A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

More De Kalb Texas Treats

When I search out these quirky sites in America, sometimes I come away with unexpected finds in addition to the main attraction.  De Kalb Texas was one of those places.  It is not only the site where Ricky Nelson lost his life, but I learned it was the birthplace of Dan Blocker, "Hoss" from the TV western show Bonanza that ran from 1959 to 1973.

In the corner opposite from Ricky Nelson stood big Hoss himself, Dan Blocker.

The museum lady said I could go see the Blocker family plot at the nearby cemetery and Dan's grave marker.  I was pretty well cemeteried out at this point having just come from one two days before (another post yet to come) but the thrill of the hunt spurred me along in search for Dan's grave.

That is Mom Blocker in the middle and Pop to the left of her.

Hoss still has his fans out there.

Back to the museum.  The wood house which is now De Kalb's museum was once the railroad switchman's place of residence and it stood by the tracks across the road from it's present location.  I was told some history about the house and the relocation process itself but again, I failed to make any notes.  
The Girl Scouts remember.

Yesterday's picture of the museum again.

But inside they faithfully preserved the kitchen from when it once belonged to the railroad company.  The museum brought in some additional period pieces which overall made the fully functional kitchen appear as it did in it's day.  I was really impressed with it but the smell of freshly baked bread (or Girl Scout cookies) may have played some part in that.

Original floors and cabinets and I appreciate them leaving it just as it was and not newly painted over.

And there's more to De Kalb.  Evidently the folk and blues artist known as Lead Belly was from this area and his family lived in De Kalb.  Leadbelly (as it is usually written) only got one shelf in the Ricky Nelson/Dan Blocker room of the museum.  Lead Belly had an interesting and unfortunate life, in and out of prison a couple of times which you can read about here on Wikipedia.

As with most museums, I get overwhelmed with all there is to see.  De Kalb's museum was small and compact and definitely worth the visit.  Just check beforehand and make sure it isn't the anniversary date of the Girl Scouts of America.

Okay, I've been picking on the girls in these two posts and must say they were good kids, polite and really weren't a bother in the least.  I've been around packs of Boy Scouts several times in my travels in the girls were much better to be around.


s.c said...

The 2 shots of the kitchen are great and it is indeed lucky that knowbody did a reatauration. We now get a real impression of how it was. Thanks for showing.

biebkriebels said...

This is an interesting post with the original kitchen so well preserved. And Hoss, I remember him very well, those old times televison series. I loved it.

Carole M. said...

...oh yes Hoss - remember him too. Certainly going back in time with your visits to these museums John

MarkD60 said...

I remember Bonanza, Hoss, and that Dan Blocker was his name. Only one on Bonanza I know his name.

I like old kitchens like that.

TexWisGirl said...

oh, i loved dan blocker! my sis and i both cried when he died! what a big guy! watched his son a few times, too, as he tried acting.

Janie said...

I had to look up DeKalb's location, even though I once lived in East Texas. I guess it didn't make a big impression on me. The museum looks very cool, though. You manage to find something of interest just about everywhere.

What Karen Sees said...

Very fun and interesting post. You do visit some quirky places!

Randy said...

I love the old kitchen.

Jo's World said...

The Lead Belly story on Wiki was most interesting. Amazing how he could wield a knife, murder somebody and be released from prison because he was a good and willing entertainer!

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

Anonymous said...

It is always interesting to see the little bits and pieces of America that you find.