Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

June 5, 2014

The Old West returns

Annual Frontier Days event Saturday

Mineral Wells Index

— By BARBARA MANSON | Special to the Index

PALO PINTO – It’s that time of the year again in Palo Pinto – Frontier Days.

There will be lots to do in Palo Pinto this Saturday as the community celebrates its county heritage from the town originally named Golconda in 1856 to historic Palo Pinto today. Cowboy and Indian stories were a reality in Palo Pinto County for early ranchers such as Slaughter, Carter, Vaughn, Loving, Goodnight and Belding who lived a hard-scrabble existence in what we consider a romantic period due to cinematic influences. Frontier Days can take you back to give you a small taste of the life those early founders of our county endured.

As always, old settlers of the county will be there. They will be signing in and greeting folks from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. People attending are encouraged to talk to them and enjoy their pioneer spirit that makes this county unique.  

There will be a mini-melodrama performed between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. to help get you into the frontier feeling.  Even better, join in by coming in period dress to help enhance the mood of Frontier Days.

Barbecue will be served from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the extension building. Don’t miss putting on the feed bag, you won’t regret it. It’s great food – eat your fill and the servers will graciously accept donations.

What would Frontier Days be without live country music? Come, enjoy and join in if you want to show off your talent.  

As always, the first-class Old Jail Museum and Frontier Village will be open from 9 am. until close of activities. This collection of 1800s cabins and artifacts rivals anything that can be seen throughout Texas. Everywhere in the museum you will be able to see live history with demonstrations of doll making, sewing, quilting, spinning, whittling, flint knapping and more.

To add to the museum artifacts, Humanities Texas has provided the museum with an exhibit celebrating the legacy of Lady Bird Johnson and her love for the environment and wildflowers. Follow her career from childhood to role as First Lady, to conservation and beautification and her “Discover America” trips. The “Wilderness and Wildflowers” exhibit was created by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and is presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for Humanities and your Palo Pinto Old Jail Museum.

The Mineral Wells Art Club has joined the Old Jail Museum to display pictures created locally of wildflowers, still life, animals and landscapes. Carol Noeding and Becky Hott invite the public to enjoy the works of the talented artist in the area.   

To top off the Old West atmosphere for Frontier Days, the Mansells will have their stagecoach hooked up and available for rides. Rex Mansell provides buggy rides to the church during Frontier Christmas every December. They will their beautiful J. Brown coach at the Frontier Days. This is coach No. 30 and it was built in 1990 by J. Brown of Weatherford. Brown manufactured coaches for Wells Fargo banks, movies and television from 1965 until his death in 2011.

These beautiful red coaches are made of wood and fiberglass following the designs of the Abbott Downing Co., which built the first stagecoaches in 1827. In 1990 those coaches cost more than $65,000, but the festival attendees can enjoy a ride for just $25 in complete 1860 luxury. For a true stagecoach thrill ride on top next to Rex and hold the reigns for $50 per ride. For more information contact Jean or Rex Mansell at 940-659-4078.

Don’t miss Palo Pinto County Historical Commission’s Frontier Days this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information contact Barbara Upham at 940-798-2665, or email barbaraupham@yahoo.com; Cindy Lewis at 940-769-2600, or palopintooldjailmuseum@gmail.com; or Bill Reagan at 940-659-2555, or wfr@embarqmail.com.