Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Dr. Pound Farmstead Series, Part I

I have been a lover of history when my college freshman history professor made American history come alive. Since the seventh grade, I was in some kind of history class until my senior high school year; the senior year covered the Constitution, civics and government. BTW, Texas history classes were very important when I was in school; and if I remember correctly, it was mandatory in the seventh and eighth grades. :D Nevertheless, I half-heartedly studied history until college. This professor made our founding fathers and heroes real people, not just a name and whatever great deed they did. She gave us some of the gossip along with the more exciting details of various debates and conflicts. Much as I hate to admit it, I love a little gossip, specifically if no one is going to be harmed by it. Obviously, those that have departed this earth will not be harmed. There is hardly a program on the History Channel that I haven't watched, except possibly those unending WW II dog fights which my husband loves to watch.

All of the above brings me to the subject of this series: Dr. Pound Pioneer Farmstead Historical Museum. I've been asked to be a docent; and while I've done several training sessions, we had a formal one yesterday and was given an updated script. As information comes to light, some information is corrected and/or added as documents, etc., are discovered and verified. It is an ongoing process and the lady doing the research has a real knack for finding it.

The chuck wagon, photo here, is so similar to the wagons traveling across country that it is almost impossible for us to imagine the discomfort for a thousand plus miles. But Dr. Joseph Pound and his new bride did travel in a similar wagon in 1853-54 from Mississippi to this area of Central Texas, approximately 30 miles southwest of Austin.

Texas was not unfamiliar territory since Joseph Pound enlisted in Company A, First Illinois Volunteers which fought in the 1846 Mexican-American War. The First Illinois went to Mississippi, across the Gulf of Mexico to Port Lavaca, Texas, marched up to San Antonio, then marched back to Saltillo, Mexico. Dr. Pound, before he was a doctor, marched over a good bit of Texas. So, he was well aware where he was going with his new bride. :D

The original west side of the two-room log pen structure is preserved.

Roof of the dog trot between the two structures.

Pioneer homes, most certainly in Texas, had a dog trot between the two structures because it kept the home cool in summer. The east side was was replaced with a parlor and large bedroom in 1880 to 1900. It was the first home, school, church (Methodist), medical clinic to be built in the Dripping Springs area. Other additions or improvements were made later on as the nine children came along. Four generations of Pounds lived continuously until Dr. Pounds' granddaughter, Marguerite Hammack died in 1983. She donated the house and 3 acres to the City of Dripping Springs with the stipulation that it be restored as a museum.

The front door is just a few feet from the corner of the cabin. I am 5'4" and I have to make sure my head does not hit the top of the doorway as I walk into the cabin. In fact, I've learned to automatically put my hand on the top to make sure I remember to duck a little before walking in.

It was a one room affair - bedroom, living room, dining, and etc. All the quilts seen in the photos were made by someone in the family. The bed is to the left as you enter.

Dresser about four feet to the right of the end of bed.

Pie safe is directly across the room from the dresser. And in the corner was a dining table with the ends cut off. When furniture did not fit, pioneers simply made it fit by cutting off an end or whatever.

More to come in Part II.

Until next time, God bless.


Tes said...

I heard about this from one of my co-teachers. My husband and I have been planning to see this and discover more about how the pioneers lived.

Your photos are good and this post is really informative. Thanks for sharing!

Lily said...

Oh, those crazy people that wish they were born in simpler times. I rather like our luxuries. It was a rough life.

Why do they call it a dog trot?

Lynn said...

Tes, stay tuned; there is more to come. :D

Lily, I do not know why the term "dog trot" or even "dog run." I've heard that term all my life when frontier homes were discussed. Logic tells me that's where the dogs hung out. :D It is cool or at least bearable in the dog trot when the temps are a 100+.

Daisy Soap Girl said...

Thanks for sharing that amazing bit of history and the pictures. The furniture is top quality and the quilts are works of art. So beautiful and incredible how the pioneers lived.

Mary-Austin said...

Love the topic and information Lynn!!

My parents built a little dog run house one time on some property in the hill country. Indeed was where the dogs hung out! It was supposed to help keep the air moving through and the rooms cooler, but really, in Texas in the summer, can it really be cool? Have to say, I'm not sure how they survived in this heat back then.

Lynn said...

Mary-Austin, I remember surviving the Houston heat without air conditioning! Nights were the worst. No matter how often the window screens were examined, a mosquito or two would find an unseen hole and buzz you at night.

The first sign of improvement in finances would be the purchase of a fan. Then it was a window fan. Next as finances continued to improve, people would get an attic fan, a room air conditioner, and at last, central air! Not one school room was air conditioned my entire twelve years of attendance.

Believe me, I am grateful every day in the summer for the A/C.

AL said...

Hi Lynn, like you I have always been interested with history. I would like to take a history course someday even if my friends say I am boring. I don't care. I just don't understand why I am so amused about how people live during the old days and the best part that I like are those stories which have never been mentioned in history books. There's more to learn about a particular personality, place, or thing during those days, and sometimes kids nowadays doesn't even bother to know, how the place they lived in progressed.


SquirrelQueen said...

Add me to the count on those who love history, and I've probably seen every show ever shown on the history channel. I grew up in Georgia and almost every park we visited when I was a child had some connection to the local history. My dad helped to fuel my love of history.

I think it is so exciting that you are going to be involved with this historical museum.

I'm on my way to read Part II.