Friday, June 17, 2016

Gallivanting through Grandview

Top: Rain on the road
Bottom: Field corn
Springtime in Texas means that it can be raining buckets one minute and bright sunshine the next. It was just that sort of day when we drove about 10 miles south of Alvarado (see Off to Alvarado) to visit the small town of Grandview.   Governor Elisha M. Pease provided a land grant in 1850 to a group of settlers, one of whom was F. L. Kirtley. Some stories say that it was his son-in-law, John Whitmire, who upon arrival to the area said, ‘What a grand view!’, and that’s how the area was named. Not many years later, a church had been organized and a post office opened. However, as with many small towns in Texas, the coming of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas rail line, in 1883 meant that almost everyone moved closer to the train station. And that’s where Grandview was finally incorporated in 1891. What appears to be a school of higher education was briefly in business: Grand View Collegiate Institute 1897-1907. There do not seem to be any records about this institution available, which makes me wonder if it wasn’t a preparatory school that got swallowed up by a more traditional school district. There is also a record of the Emory House, a Queen Anne/classical style two-story residence built in 1907, by farmer and stockman, John Avery. It escaped the fire of 1920 that destroyed many businesses, churches, homes, and schools. Our brief wander through Grandville failed to turn up this historic home.

However, we did go out to the original Grand View town site that is now the Grandview
Grandview Cemetery
Cemetery. The cemetery was established at the same time as the Baptist church, in about 1856. Four years later, the town had launched several general stores, a blacksmith shop, a church building and a Masonic Lodge. These businesses were followed by several more stores, more churches and a saloon. Once the railroad came through, the main section of town moved to it and the cemetery gradually took over the entire town site. There are many historic graves in this cemetery, including one with a tombstone simply marked ‘Annie’. Evidently this unknown woman was murdered and her companion never found; mystery still surrounds this event.

Masonic Lodge
The Grandview Masonic Lodge was chartered on June 14, 1861. It is the oldest lodge in Johnson County’s oldest lodge that has been in continuous operation. Initially it shared a building with the Methodist Church on the original town site, but was later moved to where it stands today in downtown Grandview. The 1893 building was destroyed by the 1920 fire, but another was soon constructed. Although the building we saw isn’t pictorially historical, it is on the original site.

Surprisingly, there are several places to eat in Grandview, so we tried one of them. For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.

Three carrots

The R & K Café (101 S First St, Grandview, TX 76050, 817-866-3969) is actually one of
Top L to R: Menu, bread
Bottom L to R: Chicken fried steak, Grilled cheese
three, with branches in Cleburne and Weatherford. It’s next to the railroad tracks and about a block from downtown. The building has a tin ceiling, so expect it to be noisy if the place is busy at all. The day we visited, there was a table of high school senior girls who were excited about it being the last few days of school; yep, they were a bit loud. Vince had a grilled cheese sandwich that he said was pretty good. The chips that accompanied it were probably Lays. Dave and I had the chicken-fried steak lunch special that came with three sides; we chose only two. This smaller steak was hand battered and very good. The green beans were tasty, as were the mashed potatoes. The cream gravy was very good with a bit of a bite, unusual for this sauce. The bread reminded me of Hawaiian rolls and was a good accompaniment to our meal. Lunch was quite reasonably priced and service was pretty good, particularly since this place was hopping.

Railroad crossing
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