visitors were invited to select from a wilderness of vehicles such as suited the tastes of each, the caravan stretched out for a brisk trot of 14 miles to the Granite Mountain and Quarry. Arriving at the base of the two higher peaks, exclamations of surprise and delight became unbounded and dismounting from their vehicles, all set out in every direction to mount the sides and attain the summit, by no means an effortless feat for the eldest and less nimble of the party. The several ladies who graced the excursion, inspired with enthusiasm and agile emulation, displayed a fleetness and vigor and bounding up the sides and leaving the chasms that taxed the activity of their escorts to keep pace with.

This party being scattered over the crest and down the river side of the highest peaks, a photographic view was made of it from the Quarry Camp, far below in the valley, by one of the Misters Romberg, who numbers amateur photography among his accomplishments. It is doubtful if he succeeded in getting a picture of the animated figures, as they were deeply occupied with the grandeur of the scenery, the delicious sunshine and the balmy airs. The range of view from these peaks representing the varieties of mountains, valley and winding silvery streams, the latter lost to sight in their passage above through clefts in the mountains above and below, stimulates the mind and gives a breadth of thought that would lead the most incorrigible economist and least enterprising of legislators to utilize the rich offerings of nature concentrated here this granite range, which there is no computing the quantity of, extends with ranging altitudes from three peaks on the east away from the Colorado and along the course of the Llano River to Enchanted Rock forty miles distant.

The dinner call brought all the explorers scampering down the mountains to one of the camp cabins where a liberal spread of substantials  received proper attention after which several gentlemen addressed the assemblage concentrating the great advantages offered in this locality for the establishment of a self-sustaining penitentiary, and utilizing the vastness of the best and most durable building material and water power, facts which were apparent to all present.

The dinner and speeches being finished, the caravan was again formed for a visit to the lower Marble Falls, two miles distant on the Colorado. These falls are formed of a series of marble shelves reaching entirely across the river where it has a width of 120 or 130 yards the shells ranging in height and distance one from the other of from 2 to 10 feet, and aggregating a fall of over 20 feet, over which the rapid water flows and trembles like a miniature Niagara. The beds and cliffs of the bank here would furnish find marble sufficient to adorn all texts. A photographic view was also taken here and with many of the excursionists in position on the dry rocks at intervals over the falls.

It was now too near the close of day for a visit to the upper Marble Falls, four or five miles distant, and the party prepared for the return, well satisfied and convinced that burn it possessed a wealth of natural adornments. Taking supper at the Western hotel and bidding adieu to the hospitable citizens of Burnet, the happy excursionists were whisked back to Austin, tired but full of satisfaction.

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