Let's pretend that it is October and Halloween is coming up tonight. Then let's pretend that the weather is nice and cool outside. Well, this day trip was originally scheduled for October, 2015, when those conditions might apply, but unfortunately it was rained out at that time. The difference in weather between October and June in Houston is like the difference between night and day.
After getting us introduced to the early history and life of Houston, Sandra led us outside through the Heritage Society's collection of historic buildings in Sam Houston Park. Included were the old St. John Church, The Yates Home and the 4th Ward Cottage.
We walked past the "Hanging Oak", where Sandra had some of our talented Day Trippers act out a scene from the early life of the tree. We didn't realize we had such talent in our group.
We continued north on Bagby Street until we reached Buffalo Bayou, where we walked through Sesquicentennial Park, which winds along the bayou. The 22.5-acre park was established in 1986 to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the founding of the city of Houston and of the Republic of Texas.
We walked along the bayou and Sandra recounted how boats navigated the bayou to bring their cargo into the city center. Along the way she pointed out many historical landmarks that go unnoticed from above the bayou bank. She identified the Donnellan Crypt, and told the story of how Henry Donnellan and his business partner tried to defuse some old Civil War munitions that were thrown into the bayou and became casualties of the large explosion. The pieces of them that remained were placed in the crypt that remains on the bank of the bayou. Sandra said that all the remains from that crypt were move to Glenwood Cemetery; as were the other bodies from the Houston city limits at that time.
After a leisurely lunch, complete with a fantastic free dessert, thanks to Mary Brown's good help, we boarded the bus again and drove to Freedman's Town, where we ended our tour with Sandra.
All in all, in spite of the hot Houston Summer weather, everyone enjoyed reliving some of Houston's history with Sandra, who is like having a talking Wikipedia along with you. Thanks to Mary Brown, who put this trip together for us, it was educational and entertaining.
We hope that you will plan to join us on upcoming day trips as they are scheduled.