I arrived in Eagle Pass late in the afternoon of Saturday, April 26. The town of about 28,000 people is on the Rio Grande River, opposite Piedra Negras, Coahuila, a city of about 150,000. I immediately liked this place. The low hill surrounding the river valley were a welcome relief from the relentless mesquite and cactus prairie found just outside the river's reach. Maverick County has a two courthouses near the center of Eagle Pass: an historic building and a not so historic building. Guess which one is which.
After a wonderful dinner at La Parrilla de San Miguel in Eagle Pass I slept soundly at the Holiday Inn Express.
With my Texas county list now at 199, I began my long drive home to Houston on Sunday morning. The forecast was for hot temperatures and high winds. So, I filled up my Ford Focus from Enterprise rentals and headed east, to Crystal City, home of Popeye!
On my trip home I would re-visit 6 county seats: Crystal City, seat of Zavala County was first. It's courthouse is still one of the most difficult to photograph. Long, low and repetitive, with deep roof overhangs; it's not going to win any prizes.
Moving on, I drove south about 12 miles to the seat of Dimmit County, Carrizo Springs. Just south of Crystal City I crossed the bridge over Turkey Creek.
The Dimmit County courthouse is still diminutive and the front is still obscured by trees. And, yes, that's my Ford Focus rental car in the picture. Not my favorite vehicle to drive, but it did get very good gas mileage. It averaged 36 mpg over two days.
As the temperature began to climb into the high 90's I drove east, dodging oil field trucks, to Cotulla, seat of La Salle County. This was my third visit to Cotulla. Previous trips in 2009 and 2011 had yielded photographs of the historic courthouse undergoing restoration. Now, finally, the work is finished. Wow! The courthouse is amazing. It sparkles!
Funny, as I was filing my photographs from this trip I noticed that all three of my visits to Cotulla have been on the 27th day of the month. That's remarkable and completely unplanned. Unfortunately, Chuck's Bar and Dance Hall wasn't open for Sunday brunch. Next time. (on the 27th, of course)
Getting on I-35 north, I cruised along to Pearsall, seat of Frio County. Sadly, the Frio County courthouse is just as, well, sad, as the first time I stopped by in 2009. It really needs help. Although it does have shiny new downspouts.
The temperature was now at 100 degrees so I stopped by Garcia's Bar & Grill in downtown Pearsall for a delicious TexMex lunch. Next stop was Atascosa County. As I passed through Jourdanton I captured a few more views of the courthouse.
Last stop before Houston: Wilson County. The historic courthouse in Floresville has been closed for a couple of years. It's suffering from severe structural problems, beginning with the foundation. Read about it here:
Leonard G. Lane, Jr., AIA