|Posted by RUAVET on November 7, 2016 at 10:40 PM|
Travelling up Jacksboro Highway from Fort Worth at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning is a pretty relaxing trek. In fact, you can easily miss the intersection of Hwy. 51 about nine miles northwest of Azle, Tx.
But if you take a right at the light and go a short distance you’ll experience a quaint little township called Springtown, Tx. The heart of Springtown activity has always revolved around the town square.
The square boasts a number of shops from BBQ to fancy boutiques. At the center of the square is The Tabernacle. It’s been the sight of revivals, weddings, concerts, reunions, and countless other activities. In fact, the township has raised and invested close to $100,000.00 for recent renovation purposes. And today it was the location for the 83rd Anniversary celebration of The CCC in a structure that the CCC actually built in this present location in 1937.
When the community was made aware that the CCC Legacy 123 was planning to honor the “Boys” on this day they embraced the prospect with open arms. Support from the local merchants was amazing. They let us display our event posters in their store fronts and many contributed to door prizes as well as a large raffle item. “Springtown Springtown Springtown Springtown Springtown Springtown Springtown Springtown Springtown Springtown Springtown Event Event Event Event Event Event 2016”
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A Heart felt thank you goes out to the friendly folks of Springtown, the Springtown Chamber Of Commerce, Azle News and the Mayor of Springtown, the Honorable Tom Clayton.
After setting up for the event, opening ceremonies began with the Pledge to the Flags, the invocation, and greetings to all to enjoy a memorable day on the square. The climate was perfect. Well… to be honest it did get a little breezy periodically. But other than that, it was a gorgeous day.
Mike Pixler made the opening remarks and welcomed everyone. He affirmed the event Mission Statement “to honor the Boys, sustain and increase membership, and raise funds for continued operation of the Chapter and future events.”
It was then that a special guest was recognized. Steve Wingo, a 94 year old “Boy”, and his daughter Susie Wingo honored us with their attendance. Steve actually worked on the Tabernacle in the day.
He looks as great as he did here in 2013 while promoting the CCC. Here he spreads the legacy by making personal appearances to promote the University of North Texas Oral History book #904, an interview with him about his work with the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Wingo was an enrollee to Company 1816. This local company would be instrumental in constructing bridges, dams, roads, and other necessary structures to leave a legacy of lake development unparelled to this day.
How did the training from the CCC payoff in the long run?
As one that went through the CCC program, he was well disciplined, accustomed to work, able to take orders and yet could think for himself…he was educated.
Everything they learned during their time with the program trained them for their life’s journey. Many, like Wingo, went on to serve bravely in World War II.
Thank you for your service Steve. As a World War II Fire Controlman 1st Class, Wingo relaxes during a break in his Navy service as a rangefinder-spotter. His excellent eyesight helped land him the job. Source: Legends Museum Website
Bulletin Thanks: The American Youth Works, specifically the Texas Conservation Corps…the modern day equivalent of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Any repairs needed at Tx. State Parks resulting from natural or man made occurances is a call to go fix it. This eager and qualified corps of young conservationists are rightfully recognized as the ones that keep our state parks beautiful, healthy, and safe for the public.
“The Texas Conservation Corps (TxCC) empowers the lives of youth and young adults through conservation education, service and jobs training.” Source: Texas Conservation Corps Website
Outstanding work and a credit to a segment of today’s youth. Your continued work is greatly appreciated.
President Mike Pixler
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Our first guest speaker was Springtown’s Mayor, the Honorable Tom Clayton.
Mayor Clayton read a proclamation stating that Saturday October 15, 2016 shall be recognized as Civilian Conservation Corps Day in Springtown, Tx.
It was a thrill to witness this recognition of the “Boys” and their hard work both locally and throughout the United States. It’s also very rewarding to see that the ongoing effort of the CCC Legacy Chapter 123 continues to capture the attention and support of local citizens as well as their prominent public officials.
Then came time to be blasted into the past courtesy of founders of the prestegious “Springtown Legends Museum”. Although we did not tour the facility, founders Laurie and Julia Moseley gave a spectacular presentation highlighting history of Springtown back to the horse and buggy days. “Legends Museum was founded by a couple inspired to showcase the rich history of Springtown, Texas, an old West town settled more than 150 years ago. By a stroke of luck, even the building that houses their collection has deep roots in Springtown's past. Both avid historians, Laurie and Julia Moseley collected artifacts, historical records and items from the settlement days and wanted to share them with others. They found a place in the back of a former saddlery shop - today the chamber of commerce - with just enough room for a spinning wheel, some old photos, a saddle (made in that very shop) and a few books. As interest in the museum grew, so did the collection. Local residents began donating things and the Moseleys soon ran out of space. Around that time, the house that Julia's grandmother had lived in for 50 years came on the market. A local teacher had built the home in the early 1900s out of timber salvaged from another building, proudly telling his sons that it only cost $600 to complete. The house, located on what is now Main Street in the northern part of town, had fallen into disrepair but with willing volunteers was restored to its old glory. Julia's grandmother, in fact, chose the house early in her marriage because she thought it looked like a palace. Today, the house is replete with the things of Springtown past, from prehistoric bones to 1960s letter jackets belonging to high school students. A limb from the tree that finished off two sisters of the notorious 19th-century Nan Hill sits in a side room, underneath farming implements from about the same time. On a wall hangs a community quilt bearing the names of hundreds of local residents, along with sepia-toned photos of folks both known and unknown.” Source & Credits:: Legends Museum Website
It was fascinating to hear the stories and imagine the dirt roads, the “Nan Hill” gang, and the threat of Comanche raids from such a fascinating couple that has deep roots to this territory.
Laurie and Julia led us through the early days where the major hitching posts in Springtown were strategically located in the middle of the street. Perhaps a good idea…since you really would prefer flies to congregate anywhere but the front of the merchant doors.
Mayor Clayton reads The Proclamation
Springtown Square 1890’s
Springtown Legends Museum
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What an incredible couple. Their passion for preserving history has provided a rare glimpse into the past for countless enthusiastic history buffs from all walks of life. Truly an admirable example on how to appreciate and honor the brave pioneers that settled Texas.
Bulletin Thanks: B&B Burgers…POJO Coffee shop…Woody Creek BBQ
After a lunch break, local legend Author/Historian and President of Springtown Legends Museum Gloria Peoples-Elam spoke. Gloria went to West Texas State University and earned a Certificate of Completion of the Ambassador Bible Correspondence Course. Her extensive knowledge of history is rich, as can be seen in her publication “An American Heritage Story”. She graciously recognized the accomplishments of the CCC and the rich history that Springtown shares with the Civilian Conservation Corps. In an informational document she wrote, “The Tabernacle on the Square”, she notes how the CCC in 1936-1937 removed the original Tabernacle and the adjoining City Hall building [The former College Hill Institute]. In its place, CCC Company 1816 built with great precision and attention to detail the current structure that you see at the top of this Bulletin.
Laurie and Julia Moseley
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Our Keynote Speaker gave a special presentation - “History of the ‘Boys’ as the Keystone of our Texas State Parks.” Erika Warlick is a Ranger with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. She is a State Police/Interpreter for Meridian State Park which means she knows a lot about parks in general, and the CCC specifically.
Her trunk was filled with artifacts from the day, like a coat and hat that would’ve been worn by one of the boys. Numerous photos were viewed of CCC Company 1827 (V) that built Meridian State Park. The “V” indicates that it was built by WWI veterans.
Along with a fascinating narrative about how the CCC literally built more than 50 State Parks in Texas, Erika and 10 year old Greyson built a miniature keystone bridge. The technology to build these bridges was perfected by the Romans over 2000 years ago and was the model for many of the CCC structures that we see to this day. The small model proved incredibly sturdy as Greyson proves by taking a stand.
Clockwise: Mike, Greyson, Erika, Bill Stallings
Thank you Erika for such an exceptional presentation. And thank you for your outstanding service and sacrifice to date by graciously answering the call to help protect and preserve our state parks.
Ranger Erika Warlick
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Our next experience was a presentation from the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. What an exceptional treat from naturalist & education specialist Elizabeth Bitter.
She highlighted the works of CCC Company 1816…the same Company that built both The Tabernacle and the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.
It’s also the same young men who’s camp was located at the sight where you’ll find a CCC Memorial honoring that very spot. Relics from the original flagpole area have been excavated and can be viewed at the sight.
Elizabeth’s display board and presentation was chalked full of CCC history from a timeline of 1934 to 1937. She also was enthusiastic in sharing her knowledge regarding the Nature Center’s mission “to enhance the quality of life by enrolling and educating our community in the preservation and protection of natural areas while standing as an example of these same principles and values in North Central Texas”. Source: www.fwnaturecenter.org
Extreme gratitude is extended to all of our friends at the Ft. Worth Nature Center & Refuge for their extraordinary work in conservation and dedicated support of the CCC Legacy.
CCC Memorial Lake Worth
Mike, Elizabeth, Nicholas “Dusty” Martinez, Ft. Worth Nature Center
Manager Rob Denkhaus, and Nicholas “The Marine” Griffin
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Now is a perfect time to recognize a major supporter of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. The Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center has one mission: “To preserve, protect, and conserve in perpetuity the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge”. Source: NatureCenterFriends.org Check it out…it’s an opportunity for all of us to support the boots on the ground that teach the Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps and preserve our land.
Our final speaker was special guest Rob Denkhaus, the manager of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.
His purpose today was to donate two door prizes inviting the winners to an exclusive event held each October that is not open to the public. It is a rare opportunity for them to participate in the annual check-up and Vaccination of The Bison Herd at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.
Approximately 15 Nature Center Technicians, interns, and volunteers participate in wrangling the 25 Bison into chutes to be individually attended to by a veterinarian. Whoa! Those beasts are huge. What an incredible contribution. Thank you Rob.
This was a powerful day filled with beautiful people supporting the continuing quest to pass the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps to future generations. Thank you all for sharing in this incredible experience.
This CCC Family Photo was taken to honor the key individuals in attendance who made CCC Springtown Event 2016 possible. From the left:
1.Bill Stallings 2.Laurie Moseley
3.Julia Moseley 4.Wanda Jones
5.Troy Jones 6.Joe Pixler
7.Don Woodard 8.Mike Pixler
9. Wanda Woodard 10.Pam Arnault
Bulletin Thanks: Honorary Life Member of the CCC Chapter 123 Rick Shepherd. Member of the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center. You’re support ignited the success of Springtown 2016.
CCC Family Photo
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Author & Photographer: Joe Pixler (806) 786-6299
Bright Boutique, The
Guns & Ammo Store
Springtown Chamber Of Commerce
Taco Casa on Hwy. 199
Troy & Wanda Jones
Steve Wingo - www.legendsmuseum.org/photos_cont._2.html
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge - www.fwnaturecenter.org
Friends Of The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge - http://naturecenterfriends.org/
Legends Museum - http://legendsmuseum.org/Welcome.html
Steve Wingo - http://www.legendsmuseum.org/photos_cont._2.html
Texas Conservation Corps - https://texasconservationcorps.wordpress.com/about-2/
“The Tabernacle On The Square” by Gloria Peoples-Elam – President of Springtown Legends Museum – GloElam@aol.com