Huaco Club Fire of 1917: The Destruction of Waco’s Elite Golfing Facility

By Geoff Hunt, Audio and Visual Curator

The Huaco Club, 29th and Sanger, Waco, TX (2)

This image shows the Huaco Club clubhouse a few years after its 1912 construction, as the shrubbery and landscaping look to have flourished. The water tank can be seen in the back right of the photo. Photo was taken not long before the entire facility was destroyed by fire in January 1917. Roy Ellsworth Lane collection, box 2, folder 1.

Built in 1912, the Huaco Club was one of the places to be for Wacoans of the 1910s. From golf and tennis to social events, wealthier Wacoans enjoyed spending time at the country club, located near Sanger Avenue and 29th Street.

However, the club didn’t last long. On January 4, 1917, the Huaco Club lost its clubhouse and surrounding structures to a devastating fire. A three-story building designed by architect Roy Lane, the clubhouse included two dining rooms, a parlor, offices, living rooms, reading room, and ballroom. The club also featured a nine-hole golf course, bowling alley, and tennis courts, on 50 acres. The next morning’s Waco Morning News reported: “Not a stick of the building or its contents was saved.”

Fire Destroys The Huaco Club, 29th and Sanger, Waco, TX (4)

This image shows what remained of the Huaco Club the day after the fire. The fire’s intensity is evident–members survey melted steel lockers with hopes of retrieving any spared belongings. The frames of the lockers and the limestone mantel were among the only remaining structures. Photograph by E.C. Blomeyer, President of the Texas Telephone Company, and member of the Huaco Club. E.C. Blomeyer photographic collection, box 2, folder 9.

The club’s president, Dr. J.W. Hale, estimated that the fire’s destruction of the facility amounted to $70,000. In 1917, that was a hefty sum—in today’s money, that would equal nearly $2.3 million! Apart from the clubhouse, estimated at $35,000, and furnishings, the club’s stock of golf equipment for sale, and members’ personal gear were lost as well.

A report published soon after the fire in Safety Engineering, “Recent Fires and Their Lessons,” stated “Cause unknown” for the Huaco Club fire. But fire investigators concluded that losses were aided in part by the club’s late fire alarm system causing a delayed response by firefighters. It was also believed that its construction of easily combustible material enabled structures to become quickly engulfed by the flames.

The Huaco Club was the first golfing facility of its kind in Waco. In a 1915 article in The Waco Morning News, James Hays Quarles attributes Walter V. Fort with bringing golf to Waco in 1896. Fort was inspired by golf courses he saw in Dallas and worked with other prominent local citizens to assemble assets needed to establish a golf club.

The Huaco Club, 29th and Sanger, Waco, TX (4)

A view of one of the many luxurious spaces at the Huaco Club’s clubhouse. This three-story building was once host to many social gatherings. The club not only served as a golf course but also hosted luncheons, dinner parties, dances, weddings, and banquets. Many of these occasions were mentioned in the society columns of Waco newspapers. Roy Ellsworth Lane collection, box 1, folder 16.

The charter for the Huaco Club was organized and signed on May 20, 1910. It called for $40,000 to be raised with 200 members purchasing shares of $200 apiece. The charter stated: “The purpose for which this corporation is formed is to support and maintain a country club for the promotion and encouragement of outdoor life, the games of golf and tennis and other innocent sports and amusements.” In 1913, the shareholder number met its goal. By October 1915, it had 183 stockholders with 63 associate members.

The club was more than just about sports—it was a meeting place for many Wacoans and out of town visitors. Many well-known Waco businessmen and prominent male and female citizens were on its membership rolls. The club frequently hosted luncheons, dinner parties, dances, weddings, and banquets, mentioned in the society columns of Waco newspapers on many occasions.

Fire Destroys The Huaco Club, 29th and Sanger, Waco, TX (2)

The remains of the white limestone mantel, a gift from the Huaco clubhouse’s architect, Roy Lane, mostly withstood the inferno. Here, it stands isolated as one of the last noticeable features of a once prominent building. E.C. Blomeyer photographic collection, box 2, folder 9.

Even though the Huaco Club and its contents were insured for approximately $26,000—far less than the $70,000 loss caused by the fire—plans for another golf facility were soon made. Chartered on August 27, 1917, and built circa 1920, the remaining club members opened a new facility, Spring Lake Country Club, at Day’s Lake in what is now Lacy-Lakeview. It included a larger course with 18 holes and an elaborate clubhouse. In a similar fashion as its predecessor, the new club continued to carry on various recreational as well as social functions. Meanwhile, the land the club occupied around 29th and Sanger Avenue was developed into one of Waco’s early “suburbs.”

The early days of golfing in the Waco area did have its setbacks and losses. But the sport that was once referred to as “pasture pool,” played in areas shared with grazing cattle, overcame such setbacks as the Huaco Club fire. Indeed, the love of the game, as well as the way it brings people together, still makes golf and its related activities thrive to this day, in and around Waco.

See more photos of the Huaco Club—before and after—in the Flickr slideshow below.


Created with flickr slideshow.

 

Sources

“Committee to Consider Probable Site for New Huaco Club House is Named; To Report Tuesday Night,“ Waco Morning News (Waco, TX). Feb. 2, 1917.

“Cows and Golfers Took Sporting Chance With Each Other When First Course Was Opened in Waco,” The Waco News Tribune (Waco, TX.). Apr, 5, 1925.

“Huaco Club is Completely Destroyed by Fire” Waco Morning News (Waco, TX), Jan. 4, 1917.

McReynolds, Mrs. B.B. “Current Events in Woman’s Sphere: Friday Night at the Huaco Club,” Waco Morning News (Waco, TX), Aug. 29, 1915.

Quarles, James Hays. “Waco Golf Club and Some of its Interesting History,” Waco Morning News (Waco, TX), Oct. 31, 1915.

“Recent Fires and Their Lessons: Clubhouses, City and Country,” Safety Engineering, v.33 (Jan.-June, 1917): p. 243.

Posted in architecture, country club, E.C. Blomeyer, golf, Historic Waco, Huaco Club, Roy Ellsworth Lane, Sanger Avenue | Leave a comment

Armstrong’s Stars: Richard Halliburton

Halliburton

Richard Halliburton on one of his adventures. General Texas Collection Photographs–People–Richard Halliburton

“Armstrong’s Stars” is a collaboration between the Armstrong Browning Library and Baylor’s Texas Collection. Once a month we feature a story about a celebrity that Dr. A.J. Armstrong brought to Baylor. These stories highlight an interesting part of Baylor’s history and include collection materials housed in both the Armstrong Browning Library and the Texas Collection.

This month’s story was contributed by Amie Oliver, Librarian/Curator of Print Materials, The Texas Collection.

One of the most exciting personalities to ever visit Baylor is one who has seemingly been forgotten by many. Writer and adventurer Richard Halliburton came to Baylor twice at the invitation of Sigma Tau Delta. His first visit occurred on March 23, 1929, just after appearances in Austin and Dallas, where thousands were turned away. Crowds from as far away as Hillsboro, Mexia, Belton, and Temple were expected in Waco (“‘Playboy Adventurer’ to be Presented in Chapel Tonight at 8” 1).

Apparently Halliburton’s lecture did not disappoint. He began by stating, “I am the only lecturer who has ever come to you with no philosophy, with no message, with no uplift, and with no problem to solve.” He then regaled the audience with tales of adventure exploring three continents as he “would rise to romantic heights and would dramatically sway his body as he told of a tense moment in one of his thrilling adventures.” (“Tales of Adventure Captivate Audience” 1). Halliburton entertained the audience for two and half hours. So moved by the performance, an article appearing on the Lariat editorial page nearly a week later declared:

“We were sorry that there were many in his audience who did not catch in a slight way the spirit of adventure and romance…. We were sorry that many went away still satisfied with their own little lives, content with the lethargy which had characterized their former days, and content to remain in Waco or in McLennan County the remainder of their brief span on this globe. They are the mediocre men and women who spend their time admiring the works of other men and pitying themselves for not being greater” (“Wanderlust” 2).

Halliburton’s appearance raised more than $100, which was earmarked for the purchase of a bookcase for the Browning Collection (“English Frat Plans Trip to Fort Worth” 1).

Lariat February 15 1929

Student newspaper article promoting Halliburton’s first appearance at Baylor University. Baylor Lariat, February 15, 1929.

Seven years, three books, and one film later, Halliburton returned to Baylor for a lecture on March 19, 1936. Student tickets were reduced from 75 to 35 cents in an effort to entice many to attend the event at Waco Hall (“Halliburton to Speak Thursday in Waco Hall” 1). A McGregor high school student, Richard Phelan, longed to see his hero and hoped to interview him for his school paper (Phelan 64). Once at Baylor for the event, Phelan learned that a private post-lecture reception would limit opportunities to meet him. However, Mrs. Armstrong encouraged him to wait with other students seeking autographs backstage in the hopes that Halliburton would answer some questions (78).

When Halliburton took the stage, he noticed empty seats in the orchestra and invited students in the balcony to come down. Phelan noted that after Halliburton’s invitation, an older gentleman walked on stage and stepped into the wings. Just a few remarks into his lecture, Halliburton was called off stage. When he returned to the podium, he appeared shaken, but he continued his presentation (80).

After the event, Phelan headed backstage, where he got his autograph—and more. Mrs. Armstrong personally introduced Phelan to Halliburton and proposed an interview. Phelan and Halliburton dined at the Elite Café, where Halliburton told him that Dr. Armstrong was the gentleman who called him off stage to inform him that orchestra seats were sold at full price and students should not have been asked to move from the balcony. Halliburton was embarrassed by the faux pas. He was also disinvited from the reception in his honor, which is why Phelan was able to score the dinner and interview with his hero (103). Of course, most never knew about the exchange between Halliburton and Armstrong. Luther Truett of the Lariat published an article praising the lecture and Halliburton, the man who “held an audience spellbound for two hours without a blank moment.” Truett did note Halliburton’s gracious invitation for students to move from the balcony to the “best seats in the house” (Truett 3).

Halliburton was declared legally dead in late 1939 after the boat he was traveling on from Hong Kong to San Francisco sank during a typhoon. The Lariat published an article about Halliburton’s death, praising the “unique and unusual man” for accomplishing amazing feats, exploring foreign lands, for living a life that others envied, and who “died doing exactly what he wanted to do” (“Halliburton: American Ulysses” 2).

Works Cited

“English Frat Plans Trip to Fort Worth.” Lariat 29 March 1929: 1. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

“Halliburton: American Ulysses.” Lariat 13 Oct. 1939: 2. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

“Halliburton to Speak Thursday in Waco Hall.” Lariat 17 March 1936: 1. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

Phelan, R.C. “Halliburton’s Banana Peel.” Vogue Feb. 1960: 64-105. Print. Richard C. Phelan papers, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

“‘Playboy Adventurer’ to be Presented in Chapel Tonight at 8.” Lariat 23 March 1929: 1. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

“Tales of Adventure Captivate Audience.” Lariat 26 March 1929: 1. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

Truett, Luther. “Author Captures Audience Praise.” Lariat 20 March 1936: 3. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

“Wanderlust.” Lariat 27 March 1929: 2. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

Posted in A.J. Armstrong, Adventure, Andrew Joseph Armstrong, Armstrong Browning Library, Armstrong's Stars, Baylor University, Richard Halliburton, Waco Hall | 1 Comment

Texas over Time: River Walk, San Antonio

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of GIFs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

San Antonio River Walk GIF

  • City leaders were considering closing the downtown portion of the river after the catastrophic floods of 1921, when the San Antonio Conservation Society helped save it by staging a puppet show.
  • In 1929, architect Robert H. Hughman presented his plan for “The Shops of Romula and Aragon” but after plans were halted during the depression, developers broke ground in 1939, beginning the River Project and what would become known as the River Walk, or the Paseo del Rio.
  • Flood control gates at the south and north ends of the horseshoe-shaped bend protect the area from high water levels which often follow hard rains. The concrete channel between the two ends of the bend was built as part of the over-all flood prevention program complete in 1929.
  • The HemisFair of 1968 gave old San Antonio River a new direction as the river was extended into the fairgrounds.
  • The river was named after St. Anthony de Padua on his feast day, June 13, 1691. In 1718 and 1731, five missions were built along the river, which was the start of what is now the city of San Antonio.

Sources:

Fisher, Lewis F. River Walk: The Epic Story of San Antonio’s River. San Antonio, TX: Maverick Pub., 2007. Print.

Brown, Merrisa. “Wacky San Antonio Facts.” MySA. San Antonio Express-News, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.

See all of these images on Flickr. GIF and factoids by Haley Rodriguez, student archives assistant.

Posted in River Walk, San Antonio, San Antonio River, Texas over Time | Leave a comment

Research Ready: February 2015

Each month, we post a processing update to notify our readers about the latest collections that have finding aids online and are primed for research. Here are February’s finding aids:

    • BU records: Baylor Literacy Center, 1946-1988 (#BU/32): Contains the files of Baylor’s literacy center, which helped to teach members of the Waco community how to read. The collection contains brochures, subject files, and student work produced by the staff and students of the Literacy Center.
Tom Padgitt, 1870

Photograph of Tom Padgitt, owner and head of the Tom Padgitt Company, a noted Waco-based leatherworking company. Forest Edwin and Edna Lee Sedwick Goodman Family photographic collection, 1870-1918, undated (#3944), box 1, folder 3.

Jessie Brown Letter

Jessie Brown frequently wrote to her sister Lizzie while a student at Baylor, 1888-1891. In this letter, she mentions the local fair and a spat with the president’s wife and disciplinarian of Baylor women, Georgia Burleson, over the oft-discussed topic of fashion. Jesse Breland and Jessie Brown Johnson papers, 1888-1929 (#440), box 1, folder 1.

 

Posted in Archives, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Baylor Literacy Center, Belton Texas, BGCT, Books, Georgia Jenkins Burleson, letters, McLennan County, Mexico, National Baptist Convention of America, Photographs, Research Ready, scrapbooks, Texas, Texas Baptists, Theology study and teaching, Waco, women's education | Leave a comment

Texas over Time: McLennan County Courthouse, Waco

Texas has changed quite a bit over the years, as is readily seen in our vast photograph and postcard collections. To help bring some of those changes to life, we’ve created a “Texas over Time” series of GIFs that will illustrate the construction and renovations of buildings, changing aerial views, and more. Our collections are especially strong on Waco and Baylor images, but look for some views beyond the Heart of Texas, too.

McLennanCountyCourthouseGIFPostcards dated 1908 and undated

  • Waco’s first courthouse was built in 1850 and was just a one and a half story log structure that survived in the town for about six years. McLennan County was named after Neil McLennan, who settled along the South Bosque River.
  • The fourth and final courthouse (pictured in these postcards) was built in 1901. Architect J. Riely Gordon, renowned for his Texas courthouse designs, was inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica and used materials such as steel, limestone, and Texas red granite. Design attributes include classical columns, pilasters, triangular pediments, rusticated masonry and a mid-roof dome embellished with Greek influenced eagles and statues.
  • The dome is topped with a statue of Themis, the Greek goddess of divine law and justice. She is supposed to hold the scales of justice in her left hand and a sword in her right, but various storms over the years have taken these props. Currently, she is missing her entire left arm (lost in a June 2014 storm).
  • The McLennan County courthouse is located on Courthouse Square with the entrance facing Washington Avenue and is a recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

Sources

Kelley, Dayton. The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas. Waco, TX: Texian, 1972. 73-74. Print.

“McLennan County Courthouse.” McLennan County Courthouse Waco Texas. Texas Escapes Online Magazine, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

Smith, Cassie L. “Rust spots found on newly renovated McLennan County Courthouse dome.” Waco Tribune-Herald, 18 Jan. 2015.

See all of these images on Flickr. GIF and factoids by Haley Rodriguez, archives student assistant.

Posted in Historic Waco, J. Riely Gordon, McLennan County Courthouse, postcards, Texas over Time | Leave a comment

Armstrong’s Stars: Vachel Lindsay

“Lindsay Here Saturday”:  March 27, 1919, issue of The Lariat announcing Vachel Lindsay's upcoming visit to Baylor (Texas Collection)

“Lindsay Here Saturday”: March 27, 1919, issue of The Lariat announcing Vachel Lindsay’s upcoming visit to Baylor (Texas Collection)

“Armstrong’s Stars” is a collaboration between the Armstrong Browning Library and Baylor’s Texas Collection. Once a month we feature a story about a celebrity that Dr. A.J. Armstrong brought to Baylor. These stories highlight an interesting part of Baylor’s history and include collection materials housed in both the Armstrong Browning Library and the Texas Collection.

This month’s story was contributed by Baylor graduate (BA ’14) and Sigma Tau Delta member Susie Park.   

One of the most memorable scenes from the movie Dead Poets Society captures the musical aesthetics of American poet Vachel Lindsay’s style of singing poetry. The cave scene of the schoolboys chanting Lindsay’s poem “The Congo” begins with one of them rhythmically reciting a few lines and escalates to all of the boys joining in by clapping, hissing, chanting along, hollering, and banging on drums to create a musical performance out of a written work of poetry. As described in the March 27, 1919, issue of Baylor’s student newspaper The Lariat, “[Vachel Lindsay] is a singer in addition to being a poet, and chants many of his verses, often persuading his audience through his magnetic personality to join him” (“Vachel Lindsay Here Saturday” 1).

Vachel Lindsay made several appearances at Baylor University at the invitation of Dr. A.J. Armstrong. His first major public appearance at Baylor was on March 29, 1919. Interestingly, an article from The Lariat, dated March 13, 1919, specifically notes that Lindsay is scheduled to visit on March 28, but a later article from March 27 states that Lindsay will visit on March 29 at 8:15 in the evening at Carroll Chapel (“Vachel Lindsay to Be in Baylor March 28” 1; “Vachel Lindsay Here Saturday” 1).

“Diamond Jubilee Poets”: Poets participating in Baylor's Diamond Jubilee celebration (Trantham, page 43)

“Diamond Jubilee Poets”: Poets participating in Baylor’s Diamond Jubilee celebration (Trantham, page 43)

The April 3, 1919, issue of The Lariat includes details of Lindsay’s March 29 visit to Baylor, listing the poems that he recited as well as the students’ reactions to the poet. Lindsay read some of his poems, like “The Santa Fe Trail” and “The Chinese Nightingale,” and shared a series of interpretations of the works. The Lariat praises the poet’s unique style and his outlook on poetry. When discussing his style of reciting poetry, Lindsay is quoted as saying that the human voice “‘is the perfect instrument of musical expression, and with the twenty-six letters in the alphabet as keys upon which the human voice may play at will, true poetry is capable of being brought to its highest rhythmical perfection’” (“Vachel Lindsay Has Extended Visit to Baylor and Waco” 1).

After his eventful visit to Baylor in 1919, Lindsay announced that he would visit again on March 20, 1920. The Lariat article from February 19, 1920, notes the poet’s future visit to Baylor and that he has come out with a new volume of poems (“Vachel Lindsay to Be Here on March 20” 10).

“1922 Round Up”:  The 1922 issue of Baylor's yearbook The Round Up highlighting celebrities who had visited Baylor (The Texas Collection)

“1922 Round Up”: The 1922 issue of Baylor’s yearbook The Round Up highlighting celebrities who had visited Baylor (The Texas Collection)

The celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Baylor University, or the Baylor University Diamond Jubilee in June 1920, brought together many celebrities, including Vachel Lindsay. Lindsay was one of the visiting poets who participated in “The Browning Benefit,” or “All Artists’ Benefit.” This program was a presentation event to showcase the “Clasped Hands,” an original bronze casting of the clasped hands of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning that was being added to the Baylor Browning Collection. The other three visiting poets participating in this presentation ceremony included Edwin Markham, Judd Mortimer Lewis, and Harriet Monroe (Trantham 44).

An article in The Lariat, dated May 20, 1920, expresses the excitement surrounding the Diamond Jubilee, listing some of the distinguished guests to be present at the celebration: “Among the celebrated poets and writers who will honor Baylor in June will be William Butler Yeats, Vachel Lindsay, Edwin Markham, Amy Lowell, Dorothy Scarborough, and the poet laureate of Texas, Judd Mortimer Lewis” (“Distinguished Guests to Be Present at Diamond Jubilee” 6).

“The death Saturday of Vachel Lindsay brought to a close a friendship of eighteen years between one of America’s greatest poets and Baylor University” (“Baylor Loses Friend as Lindsay Succumbs” 2). Vachel Lindsay passed away on December 5, 1931. The December 8, 1931 issue of The Lariat mentions the poet’s death, tracing back Lindsay’s close relationship with Dr. Armstrong. Lindsay supposedly planned to visit Baylor University again in the spring of 1932; Sigma Tau Delta wanted to present the poet to the Baylor student body. From his initial participation in Dr. Armstrong’s contemporary poetry class in 1913 to his planned visit in 1932, it is not an overstatement to say that Vachel Lindsay and the Baylor Browning Collection grew together in time.

Works Cited

“Baylor Loses Friend as Lindsay Succumbs.” The Daily Lariat 8 December 1931: 2. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

“Distinguished Guests to Be Present at Diamond Jubilee.” The Lariat 20 May 1920: 6. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

The Round-Up 1922. [Waco, Tex.: Baylor University, 1922]. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

Trantham, Henry. The Diamond Jubilee, 1845-1920: A Record of the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of Baylor University. Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 1921. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

“Vachel Lindsay Has Extended Visit to Baylor and Waco.” The Lariat 3 April 1919: 1. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

“Vachel Lindsay Here Saturday.” The Lariat 27 March 1919: 1. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

“Vachel Lindsay to Be Here on March 20.” The Lariat 19 February 1920: 10. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

“Vachel Lindsay to Be in Baylor March 28.” The Lariat 13 March 1919: 1. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

Posted in A.J. Armstrong, Andrew Joseph Armstrong, Armstrong Browning Library, Armstrong's Stars, Baylor English department, Baylor University, Vachel Lindsay | Leave a comment

Exploring the Waco Jewish Community with the Texas Jewish Historical Society

By Paul Fisher, Processing Archivist

Texas  Jewish Historical Society members exploring display in Texas Collection reading room, 2015

Texas Jewish Historical Society members exploring display in Texas Collection reading room. The materials on display for society members to view included representative items from over nineteen collections documenting the life and faith experience of Jewish people in Waco.

On January 24, The Texas Collection welcomed the Texas Jewish Historical Society to a special display of materials on Jewish life and faith in Central Texas. Members of the society viewed many different kinds of materials, including:

  • a letter to a German Jewish family by the German secret police, warning them to leave the country (they later came to Waco, Texas),
  • an elaborate green velvet scrapbook with photographs from the 1800s of the Goldstein family in Waco,
  • photographs of Jewish-owned businesses in Waco, such as the Goldstein-Migel and Sanger Brothers department stores,
  • membership cards and past meeting pamphlets from the Texas Jewish Historical Society, and
  • photographs of Temple Rodef Sholom and Congregation Agudath Jacob in Waco from the early 1900s.
Photographic scrapbook of the Goldstein Family in Waco, Texas, from the early 1900s

Photographic scrapbook of the Goldstein family in Waco, Texas, from the early 1900s.

All together, The Texas Collection has more than 20 Jewish-related collections available for researchers to explore. Most of these collections are unprocessed, meaning they are not yet described through a finding aid in BARD or housed in modern acid-free boxes and folders. However, two Jewish collections have been processed recently, the De Cordova Family papers 1845-1956 and the Waco Chapter of Hadassah records 1928-2009, and we hope to process the rest of them soon. Stay tuned for more news about our Jewish collections!

Posted in A.M. Goldstein, Congregation Agudath Jacob, exhibits, Goldstein-Migel, Isaac Goldstein, Jacob De Cordova, letters, McLennan County, Photographs, scrapbooks, Temple Rodef Sholom, Waco, Waco Hadassah | Leave a comment

Cooking in Texas: Cornbread and Coffee Cake

CookinginTexasSocialMediaAdJan2015 (2)Wondering what you want for lunch today? After this post, you’ll want cornbread and coffee cake…at least we do! As we prepare for our Cooking in Texas event, we asked our panel to share some of their favorite recipes with us, and boy, do they sound good! Last week we shared a few entries, and here are a couple more. If these tickle your taste buds, please join us at Bennett Auditorium on Thursday, February 12, at 3:30, to talk Texas food and cuisine—and then head to the Texas Collection reading room for a reception featuring regional cuisine prepared by culinary students at Texas State Technical College, and more foodie discussion.

Cooking in Texas panelists include Lisa Fain, founder of the award-winning blog “Homesick Texan”; Marvin Bendele, Executive Director of Foodways Texas; Mary Margaret Pack, private chef, food historian and author; Beth White, cookbook collector and author of Sweets and Meats: Early Texas Cook Books: 1855-1936; and moderator Addie Broyles, blogger and food editor for the Austin American-Statesman. The panel will discuss the quality, bounty, preparation and uniqueness of Texas food and cuisine.

Can’t make the event? Follow the discussion on Twitter at #cookingintx.

WhiteBethBeth White lives in Houston and worked for thirty-seven years in the Texas Medical Center Library. She discovered that the most fascinating part of her job was building historical collections.  Her day job was collecting bits and pieces of Houston’s medical history for the archive, while the fun after hours was collecting cookbooks to tell the stories of Texas cooks and the communities in which they worked. Growing up in Fort Worth, she remembered Sunday barbecue at Walter Jetton’s and special lunches in the Zodiac Room in Neiman Marcus. She started collecting by gathering a few Fort Worth and Helen Corbitt titles, along with a large number of American cookbooks. Soon Houston and Dallas cookbooks were added.  Then she began trying to gather something from each of the 254 Texas counties

Sometime in the late 1980s as the bookshelves were overflowing, Beth realized that she might have the beginnings of a nice collection but it had to be controlled. Since many cookbooks were produced for the 1986 Sesquicentennial, that became her target to try to limit the collection. Then, in 1995, eBay began.   She, along with many other collectors and librarians, realized its potential for developing significant collections. The ease of access through the Internet meant perusing auctions for hundreds of books each day and meant a collection could be built within a decade rather than over a lifetime. When Beth retired in 2010, one of her goals was to disperse the collection.  By December of that year, Baylor’s Texas Collection had been chosen to receive the titles.

Country Corn Bread (Adapted from The Only Texas Cookbook by Linda West Eckhardt)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. bacon grease (some tiny bits of bacon will not hurt)
  • ½ cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Place bacon grease in 9-10” iron skillet and heat until grease is very hot.
  3. Mix dry ingredients, then add buttermilk.
  4. Stir well and add egg.
  5. Mix well and pour hot grease into batter. Stir quickly.
  6. Sprinkle several drops of water into skillet. It should be hot enough to make water sizzle.
  7. Add batter and put into the oven.

Cook until the top is dull and feels firm when you touch it. Around 8-10 minutes.

Turn on the broiler and run cornbread under the heat until the top is speckled with brown.   Serve warm. If any is left, the cold cornbread can be toasted and served with butter and jam.

~

BroylesAddieAddie Broyles is a writer, photographer, blogger and quilter based in Austin, Texas.

As a food writer for the Austin American-Statesman, she covers everything from cookbooks and food trends to farmers markets, food entrepreneurs and culinary culture in the Wednesday food section, where she has a weekly column called Relish Austin.

At home, when she’s not chasing after her two young sons, the Ozarks native and University of Missouri graduate writes about women and food at The Feminist Kitchen and is the special projects chair of the Austin food Alliance.

In April 2013, the History Press published The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook, a community cookbook that Broyles spearheaded and whose production she oversaw.

Addie won a National Headliner Award in 2012 and her Relish Austin blog has won honors from the Society of Features Journalism and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.

In 2011, Addie was named by Tribeza magazine as one of the top 10 Austinites to watch, and for three years in a row, readers of the Austin Chronicle have voted her the top food writer in the city. CNN’s Eatocracy blog has a food crush on her, and she has been a judge for the Statesman Social Media Awards since 2009.

Her freelance work has appeared in Dwell, The Guardian, Metropolis and Food Network Magazine.

Gaga’s Coffeecake

For batter:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk

For topping:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar.
  3. Work in the softened butter, eggs and milk.
  4. In another bowl, lightly mix together the topping ingredients.
  5. Pour half of the batter into a greased 8×8-inch glass or metal pan. (A bread loaf pan will also work.) Sprinkle half of the topping mixture on the batter and then pour the rest of the batter on top.

Add the last of the topping mixture and then bake for about 35 minutes. Serves 8.

Posted in Addie Broyles, Cookbooks, Cooking in Texas, Elizabeth Borst White, Marvin Bendele, Mary Margaret Pack | 2 Comments

Cooking in Texas: Recipes to Savor

CookinginTexasSocialMediaAdJan2015 (2)Are you hungry for dinner yet? Prepare to salivate, because we’ve got some delicious dishes to share with you! As we prepare for our Cooking in Texas event, we asked our panelists to share some of their favorite recipes with us, and boy, do they sound good! Today we’ll share a few entries, and we’ll post a couple more next week. If these tickle your taste buds, please join us at Bennett Auditorium on Thursday, February 12, at 3:30, to talk Texas food and cuisine—and then head to the Texas Collection reading room for a reception featuring regional cuisine prepared by culinary students at Texas State Technical College, more foodie discussion, and cookbook signings. The event is free and open to the public.

Cooking in Texas panelists include Lisa Fain, founder of the award-winning blog “Homesick Texan”; Marvin Bendele, Executive Director of Foodways Texas; Mary Margaret Pack, private chef, food historian and author; Beth White, cookbook collector and author of Sweets and Meats: Early Texas Cook Books: 1855-1936; and moderator Addie Broyles, blogger and food editor for the Austin American-Statesman. The panel will discuss the quality, bounty, preparation and uniqueness of Texas food and cuisine.

Can’t make the event? Follow the discussion on Twitter at #cookingintx.

~~~

FainLisa_DSC3842DLisa Fain is the James Beard Award-winning creator of the food blog Homesick Texan, and the author of The Homesick Texan Cookbook and The Homesick Texan’s Family Table. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Texas Monthly, Southern Living, and Saveur, and she’s a founding member of Foodways Texas. A seventh-generation Texan, Lisa currently resides in New York City.

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie from Lisa’s The Homesick Texan Cookbook

There are pies, and then there is my grandma’s chocolate pie. It’s a luscious chocolate custard resting on a flaky, almost salty crust, topped with a springy meringue. Whether times are good or times are bad, it’s always welcome and appropriate. It is my favorite dessert.

Pie Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie crust in a pie pan
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa or 1 1/2 squares of baking chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Meringue Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. granulated sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Poke holes into the unbaked pie crust with a fork and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes or until it’s lightly browned. Some people prefer to weigh it down with pie weights or beans as it may bubble a bit.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, egg yolks, and milk with a whisk. Cook in a pot on medium heat while occasionally stirring until it bubbles and thickens, about 7-10 minutes. If it starts to become lumpy, just beat out the lumps. (It will not get any thicker in the oven so cook it in the pot until it’s your desired thickness.)
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.
  5. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites with salt until they are smooth, light and fluffy; they should have soft peaks like whipped cream. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, a strong arm with a whisk or an eggbeater can accomplish this task, too. Please note that by hand it will take much longer than 10 minutes.) Stir the sugar into the meringue.
  6. Pour the chocolate custard into the baked pie shell and top with the beaten egg whites. Bake it until the peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

BendeleMarvinMarvin Bendele is the Executive Director of Foodways Texas.  He is a Ph.D. Candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches a class on American Foodways.  He contributed to the 2009 book Republic of Barbecue, and has completed multiple oral histories for the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Southern Barbecue Trail & the Foodways Texas oral history archive at the Briscoe Center for American History. Bendele comes from an Alsatian-Texan family that settled in Castroville in 1848.

Deviled Eggs (Provided by Marvin’s mother-in-law Margaret Anne Mitchell)

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 tbsp. softened butter
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise or more (to your liking)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives or parsley (or both)
  • 2 tsp. capers plus ½ tsp. caper juice
  • Dash of dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Slice eggs, Scoop out egg yolks. Mash yolks with a fork and add remaining ingredients. Stir mixture together completely and put back into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika or small sprigs of parsley. Chill.

~

PackMaryMargaretMary Margaret Pack is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up on the Gulf Coast eating shrimp, blue crabs, and rice and gravy. She’s a food writer/historian and private chef who divides her time between Austin and San Francisco. A former librarian and technical writer, she’s a graduate of Rice University, the University of Texas, and California Culinary Academy, and has been writing about food since 1998. A regular contributor to The Austin Chronicle and Edible Austin, she’s published in Gastronomica, The San Francisco Chronicle, Sugar & Rice, Oxford Encyclopedia of Food & Drink in America, Nation’s Restaurant News, Scribner’s Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, The Dictionary of Culinary Biography, and Southern Foodways Alliance’s Cornbread Nation 1. She’s presented on food and foodways to various museums and food history groups, as well as to IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), Les Dames d’Escoffier International, CIA-Napa, Southern Foodways Alliance, Foodways Texas, Texas Folklore Society, and the Historic New Orleans Collection.

Sky Terrace Shrimp and Avocado Salad 

I grew up in Houston and, as I’m sure was the case for many little girls in the ’50s and ’60s, it was a huge treat to shop downtown with my mother at Sakowitz Department Store and have a grown-up, elegant lunch at the Sky Terrace. I often ordered the shrimp salad with avocado, and as I recall, so did my mother.

 This dish was served at least since the 1960s at the Sky Terrace Restaurant in the Sakowitz Brothers Department Store in downtown Houston, Texas (1950-1985). The popular Sky Terrace never published a cookbook, but this recipe was printed in the Houston Chronicle, and many versions are available online. It’s a great example of a mid-20th-century dish for ladies who lunched, yet it remains fresh, timely, and delicious.

  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 avocados
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded

 Directions

  1. Lightly mix shrimp, celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. Combine with remoulade sauce, cover, and chill.
  3. Halve avocados, remove seeds and peel and slice each half into four wedges.
  4. To serve, divide shredded lettuce among six plates.
  5. Fan four slices of avocado on each plate and top with generous portion of shrimp salad.

Remoulade Sauce

  • Makes 1 ½ cups
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 shallots or green onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cooked spinach, finely chopped and well drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon or Creole-style mustard
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste
  • Dash of liquid hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

Directions

  1. In food processor, blend egg, shallots, garlic, spinach, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, mustard, lemon juice, anchovy paste, and pepper sauce.
  2. Can be made one day in advance.
Posted in Addie Broyles, Cookbooks, Cooking in Texas, Elizabeth Borst White, Lisa Fain, Marvin Bendele, Mary Margaret Pack | Leave a comment

Research Ready: January 2015

Each month, we post a processing update to notify our readers about the latest collections that have finding aids online and are primed for research. Here are January’s finding aids:

      • Elizabeth Borst White papers, 1905-1995, undated (#3910):                       Contains cookbooks produced by Texas utility companies as a service to their patrons, postcards of various places in Texas, and photographs of rice harvesting and processing machinery. White has also generously given The Texas Collection many historic cookbooks of Texas, which can be found in our online library catalog.
Truett Seminary Faculty Competition Advertisement

During finals, some Truett Seminary faculty participate in a Fight Club Wii boxing competition series–a chance for students to unwind by watching their professors compete! Students help campaign for and cheer on their professors with flyers like this one. BU records: George W. Truett Theological Seminary #BU/298, box 38, folder 10.

 

        • Lou Ann Sigler East Waco Community Photograph collection, 1925-1961, undated (#3916):                                                                                             Contains photographs of African American life in Waco, including Paul Quinn College and A.J. Moore High School students. Most of the people in the record group are unidentified.
Texas Carrots Cookbook page

In the mid-twentieth century, the Texas Department of Agriculture began distributing cookbooks to the public in order to support Texas grown products, such as beef and carrots. Elizabeth Borst White papers #3910, Box 7, Folder 3, The Texas Collection, Baylor University.

Posted in African-Americans, Baptist universities and colleges, Cookbooks, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, McLennan County, Photographs, postcards, Research Ready, Texas Baptists, Theology study and teaching, Waco | Leave a comment