Another day, another cemetery or 2. And a gas station of petrified wood.

Today was a great day to drive and shoot, although the weather started out gray, it was uncanny how the sun would pop out at the exact moment I would get ready to shoot.

Jesus with Cowboy BootsEvergreen Cemetery

Paris, TX

Yep, what can I say? And it is a great cemetery, to boot. (sorry, had to)

Paris Depot
(bar and restaurant)
1264 S Main St, Paris
Live music and reportedly great food. And a very cool bluegrass club across the street.
Wise County Courthouse
Decatur, TX
After 2 of the 3 previous courthouses had burned, the city fathers apparently got serious and hired J. Riley Gordon to build this pink granite beauty in 1896. The price tag of $110,000 was thought excessive by many at the time, and the officials were not reelected. The building is based on the cruciform plan and the Romanesque Revival architectural style, and often compared to another great Texas courthouse in Waxahachie (also designed by Gordon).
Texaco Petrified Wood Station
100 South US Highway 21/Business 287
Corner of Bus 287 and Hale Avenue
Decatur, TX
Originally a 1927 Texas Tourist Camp, owner E. F. Boydston recognized that money could be made by attracting the motoring road trippers. The restaurant built in 1929 and lodging in the early 30s to accommodate the travelers that stopped to refuel both body and automobile. In 1935 the wood frame station was covered in petrified wood quarried form the area to attract more travelers.
Legend has it that Bonnie and Clyde stayed a few nights at the camp weeks before they were gunned down. Although everyone knew who they were, no one was willing to acknowledge their visit, for fear of their lives.
Boydston’s son worked at his station for 50 years, 7 days a week, never leaving Decatur in his life. Today, it has been restored to it’s 1953 heyday by the Boydston’s granddaughter, Nancy Rosendahl, and husband.
Aurora Cemetery
Cemeterey Road off of Hiway 114
Near Rhome,
Aurora is the home of 1897 account of a alien spacecraft hitting a windmill and the pilot was buried in the cemetery. (It was made into a 1986 movie “Aurora Encounter”). Didn’t find the grave….but the light was great. From the marker:
“This site is also well-known because of the legend that a spaceship crashed nearby in 1897 and the pilot, killed in the crash, was buried here. “excerpted from Aurora Texas UFO Crash Of 1897 – Myth Or Mystery?

Here is the story as written in 1897 in the April 19 edition of the Dallas Morning News is as follows:
About 6 o’clock this morning the early risers of Aurora were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which has been sailing around the country. It was traveling due north and much nearer the earth than before. Evidently some of the machinery was out of order, for it was making a speed of only ten or twelve miles an hour, and gradually settling toward the earth. It sailed over the public square and when it reached the north part of town it collided with the tower of Judge Proctor’s windmill and went into pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground, wrecking the windmill and water tank and destroying the judge’s flower garden. The pilot of the ship is supposed to have been the only one aboard and, while his remains were badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world.

Mr. T.J. Weems, the U.S. Army Signal Service officer at this place and an authority on astronomy gives it as his opinion that the pilot was a native of the planet Mars. Papers found on his person — evidently the records of his travels — are written in some unknown hieroglyphics and cannot be deciphered. This ship was too badly wrecked to form any conclusion as to its construction or motive power. It was built of an unknown metal, resembling somewhat a mixture of aluminum and silver, and it must have weighed several tons. The town is today full of people who are viewing the wreckage and gathering specimens of strange metal from the debris. The pilot’s funeral will take place tomorrow.

The article was written by E. E. Haydon who was a part-time reporter for the Morning News. As startling as the news was, no other newspapers in the world ran the story in their paper. News of the incident remained dormant for almost a century (May 24, 1973) when newspapers around the country published the following United Press International account:

“Aurora, Tex. — (UPI) — A grave in a small north Texas cemetery contains the body of an 1897 astronaut who “was not an inhabitant of this world,” according to the International UFO Bureau. The group, which investigates unidentified flying objects, has already initiated legal proceedings to exhume the body and will go to court if necessary to open the grave, director Hayden Hewes said Wednesday.

“After checking the grave with metal detectors and gathering facts for three months, we are certain as we can be at this point [that] he was the pilot of a UFO which reportedly exploded atop a well on Judge J.S. Proctor’s place, April 19, 1897,” Hewes said. ÒHe was not an inhabitant of this world.”

A few days later, another UPI account datelined Aurora quoted a ninety-one-year-old who had been a girl of fifteen in Aurora at the time of the reported incident. She said she “had all but forgotten the incident until it appeared in the newspapers recently.” She said her parents had gone to the sight of the crash, but had refused to take her along. She recalled that the remains of the pilot, “a small man,” had been buried in the Aurora cemetery.
(to read more, please go to  Aurora Texas UFO Crash Of 1897 – Myth Or Mystery? )