Saturday, August 25, 2007

Happy 171st, H-Town

Fun story here about the Allen brothers and one of their progenitors. Click for some good old photos of early Houston, too ...

(Augustus Chapman Allen), he says, was a brilliant man, an inventor who went to Mexico in an attempt to build a canal to connect the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

And Houston, he says, was designed with great foresight: "They set up Houston as a head-of-navigation city. They knew they could get trains and ships into it and could become, as they advertised, 'the great commercial emporium of Texas.' "

I'm posting this too late for the cemetery's rededication this morning, but if you ever find yourself on West Dallas Street with a few minutes to spare, pull over and walk in. It's truly a marvel.

Founders Memorial Cemetery, just west of downtown, has Freedman's Town to one side and a direct, beautiful view of the skyline to the other.

Jill Brooks, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which has worked to make the cemetery a historic site, points at the open green spaces.

"They had mass burials, here," Brooks says.

That means nobody really knows where anyone is buried. John Kirby Allen is there — a headstone was placed in the cemetery in 1936 for Houston's centennial — but no one knows exactly where.

We went here on a ghost tour of Houston a few years back. This place has a real vibe about it. And if you're looking for something to do this weekend (and the first of next week), then check the event schedule at the link at the top.

We're going to see the Astros play tonight -- a rookie pitcher makes his professional debut -- instead of the Jeff Bagwell jersey retirement celebration Sunday afternoon.

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