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Annual Christmas home tours scheduled

The 2014 SJC Women's League Christmas Tour is scheduled for December 7, from 1–5 p.m. The tour, which will take place in the Stephens Creek area, features seven sites. The Paul Horton United Methodist Church on Highway 156, the Hospitality Room for the event, will be the first stop on the tour. At the Hospitality Room, participants can purchase tour tickets ($10) and pick up driving instruction and a map.

Also at the Hospitality Room those on the tour will have an opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket for several Christmas decorations. The winning tickets will be drawn at 5 p.m. that day. Cookies, coffee, and punch will be served for those stopping in.

Funds earned by this and other SJC Women's League fundraisers are used for scholarships and donations to civic and service entities in the community. For more information, call Sue Jackson at 936-767-4705.

Homes on this year's tour

Homes Acton 300px

Acton Home
Indiana born Donald Acton was introduced to the pace of life in San Jacinto County while visiting with friends in Governor's Point. In 2009, he purchased his home from the Logan sisters and since then has worked to restore it. The home was originally part of the Robinson Plantation. Although the house needed a great deal of work (Acton believes it was built in the 1880's), it was just what he was looking for. His dream is to turn the house into a gallery/events center. The design and flow of the house lends itself to social gatherings.

Because Acton is fairly new to San Jacinto County, he and his family and friends are just learning about the holidays in our community. In Christmas of 2013, he began his first "new" SJC Holiday tradition. A group of close friends from Houston and Austin came to have dinner with him and then went into Coldspring for the Lighted Christmas Parade. His guests loved the experience! He hopes to continue hosting them annually for Christmas on the Square.

Homes Davis 300pxDavis Home
The Davis house, completed in 2001, is a traditional one-story country house. The home and its welcoming porches are decorated for a classic Christmas with the color contrast of black, white, and silver surrounding religious and holiday themes. Featured in the house is a part of a collection of porcelain dolls that were owned by her mother.

Johnny and Mary Lou Davis enjoy the company of her father and sister who live nearby. Their Christmas traditions gather family together on Christmas Eve for gift exchange and games that can be very competitive! The Davis' chose to retire in San Jacinto County from Houston and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Homes Fanning 300pxFanning Home
The Fanning home was built on property that was once part of the old Harrell Plantation. The history represented there and in the adjacent cemetery attracted Mark and Sarah Fanning. They moved into their new "lake home in the country" in the fall of last year.
The Fanning home, which incorporates Mission style design, is a place where friends and family are always comfortable and relaxed. Mark and Sarah named this new home Una Dia Mas, or One More Day, because visitors always want to stay "just one more day". For the Fanning family, Christmas gatherings revolve around the dining table. The menu served at Christmas dinner is a steadfast tradition for this family – Christmas is a time for them to be together and to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And to eat!!

Homes Glassco 300pxGlassco Home
While visiting with friends who live in San Jacinto County about 12 years ago, Ralph and Bea Glassco were reminded of growing up in rural Alabama. This "just felt like home". They built their Mediterranean-style home (a style they both love) using photos and a plan Ralph found in a collection of house plans. Their home, which was completed in 2003, contains treasures from their travels abroad. Favorites include rattan furniture from the Philippines and wrought iron pieces from Italy.

During the Christmas Holidays, the Glasscos spend time visiting with their family and friends and attending Christmas Eve Candlelight Services. Their home and tree are decorated with ornaments and other decorations that were made years ago by their children. On Christmas morning the family rises early, opens their gifts from Santa and each other, and cook a big festive breakfast together. This comfortable family Christmas morning routine has been handed down to the current generation of the family from earlier generations – a tradition they hope will continue in the future.

Homes Hudman 300pxHudman Home
While living in Kingwood, Joe and Karen Hudman fell in love with the sights and sounds of Lake Livingston. Both Hudmans are from West Texas, so the wooded setting of their home and the tranquility of the lake were a wonderful new experience for them. This house, which was built for easy-going daily living as well as hosting gatherings of family and friends, contains pieces of furniture and accessories that have been passed down and/or collected over the years. Among them are an antique lamp from Karen's mother and the dining table that Joe grew up with. Both of these pieces are over 50 years old.

Karen Hudman's mother, who lived with them during the last 13 years of her life, was the ultimate hostess. She planned and cooked for many family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, and church events. Because she and Karen shared the kitchen for 13 years, they began to plan events and cook together. After she passed away it just seemed natural for Karen to carry on the tradition. Family gatherings frequently include Karen's four siblings plus their families, as well as the Hudman's immediate family – which has grown to include two granddaughters (2 and 3 years old)!

Homes Moore 300pxMoore Home
Natives of Illinois, Craig and Barb Moore, who built their home in the Stephens Creek area in 2010, like cottage/prairie style houses built with rock and porches and "wanted their home to fit into the trees without looking out of place." They designed this retreat themselves and worked with an architect to create the look and feel they dreamed of.

Christmas festivities at the Moore house include a traditional celebration of the birth of Jesus as well as winter wonderland decorations, decorations brought home from a variety of vacations in the U.S. and abroad, and a collection of nutcrackers started by Craig's father many years ago.

The Moores want their San Jacinto County neighbors to know that they do not miss the cold weather and the snow and ice of Illinois, even at Christmastime! They much prefer the Texas warmth that, by Illinois standards, is year-round.

Homes West 300pxWest Home
Native Houstonian Bill West moved his family to the old Robinson plantation in Point Blank in 1978, where he and his late wife Barbara raised their family. The family has lived in the old plantation house, built in 1857, for 38 years. This home and its surrounding property were designated a State Archeological Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission in 2011.

During the Christmas Holidays the historical home is decorated inside with traditional ornaments and natural elements. The outside is decorated primarily with lights. Although the family Christmas celebration includes a variety of traditional Christmas festivities it always ends on Christmas Eve with the opening of family's gifts. The Wests are excited to be part of the SJC Women's League Christmas Tour this year and hope that everyone who attends enjoys visiting their home.

County’s 144th birthday to be celebrated Aug. 16

COLDSPRING — San Jacinto County Historical Commission and American Legion Post 629, Camilla will co-host the 144th birthday celebration of San Jacinto County on Aug. 16.

The event will be held at the American Legion Post. Proceeds from the event will benefit the renovation projects and operation of the Old Jail Museum and Old Town Coldspring.

Events include a motorcycle ride that begins at 10 a.m. starting with a motorcycle ride at 10 a.m.
At 11 a.m. barbecue lunches will be sold. Buy your tickets now for your lunch plate and every ticket stub will be entered in the drawing for door prizes. From 2 - 5 p.m. an auction will be held.
Contact Barbara Shelton 936-653-2332 or Amanda Woodson 936-522-8493 of San Jacinto County Historical Commission or call Camilla Post # 629 at 936-653-4708 for further information or lunch ticket purchases.

Cheyanne Barrett rodeo sweetheart, Jasper Duchess

Title Winner

TITLE WINNER -- Cheyanne Barrett was crowned the 2014 Tyler County Western Weekend Jr Sweetheart in Woodville, Saturday March 24, and Miss 2014 Rodeo Jasper Duchess at the Jasper Lions Club PRCA Rodeo, Saturday, May 10, where she also received the horsemanship, photogenic and congeniality awards, receiving a trophy saddle, belt buckle, leather halter, sash, crown, Montana silver smith bracelet, leather make up bag, necklace and earrings and picture frame. She is a fifth grader at Tarkington Intermediate and is the daughter of Chelene and Raymond Barrett of Cleveland and the granddaughter of Thelma Daniels of Cleveland and Ida and Raymond Barrett of Segno, Texas.

Coldspring Garden Club to celebrate 75 years

COLDSPRING -- The Coldspring Garden Club is celebrating a fantastic, everlasting milestone in April of 2014. The club is celebrating the 75th birthday, also known as the 75th Diamond Jubilee. Over the next few weeks history of the club will be shared along with plans for the upcoming celebration of the Coldspring Garden Club. The founders of the club gathered in April of 1939 and the club is still growing strong in 2014.

The club began by a group of a dozen or so women which were led by founders Miss Bessie Hale and Lucy McMurrey. They met in each of their homes - this was some 15-16 years before the Coldspring Community Center was built (more to come about that in future articles). We will share about the "prim & proper" character and staunch rules and criteria for this elite group of ladies. Yearbooks have revealed rules, poems, activities and events in which were very dear to these ladies and how they served the community in Coldspring, San Jacinto County. By preparing to share with you, the history of the Coldspring Garden Club, we have certainly learned a lot about the legacy that these ladies began back in 1939. Through war and trying times gardening as it is today, was and still is a "peaceful and solace" way to relax and rejuvenate ourselves with the desire to reap the great reward of God's wonderful bounty in the beautiful flowers, plants, and vegetables of our gardens.

The 75th Diamond Jubilee Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 5. The birthday dinner party will begin at 6 p.m. at the Jones Auditorium at the Old Jones High School. Tickets are available for the event and are $20 per person for the catered dinner which will also include entertainment for the evening. The community is welcome (with a ticket of course). Come out and celebrate this tremendous milestone of the Coldspring Garden Club. For ticket information contact Lori Townsend at 936-377-3981 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Shepherd art teacher honored

Shepherd art teacher Mel Basham selected as a TAEA Distinguished Fellow.Shepherd art teacher Mel Basham selected as a TAEA Distinguished Fellow.SHEPHERD -- Mel Basham, Shepherd High School Art Teacher, was selected as a TAEA Distinguished Fellows.

The Texas Art Education Association establishes a category of membership in TAEA to be called Distinguished Fellows of the Texas Art Education Association. Under this program, the Association may confer the Title Fellow on members who have made long- term distinguished contributions to the work of the association and to the advancement of the profession. Fellows are expected to maintain an active membership in the Association for at least until their retirement; an active membership is beyond retirement is encouraged.

To be considered a Distinguished Fellow, one must have been an active member of TAEA for at least ten years. Those individuals nominated, however, need to demonstrate a reasonable profile of accomplishment extending across several criteria. Final acceptance will be based on: the nominee's accomplishments and significance of overall contributions to art education and the Association. No more than 2 percent of the TAEA membership may be Fellows at any one time. Being a Distinguished Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on TAEA members.

Cronin receives scholarship

Brandon CroninSHEPHERD -- Brandon Cronin from Shepherd, Texas, received a $16,000 scholarship at the Rodeo Austin Scholarship Awards Ceremony held Aug. 8 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas.

Cronin graduated from Shepherd High School this year. Cronin will attend Texas A&M University this fall with dreams of becoming a veterinarian.

Cronin is one of 45 students receiving a Rodeo Austin scholarship in 2013. A total of $484,000 was awarded to the recipients at the ceremony in downtown Austin.

Rodeo Austin scholarship recipients are selected by their university or foundation based on financial need, academic performance and community involvement. Recipients may pursue any degree plan at a Texas college or university.

Rodeo Austin scholarships range in amount from $4,000 to $16,000. Income generated from the annual fair and rodeo, as well as other fundraisers, helps fund the Rodeo Austin Scholarship Program.

Since 1981, Rodeo Austin has awarded $5.9 million in scholarships to Texas students.