Tourist Tuesday: A Small Disappointment

This past week was my last few days with my family in Texas. So I took Monday and Tuesday off so I could maximize my time. My sister (Rita) was a total rockstar these last few weeks trying to make sure I had somewhere to feature on my blog.

I am not originally from Texas, nor is my sister, but she married a Texan and she is a Texan through and through. She’s very proud of her state, and the small town where she has made her life. I love that about her. I also love that she actively seeks out interesting things and places where she lives. That’s really what this portion of my blog is about, appreciating the places around you. Be a tourist in your own town and find the hidden gems that make your home your home.

My sister was super excited to take me to Mrs. Lee’s Daffodil Garden. It was it’s first weekend open of the season and it’s definitely a unique experience for Gladewater. On Sunday they had proclaimed on their Facebook page that they were open for business, so Monday morning we took care of some errands in the morning, then picked up a couple of pizzas to eat as we drove through the beautiful daffodils… only to discover that they had decided that morning not to open. It was so disappointing.

My three year old nephew was really disappointed that he didn’t get to see Mrs. Lees, so we decided to regroup at Gladewater Lake and let Brayden get some time running around in the sunshine. The weather was beautiful, the lake was pleasant, and there was a decent playground for the kiddos. My sister thought Camp Ford would be a great place to visit for Tourist Tuesday. So we picked my niece up from school before heading out of Gladewater to Tyler.

Camp Ford is an historical park where a Civil War P.O.W. Camp once stood. I really want to say that it’s a beautiful park and totally worth the trip to Tyler… but I’d be lying. Maybe sometime in the past, but it has fallen into disrepair; a couple of the trails were closed off for what appeared to be pretty unsafe conditions (one bridge had completely collapsed). Obviously it’s the end of winter, so the trees were still dead, and the ground was covered with fallen leaves, my guess is it’s quite beautiful in the spring and summer with all the foliage on full display.

In spite of the rather dilapidated appearance of the park, it’s historical significance is interesting, and there were plenty of plaques with information regarding the usage and history of the camp. I had never considered prisoners of war during the Civil War, but they existed, and (apparently) the South held more prisoners than the North. The Union would have preferred to execute them for treason, but they were compelled to hold prisoners for exchange since the Confederacy held so many prisoners.

If you’re interested in reading some of the history I’m including photos of the plaques here:

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