Friday, March 4, 2016

Coming to Cameron

Small house in Cameron
The little town of Cameron, Texas really had nothing to recommend it; no industry, to railway, no tourist attractions, but it was selected as the seat of Milam County in 1846. However, it is a pretty location in the eastern portion of the Texas Hill Country. Named after Ewen Cameron, a Scot highlander who played prominent roles in the Texas Revolution and the Mier Expedition, Cameron struggled to maintain its status and population due to its isolated location. This is one of the few towns in Texas that didn’t grow up around a railroad. It is located on the Little River and this was thought to be a boon to business, if trade routes along this waterway could be established. But in the mid-1800s navigation was attempted, and although a successful trip was managed, it was decided that regular transportation of goods was impractical. In the late 1800s the railroads finally found their way to Cameron, but this industry had disappeared by the mid-1900s. Oil and cotton maintained the economy for many years, and several dairy product companies made their homes near the town, also supplying jobs for the population. These businesses have also decreased, leaving the town a small, attractive place with a few historic sites and a very nice courthouse.

We stopped in Cameron to take a look at the courthouse and to have lunch. The Milam County Courthouse was designed in the Renaissance Revival style of architecture. The east
Milam County Courthouse
and west facades are alike, while the north and south facades match. It was built between 1890 and 1892 with the cornerstone was dedicated on July 4, 1891. It’s built of local stone and originally had of only three stories. A clock tower was added in 1895, along with a statue of Justice; these were subsequently removed. During restorations in about 2000, a new clock tower and statue of Justice were added to replace those that had been dismantled.

Each time my parents traveled to the Texas coast, they stopped in Cameron for lunch. Sadly the small café they liked is gone, but there were plenty of other places to choose from in the area. For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.

Three and one-half carrots

The 50s Café (2801 N Travis Ave, Cameron, TX 76520, 254-697-6006) was cute with
Top, L to R: Menu, Cheese burger and fries
Bottom, L to R: Chicken club sandwich, Iced tea
pictures of musical artists from the 1950s decorating the walls. Our waitress was very pleasant, giving us a big smile while showing us to our table. She was also very efficient; the manager didn’t just managed, but waited tables, cleared and cleaned areas along with making sure that everyone was pleased with their meals. Dave had a southwest chicken club sandwich with lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon, and chipotle mayo; it was very good. The side of homemade chips was also good. I had a cheese burger with bacon on Hawaiian bread, with a side of fries; I was delighted with my meal. Our only complaint was that the tea was weak. This is a good place to eat and worth a return trip. 

Jasmine blossoms
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