BIGFOOT MUSEUM, BIGFOOT, TEXAS: Housed in a replica of Texas Ranger
Bigfoot Wallace's log cabin are displays of Wallace memorabilia and frontier artifacts.
The building to the right is a replica of where
the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2nd & 3rd, 1836.
BIGFOOT & PEARSALL
Where replicas abound.
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
I never realized how many replicas are scattered throughout
the state. Sure there are statues, but they lean toward some semblance of art. Replicas
are more like illustrations in the round, and some are bigger and better than others.
everal years back I'd heard tell of a Bigfoot Wallace museum in
Bigfoot, Texas. The legendary Texas Ranger was nicknamed "Bigfoot"
cause, you guessed it, he had really big feet. According to legend he once drove a
mail hack between San Antonio and El Paso. After being accosted by a band of Indians
who stole his mules Bigfoot walked the balance of his route to El Paso. On his arrival he
stopped off at a Mexican's house, ate twenty-seven eggs and then headed on into town for a
proper meal. You gotta respect a feller like that.
Needless to say, I was hyped when I discovered our
route would take us through Bigfoot and right up to the museum. Upon entering Bigfoot the first thing you'll notice, if your lucky, is a
tree in the middle of the road. Beyond that you're likely to be startled by the depressing
aspect of the community. One house has so much stuff piled up around it I figure if
they'd hold a garage sale, price everything at a dime they could build a small
mansion. Or maybe just sell half of it so's a hired hand could dispose of the
While I was pondering other possibilities we were accosted
by a roadside sign. You read right -- accosted. Normally I shy away from
politics but the signmaker seems desperately in need of help so I figure you wouldn't mind
me posting it here. Besides, if God had stepped in maybe he'd a taken the sign down and
the community would be presenting a more prosperous aspect. (Just maybe God was
being kind by not turning the signmaker into a mean old rich person or maybe even
Well, guess what? The Bigfoot Museum was
CLOSED. Don't it figure? When you want something too hard it'll break your
grasp every time. Plans or no plans. Here's what the sign on the door read:
"Open By Appointment and on the 2nd Saturday of each month."
Not willing to be put off by this unfortunate turn of events I walked around taking
pictures of the building off to the right which is a
replica of the one where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2nd
& 3rd, 1836. Then I indulged in a little window peeping. The only real view was
captured through one window and all I saw was a glass case of old weapons and the only
label I could read said, "Japanese Rifle".
This is the first hint ever presented to me that the
Japanese pitched in with the Texicans so's we could take the land from the Mexicans, who
took it from the Spanish, who took it from the Indians, who took it from the mastodons,
who... well you get the idea. All that, and the Japanese didn't get a lick of credit
for their part.
I'd about had my fill of weird. Tipi monuments
appearing out of dust clouds, trees parked in the middle of the road, and a Japanese rifle
in Bigfoot's museum. What's next? The world's largest peanut in
Pearsall! We lit out for something that surely wasn't CLOSED.
Pearsall is an easy place to get lost in if your looking for something
specific. Like their peanut monument. We had the street address but Main Street, if
indeed that's what they call their main street, was way short on signage. So we drove
around kinda haphazard like, figuring dumb luck was gonna smile down any moment.
That's when Nigel the Land Rover, impatient with our aimless wanderin, led us to the
Chamber of Commerce. Guess what? Chambers of Commerce, housing all those city maps
and brochures tourists could derive some benefit from, are CLOSED on Saturdays. ( I hold
this fact as one of life's great imponderables.)
There was some event going on out back behind the
Chamber but I was in no mood to walk around and look stupid twice in one day.
"To heck with it," I
said (using slightly harder words that that).
As we pulled out of the parking lot Ms. Intrepied
spotted two pleasant looking ladies of a certain age. Leave it up to a woman to ask
directions not caring in the least that they're gonna make the male of the species look
dumb, lazy or worse.
Turns out they were were more than happy to help,
especially the gregarious Evelyn Howard in her stylish black dress and sun bonnet. They
had been playing 42 and eating barbecue all day and in a talkative mood. Not only
did Evelyn give explicit directions, she introduced us to her ladyfriend, Nan Voss, the
mother-in-law of George Strait.
Golly, gee. Imagine that. Directions and nearly a
celebrity. We were finally going to see the World's Largest Peanut.
We located the monument straight away and for a
replica it isn't half bad but I figure any enterprising soul with an afternoon on his
hands could snatch that claim away quicker than thought. I coulda stood next to the
monument (left) for scale, but at five foot six and shrinking I'd probably just embarrass
Poteet. Poteet. Poteet. Gosh I love
saying that. And that was our next destination. Poteet. Poteet. Ms.
Intrepid has been suggesting therapy for some time now but I figure the kind folks of
Poteet would take me for a right smart feller. Maybe even a genius in disguise.
Poteet here we come.
On the way to Poteet we passed through
Jourdanton where I took a couple of building photos. One was their handsome Atascosa
County courthouse and a replica (left) of their 1856
courthouse. I reckon replicas are working themselves into a theme here.
PAGE 1: HEADIN' OUT / PAGE 2: DEVINE
PAGE 3: BIGFOOT & PEARSALL / PAGE 4: POTEET AND FLORESVILLE
POSTSCRIPT: FAIRVIEW / THE MAP
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