Saturday, May 7, 2011

Johnson City

As part of our wildflower tour, Roy and I drove the road that runs behind our camper. It's called Miller Creek Road. It is a back road into Johnson City. We were surprised at what we found.

We discovered the road runs right through a pasture. Although it's not true free range, it was reminiscent of our years in Idaho encountering cattle in the high desert and mountains. It made my heart race a bit and yearn for the freedom of the wide open spaces that are available to the public further West. Texas lands seem to be privately owned.

Awww, Mama and baby! They look peaceful, don't they.

Further down the road we encountered this Oak, with a sign declaring it to be the largest one in Blanco County.

Check out the flood gauge at the side of the road. This is an area where the road takes a substantial dip. At the bottom of the dip is a creek with a spillway to each side of the road. The only reason I can see for a flood gauge to show this extreme depth is that someone new to the road may think it's flat, and therefore, the water not so deep.

This is the main street of the old business district in Johnson City. The community has a population of approximately 1,500 and is the hometown of President Lyndon B. Johnson. It is a mix of farming, artisans, and history. At the end of the street you see a tall building that was once a feed mill. It's now a restaurant. If you take the side street to the left in the forefront of the picture, you will encounter the president's boyhood home just a block or two away. The street to the right in the forefront of the picture goes past the jail, courthouse, and bank. All date back to the early years of the community. More on all these later.

Here is a picture of the Feed mill Restaurant taken from a metalwork gallery across the street. Metalwork is popular in this area.

This is President Johnson's boyhood home. Tours are available. We'll do that another day, along with a tour of the family ranch.

Here is the side and back yard. I couldn't help but be a little awed by a young boy achieving such a high office from such humble beginnings. I later wondered whether the name Johnson City came about after the presidency, whether the family was well established in the area, or was just coincidence. It turns out the Johnson's have quite a lineage here. Here's a nice synopsis of the founding of Johnson City and the Johnson family:

This jail was built in 1894. With improvements to bring it up to code, it is still in use today. It makes me wonder what famous outlaws from days of old may have spent time here.

Across the street is the courthouse.

This is the original Johnson City Bank. It is no longer used as a bank. It once house Lyndon B. Johnson's offices.

Here is a view down the street to the side of the bank heading back to the main street. The little buildings hold art galleries and whatnot shops. It's a quiet and pleasant community.

On the edge of town is the Benini Sculpture Ranch and Gallery. We'll catch it another day.