Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Clues to the Fort Location

For several weeks, I've been studying references to determine the approximate location of the La Reunion administration building, also called the Governor's Mansion, the fort and the "big house."




I ran across this explanation yesterday:

The La Reunion colonists originally all lived together in a communal village of stone buildings located at the brow of the escarpment, just to the west of where Hampton Road now suddenly starts its downhill descent [just to the east of Cement City near the intersection of Hampton and West Commerce].



This information comes from a gentleman named Jim Burns. Go to page 2 of this link:

http://www.stevenspark.org/WINTER20072.pdf

You'll also find a very interesting description of the early years of the colony from a letter written by Max Reverchon in 1857.

According to Santerre, in White Cliffs of Dallas:

After its erection this building was used for all the meetings of the directors and the colonists, and also as a fort in which to assemble the women and children whenever there was danger of an Indian raid or attack.
. . .
During the life of the colony only a few instances can be recalled where the Indians became troublesome. No doubt this was due to the large number of colonists. The Indians were very cautious in attacking the settlement, only making an occasional raid when most of the men were at work in the distant fields. Usually these Indians were driven away by the old men and the women, but not until after making inroads on the poultry, and sometimes driving away a few cattle or horses.

On one of the raids, so it was afterward told, the women barricaded themselves in the fort and one of their number had thrown hot water upon an Indian brave who attempted to break into the fort through a small window. According to the many stories afterward related to the colonists, it was at time necessary for all to retire to the fort or to their small homes in order to stand off the marauding bands and to prevent them from burning the buildings. These stories, which were often retold in various versions, while doubtless true, their authenticity has been rather difficult to verify.

3 comments:

sarah jane said...

I can't tell you how awesome this is! love checking in everyday and seeing what's been posted.

MD said...

I have copy of Map of Original LaReunion.I'm having working sketches made of Original Surveys from General Land Office.
I'm following survey practices and find enough orginal boundary corners for reconstruction of building locations.We can ranslate to latitude and longitude NAD 83.
Can have lots of fun with handheld GPS from Old Red and tourists can really connect to LaReunion.
Lets have sunset coffee and pie at the LaReunion corner of Luby's.
R.J.Daum RPLS
One Texas
One Surveyor
www.flatwillow.com

La Reunion History said...

Hi, Michael:

Sounds like this old survey work is a piece of cake for you. I'm heading out for a short family vacation this afternoon so can't make it down to Dallas but look forward to a field trip some upcoming weekend.

As SJ may have explained, we're working toward development of some large display posters--maybe at first only one to accompany the architectural entries but later perhaps five or six--that's why I'm labeling the blog entries. We want this to be very interesting visually, so some of our task is to assemble graphics like maps and building illustrations.

Don