Letterboxing and Waymarking – Grand Saline, Mineola, Canton and Gun Barrel City

 We did a volksmarch in Grand Saline. After the walk we went looking for a letterbox called “Make your own train #3 – The Caboose”.   The last time anyone had looked for it was in 2010.   We knew it was probably gone, but we gave it a shot anyway.

It was listed near this old caboose in a park.

It was listed near this interesting old caboose in a park.

It was supposed to be between the list post and a group of small trees. As you can see there is no space left. I think the tree ate the letterbox.

It was supposed to be between the light pole and a group of small trees. As you can see there is no space left.  I think the tree ate the letterbox.

We left the park and went over to Woodside Cemetery to hide a stamp I’d carved.

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We ate lunch in Grand Saline then headed over to Mineola to take waymarking pictures.

I added a waymark for the Owen Pinkney Pyle home under Victorian Houses.

I added a waymark for the Owen Pinkney Pyle home under Victorian Houses.

City Hall from 1940 to 1986 this is now a residence. I added a waymark under WPA Projects.

This building was the City Hall from 1940 to 1986.  It is now a residence. I added a waymark for it under WPA Projects.

This historical marker for the birthplace of Ima Hogg was already a waymark. I just needed to take a picture of it.

This historical marker for the birthplace of Ima Hogg was already a waymark. I just needed to take a picture of it.

Select Theater opened in 1920. I added a waymark under Vintage Movie Theaters.

The Select Theater opened in 1920. I added a waymark for it under Vintage Movie Theaters.

First National Bank 1912-1965. I created a waymark under Converted Bank Buildings category.

This building was the First National Bank from 1912-1965. I created a waymark for it under the Converted Bank Buildings category.

I added the bank building under the category of Frieze Art also.

I added the bank building under the category of Frieze Art also.

This mural was already a waymark, I just needed a picture of it.

This mural was already a waymark, I just needed a picture of it.

I added a waymark for this pretty gazebo under Gazebos Category.

I added a waymark for this pretty gazebo under what else, the Gazebos Category.

The Mineola Depot was already a waymark, so I just needed a picture.

The Mineola Depot was already a waymark, so I just needed a picture.

The old caboose was also an existing waymark.

The old caboose was also an existing waymark.

I added the depot clock under the category of Town Clocks.

I added the depot clock under the category of Town Clocks.

The former US Post Office (now museum) was constructed in 1938 with WPA funds, so I added it under WPA Projects.

The former US Post Office (now museum) was constructed in 1938 with WPA funds, so I added it under WPA Projects.  Inside is a WPA mural, but the museum was closed for lunch so I didn’t get to see it.

This lovely old home is now Munzesheimer Manor a B&B. I added it under the Bed and Breakfast category.

This lovely old home is now the Munzesheimer Manor B&B. I added it under the Bed and Breakfast category.

Mineola City Cemetery. I added it under Worldwide Cemeteries category.

Mineola City Cemetery. I added it under Worldwide Cemeteries category.  I should have brought along another letterbox to hide!

From Mineola we went to Canton, which is the Van Zandt County seat.

Plaza Theater opened in 1946. It is no longer a theater. I listed it under Vintage Movie Theaters.

Plaza Theater opened in 1946. It is no longer a theater. I listed it under Vintage Movie Theaters.

J.T. Hodges 1893 building. I added it under the Dated Buildings and Cornerstones category.

J.T. Hodges 1893 building. I added it under the Dated Buildings and Cornerstones category.

The relief portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Van Zandt was already a waymark, I just needed a picture.

The relief portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Van Zandt was already a waymark, I just needed a picture.

The courthouse was already listed under Courthouse and WPA Projects. I added it under Art Deco - Art Nouveau and Frieze Art.

The courthouse was already listed under Courthouses and WPA Projects categories. I added it under the categories of Art Deco – Art Nouveau and Frieze Art.

Art Deco light on courthouse steps.

Art Deco light on courthouse steps.

One of the many relief art drawings that qualify it for Frieze Art category.

One of the many relief art drawings that qualify it for Frieze Art category.

Metal Eagle that once resided on the dome of the 1897 Van Zandt County Courthouse. I added it under Figurative Public Sculpture category.

Metal Eagle that once resided on the dome of the 1897 Van Zandt County Courthouse. I added it under Figurative Public Sculpture category.

This mural was already a waymark, I just needed a picture of it.

This mural was already a waymark, I just needed a picture of it.

Leaving Canton we headed toward Gun Barrel City.

First Presbyterian Church of Mabank built in 1903 was already a waymark, I just needed a picture of it.

The First Presbyterian Church of Mabank was built in 1903.  It was already a waymark, so I just needed a picture of it.

Starry Night rendition on the side of Stop-N-Gogh Art Studio. I added it under Murals.

A copy of Van Gogh’s Starry Night on the side of Stop-N-Gogh Art Studio. I added it under Murals.

Mad Hatter inside the Stop-N-Gogh Art Studio. I added it under Murals.

Mad Hatter inside the Stop-N-Gogh Art Studio. I added it under Murals.

Willie for President done by the owner of Stop-N-Gogh Art Studio. I added it under Murals.

Willie for President done by the owner of Stop-N-Gogh Art Studio. I added it under Murals.

We talked to Britney Samford, the artist that runs the studio. Very nice lady who give art lessons. She had two other murals in Gun Barrel City. One of which burned down, the other is now covered by a building. She plans on doing more murals in the future. If you have a large blank wall you need decorated I recommend you give her a call!

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Letterboxing and Waymarking – Hempstead, Brenham, and Giddings

On our way home from Thanksgiving we did lots of waymarking and a little letterboxing.

Hempstead Waymarking and Letterboxing

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This tower provides a permanent home for the bell and clock which were functional adornments on the 1894 Waller County Texas Courthouse.

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Waller County Centennial marker from 1936 on the courthouse lawn.

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“Modern” 1955 Waller County Courthouse

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Ahrenbeck-Urban Home – A plaque and medallion tells that its original owner was one of the city’s mayors during the Reconstruction Era.

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A Sesquicentennial marker at the Union Army P.O.W. Cemetery Memorial Park near Hempstead, denoting the history of the now-defunct nearby cemetery for Union Army prisoners of war, most of whom were imprisoned at the nearby Camp Groce.

Nearby was a letterbox which we found in good condition.  Thanks for the treasure hunt!

Brenham Waymarking

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The Brenham High School gymnasium was constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1939-40.

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St. Mary’s Catholic Church (1935-36) in Renaissance Revival architectural style.

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Sam Houston in Indian War Paint flanked by the Texas Flag and the American Flag.

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Washington County Courthouse in Brenham is a typical example of the WPA funded courthouses. It features Art Deco/Moderne style ornaments and was built in 1939-40.

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Washington County Courthouse Gazebo was built in 1976 to celebrate America’s birthday.

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Aluminum Eagles on the Courthouse.

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Police Officer Memorial

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Veteran’s Memorial

Giddings Letterboxing and Waymarking

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First United Methodist Church from 1957 has a metal bell tower that is topped with three crosses.

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First Presbyterian Church, built in 1886, is the oldest Church building in Giddings still in use.

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Beautiful Lee County Courthouse was built in 1899 of red brick and white limestone.

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The courthouse clocks have in working order!

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Lee County Centennial marker from 1936 on the courthouse lawn.

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Veteran memorial on the lawn of the Lee County Courthouse.

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The Lee County Heritage Center is located in circa 1879 Fletcher Home with is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

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Fountain in front of the First National Bank on East Austin street in Giddings.

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WPA mural entitled “Cowboys Receiving the Mail,” was completed in 1939 and has hung in the WPA post office ever since.

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WPA constructed Post Office is still in use.

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Mural depicting 1920 train travel is on the wall of the restored Houston & Texas Central Railroad Freight Depot.

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Gidding’s City Cemetery hold the grave of “Wild Bill” Longley, a gunfighter who claimed to have killed 32 men.  He was hung in Giddings in 1878.

I did a letterbox for “Wild Bill” and hid it in the cemetery.  It is not at his grave because there wasn’t a hiding place.  But it is within walking distance.

 

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Letterboxing in Central Texas 7/23/16

We went to College Station to do a volksmarching event (urban hike).  Since we were in the area we took the opportunity to do some Letterboxing and Waymarking in College Station and Bryan.  First we  went to visit Lick Creek Park. 

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As you can see from this sign, the area we needed to access is closed.  The boxes may or may not be there when it reopens.

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Since I had a box to hide, we went ahead and parked in the equestrian area and hiked down this trail for a ways to leave Bruin behind.

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Our next stop was at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex.  This visit took longer than expected because I found that the park held eight war memorials in addition to the letterboxes I was seeking. I wanted to see them all.

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Veteran’s Memorial Park #1 – Army was found near this memorial.  Unfortunately, the lid was broken and the box was full of water.  The stamp was gone and there was a toy in the box.  A Geocacher has raided this box.

Veteran’s Memorial Park #2- Air Force could not be retrieved as there was lots of people there watching a soccer game.

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We found Lest We Forget letterbox in good condition near this historical statue.

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Leaving there we stopped by Booneville Cemetery.  This cemetery served the town of Boonville, which was the first county seat of Brazos County.  It now a ghost town that is inside the Bryan City Limits.

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We found this stamp also in good condition.  They are building a historical park here with statues of Sam Houston and others.  Worth the visit even if you aren’t looking for the letterbox.

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Wasting Speedball (pink speedy carve rubber)

Stamp Carving Rubber comes in sheets like this.

Stamp Carving Rubber comes in sheets like this.

There are two sides to the hobby of Letterboxing.  There is the fun of seeking a letterbox to collect the stamp imprint in your logbook, and there is the fun of carving a stamp and then hiding for others to find.

Not all stamp carvings are created equal. We can’t all be talented artists. But it is fun and relaxing thing to do, so I do it. Unfortunately for the seeker when they find my boxes they don’t get a beautiful stamp. They do however get one that is unique.  LOL

I’m going to tell you what I was attempting to carve in case you can’t guess. My first attempt was a black panther. This turned out as one of my better ones.

Panther

Panther

I got a little more adventuresome and tried for a rattlesnake. I saw this one in a junk shop.  It was holding a potted plant, but I removed the plant and took it’s picture so I could try my hand at carving it.

Rattler

I had a small piece of rubber and not wanting to waste it I went looking for something long and thin to make it into. I came up with a mermaid.

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While out surfing the internet for a picture I came across a couple of bears, so I decided to make them also. I did them in different ways and I definitely like the walking bear better than the sitting bear, although neither of them are that great.

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I also saw a fox on the internet, and in my rendition it looks like it’s seen a ghost!  The eyes are way too big.

Scared Fox

Scared Fox

All this carving left me with yet another long skinny chunk of speedball, so I made a scary Halloween face.

Scary Smile

Scary Smile

If you are interested in learning about stamp carving there is another blogger that explained the procedure very well so I’ll just refer you rather than repeat.     Stamp Carving

Now that I’ve gotten all these treasures carved, the next step is to get them a logbook and a suitable waterproof container.  After that I will find them homes in parks, cemeteries and other out of the way places.  Hopefully not near any geocaches.  If the letterbox is mistaken for a geocache they will take your stamp and leave you a trinket in exchange.  This is a tragedy to be avoided.

Once you’ve found a good home for your letterbox you then have to go online and post the clues on how to find it.  Because that is where the fun is, having others find them and post it online.

There are two websites for tracking letterboxes and I post my clues to both. Letterboxing.org is the original website and the newcomer is AtlasQuest.com. Membership in both is free but you do need to set up an account.

I thoroughly enjoy getting posts from letterboxers that they have found my boxes.  And bless everyone of them who seek my boxes because as you can see the stamps are “unique”.  But unique is good because letterboxers really dislike “store bought” stamps.

We would enjoy having more letterboxers join the sport.  Just get yourself a stamp to use as your “signature”, set up an account online, and start hunting and/or hiding letterboxes. You can do one or the other, or both like I do.

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Letterboxing in/around Bee Cave, TX

Charro Ranch Park

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This is a small park between Dripping Springs and Driftwood.  I’ve planted a couple of boxes here and Silver Eagle has added a new one so I needed to go find “Jack Hays“.  We were successful in our search.

Phillips Cemetery – Dripping Springs

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This Cemetery is the largest and most often used cemetery serving the Dripping Springs area. It is well-kept, fenced, and has a double entrance gate. Over the gate is a very nice sign with the name of the cemetery on it.  We created a Worldwide Cemeteries Waymark for it, and since it didn’t have a box yet, I left one behind.  I named it “Big Ears“.

Founder’s Park – Dripping Springs

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This is an interesting park with a museum and farmstead if you have time to visit it.  We created a Municipal Parks and Plazas Waymark for it.  We went there seeking another one of Silver Eagle’s boxes.   “Dr. Pound” was found, but the logbook was soggy.  I didn’t have one to replace it with but I did tuck in a silica packet to dry it out.

Verde’s

This is a moderate/expensive local restaurant.  Verde’s is advertised as being kid friendly with great food.  It wasn’t open when we got there.  We’ve never eaten there.  The box we were looking for was ” Verde’s” planted by Princess S.  unfortunately it was gone.

Bee Cave Elementary School

This elementary school is part of the Lake Travis Independent School District.  It was a weekend so there was no one around to observe us.  This box belongs to Esterbelle and is  her “Chick of the Month – August” box.  Unfortunately it was gone.

White Rock Cemetery

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Small cemetery with 306 graves.  We added a Worldwide Cemeteries Waymark for it.  We were there looking for “Who Loves Letterboxing?” another box by Princess S and “Two Sisters” by Delmark Trio.

We found both in good condition.  There was also a hitch hiker named “I. Marie Budding Artist” in Two Sister, so I picked it up and will move it along to a new home.

Spanish Oaks Park

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This is a small park with historical buildings.  It has a sign that says for Spanish Oaks Residents but we went ahead and parked to look for “The Mysterious DOGTROT” by Cancan.  The weeds were deep in that area and although I tramped them down as best I could, I didn’t find the box.

Shops at the Galleria

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This is a shopping center with a Lowe’s, Best Buy, etc.  There were two boxes here to locate.  “Bee Cave Bob” was left by Princess S and “You Rock, Baby Rhino!” was left by Easterbelle.  This is a nice trail and after we found the two boxes we continued on down the trail to see where it led.

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Bee Cave Central Park

A new 50 acre park that opened in 2009.  It is open from 8am to 30 minutes before Sunset.  We were going to created a Municipal Parks and Plazas Waymark for it too.  However, the park was closed for a kite flying event.  We were there to find “Baseball Goofy” another plant by Princess S but gave it up because of the huge crowd there.

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San Marcos Letterboxing

San Marcos City Cemetery

Our volksmarch took into the cemetery by the back way so we had to orient ourselves to follow the clue instructions.

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We spotted this doe while we were searching for the right location.

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Spotted this home made cemetery marker too.

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We found Circle Tour 2008 – Hill Country, TX which is amazing considering how long it has been hidden.  It was in good condition too. 

We next looked for Cecil Tex Hughson which was a bust.  It said to find the corner with the wire fence.  Did there used to we wire here to complete the corner?  Anyway we think this was the right corner.  But we still didn’t find the box.

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After completing the volksmarch, we ate lunch and then headed over to find Presidio San Marcos De Neve.  This is a really interesting location with the markers as described in the clue.

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Unfortunately the bush described in the clue has been cut and the box is gone.

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Central Texas Letterboxes & Waymarking

 On our way to do a Volksmarching event we did some other stuff.

Plantersville Waymarking

St. Mary's Catholic Church

St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Fountain in front of the Church.

Fountain in front of the Church.

Historical Marker for the Church.

Historical Marker for the Church.

Beautiful insides.

Beautiful insides.

Painted Churches are so pretty.

Painted Churches are so pretty.

Close up of one of the decorations.

Close up of one of the decorations.

Angels above the alter.

Angels above the alter.

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

Organ at the back of the church.

Organ at the back of the church

Labyrinth by the church.

Labyrinth by the church.

 Letterboxing in Montgomery Cemetery

There are three boxes located in the cemetery.  We found all three.

AC/DC is listed on both Atlas Quest and Letterboxing. Father of our Flag is listed on Atlas Quest.  Glotz is listed on Letterboxing.

Historical Marker was one of the clues.

Historical Marker was one of the clues.

Grave of the man who designed the Texas Flag.

Grave of the man who designed the Texas Flag.

 Waymarking in Montgomery

Not all of the waymarks were along the walk route, so after we finished the walk we drove around to collect the others.

Heritage Place Clock

Heritage Place Clock

Historical Marker for the old Methodist Church cemetery.

Historical Marker for the old Methodist Church cemetery.

Historical marker on a building that was once the Town Hall and was also the Post Office.

Historical marker on a building that was once the Town Hall and was also the Post Office.

This is now a museum, it was once a school.

This is now a museum, it was once a school.

Letterboxing in College Station

We picked out three letterboxes to look for on the way home.  All of these are listed on Atlas Quest. First we looked for Gabbard Duck, which is located in a small city park.  We found it.

Information on the Park.

Information on the Park.

Next we looked for Providence Church at the Providence Church Historic Site.  We were looking for the box when another lady drove up.  We stopped our search and went over to talk to her.  She said she was there looking for a box and I assumed she meant the letterbox.  I introduced myself and got her name “Marsha”  she said her user name was “ahsram” which is her name backwards.  So we looked for the box together.  After I found the box and stamped in, she said she didn’t use a stamp.  She only signed the logs. 

Now I’m very suspicious.  I did not find that user name online.  I think she was actually there looking for a geocache and just went along with the search until we left before looking for the geocache she was actually looking for. 

The letterbox was in a muddy location due to the recent rains and there are also briars.  I hope she didn’t go back and take the box after we left.

Interest map

Interesting map

Our last box was Christmas Bear Hunt at Richard Carter Park, which was also a good place to waymark.  We found the box.

Park Entrance.

Park Entrance, I added a waymark for the Park.

Information pavilion.

Information pavilion.

Restored well.

Restored well.

Plaque for where the cabin used to be.

Plaque for where the cabin used to be.

Restored cemetery

Restored cemetery is now a waymark.

"Staking a Claim" statue in the park.

“Staking a Claim” statue in the park.  This Waymark is still pending approval.

Waymarking in Hearne

We stopped by the old Railroad Depot in Hearne to make it into a waymark.  So far it is listed under the category of news article location, but it is pending under Trail Depot, Relocated Structure, and Museum also.  Interesting place with helpful and informative volunteer inside to tell you all about it.

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