On June 14th and June 15th descendants of pioneer families gathered and talked about the family history in Blanco.
Many of these people told tales of hardship in building a life on the frontier. Indian raids were common but just every day tasks of living were the challenge. The Historical Telephone building was the site of this activity during the Lavender Festival.
The Blassingame family was represented by Ken and Janelle Holmes, who dressed in period costume, and brought a firearm from that period in history.
Dorothy Dillon’s family had four Texas Rangers and one poet. Bernice West is a direct descendent of one of the first families to settle in Blanco, the William Neil Trainer family. Bernice is a historian and tells the history of Blanco through her life.
Shirley Beck represented the Smith family, and Carroll Lindeman represented the Lindeman family. Both told of early life in Blanco County.
The second day started with the History of Blanco County, creation and development by the early settlers. James H. Callahan and Eli C. Hinds were considered the first to settle on the Rio Blanco but history tells us that a few German settlers where in the area also.
Linda Howard spoke about her Great Great Grandfather, Jesse Lawhon, who was killed by the Indians in 1855. She told the tale of the ghost town called Oxford or Cat town.
The Byars family was represented by Retta Martin and George Byars. George showed the family crest and told the history of the family name. George spoke about the family starting the telephone company in Blanco. He related and showed pictures of the building as a telephone office.
Retta told about where the families lived in relation to the town square. Retta currently lives in the family home in the Historical District of Blanco.
The final event of the afternoon was the dramatic reading of Ron Houston and Maggie Goodman. They told the little known story of the Callahan/Blassingame Shooting. This event was to shape the history of Blanco for many years afterwards.
During both days, time was available for visitors to enjoy and tour the building. Antiques were on display in the building.
Nell Krueger loaned an antique foot warmer, chamber pot, wash bowl and pitcher, a fish net hook and many other unique items.
Jayne Lightfoot loaned her antique chairs for people to sit on during the talks. Dennis Moore loaned antique tools and a cart. Pat Vallone displayed quilts, dolls, clothing, boots and more.
A large 48 star flag and an handmade rug adorned the walls. The building came to life with the assistance of Gregory Hines, Frieda Little, Cara Milner, and many others. With the assistance of everyone, the building showed her best. Thanks also to the Chamber for the wonderful sign, done in Lavender color, of course.
See page B5 for pictures of the storytellers and the antiques that were on display.