Monday, October 26, 2009

A Week on the Road, Part Four

Overnight a weather system came on shore from the Gulf and brought with it rain and wind and a tornado watch. We cancelled our planned breakfast out in favor of staying inside until the weather had settled down. We were to meet Lana's sister for lunch in Alvin and we were relieved when the rain and wind died down mid-morning in plenty of time for us to make our appointment.

It is hard for the casual visitor to know when Friendswood stops and Alvin starts. It was only a 15 minute drive to our meeting spot and did not involve a freeway, which was a relief considering the weather. It was cool and misty, but eventually the rain tapered off and we had a pleasant day of sight-seeing in Alvin.

What you may ask is there to see in Alvin? Well, lots as it turns out. After meeting up with Janie at Buddy's Old Time Services, a car repair shop she owns with her husband, we set out to locate a couple of parcels of property that my ancestor Dr. Henry Hodge had owned around the turn of the century. (We have to have a requisite amount of genealogy per day on our trips.) I had determined the addresses of the two tracts, so we set out to find them. It turned out that both were on the main street that runs through Alvin.

It is too bad that my Hodge ancestors did not hang onto some of the property they acquired. Dr. Henry owned acreage in Lee County, town lots in Lockhart, acreage in Brazoria County, and town lots in Roby. In Alvin, he owned both sides of an alley that currently runs alongside a bank:

and two lots where there is presently a Mexican Restaurant:

In wondering what might have resided at these locations when Dr. Henry owned the property, Janie took us to the museum where we were able to look at an old plat of the town and confirm that we had located the correct lots, but there were no old photos available of the properties in question. Later in the day we met a gentleman at City Hall who did not have photos either, but he was able to tell us a little about what was going on in the town at that point in history. I don't think it had quite sunk in for me until we talked to him that Alvin would have suffered damages from the great 1900 hurricane that devastated nearby Galveston. Only 17 structures remained standing in the town after the storm, so whatever had sat on the property when Dr. Henry bought it, it was most probably not in existence at the time the family sold it after his death in 1904.

That concluded our genealogical portion of the day. The rest of the day was just fun. The three of us girls went to the Alvin Antique Center and Marketplace. We started our visit with lunch in the Milk Pail, a wonderful little tea room at the rear of the store. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was wonderful if you love antiques, fine china and tea party elegance. After filling up on their tasty chicken salad, tomato basil soup and bread pudding with rum sauce (I had lemon zest cake instead of bread pudding because I can never resist a lemon cake), we spent the next few hours browsing the large antique mall.

Needless to say, we added more to our back seat. Lana made a great find of a half-dozen vintage hats, some vintage doilies and a greyhound figurine. I found more books.

Not long ago I ran across a complete set of the Golden Books Children's Encycopedia, a set I had owned as a child and could remember reading to tatters. I had purchased that set and given it a place of honor in my living room. I had not known until now that there was a companion 6 volume set of atlases. I found the complete set of atlases in Alvin and now they have been added to my collection.

I also found a display cabinet for a future miniature scene and it was this small cabinet that was the real problem to tote home. It was a 2-foot high glass pyramid with one interior shelf that I intend to use for an Egyptian scene. Of course they did not have a box that would fit it, so it was wrapped carefully in tissue and I held it in my lap all the way back to my car, where we carefully packed it with blankets in the back passenger floor space.

Lana's hats were individually wrapped in white plastic bags and we carefully placed those in a single layer in the luggage compartment. (When we packed to come home, they were carefully positioned across the top of our luggage to prevent their being crushed.)

Despite the temptation, I did not purchase the oak side chair that I thought was such a good buy. It wasn't because I have will power but because I could not figure out how it would fit in the car to come home. be continued one more time...


No comments: